One of the big online success stories of recent years has been the meteoric rise of the WordPress blogging platform. Although you can opt for a ready-hosted blog at WordPress.com, the real innovation takes place in the WordPress.org community – aficionados of the self-hosted version of the software.
Because WordPress is open source, programmers from across the globe can extend its functionality by creating free plugins. These can help you do anything from adding rotating banner ads or photo galleries to your site, to filtering comments spam or helping you manage subscription lists. With the right combination of plugins, you can even transform WordPress into a flexible content management system.
Among the most useful plugins available to the community are the ones that help you with search engine marketing.
These are my top 5 plugins for SEO:
All in One SEO Pack
The All in One SEO Pack is an excellent plugin that allows you to tailor your META data to your exact needs. You can either specify a title, description and keywords for an individual post or page, or use an automated system to define how your title and META data are structured. This plugin also enables you use ‘noindex’ for archives, categories and tags if required.
The Redirection plugin helps you manage 404 errors and easily set up 301 redirects. You can define these redirects based upon a user’s login status or which site they were referred from, or you can simply send people to random pages. The really nifty bits, though, are the automated features. You can set up the plugin to automatically set up a 301 redirect for posts that you subsequently rename. You can also add 302 & 307 redirects to a post or any other file.
Google XML Sitemaps
The Google XML Sitemap plugin creates an XML compliant sitemap based upon your preferences, and it updates automatically after changes are made on your WordPress site. The plugin also notifies major search engines about your recent updates – including Google, MSN and Yahoo.
The Similar Posts plugin displays a list of pages or posts that are related to the current post. You can fully control the balance of factors that decide which types of posts are suggested. The additional links on each post or page increase the number of internal links on your site, and should also help to prolong the time people spend on it.
The Breadcrumb NavXT plugin makes it easy to install a breadcrumb trail on your WordPress site. Fully customisable, this nice little tool will not only increase usability by letting your visitors know exactly where they are in your website structure, but will also increase internal linking to the deeper pages of your website.
Do you have a favourite WordPress plugin you feel contributes toward SEO? If so, please leave a comment below with your recommendation.