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5 Free Essential WordPress Plugins to Supercharge your SEO

WordPress is by far my favourite CMS due to its ease of use, stability and in particular its huge collection of plugins which with a click of a button can implement useful features and configurations to assist your SEO efforts.

Alternative content management systems, such as Drupal or Hubspot, make our job more difficult and time-consuming as we have to lean on web developers much more to implement new features and tweaks.

There are countless amounts of WordPress plugins which can benefit SEO, but here are some of my favourites, especially if you have a new website and/or new to the world of SEO:

Yoast SEO

yoast seo logo

If you install just one SEO plugin, make sure its Yoast. It comes with a variety of features that are important for SEO; for your website as a whole and on an individual page level.

On a domain level, Yoast will implement core SEO requirements such an XML sitemap, a Robots.txt file and Structured Data, which are essential.

On a page by page level, Yoast will help you create unique meta titles and descriptions, analyse the readability as well as implementing technical aspects such as canonical tags and indexability statuses.

Key Features Include:

  • Create unique meta titles and descriptions for each page
  • Manage your websites XML Sitemap
  • Manage the indexability status of your pages
  • Easily create and manage a Robots.txt File and htaccess file

W3 Total Cache

w3 total cache logo

A cache plugin like W3 Total Cache, or alternatives such as WP Fastest Cache, are integral for site speed.

Cache plugins serve static versions of your web pages which significantly reduces the load time for repeat visitors.

There are many tweaks that can be made to cache plugins however the default settings should be adequate for most people.

Key Features Include:

  • Reduced page load time
  • An improved Google Page Speed Score
  • Improved web server performance

LuckyWP Table of Contents

LuckyWP Table of Contents logo

Long-form content in the form of informational guides, for example, are great for users and loved by search engines.

A table of contents makes it easier for users to navigate through a long piece of content to a particular section that they are most interested in.

A table of contents also ensures that there is a possibility that sitelinks will be added to the organic listing, which may increase click-through-rates, as showcased below with an example of a guide from Moz.

Key Features Include:

  • Ready to be used by Google for sitelinks
  • Improves readability

Asset CleanUp: Page Speed Booster

Asset CleanUp: Page Speed Booster logo

Asset CleanUp is a bit different to your regular page speed-boosting plugins, Asset CleanUp’s core feature is that it allows you to examine each page to see which scripts are running on them which aren’t needed.

For example, I discovered that the Google Maps API script was running on every page of a clients website while it was only needed on the “contact us” page!

Disabling these unneeded scripts will reduce the bloat on your webpages which will, in turn, make them faster.

As well as on a page level, Asset CleanUP also includes a Site-wide removal for default implementations which may not be needed such as Emojis and comments.

Key Features Include:

  • Reduces the bloat in the code
  • Page speed improvements

Really Simple SSL

Really Simple SSL logo

Let’s be honest, everyone should have HTTPS encryption on their website in 2020, especially as this is one of only a few confirmed ranking factors.

Once you have installed an SSL certificate, which is free from the likes of LetsEncrypt, Really Simple SSL lets you redirect the HTTP versions of your webpages to the HTTPS versions which a click of a button.

Key Features Include:

  • handles most issues that WordPress has with SSL
  • Easy implementation

For more advice on WordPress plugins, or any other SEO related queries, contact our dedicated SEO team

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