A variety of factors impact how well a page ranks in search engines, including quality of content, page meta descriptions, and the URL name. But for a busy professional, keeping up with algorithms and making sure every page on a business website is optimized can be complicated. In light of the results of recent Google search ranking correlation studies
conducted by Moz and SearchMetrics, businesses realize certain factors are more important than others when creating content with the intention of ranking well.
Since many businesses use WordPress for their websites and blogs, several plugins can be a big help. In minutes, a professional can have the WordPress installed on a WordPress site, creating a form that walks content creators through the process of adding optimized information like tags, descriptions, and search engine-friendly URLs. Here are some of my favorite WordPress plugins to assist with SEO meta elements.
Developed by Yoast, a firm that specializes in creating plugins that use "the art and science of website operation," WordPress SEO makes it easy to create optimized content. Simply type in the focus keyword for a piece of content and the plugin will count the number of times it appears in the headline, page title, page URL, content, and meta description. Users can also type in a meta description that replaces the default description captured by Google, allowing for a more concise description of the content to attract readers to the page.
Abbreviated WPSSO, WordPress Social Sharing Optimization gives you greater control over the descriptions your page is given when it's shared on social media. It's one thing to add buttons to a page to encourage visitors to tweet, like, share, pin, or +1 an item, but if a sharer's post is merely a link, users are less likely to click it. WPSSO creates the code necessary to ensure that a site is optimized to take care of all of the latest sharing features of each supported social network. The plugin allows the user to check off all desired options, as well as create descriptions to be used when the item is shared on each social network.
With the All in One SEO Pack, WordPress users enjoy automatic meta-tag generation, XML sitemap generation and management, title and description editing, and more. A performance feature reviews a site and makes recommendations as to how it can be improved to better rank with search engines, as well as provide a better experience for those visiting the site. A free version of All in One SEO Pack has limited features. The pro version with advanced features is available for $39.99 plus $10 per month.
While it isn't free, SEOPressor5 conducts LSI keyword analysis on your content as you create it. You simply type in the keywords you want to optimize a page for, and the analysis tool monitors how well you're using it. If you want to change one of the keywords, you can change it throughout the content by only changing it within the plugin. Best of all, if you've overused a keyword, SEOPressor5 gives an over-optimization warning. In addition to ensuring your page content and descriptions are SEO optimized, SEOPressor5 helps with your link-building strategy by automatically linking relevant cross-linking content.
With more than 20 modules available for free, SEO Ultimate has a dedicated meta description editor, designed to help create description tags for posts, pages, attachments, categories, tags, post format archives, and homepages. The tool also searches an entire page's content for anchor texts specified by the user, automatically linking the ones it finds to the destination the user chooses. Businesses can avoid penalties for over-optimization with SEO Ultimate's autolink control feature, which limits the number of times a post or page can link to the same destination.
Learning the different techniques to keep a business on track with its SEO marketing strategies can be time-consuming and frustrating, since algorithms change from year to year. These WordPress solutions equip businesses with the tools they need to create successful marketing campaigns through their WordPress sites quickly and easily. Because they're so affordable, even free in some cases, these plugins are the perfect addition to any business's WordPress CMS. Take a look at the infographic below to see how on-page elements correlate with organic search rankings, and you'll have a clearer idea of how and why SEO Wordpress plugins give websites an advantage when it comes to search visibility.
November 5, 2014
Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.