Starting with SEO #5 – Essential SEO Plugins

WordPress is well known for its plugins, when it comes to extensibility. There are many plugins around, especially to make your blog SEO friendly.

Check out this post, on the 9 SEO plugins that every blog should have. It is a nice collection of some very useful plugins.

Thanks, Darren Rowse for sharing the list with us.

Previous Posts in this series:

  • Starting with SEO #1
  • Starting with SEO #2 – Page Titles and Meta Tags
  • Starting with SEO #3 – Anchor text and Images
  • Starting with SEO #4 – Similar Posts

Starting with SEO #4 – Similar Posts

Over a time, any blogger publishes a good number of posts, that are around a similar topic. Generally, the link between posts are derived using the Post Titles, keywords in content, Categories and Tags.

Including Similar posts in your blog have the following two major advantages:

  • Readers can navigate to and read similar posts, with ease
  • Search engines can better identify the related posts, thus increasing the Internal Pagerank

As usual, WordPress bloggers can achieve this using the WordPress Similar Posts plugin. The plugin page has detailed instructions on how to install and get started. However there is a prerequisite of the Post-Plugin library (ZIP), that must be installed. I would better suggest to add the PHP code in the Single Post file, so that each of your post has information on the related posts.

There are quite a few options that can be configured – number of similar posts to show, the matching criteria etc.

In a related note, you can find here an interesting tip related to Similar posts plugin. It suggests a small hack to decouple the Date/Time information from your Similar posts link, so that it makes better sense for the Search engines.

Previous Posts in this series:

  • Starting with SEO #1
  • Starting with SEO #2 – Page Titles and Meta Tags
  • Starting with SEO #3 – Anchor text and Images

Starting with SEO #2 – Page Titles and Meta Tags

Page Titles

Title tags provide a description on the content of the page, to both search engines and users. Title tags are recommended to be unique for each page and post (in case of blogs). This will highly improve the chances of your posts, making into top search results.

As per Google SEO Starter guide (PDF), following are the recommendations for efficient title tags:

  • Accurately describe page content
  • Create unique title tags for each page
  • Use brief, but descriptive titles

But as a blogger, it is virtually impossible to hand code the tags for each of your pages.  A better solution is to install a plugin like WordPress SEO Title tag plugin.

This plugin provides you with flexibilities to achieve appropriate tags for each pages and posts.  When creating a post, an option exists to provide tags for the Title, using which suitable tags are created.  Otherwise, you can choose to use the Post title as a tag.  In addition, it provides more options, that can be found in the plugin home page.

Meta Tags

As every Web developer might know, tags provide information about information.  With a Search Engine, a page’s description tag gives a summary of what the page is about.  With reference to Google, description tags might be used as snippets for the pages, in search results.

Google Webmaster blog has an informative post on using meta tags to improve page snippets.  This post should give you a better idea on how Meta tag information is used by the Google Search Engine.  For further information, you can refer again to the Google SEO Starter Guide (PDF).

Again, as with tags, it is not possible to customize the tags for each post and pages.  This is where the Add-Meta-Tags WordPress Plugin comes handy.  Once this plugin is installed, you have the following options:

  • Define tags for Home page and other pages
  • Define tags in XHTML format for each of your posts

Hope you found these useful.  Be tuned for further tips and suggestions on making your Blog, SEO friendly.  After all, it is good to learn together!!

Previous posts in this Series:

  • Starting with SEO – #1