Most people know that search engines are your best source of getting traffic to your site. With all the recent fuss over Google Penguin (an algorithm update), some bloggers are wondering if SEO still has a place on their blog.
SEO, If done well, has the benefit of being very reader friendly, so it’s still essential even if the search engines don’t value it as much or in the ways that they used to.
If you blog using WordPress as the platform for your website, SEO is quick and simple to do with a plugin or in some cases, is in-built into the theme or skin that you use.
The SEO that I am writing about in this post is the on page / on site SEO, read two types of SEO a blogger should know if you are not sure what on page and off page is.
Below are 5 WordPress plugins to help you make your blog correctly optimised for the search engines and of course the human beings that use the search engines.
If you read this blog on a regular basis you’ll know that human beings must come first at all times, I’ve yet to meet a search engine spider that spends his wages on the blogs he indexes…
All In One SEO
This is one of the more popular SEO plugins for WordPress. The All In One SEO plugin is compatible with almost all other plugins (nothing worse than a plugin conflict) and is updated often to make sure it works with the latest version of WordPress.
The All In One SEO plugin automatically optimises your titles for the search engines and also automatically generates your META tags. You just need to add your meta description.
Search engines may not value meta description as much as they once did, but the human being who reads them gets a better feel for the content on the page, and whether the information is useful and relevant to them. This meta description is also pulled through to Google Plus and to Facebook.
Don’t worry if you don’t have much technical know-how, this plugin also boasts that you just can just install it and it will work – no configuration needed. 2.
Platinum SEO claims to have all the features of the All In One SEO plugin and then some. Platinum SEO might be the ideal plugin for the more tech savvy WordPress user.
If you change over from the All In One SEO plugin, it will automatically copy over your settings, so you don’t have to re-configure another plugin.
Do you change permalinks often? I can’t think of one reason why, but if you do then you won’t lose your Page Rank – Platinum SEO will automatically setup 301 redirects to the new url.
SEO Smart Links
SEO Smart Links makes it easy to interlink your site or add affiliate links based on keywords. This plugin will automatically make a keyword of your choice a link in your posts.
There’s been a lot of griping that using this plugin causes some problems with your links – that there are excessive links in your blog posts, and it looks like keyword spam. It depends on how you use it, if you allow unlimited links in your post then yes, it will look a mess. It’s down to how you use it, and if you use it sensibly you should be fine.
We use this on Birds on the Blog, to link certain words to affiliate offers, to link to other blog posts and to link to the profiles of the contributing authors. We’ve yet to be penalised for using the plugin, yet we don’t go nuts with it, we use it to insert no more than 5 links on a page or post.
SEO Smart Links is a set it up and forget it plugin. Once you setup your keywords that you want to link to (and I suggest you use pages and posts and not comments) you don’t have to do anything else – it is all automatic.
SEO Smart Links is compatible with the other plugins on this list.
HeadSpace2 is similar to the All In One SEO plugin and the Platinum SEO plugin. However this plugin offers a little more than the just SEO management outlined above.
With this more advanced plugin you can also add Google Analytics, change your blog theme for each page, load plugins for specific pages only, disable widgets, and disable WordPress auto-formatting.
Again some of this is already available in your use a premium theme, so check what your theme offers before rushing out to install it.
I love the Scribe SEO plugin (affiliate link) as it’s compatible with all of the above plugins. It’s a prompt for all the things you need to do and it helps you do all the things you should to get found by more people.
I highly recommend this plugin for bloggers that are just starting out and need reminding of what they need to do to get found. It has more to it than on page SEO, you can use it to build links and forge relationships with other bloggers.
Eventually SEO on your blog becomes second nature and you’ll find you don’t need it as much, but it’s still an excellent tool.
Search engines are still seen as the best way to publicise and promote your site and will also help people discover your content, once they’ve found you, it’s up to you to convert them into regular readers and promote you socially.
The best part about receiving traffic from the search engines is that it is free, you just need a call to action to help convert your organic traffic.
photo credit: marciookabe