For people just learning about SEO (search engine optimization), it can be a daunting concept to learn, and more website owners are becoming aware of the importance of SEO no matter how small or how big their website is. Because of this trend, software developers are making SEO more accessible to the average person. Development platforms like WordPress have become extremely popular in recent years, and these programs are consistently improving to help make websites as SEO-friendly as possible. As for WordPress, there are many SEO plugins now available to help website owners improve the performance of their WordPress site in the search engines.
A Little WordPress History
Looking back about 10 years, WordPress was originally designed simply as a blog script. Its original intent was to provide an easy-to-use interface that worked similar to MS Word so that non-technical website owners could easily add blog posts and enhance the content of their site. Being open-source, programmers and developers could create their own functionality and improve the usefulness of WordPress. The creators of WordPress were open to these ideas and started providing theme and plugin functionality that made it easy for users to customize the design and add new functions. The present day version of WordPress has blossomed into a full-on content management system (CMS), and there are literally thousands of themes and plugins available for free to improve and enhance one’s website.
As SEO has become significantly important to many more users, WordPress developers, who produce the core version of WordPress, have implemented many functions into the default version. Now, any basic WordPress site can be quite SEO-friendly right ‘out of the box’. However, SEO is an evolving science and experiences a lot of change. Google and other search engines sometimes change their methods for ranking sites; therefore, website owners and search engine optimization experts must change as well. This dynamic nature of SEO has led to the development of several powerful SEO plugins available for download.
Plugins are well known to folks that have been using WordPress for any significant length of time. Nevertheless, for those new to WordPress, a little more information may be required. A plugin is a secondary script that changes the functionality of WordPress without modifying its core code. Most plugins add new functionality or modify existing features, while some may restrict certain functions for a specific reason. Over time, some plugins become so popular and are so pleasing to the WordPress core developers that they become a core function. The custom menus function, for instance, is an example of a plugin concept developed into a core function allowing for the easy creation of customized navigation menus.
There are literally thousands of plugins available, and WordPress’ most recent updates have made installing them a breeze. Some are trivial and only add novelty to the site, while others add essential functionality for today’s competitive Internet.
This brings us back to SEO. With so much to be concerned with making one’s site more attractive to search engines, having functionality that handles many of the most important SEO tasks is crucial. Some many wonder what exactly a plugin can do to improve SEO. Let us examine some of the most common features of any good SEO plugin.
Modifying Title Tags And Meta Tags
The title tag may be the most significant part of any webpage with regard to SEO. Not only is this the headline that is seen by people in the search results, but Google and other major search engines use the words found in the page’s title tag to evaluate what the page is about. The ease in which to modify each page title tag is SEO-critical.
After the title tag, the meta-description tag may be the second most important text on any webpage. The description tag is embedded in the HEAD section of the HTML document and does not appear on the page displayed in the browser. However, the language contained in this tag appears as the block of text under the title in the search results. Being able to edit this easily is also essential.
Auto Tag And Canonical Tags
The aforementioned title and description tags are clearly essential, but what if the website in question is very large with hundreds or even thousands of pages? A good plugin will have an auto-generator feature that creates the title and description tags automatically based on the content of the page. Alternatively, the editor can modify some or all of the tags manually. Having both capabilities is vitally important.
The canonical link tag is often misunderstood, and using it effectively can be tricky. A good plugin for SEO will have a way of automating the canonical tag for each page to effectively designate the original source page and avoid duplicate content problems.
404 Warning Log
A 404 error means that a page cannot be found, so having an effective tool to monitor which pages are generating a 404 error can help a website owner eliminate bad links. Additionally, it can identify outside sources that have invalid links pointing to the website. Keeping all links, internal and external, as clean and correct as possible is an absolute must when doing SEO.
Easy To Use
While many SEO plugins have more features, having a clean and easy to use interface is critical to the user’s success. Overly complicated settings and hard to understand features can make the experience less than satisfying, whereas an efficient and intuitive layout will go a long way to successfully mastering the plugin.
A Final Thought
WordPress is the clear leader in open-source content management now and for a long time to come. Its on-going development and dependable updates have made it a good choice for building SEO-friendly websites. The availability of various indispensable plugins makes it a very powerful tool indeed. A smart website owner needs to control and enhance all aspects of SEO to take full advantage of the power of WordPress, and adding well-developed SEO plugins will help give non-professional and professional webmasters a clear and measurable advantage.
For this reason, a website called Plugin Dynamo has become extreme popular in the last few years. The developers have created a series of plugins with the above functionalities in mind. The advantage of using the services provided by Plugin dynamo are plenty, starting with the fact that you only deal with one company with regards to your WordPress plugins, and also considering that you will always have a “front-seat” access to the last upgraded versions of the most important plugins for your website.