So today, I’m going to show you how to build the perfect SEO setup on WordPress with just free WordPress plugins.
SEO tool that helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche. Now, as I’m sure you know, there are numerous categories in SEO like on-page, technical and off-page SEO.
And WordPress plugins can help a ton to master on-page SEO tasks like titles, Meta tags, and other content-optimization-related things.
Now, plugins are also amazing for technical SEO tasks, like page speed optimization, redirects, canonicals to name a few.
So rather than listing off all plugins, I’m going to tell you only the cream of the crop and the exact setup you can use to make Google and your visitors happy.
These are the wordpress plugins that willmake your website SEO friendly and super fast.
The first SEO plugin I recommend is Yoast.
There are great options in market, but in my opinion, Yoast SEO plugin beats all of them hands down.
Yoast is an all-in-one SEO plugin that can help you with a ton of on-page and technical SEO tasks.
Now, what I love about this plugin is that they’ve basically integrated a lot of features from smaller one-trick plugins.
Some of the features that you’ll use in your day-to-day SEO tasks. Like when you’re editing a post for targeting the keyword “SEO tips” you can tell by the title and URL.
If we scroll down below the post, you’ll see a preview of what the page will look like in Google’s SERPs.
You can click on either the title or description and easily edit your own custom text in there.
Now, an awesome feature is that you can add Snippets super-easily.
Some features like these are awesome for people who don’t want to deal with structured data like this.
Another feature in the editor is that you have the option to add the rel=”nofollow” tag without adding additional plugins or manually entering it yourself in the HTML editor.
This is a great way to quickly add nofollow tags to affiliate links or others you don’t fully trust.
Now, from a sitewide perspective, Yoast SEO plugin will do a few common tasks like automatically generating sitemaps, automatically adding the target=”blank” attribute to your links so they actually open in a new window.
This is a cool feature because if a lot of people are hitting a dead page, it would be a good sign to redirect that page to a relevant one rather than leaving them at a dead end.
There are a ton of other features for controlling redirects, site architecture, and editing your robots.txt file.
Now, the next plugins that I’m going to talk about are all meant to improve page speed. And the reason why I want to emphasize optimizing for page speed is because
a) It’s a ranking factor; and
b) It improves user experience.
Now let’s optimize your page with a few plugins and see what kind of results you can get.
The first PageSpeed tool I’ll be recommending is A3 Lazy Load.
A3 Lazy Load.
This plugin adds lazy load to images and other media like videos. This basically means that an image or media item won’t load until the user scrolls to it, allowing the page to load much faster.
It’s literally plug-and-play as long as you don’t have any other conflicting scripts or plugins.
Now, if you run a Page Speed Test on the same URL, the three things you’ll notice is that:
The page size has shrunk a lot,
The load time has gone down by around a full second, and
The number of requests sent is just 1/7th of our initial test.
Alright, the next page speed tool is ShortPixel.
This tool compresses images, making large image files smaller and the result is going to be faster load times.
To set it up, just sign up for a free account at ShortPixel and then enter your API key in the settings. And with a free account, you’ll get 100 free image compressions each month or you can pay for credits if you need more.
Here you’ll have a few options for compression type.
Using Lossy will offer the best compression rate, while Lossless will give you the best quality photos and Glossy is somewhere in between, which is a nice balance.
If you already have images uploaded on your site, just hover over media, and select bulk ShortPixel. You can then optimize all images on your site with the click of a button.
Alright, so images should be handled with these two plugins,
So now we need to get into an important matter and that’s caching. The tool that I prefer to use for caching is W3 Total Cache.
W3 Total Cache
This tool is all about optimizing your website’s performance. A few of the features it includes are:
- Using CDNs,
- Minification of CSS,
- Minification HTML,
- Combining scripts,
- Browser caching, and more.
Now again go and check our speed metrics. So on PageSpeed insights, you will see that you have both a near perfect mobile score and desktop score, which is a huge improvement from the default setup.
Alright, so we got our all-in-one tool running and our pagespeed is lightning fast.
Let’s talk about a couple user experience tools.
A super lightweight and easy-to-use plugin is Easy Table of Contents.
Easy Table of Contents.
This plugin allows you to create a table of contents for each post or page in just a few clicks.
Once you’ve installed the plugin, go to your post and scroll down to the Table of contents section. Just hit the “Insert table of contents” checkbox and publish or update your post.
It’ll then automatically include a table of contents based on your heading tags.
You can see, your website looks much cleaner and more user friendly for visitors to navigate around the page.
Now, since a table of contents makes long pages look less daunting, it can help improve things like time on page, bounce rate, and dwell time.
Plus, it can help you win jump links in the SERP, which may help increase your CTR.
Another Plugin I would recommend to boost your SEO profile is Link Whisper.
Internal linking is important for better user experience and for SEO advantage and also you know the pain of manually internally linking all your relevant posts together.
It allows you to internally link all relevant blog posts together by automatically suggesting smart anchor text.
You can select any anchor text and just add in the links with single click, without you manually go ahead to your pages and editing the content created.
A good internal linked page is loved by search engines. So, you have more chances to rank you website faster.
Link Whisper is a paid plugin but it’s free version also offers great internal linking opportunities.
Now, as I mentioned before, WordPress SEO plugins are great for on-page and technical things, not off-page SEO tasks like link building.
Backlinks are almost a necessity to rank for any competitive keywords.
Also, effective on-page SEO requires a solid foundation in keyword research.
So I’ve linked my previous post for you on how you can up your link building and keyword research.
And if you have any questions, leave in the comments below.