This is a very simple guide on which plugins you can install today to increase your blogs performance in the search engine rankings. It’s based on a few years of experience in optimizing WordPress blogs. Some of the blogs I did this on had 50% more traffic from the search engines within 2 weeks!
Headspace2 is one of the two plugins by John Godley that I keep promoting to everyone. Simply install it and use the special tags in the options to change your page titles and meta descriptions to meaningful stuff, make sure the post and page names are the first things in your title, and then your blog name.
The other plugin by John Godley is Redirection. You can use this to redirect old URL’s to new ones, but it has one feature that is my prime reason for using it. It automatically adds a redirect to it’s database when you change a posts slug. So, you can now easily change your post slugs and do not have to worry anymore about search engines and users going to the wrong place.
- SEO Friendly Images
This plugin automatically optimizes ALT and TITLE attributes for each of your images that doesn’t have one. This will make them xHTML valid, and it will also help you a bit in your rankings. Download it here.
- SEO Slugs
SEO Slugs automatically removes words like ‘a’, ‘the’ and ‘in’ and other stop words from your post slugs before saving them, making your URL’s a lot shorter and cleaner, which will improve your chances to rank and improve usability!
- Robots Meta
One of my own plugins, Robots Meta might be a bit impressive on first install. Without going in to all the details here, I’d suggest you at least enable the following options:
- Prevent indexing of search result pages
- Prevent indexing of login and register pages
- Prevent indexing of all admin pages
- Prevent indexing of author archives
- Nofollow login and registration links
- Replace the Meta Widget with a nofollow one
- RSS Footer
Another plugin of mine, RSS Footer will allow you to add a link back to each blog post on your blog in your feed. This way, if scrapers scrape your RSS feed, they will always link back to your original article. Since using this, I’ve come to love scrapers!
- Yoast Breadcrumbs
The last of my plugins, Yoast Breadcrumbs, actually only released this morning, is a plugin to easily add breadcrumb paths to your theme. This is a very good way for your users to navigate around your site, and for search engines to determine the structure of your site. For maximum SEO effect, you should enable the category to show up in your single posts breadcrumbs.
- WP Page Numbers
WordPress’ default pagination is one of the reasons why search engines won’t index older posts, they simply can’t find a post that’s buried 10 clicks away. Using WP Page Numbers, you can change the pagination to use numbers, and link to several pages at once, highly increasing your WordPress SEO.
These tips should help you a lot in improving your rankings. If you want to go even further, read my in-depth article on WordPress SEO, and be sure to start reading my SEO blog.