There are numerous WordPress SEO plugins available and it can be difficult to decide which to install. A few common questions in this respect are:
Are WordPress SEO Plugins really needed?
If you are looking for a high search engine ranking you do need to install a few SEO plugins to help get your content indexed quickly and to help you manage certain characteristics of WordPress. For example search engines do not like to see duplicate content on a website but WordPress creates this by displaying posts on the home page, on their own page and under the category, author and archive.
Will installing WordPress SEO Plugins improve my search engine ranking?
They can certainly help to improve search engine ranking but only if other aspects of SEO are correct. For example if you have picked the wrong keywords or have linked your site to sites using “Black Hat” SEO techniques then there is little that can be done to help. On the other hand if your problem is that your content is not properly optimised then there are WordPress SEO Plugins that can assist.
Which WordPress SEO Plugins should an average user install?
By average user I mean someone who wants to get a good search engine ranking but does not want to become an SEO expert in the process.
There are a number of SEO plugins that have multiple functions and can, to a large extent, be installed with their default settings and left to work. If at a later date you want to study what they do and fine tune them there is always that option. “All In One SEO Pack” is a good option for this although the “Platinum SEO Pack” which has more functionality should be considered.
You should also install a sitemap plugin like “Google XML Sitemaps” which despite its name works with Bing and Yahoo as well. This will help the search engines find your content and index it quickly.
What other WordPress SEO Plugins are worth considering?
There are a number of these worth considering these:
Help check for errors such as broken links or 404 errors. It is important that these are spotted and corrected quickly as search engines do not like to see them.
Improve the operation of the site by managing redirections or caching the pages to speed up loading.
Automate tasks that you could so manually but are easy to overlook. This could be shortening URLs by removing common words or generating links (internal and external) automatically.
One of my favourite WordPress SEO plugins is the “SEOPressor” plugin. This automates the process of checking on page SEO. It can make a few small changes itself but it is primarily up to you to action its recommendations. Doing this gets your on page SEO as good as possible and thereby minimises the number of backlinks you need to get a good ranking.