Essential WordPress Plugins for SEO and Usability
Are you searching for the best SEO and usability plugins for your WordPress installation?
My plugins list below is intentionally limited so you don’t get mired in the details.
There are a lot of awesome plugins available to help your WordPress site with SEO, conversion and usability…but here are my five essential plugins – most of which are free.
1. Yoast SEO Plugin by Joost de Valk
The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.
The Yoast SEO Plugin is the equivalent of a digital hammer. Its coding is reliable, stable and consistent. Plus its routinely updated to stay in step with Google Algorithm changes.
Download plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/
2. Simple 301 Redirects By Scott Nellé
Create a list of URLs that you would like to 301 redirect to another page or site. Now with wildcard support.
Why Simple 301 Redirects?
We all make mistakes with site URL structures. Plus if you are working on a site with a history of website designs and SEO strategies, chances are you have a lot of crawl errors. Scott Nellé’s stripped down plugin allows you to effortlessly redirect those errors to their new pages…and its free!
Download plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/simple-301-redirects/
3. Google Analytics by Monster Insights
The Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights allows you to track your blog easily and always stays up to date with the newest features in Google Analytics.
Why Monster Insights?
While it does offer added benefits, it can simply embed your Google analytics tracking number. Plus its a very dependable plugin with regular updates and stable coding.
Download plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/
4. Jetpack by Automattic
Bring the power of the WordPress.com cloud to your self-hosted WordPress. Jetpack enables you to connect your blog to a WordPress.com account to use the powerful features normally only available to WordPress.com users.
Jetpack offers a lot of extra WordPress juice in one master plugin built by Automattic, the developer of WordPress. My favorite aspect is its almost live traffic activity. A great feature for tracking the immediate impact of a recent email blast or advertising campaign.
Download plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/
5. Heatmap Tracking by CrazyEgg
This plugin enables Crazyegg.com heatmap tracking on your WordPress site, with a limited amount of configuration.
CrazyEgg is the only paid plugin on my list. While the plugin is free, CrazyEgg is not free. Though its pretty cheap at only $109 for a year. The benefits of CrazyEggs heatmapping software is its visual way of showing you what your users are doing on your site. This helps you visually see how design changes are effecting your visitors site usability.
Download plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/crazyegg-heatmap-tracking/
How I Choose WordPress Plugins
You don’t need plugins to operate your WordPress site, but they do help facilitate functionality and ease of use. Especially for people not familiar with coding.
When I decide to install a plugin I first make sure the developer is reputable, experienced and regularly updating their work.
It has taken me a long time to figure out my essential list of WordPress plugins. I use multiple plugins and custom plugins for my clients, but without a doubt the above mentioned are used on every site optimized by SEO Mechanic.
Remember, avoid installing every plugin that promises something amazing. Instead, try incorporating WordPress Plugins by reputable developers only.