Consumer buying behavior has evolved a lot in recent years. Using search engines like Google to help make informed buying decisions is now the norm for most consumers. People want to do the research themselves. While blogs are a great source of consumer information, producing great content is just the first step in boosting awareness and ultimately sales for your product or service.
While the major social sharing platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus can be a great source of traffic for your blog or website, you can’t rely on social media sites alone—you need to make sure your website or blog is optimized for search engines from the get-go. And if you’re a WordPress user, the good news is that WordPress websites are already optimized for search engines to a certain extent—which is why so many people love and use the WordPress platform. However, as great as WordPress is, there are some essential plug-ins that you can use to make your WordPress site rank higher in search results. Even better? They’re free.
This plug-in is a must, especially for beginners. It takes care of many of the common SEO tasks automatically and allows you to concentrate on creating great content. Optimized titles and meta tags are automatically generated for your content to maximize your search engine positioning. It will also help you avoid the typical duplicate content issue often found on WordPress blogs. While All-in-One-SEO Pack is free, a pro version that adds several additional features is also available for purchase.
Using relevant images on your site not only make your articles more interesting, they can also help your articles rank higher in search. SEO Friendly Images is a plug-in that will automatically optimize images with proper Alt and Title attributes. Alt text provides descriptions of your images so search engines can index them properly. This will make it more likely people will discover your content when searching keywords relevant to the images included in your posts.
If you want to rank higher in search results, a fast loading website is a must. Google has made it clear that fast loading speed is an important factor in determining search rank. W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by speeding up page load time. This will translate to increased time spent on your site and more page views. W3 Total Cache also works seamlessly with most of the major content delivery networks to further speed up your site and enhance the user experience.
Broken links on your blog or website will not only annoy your visitors, they can also adversely affect the ability of search engines like Google to properly crawl and index your site. For those sites with a large amount of content, it can be very difficult to find and fix broken links. Broken Link Checker will automatically check your posts, comments and other content for broken links and missing images. It will then notify you if any are found so you can make fixes.
Sharing on social sharing networks is a great way to get your content exposed to more people. If you want to encourage your visitors to share your content, you need to make it easy for them to do so. The beauty of Floating Social Bar is it maximizes your social media visibility without adversely impacting the speed of your site. To keep the plug-in fast and lean, it only loads scripts when needed and only supports the five major social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus. Floating Social Bar provides an easy way for your visitors to share your content without adversely affecting their user experience.
While there are a lot of awesome and useful plug-ins you can install on your WordPress site, these are five essential ones that will help you significantly optimize your site to achieve better search ranking. They are all free to download and easy to install.
Which WordPress plugins do you use and recommend for SEO? We’d love to hear about your favorites.