WordPress is loved by many webmasters and SEO guys around the world for it’s flexibility, usability and awesomeness when it comes to SEO and optimizing your website for the search engines. When launching a new website or starting out with a new client, I spend a lot of time looking at the on-page SEO side of things and website structure as this is the foundation of any good SEO campaign. Below are some of the plugins that I often install as soon as I get under the hood of any WordPress site to enhance the on-page SEO and boost the performance of the website not only for search engines but for the all important visitors as well. Have a read, test some of the plugins for yourself if you haven’t used them already and feel free to give me some extra suggestions in the comments section at the bottom of the post if you feel like I have left your favorites out of the list.
The be-all and end-all of WordPress SEO plugins. This plugin just about does it all when it comes to creating or editing title tags, meta descriptions, meta robots tags, XML sitemaps and also allows you to analyze the on-page factors of each of your websites pages. For me, this is one plugin you CANNOT do without and it I were a WordPress bigwig, I would have it installed by default on every WordPress blog or website instead of the Hello Dolly and Askimet plugins.
SEO Extended is essentially a drop-in plugin for WordPress SEO and allows you to bulk edit your post and page titles, descriptions and more. Whilst there is not too much more than the ability to edit meta-data, this plugin has personally saved me oodles of time on going into each individual page and editing titles and descriptions for websites that I have worked on.
WP Nav Menu Breadcrumbs / Breadcrumb NavXT
Google has recently introduced rich snippets for breadcrumbs and started showing them in this structured data within their search results. Both of these cool plugins create locational breadcrumbs and trails to help website visitors and search engines to better read, navigate and also to get a better understanding the structure of your web pages or website in general.
W3 Total Cache
Do you want your website to load like Speedy Gonzales? I HIGHLY recommend that you install the W3 Total Cache plugin on your site. I run most of my sites on my own personal dedicated server so they run quite quick normally but with this little bad boy, your sites will load like lightning and Google will love you because your site is easy to load and accessible.
MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer
Stops your website from sending out excessive pings after updates on your WordPress blog or website and allows your blog or posts within your blog to get indexed much faster, which is always a good thing if you’re impatient like me. I believe this plugin has been banned or removed from the WP Plugin repository for processing updates via its own methods and for making it mandatory for people to signup to it’s newsletter upon install but heck, you can unsubscribe at anytime and it is still a very useful tool.
I always like to have a text-link within my footer to both my XML Sitemap and my HTML Sitemap, don’t know why, I just like to. One works well for search engines and the other is useful for users and visitors to your website. The easier spiders and humanoids can browse your website, the better!
Many people may not consider this plugin to have any SEO value but having the ability to change the content in the sidebar of pages can make a massive difference and allow you to place more relevant sidebars on specific pages. Display Widgets is much like Widget Login but gives you a little more flexibility and doesn’t require you to do any coding or remember page IDs.
New Google Plus Badge Widget
Not a massive one but this plugin is something that I stumbled across whilst searching the new WordPress plugins on WordPress.org. It is a sidebar widget plugin that allows you to place a stylish Google Plus profile widget in the sidebar of your WordPress blog or website. It got one in the sidebar of my website and blog pages, do you?
The Ultimate Nofollow plugin allows you to nofollow links, obviously. Rather than creating a hyperlink using the standard procedure via the text editor in WordPress and then having to go back into your code, the Ultimate Nofollow plugin inserts a checkbox that you can check to nofollow a particular link. Simple idea but definitely a good one.
This is all I can think of off the top of my head for now but feel free to go ahead and leave a comment below with your favorite WordPress plugin if I haven’t listed it above. If you have any questions about on-page SEO or WordPress or anything else web development or SEO related, you can leave a response or contact me via my contact page at anytime.