There are many advantages to using the WordPress templates to build your website on. Especially as most of the templates are mobile and SEO friendly. However, the templates don’t cover all the optimisation factors Google looks for in a website. Therefore a few tweets and add-ons are necessary. If you want to achieve good optimisation for your website, adding the right plugins will help it reach a higher level of SEO status. With hundreds of plugins to choose from, it’s not surprising how confusing it can get with the choices.
Listed below are 6 popular and useful WordPress plugins. These are specifically design to help you boost the speed and SEO levels of your website.
Plugins That Help Speed Up Your Website
1. WP Smush
I love this plugin because there is nothing to do. It automatically optimises all your images at a click of a button. It will bulk smush all the images in your media library and any image you upload to your site. The optimising of images should also add a little speed to your site which is an added bonus using this plugin. I’ve listed this plugin first to emphasize the importance of optimising the images on your website.
2. WP Fastest Cache
When you install this plugin, it will show up in your dashboard on the left hand side. Simply click on it and the settings tab with the WP Fastest Cache Options will show. What is great about this particular tool is that you can click the little information icons and a new page will open in a different browser. Each page will tell you exactly what each check box is for, and show you exactly what to check in the settings. There is a premium version, which you can opt to use if your website doesn’t load fast enough. If you purchase the upgrade version ($39.99), make sure you keep the free version installed, as they work together. The premium version has additional options to help speed up your website’s loading time even more, which in todays digital World is an essential Google ranking factor.
3. WPtouch Mobile Plugin
Installing this plugin will boost your website getting seen on mobile devices, phones, tablet and laptops. Thereís been a huge increase in people getting online on the go. Google wants all websites to be mobile friendly, which makes this tool or one like it very important. Having a mobile friendly website is an important for better rankings, and Google will use this as a ranking factor. It is also essential for your business.
Plugins That Help Optimise Your Website
1. All in One SEO Pack
This is a very good WordPress SEO plugin. I refer this plugin because it is an easier and lighter SEO plugin than the more popular choice Yoast SEO plugin. Especially if you have no or little experience with optimizing meta tags for content. Once you install it click on the general settings. You will see most of the default setting tabs already filled. All you need to do is complete the home page settings tab, the title, description and keywords. Then scroll down to the keywords settings tab, click enable and save the update options. Once you learn more about optimising content, you can re-visit the settings tab and use the advance settings.
2. Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin is what I would describe as an essential tool. You will need this or one very much like it to add a XML sitemap to your site, which is different format HTML sitemap. The search engines read XML files differently from HTML files and use the XML Sitemap to index your website or blog. If you eventually want to be listed in SERPs, (the search engine results page) to get high rankings, you will need this tool.
3. Broken Link Checker
This is a great plugin that detects broken links throughout your website. It monitors broken links in all your pages, posts, comments and blogroll. This is a great tool that will let you know via the Dashboard what links need to be fixed. The most important thing it does is prevents search engines from following any broken links from your site.
Additional Information To Note About WP Plugins
Sometimes various plugins can clash, which may cause your website’s speed to slow down or render it non mobile friendly. If that happens, just deactivate the last or last couple of plugins you installed. Refresh your browser page and see if the problem is resolved. If not, you may have test a few more plugins to see which one is the problem. The great thing about WordPress plugins is that you can deactivate them any time, so no real long term harm should come to your site.
Keeping your WordPress site up to date can be quite a chore, depending on how much new content you add each month. However, the actual maintenance of the site is quite easy. It is also one of the most important aspects when using plugins. If you manage your own site, just remember to pop into the admin area once a week to check which plugins need updating. It will only take a few minutes, but it is worth doing and the search engines will definitely notice. If you have a website maintenance service, they probably already do this for you.
The six WordPress plugins mentioned above are by no means an exhausted list. There are dozens of choices for all these optimisation tools. One final point Iíd like to make is that when choosing a plugin, and if you choose other plugins. Look at the reviews, how widely used it is, and whether it is compatible with your WordPress theme.
Occasionally, you will see a note under the description of a plugin, ‘untested with your version of WordPress’. This does not mean the plugin will not work, just that it has not yet tested for the theme you are using. Only by uploading the plugin and adding it will you know whether it works or not.
I hope this article helps you optimise your WordPress website if not already done. And will encourage you to check out any of the six listed (or equivalent), plugins you don’t already use.
Author: April Joyce
April Joyce is an SEO Expert in London. Providing SEO & Online Markeing Solutions to businesses & people in the UK, Europe & Worldwide.