WordPress is nifty software that started out as blogging software, but has become a complete content management system, used by some of the most popular websites and blogs. As the usage of WordPress increased, the blog community wanted plugins that made their blogs SEO friendly. WordPress has become so popular and successful because people can add and remove functionalities using plugins, separate code that literally plug into the WordPress installation. Here are some important plugins that WordPress bloggers should install.
Sitemaps are the cornerstone of search engine optimization. When a search bot crawls a website, it does not read the content, and recognizes the sitemap of the website. There are several sitemap plugins available, and most of them are free. Once the blogger installs the plugin, they are able to build the sitemap for their websites automatically, something that they should do regularly. Some plugins also offer auto building of the sitemap on preset times.
Other important aspects of SEO are the Meta tags, the Title tags and other content in the article. Even in a WordPress blog, it is quite hassle some and hectic to add the Title and Meta tags in each post manually. Without the tags like Meta and Title, the content will not be optimized for search engines. Several plugins helping the blogger add these tags into the posts without any coding language knowledge are available. Some of them are free, paid and even freemium, which means that the basic version is available free, but the blogger would need to pay for premium features. Some SEO related plugins also allow the blogger to add post related keywords, as well as create an SEO friendly title for the blog and page.
Bloggers should also look into plugins that help in better navigation of their websites, and should choose a theme that enhances the navigation experience. This is the prime reason that many WordPress.com users finally go for self-hosting and run their sites off WordPress, because with a self-hosted blog, they can enhance the navigation experience with various plugins, and enhance the look and feel of the blog.
Few WordPress themes have an inbuilt top navigation, and many people coming to the WordPress dashboard for the first time are shocked to know that the though one can set navigation according to categories, they cannot set navigation to sub categories as child tabs of the main category – something that makes site navigation very difficult. Fortunately, quite a few plugins help the average WordPress blogger out.
Another important plugin, though not directly related to SEO is a plugin that backs up the entire WordPress installation. Your host would provide free hosting, but it is always better to have a back up sitting on your computer. If you do not have a back up of your blog, if your site crashes, you lose everything – right from your content to your SEO tweaks, so this is the single most important plugin for your website. Several plugins are available, with some backing up the site every hour too – but that would be overkill – look for a plugin that offers you a backup every day.