The 5 Minute Guide to Optimizing Your WordPress Site for SEO

Digital marketing terms written on a napkin - Optimizing Your WordPress Site for SEOBest SEO Plugins for WordPress and How to Use Them

If a website exists on the Internet but nobody can find it, does it matter?

We all want a kick-ass WordPress website but to make that happen you must market your website. To ensure that your site stays relevant and is easy for both users and search engines to understand, take advantage of SEO.

Here’s an easy guide on optimizing your WordPress site for SEO.

10 plugins and tools to make your WordPress site SEO-friendly

There are two major WordPress SEO plugins to be aware of: Yoast and All in One SEO Pack. While there are many plugins and tools available to upgrade the SEO capabilities of your WordPress website, these two are the most popular to date and both are great options for your website.

Let’s take a deeper look into both Yoast and All in One SEO Pack and then explore some other popular SEO plugins and tools to help your WordPress get noticed and grow with SEO.

1. Yoast

One of the most downloaded WordPress plugins of all time (and also one of the most talked about), Yoast is a great comprehensive solution for all your on-site SEO needs.

With more than 30 million downloads and 1,968 ratings, Yoast makes it easy for users of any self-hosted WordPress site to control and maintain a variety of SEO components.

From allowing you to add SEO titles, meta descriptions, and meta keywords to each post and page of your site, to writing custom titles for your main site, archives, categories and tag pages, Yoast is an extensive SEO toolkit.

Additionally, Yoast adds Open Graph meta data, Twitter Cards, Sitemaps, and ping search engines to site updates.

Arguably the best part? It’s free!

However…while Yoast shows several strengths, there are weaknesses as well. These include limited XML sitemap options and for some users, Yoast offers too many features.

If Yoast appears to be too complicated or proves to be difficult in setting up, there are plenty of helpful guides to get you through the process.

2. All in One SEO Pack

Although Yoast is catching up fast, All in One SEO Pack currently holds the title for most downloads, with a whopping 24 million and counting.

While there is a free option for the plugin, the pro version that’s also offered carries additional costs.

Although All in One SEO Pack is older than Yoast, it’s remains a worthy option.

All in One SEO Pack offers greater XML sitemap options, unique performance optimizer, and fewer features to get your head around than Yoast.

On the other hand, the toolkit’s UI design could be better and is too limited for serious SEO.

3. Broken Link Checker

Broken links on your site can affect the SEO and cause a bad experience for users. With that said, it’s important to have a way to check your site for broken links and to then fix them.

Broken Link Checker is a free WordPress plugin to help solve this problem. The plugin helps to find broken links and allows you to fix those links without editing your posts.

Although this plugin can prove to be incredibly useful, it can also become resource intensive and may slow down your server. Because of this, Broken Link Checker is already blocked on some servers.

4. SEO Smart Links

This WordPress plugin provides automatic SEO benefits for your site as well as custom keyword lists, nofollow, and more.

SEO Smart Links lets you automatically link keywords and phrases to any post link and can be very useful for on-page optimization.

However, before you use this plugin, be sure of your internal linking, and be aware of Google’s linking algorithm.

5. SEO Friendly Images

If your images don’t have ALT and TITLE already set, this WordPress SEO plugin will add them according to the options you set.

SEO Friendly Images automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes for SEO purposes.

Optimizing your images can drive a significant amount of traffic from image search engines, so this plugin can prove to be highly useful.

6. SEMrush

Used by professionals, SEMrush is a way to gather analytics and insights from competitors as a way to help improve your own SEO.

The tool helps you learn about organic keywords to rank for, places where you can get backlinks from, and more.

While it is a paid subscription, thousands of SEO professionals use it all over the world, and it can be worth the extra cost.

7. Google Keyword Planner & Keyword

Are you struggling to come up with keyword ideas? Google Keyword Planner gives you a way to generate your own keyword ideas from Google itself.

It’s a free tool offered to Google’s advertisers, but anyone can use it. As a content marketer or blogger, you can use this data to find keywords with high search volume or advertiser interest.

Keyword Tool allows you to generate keyword ideas as well by typing in a keyword.

The tool suggestions are gathered from Google’s autocomplete feature, which means that the top results are the most frequently searched terms on the search engine for that certain keyword.

Keyword Tool is also free, and it’s a fast way to optimize content on your WordPress site.

8. LinkPatrol

A premium WordPress plugin, LinkPatrol allows you to control all the links on your website.

The plugin provides you a way to monitor all outgoing links and a way to find out which links are giving away link juice.

This is a less resource intensive plugin than other free options that do the same job.

9. Open Site Explorer

Developed by Moz, Open Site Explorer offers a way to check data for any domain name to see who is linking to that domain, as well as a way to view what anchor texts they’re using.

This tool offers an array of information including top pages and linking domains.

Although free, Open Site Explorer has daily search limits for each person, unless you have a Moz Pro Subscription.

10. SEOquake

This tool provides SEO related information for any website. This includes page rank, Alexa rank, age, last update, and more.

SEOquake is available as a browser add-on for a variety of web browsers and is one of the most downloaded browser add-ons by SEO professionals.

We’ve covered a ton of info today! Do you have experience using WordPress plugin tools? Which can’t you live without?

Digital Marketing 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Web Design and Development

Gregory Duffie is the Owner and CxO of Think BIG Engine. Greg is a serial solopreneur that enjoys helping non-technical folks and small businesses navigate the new rules of the Internet. He specializes in WordPress, Website Hosting, SEO, and Databases. Connect with Greg on LinkedIn or Twitter.

    More from our blog

    See all posts