Every blogger dreams to make Google love their blog and rank it among top SERP positions. If you are running a blog on WordPress.org, the best blogging tool ever, then you must install and use my chosen 5 SEO plugins which I have found as the best performing plugins among their categories in 2013 and all these plugins are active on my blog. Goodness of these plugins is, all are free and you don’t need to invest any money for improving your blog visibility in SERPs. Here is the list of my nominated top WordPress SEO tools in 2013.
1# Custom Permalinks Plugin
Over last couple of months, I have noticed that keywords in your post URL are the most powerful and effective in deciding your content’s ranking in SERPs. (SEO experts believe it for years :)). So it is a very profitable idea to use your main keywords in post and page permalinks to construct a neat URL for gaining higher rankings. Beauty of Custom Permalinks Plugin is, it allows you to define any type of URL as permalink for your posts and pages.
You may ask, WordPress also allows you to edit the permalinks by default. I agree, but create a test post and try setting “wordpress.com-vs-blogger.com” as your post’s permalink. You will see that upon writing the permalink and pressing “Ok” button in post editor, WordPress will automatically remove the dot from in between of “wordpress.com” and “blogger.com” and the permalink will look like “wordpress-com-vs-blogger-com”. But Custom Permalinks plugin lets you write the permalink the way you like.
Now say there are two blogs with same ranking power and both have written a comparison post on WordPress.com and Blogger.com. Say one has set the permalink using Custom Permalinks plugin as “wordpress.com-vs-blogger.com” and second hasn’t used the plugin and the permalink at that blog post has structured as “wordpress-com-vs-blogger-com”. Do you know which blog will rank higher? Obviously the first one because it contains the exact match keywords in URL, because people search “wordpress.com vs blogger.com” in Google, not “wordpress-com vs blogger-com”.
I hope the example generated an idea in your mind, how Custom Permalinks plugin can help you in getting higher SERP rankings by defining super optimized permalinks for your blog posts.
2# WordPress SEO by Yoast
Everyone will recommend you Yoast as the best SEO plugin for WordPress blogs. The plugin lets you disable indexation of categories, tags, date and author based archives which eliminates the risk of duplicate content on your blog. By default, content under all taxonomies including categories and tags is indexed and single posts are indexed several times if taxonomy indexation is left enabled. Several beginner bloggers don’t know about it and their blogs lose ranking due to duplicate content issue.
WordPress SEO by Yoast lets you disable indexation of taxonomy based content which ensures that your blog doesn’t face duplicate content issue. In addition, the plugin enables Google Rich Snippets, rewrites post titles to make them SEO friendly and lets you write meta descriptions easily. The on-page SEO checking feature of the plugin helps you optimize your blog posts for search engines with ease. If you haven’t used the plugin before, read this tutorial to learn, how to best configure Yoast settings for its optimal performance.
3# Google XML Sitemaps
An XML sitemap helps Google in grabbing the maximum details about your blog’s content and you need to submit sitemap of your blog to Google and other search engines periodically to ensure that all allowed content is indexed by search engines. Google XML Sitemaps plugin is the best plugin for this purpose which has been rated 4.7/5 based on 3.5K+ ratings. The plugin is downloaded more than 1,106,923 times and is one of the oldest WordPress plugins being maintained and updated brilliantly by its developers.
Just install the plugin and forget about your blog’s XML sitemap submission. Google XML Sitemaps plugin will do the job regularly and silently.
4# WP Super Cache
Load speed of blogs is thought to be an influencing factor in SERP rankings as blogs with slower load time get higher bounce rate which results in rank drop. WP Super Cache plugin enables the caching of content for your WordPress blog which improves its speed, in turn its SERP ranking improves.
5# Comment Notifier
Comments contribute in improving your content’s SERP rankings and Comment Notifier plugin helps you bring more and more commentators to your blog posts. When a blog receives more comments, Google finds more and more content on the post and the regular addition of content in form of comments brings Google bot again and again to your blog. As a result, two benefits are achieved. First, your content gets indexed quickly and the second, its SERP rankings improve.
So to increase number of comments on your blog posts and for improving your content’s SERP rankings, you must install Comment Notifier plugin. This plugin will add a “Notify me when new comments are added.” check box below your blog’s comment form which will let commentators subscribe your blog post for comment updates. Although this can be achieved using JetPack by WordPress, but I will not recommend it as it slows down your blog.
So this was the list of my chosen 5 top SEO plugins for WordPress blogs in 2013. I hope you will also find these plugins working great like they are doing for me 🙂
Attention! I would like to mention that never disable or remove WordPress SEO by Yoast and Custom Permalinks plugin once after using them for optimizing your blog posts for a while, as plugin deactivation and removal may cause the custom permalinks and titles to revert to default.