The WordPress Content Management System (CMS) has evolved from its humble beginnings as a b2 blog platform offshoot into one of the Internet’s true darlings, universally beloved as oh hai kitten photos and narwhals. Although its true strength still lies in being an accessible and powerful blogging platform, a huge proportion of its users are now using it for their own personal sites. This facts is especially exacerbated by its incredible ease in making sites SEO friendly. In fact, with WordPress in use by over 54% of the Internet’s CMS-driven sites (citation: W3Techs) & representing 22% of all new active websites on the Internet (citation: Techcrunch), to not attempt SEO on your WordPress site may leave you far behind.
Luckily, WordPress’ huge development community has a plugin designed for just about everything, including SEO ranking factors. Below is an unordered list of a random number of my current favorite WordPress SEO plugins:
- All in One SEO Pack – The Grand Daddy of all SEO WordPress plugins. This versatile and lightweight plugin will allow you to set the meta titles and meta descriptions for every page on your WordPress site, as well as adding support for Google Analytics, follow settings and other goodies.
- Google XML Sitemaps – the sitemap is akin to a road map or itinerary for search engine crawlers, and you can be sure search engines will return the love for helping them along the way. This simple plugin does its job and KISS (keeps it simple, stupid!)
- W3 Total Cache – With site performance and other abstract factors now figuring into Google’s ranking algorithm, incremental speed boosts can only help your site’s chances in ranking better in the search engine result pages (SERPs). Then again, your user base will thank you too for now having to stare at a spinning hourglass when they visit your site.
- WordPress Meta Robots – no more manually fiddling around with Robots.txt! If you want to set nofollow or noindex tags, a simple check box will now allow you all the granular control you want.
- WP Socializer – Get social – make your WordPress site less lonely with this all in one social plugin. Easily customize and add support for a multitude of social networks. Google and the other search engines are definitely looking at social signals as a current ranking variable and their reliance on this may increase in the future.
- Breadcrumb NavXT – these aren’t Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs – this plugin will supercharge your breadcrumb functionality with anabolic steroid potential that the Hulk would be proud of. SEO friendly and most importantly, user friendly as well.
- Twitter Goodies – yes, there are hundreds of Twitter plugins for WordPress. But what if you want one that gets a few simple tasks done, like posting new blog posts to your automatically and adding in support for the most basic of Twitter functions? Get your goods with these Goodies.
- SEO Friendly Images – set it and forget it. Some of my favorite words in the English language; this describes the plugin perfectly. Automatically add alt and title attributes to all your images in one fell swoop (also one of my favorite phrases).
- Schema for WordPress – as of now, there aren’t any dominating WordPress plugins that can easily add Schema.org support. This is a step in the right direction, though.
- SEO Smart Links – take control of your internal link building campaign with this plugin, which automatically finds related terms in your pages and links it to other relevant pages within your site.