WordPress is my favorite content management software for blogging because it comes with thousands of awesome plugins. In order to SEO your blog, you must install a few key plugins to boost your Google search engine traffic and attract more visitors.
Here’s a quick list of must have WordPress plugins for SEO.
Yoast SEO is the first plugin I install on any wordpress blog. It covers a ton of key SEO tweaks that WordPress lacks out of the box. It allows you to optimize your meta titles, meta descriptions, meta keywords and images on each post.
Yoast SEO lets you enter a focus keyword then gives you a score for each post. It reminds you to add the keyword within the content and use image ALT tags as well.
It also prevents duplicate content from getting indexed, block the Google spiders from indexing your archives, and optimizes your website for mobile and social media traffic.
Read More: How to Setup Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin
This simple plugin permanently redirects all 404’s to the main blog URL. There may be several reasons why you might want to do this, but the primary purpose is to siphon Google Page Rank (TM) from missing pages to the homepage.
It also saves a potential reader by sending all traffic to broken links straight to the homepage. If somebody accidentally copies the link wrong, then it sends them to your homepage instead of a boring 404 error page.
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog.
With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently.
Read More: Google XML Sitemaps Settings
Page speed is an important factor in SEO. Google shows webpages that load quickly because page speed improves user experience. Everyone hates a slow website.
This plugin creates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. When a page is rendered, php and mysql are used.
Therefor, system needs RAM and CPU. If many visitors come to a site, system uses lots of RAM and CPU so page is rendered so slowly. In this case, you need a cache system not to render page again and again.
Cache system generates a static html file and saves. Other users reach to static html page.
Read More: Recommended WP Fastest Cache Settings
WPtouch is a mobile plugin for WordPress that automatically enables a simple and elegant mobile theme for mobile visitors of your WordPress website.
It’s important for SEO because a lot of people may visit your website via their mobile phones depending on your niche. If you have an ugly mobile website, then people leave and your bounce rate soars. High bounce rates is bad for search engine rankings. Give your mobile users a solid mobile experience.
Read More: WPtouch Mobile Plugin Configuration
Google images gets a lot of traffic so it’s important to have images on your blog to increase search traffic. It is very time consuming to manually save images on your computer then upload them to WordPress.
Use this plugin instead of tiresome saving images from the internet and uploading them to your blog.
Just enter the image URL and it automatically saves it to your WordPress media folder under wp-uploads.
If you run a photography or image based blog, this plugin will save you HOURS of hard work. A must have for any wordpress site.
Broken links are bad for SEO and user experience. When Googlebot reaches a broken link, it stops crawling your web pages.
This plugin will monitor your blog looking for broken links and let you know if any are found. It’s super easy to manage broken links then either change them or unlink them from one central location.
A good Yoast SEO alternative is All in One SEO pack. It automatically generate meta tags for your posts and allows bulk title and description changes on the fly. Great nice plugin.
Read More: All in One SEO Pack Best Settings
Internal linking is a great way to boost your webpages on Google by creating lots of relevant backlinks within your website. SEO Smart Links can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog.
Another benefit is automatically linking to specific pages in your comments section. If you get a lot of blog comments, your readers will read the comments section looking for information. Use this plugin to automatically link their words to your webpages for more backlinks!
Your backlinks should be consistent within your website. When you use the default affiliate link, it looks ugly and drives your readers away. It also allows people to copy the link, enter it into their web browser and strip your affiliate id, thus robbing you of commissions.
Pretty Link enables you to shorten links using your own domain name (as opposed to using tinyurl.com, bit.ly, or any other link shrinking service)! In addition to creating clean links, Pretty Link tracks each hit on your URL and provides a full, detailed report of where the hit came from, the browser, os and host.
Pretty Link is a killer plugin for people who want to clean up their affiliate links, track clicks from emails, their links on Twitter to come from their own domain, or generally increase the reach of their website by spreading these links on forums or comments on other blogs.
This is probably the easiest way to add a powerful HTML sitemap to your site! This gives your visitors an efficient way to view ALL site content in ONE place. It is also great for SEO purposes and makes it easier for spiders to index your site.
If you manage an affiliate review site or review products and services on your blog, then Author hReview turns your regular blog posts into professional looking review templates with great SEO Benefits.
The plugin supports rich snippets and adds 5 star ratings and your name to your Google SERPs to increase CTR in the Google search engine results.
Read More: Author hReview Settings & Setup
Automatically reduces and optimizes your image files to speed up your website. A faster loading site is good for SEO.
Tarik Pierce is a 15 year WordPress veteran. He writes about blogging, SEO, and personal finance.