SEO Wordpress Plugins You Shouldn’t Be Without

Continuing with my Wordpress love-fest this week, I thought I’d share some of my favorite SEO related plugins. However, Wordpress as a content management system (CMS), has a number of pro-SEO features right out of the box:

  • Wordpress SEO Advantages

  • 100% CSS Design

    One of the biggest advantages to Wordpress is its 100% CSS theme design. As standards are adopted by next generation browsers (except Internet Explorer), the benefits of CSS are being seen, not only in website design and performance, but SEO as well.

    By using CSS, you can minimize the amount of markup need to achieve the same design objective. Ultimately, this improves your markup-to-content ratio, leaving more content then markup for spiders to index. Since “content is king” (or is it “kontent”?), this feature gives sets the stage for search engine marketing success.

  • Link Structure

    Wordpress’s permalink structure combined with Apache’s mod_rewrite gives you the control you need to make informative, search engine friendly URLs. In addition, each link is consistent. In other words, you don’t have to worry about remembering to put a trailing “/” on each directory or make sure your file extension is .htm and not .html. Wordpress handles that for you.

  • RSS Feeds

    One thing I noticed almost immediately as I reviewed my server access log, is how much spiders love my RSS feed. After thinking about it for a moment, I realized why. Why go through the trouble of spidering an entire site when you can simply see what’s new?

    With Wordpress, RSS compatible feeds come standard.

  • Extensibility

    Wordpress, having been around since 2001, has an extensive and ever growing library of plugins that add a host of new features. It’s this library that, in my opinion, lends the most value to this CMS.

Thanks to the open source community, it’s easier than ever to install plugins that not only improve, but in some cases, automate your search engine marketing tasks. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • SEO Wordpress Plugins

  • Optimal Title

    The developers of Wordpress seem like an intelligent bunch, but I’m still boggled by the way they handle titles by default. The Optimal Title plugin, with a small template modification, turns your default title from, “Website Name > Post Title” to the SEO preferred, “Post Title > Website Name”.

  • Meta Tag Generator

    You might be thinking, “Aren’t meta tags dead?” From what I understand, pretty much.

    Because of abuse, the META keyword tag is all but ignored and now, according to Matt Cutts, the Google snibbets team may disregard your META description tag for another blurb in your post.

    But that still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take 2 minutes and include them anyway! And this plugin allows you to add custom fields to each post that makes this a little bit easier.

  • Sitemap Generator

    Dagon Design has created a plugin that removes the hassle of updating your sitemap. Using your article database, it creates a sitemap of your entire site on the fly. As your site grows, and sitemap expands, this plugin is a must to give spiders every possible chance to find each letter of your content.

  • Google Sitemap Generator

    Since Google released the ability to upload an XML sitemap to their engine, everyone is rushing to make one (and rightfully so). But who wants to go through the trouble of updating it with each new post? Further, who wants to wrestle with making sure the syntax is correct?

    Worry not! Arne Brachhold has created a Google sitemap generator plugin. With Yahoo! and MSN recently accepting this XML standard makes it more valuable than ever.

  • Related Posts

    Just like you want backlinks from websites related to yours, the same holds true for internal links. With this plugin, you can display several related posts to any particular post. What’s better, is it determines which articles are related automatically (and pretty well at that). This little detail is SEO dynamite when working on on-page SEO factors.

Now, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are my staples for any Wordpress installation. I hope you find them as useful as I do.

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One Response to “SEO Wordpress Plugins You Shouldn’t Be Without”

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