We talked a little about the importance of SEO in our last blog—10 Quick Ways to Improve Your Blog Traffic, but many people don’t understand the depths of SEO and why it matters to their blog. All well-known search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo utilize SEO, or search engine optimization, to produce their primary search results. These results are where web pages and other content, such as photos and local listings, are placed and ranked based on algorithms that help the search engines decide what their users will find most relevant or helpful.
These algorithms rank websites based on specific elements (unique to each search engine); therefore, implementing SEO best practices can help your website or blog become ranked higher by catering to these elements. While each search engine’s criteria is different, there are some overarching basics can be implemented into your blog to help increase your rank. If you’re brand new to SEO, we recommend checking out Blog Tyrant’s post, which breaks down the basics of SEO, SEO for Idiots: The 10 Basics of Blogging Search Engine Optimization.
For the purposes of this blog, however, we wanted to share with you some of the best Wordpress plugins that can help drive SEO and, in turn, increase the traffic to your blog.
1. WordPress SEO by Yoast was created as an all-in-one SEO tool. The plugin helps bloggers write better content with WordPress SEO and offers features including page analysis, technical WordPress search engine optimization, meta and link elements, XML sitemaps, RSS optimization, social integration, and other features all designed to optimize your site’s SEO.
User Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
2. Broken Link Checker does what the name says—it monitors your posts, pages, comments, and other fields for broken links, missing images and redirects. If any are found, it will notify you via email or Dashboard, so you can fix them. This is important because broken links affect your SEO rating negatively, which can lead to a drop in rank, and decreases in traffic to your site.
User Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars
3. Google XML Sitemaps promises to provide you with a XML sitemap for search engines without breaking or slowing down your blog. Your XML sitemap helps search engines better index your blog. This plugin allows major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. It also notifies search engines when you post new content.
User Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
4. Rich Contact Widgets allows search engines to display contact information about your business (or yourself) below your website in search results, and map your location, which improves local SEO. This is the perfect plugin for your local business blog or small restaurant website. Your phone number and email are created as links in the search engine results so users can contact you quickly about your blog or business.
User Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
5. SEO Friendly Images automatically updates all uploaded images with alt and title attributes.. If your images do not have alt and title attributes, SEO Friendly Images will add them according to predetermined settings you define. “Alt” is important for driving SEO, because it describes your images to search engines. It is utilized as a key determining factor when users search for a certain images. “Title” is also important for visitors, because it allows text to automatically appear in the tooltip when a cursor is over the image.
User Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Have questions about search engine optimization or recommendations for Wordpress Plugins that have boosted traffic to your blog? Leave them in the comments below!