Using Wordpress Plugins To Boost Your SEO in 2020
Seeing as Wordpress powers around 27% of all websites according to W3Techs web technologies survey, I can assume some of you will find this beneficial to help boost your SEO score and gain the rankings and results you would like.
Wordpress is great, it's free and contains more than 50,000 plugins that we can use to help us in communicating our communications with our audience on our website. Wordpress has plugins for almost everything, on-page SEO, don't worry Yoast can take care of that, website loading slow? Don't worry there's a plugin or two that can help. Trying to build a strong email list? Hustle plugin will take you all the way.
Wordpress plugins are usually free, however, some do cost. I am going to run you through some of the best, free plugins on Wordpress to boost your SEO and help you succeed online. Please note, some of the paid plugins may work better for some tasks, its good to test a variety of plugins for each goal you would like to complete in order to find the best combination of plugins. The list below is the setup I use when building websites using Wordpress.
Yoast SEO plugin is brilliant for your on-page SEO and it has been my go-to plugin for optimizing my websites for certain keywords, it has easy to use functionality and the free version allows you to optimize a page for up to 1 keyword, you can change meta description and display URL, it gives you an SEO and readability analysis advising you how to optimize the page better for your keyword, it will suggest things like "write more content" or "your keyword density is low, consider adding your keyword more" it will suggest optimizations to your image alt tags, it can tell you to add more outbound links, your headings and subheadings and much more to make sure your page is fully optimized for your focus keyword.
Yoast also allows you to generate site maps, integrate your site with Google search console and create 301 redirects. Yoast is a must-have for on-page SEO in 2020 and has been since 2010.
Images can slow down your website if the file size is too big, you can optimize your images yourself before uploading them to your website, just Google "image optimization online" and you will find a number of websites where you can do this, alternatively you can use the plug-in called Smush. Smush has a free version which allows you to do up to 50 images for free and then you have to pay, however any images you upload that are under 5mb, Smush will optimize, for free with no limits and you can also turn on lazy load setting which is a great benefit to helping your page load times, contributing to your SEO. There are many alternatives to Smush, however its easy to use and if you optimize your images online before uploading them then it can work well.
Speed Booster Pack
Page load times are a crucial ranking factor, a higher bounce rate is usually linked to slow page load times or bad targeting. However, this free plugin can be very helpful in speeding up your website and gaining you faster load times. Speed booster pack is regularly updated and very easy to use, you can Google how to set up all the advanced features, but using it as standard and just basically downloading and activating it can help significantly.
I tested SBD Marketing with no plugins installed and I then tested it with the speed booster pack installed and it increased the load time significantly. If you use this with a good selection of other plugins you can speed your website up massively.
Far Future Expiration
Far future expiration plugin is simple to use but does a very technical thing to your website in order to speed it up, you can download and activate it and it will edit your .htaccess file and inject a code that will add expiry headers to static file types. Sounds complicated but when downloaded just go into the settings tick the box labelled enable, tick the box labelled GZip compression and the plugin will take care of the rest.
W3 Total Cache
W3 total cache is a great plugin, free and again very simple to use. When using Google site speed test it is common to see the message "eliminate render-blocking resources". W3 can help eliminate this problem. Download and activate the plugin, navigate over to the settings section of the plugin. Select the heading "minify" and tick the box labelled enable then save the settings. You can also manually input java and CSS scripts, basically head over to Google page speed insights, input your URL and click analyze. Once done head over to the section where it says "eliminate render-blocking resources" and copy the java and CSS scripts, you can then input them into the plugin in order to eliminate render-blocking which Google has advised you to do. Again contributing to your SEO score.
I tested Multicore National without no other plugins accept W3 total cache installed and the result is shown below.
I then tested it with W3 total cache and the result is shown below.
Google Analytics Dashboard Monster Insights
Analyzing your data is important to creating successful SEO campaigns, monster insights have created this handy dashboard which helps us do just that. Track your site visitors and what landing pages lead them to your website, track which meta descriptions work and create impactful SEO campaigns with the help of Monster Insights.
Accelerated mobile pages are good to speed up mobile load times, they are good with optimised landing pages, however, they don't look the best, if the design is your message and you are trying to push out the great design then they aren't for you. But if your business is a service that is more interested in pushing out information then they are good and can contribute highly to your SEO.
Wordpress is brilliant for building websites and with the added benefit of plugins it can really help and save you a lot of time with your SEO. On-page optimization is good for finding the right audience with targeted, keyword optimized landing pages and image optimization and caching are important to speed your website up. Remember to optimize your images before uploading them to the website and also use Smush or a similar plugin to compress them again in order to receive the best compression and performance.
Mix your on-page and technical SEO strategy with a good off-page strategy to achieve the best results from SEO for your website. Remember to perform good keyword research using tools like Google keyword planner in order to find the right keywords to optimize your landing pages for. Mix this with an all-round good digital presence across paid ads, social media and email to achieve good results from your website.
This guest article was written by Paul Gray, owner of Multicore National. Paul has been consulting clients on SEO for about 7 years. He has ranked numerous website in the 1st position on Google and continues to help companies improve their results from digital each day.