Strategies like social media and paid advertising can be important parts of an online publicity campaign, but recent statistics reveal more than 90 percent of online transactions are generated from search engine results. Because organic traffic plays such a key role in building your brand, optimizing your WordPress site for searchability is essential for growing your business.
WordPress users can choose from SEO-specific WordPress themes and more than a hundred free and premium plugins designed to perform a variety of SEO-related tasks, but one free plugin consistently tops just about every list of the best search engine optimization plugins for WordPress sites of all kinds. Full-featured and easy to configure, Yoast SEO is the best all-around plugin for optimizing every part of your WordPress site. This plugin supports a comprehensive SEO strategy and is an effective tool to use if you want your website to be more visible through search engines. From optimizing a blog post to providing SEO analytics for your website, this SEO plugin for WordPress can help enhance almost every aspect of your site. Read on to learn more about the best WordPress SEO plugin from the experts at Bluehost.
How SEO Plugins Can Boost Visibility
Not every WordPress site needs an aggressive, comprehensive SEO solution with on-page optimization. Small personal blogs and other highly niche-specific sites may do just fine with making sure content is rich with relevant keywords, but if your site is intended to showcase your brand in a fast-growing global marketplace, it needs to be optimized on every level. This can be difficult to achieve without the help of a plugin that makes sure all parts of your site, such as metadata, URLs, title tags, and even images are optimized for maximum visibility.
Search engine crawlers survey every part of your site, collecting data for indexing the site according to a search engine’s current algorithms. The right WordPress plugin for your site’s specific needs can automate many SEO related tasks to make the site as search-friendly as possible.
Choosing the Best SEO Plugin for Your Site
Installing the best SEO plugin for your site depends on your site’s purpose and the goals of your SEO WordPress strategy. For example, an eCommerce site might need a different strategy than a freelance photographer’s portfolio site. Other factors might include the level of your web development skills and your budget. Some plugins may require a certain amount of coding for customization, and premium plugins that offer more features and support can range from a relatively low price to higher-end products with many additional features.
In general, though, an SEO plugin for WordPress should offer a full set of features for optimizing every aspect of your site with an easy-to-use interface that doesn’t require extensive development experience to configure and customize its options. And it should be flexible and extendible to accommodate the growth and evolution of the site. With a free option that includes virtually all its essential functions and a premium version with more features and support, Yoast SEO plugin from WordPress can optimize all aspects of a site’s structure and content and integrate with other tools like Google Analytics to provide insights about the success of an SEO campaign.
Yoast SEO: A One-Stop SEO Solution
Yoast was first developed in 2008 by the original designers of WordPress. Since then, it’s been downloaded millions of times for use on WordPress sites of many kinds. Yoast is easy to configure even for beginning users, and it has a robust set of features to satisfy more advanced site runners, as well.
Yoast SEO can be installed on any compatible self-hosted WordPress site for free from the WordPress Plugin Directory or downloaded directly from Yoast itself where users can also sign up for a premium version that includes more features. Installing Yoast SEO adds a new listing for SEO in your site’s admin dashboard. Opening this tab allows you to configure settings and determine what functions the Yoast plugin should perform.
Yoast Automates SEO on Multiple Levels
Once installed and activated, Yoast provides tools for customizing SEO functions on every level, from content to custom URLs to even your title tags and meta descriptions. Users can create templates for optimizing features, such as titles, URL and link structures, and meta descriptions for all the site’s main page types. The plugin also generates and automatically updates an XML sitemap for better indexing. It’s possible to turn off indexing for certain pages or types of content and to put a temporary hold on indexing when a site is under construction.
Through Yoast, users can also submit site information, logos, and more to Google for creating a knowledge graph: the detailed profile of a company or professional website that might appear in the sidebar of a Google search results page. If you’re replacing other SEO plugins with Yoast, it allows you to import those existing settings into Yoast before deleting those other plugins. Yoast comes with a detailed setup wizard that takes users through each step of configuring the plugin for WordPress.
Yoast Page and Post Analysis: Ratings and Readability
Yoast can automate many different SEO functions, but it also works interactively with page and post content that frequently changes. Once installed, a Yoast metabox appears on your site’s content editor. Enter your focus keywords, and Yoast analyzes all available content for maximum searchability. Based on your keywords and best SEO practices, Yoast also offers suggestions for improvement, grading your content in terms of its SEO performance. Well-optimized content gets an “A,” while a “C,” means that it needs additional work. Yoast can rate your content for readability if you’d like it to.
Yoast Premium Includes Extensions and Support
The free version of Yoast offers a broad range of general SEO features, but the premium version includes several extensions that can be useful for certain kinds of sites. Yoast News SEO optimizes sites specifically for appearing in Google Newsfeeds. Yoast Video SEO has additional tools for optimizing video, and Yoast Local SEO helps to make a site relevant for local area searches. The premium version also has technical support, advanced webmaster tools, and a number of tutorials on using the various free and premium features of the plugin and its extensions.
Organic search results still top the list of ways new customers can find the products and services they need. Whether you’re posting a freelance portfolio, launching an eCommerce store, or running a large corporate site, your WordPress site needs to be as search-friendly as possible. Whether you’re a new user or an experienced developer, the Yoast SEO plugin just may be the best all-around SEO solution for your self-hosted WordPress site.