How to Maximize Your SEO Traffic With These Must Have WordPress Plugins

WordPress is fairly SEO friendly out of the box (even more so when combined with the Yoast SEO plugin). But that doesn’t mean that you’re tapped out of tools after you’ve set up Yoast. In this video I’ll teach you how to leverage a number of powerful WordPress plugins to help you write better content, find broken links, and get ranking reports so you can see what elements of your SEO campaign are working well.

Video Transcript

Hey, what’s up everybody? In this video, I’m going to show you some very cool SEO plugins that I consider the must-have SEO plugins for 2013.

The first one we are going to talk about is the Squirrely SEO plugin. So just head over to your “Install Plugins” page in WordPress and put in “Squirrely” and click “Search Plugins,” and install it like you would any other plugin. And when you do, the next time you add a post, you will see all this crazy stuff on your post editor. This is actually very cool stuff for helping make sure your posts are search-engine friendly without you having to do a lot of manual work.

Let’s say, for example, that we are looking to write a post that targeted a keyword “paleo diet.” OK, so under the Squirrely area here, you put in the keyword “paleo diet.” What’s very cool is that they actually have Google Suggests within the editor, but we’re assuming that we already have a key word that we want to target so we’ll choose “paleo diet.” Click the little red button here. So what this does is it checks keyword density and a number of different things.

You can see it on the fly, under this area called “Squirrely Live SEO Assistant,” how your on-page SEO is going, basic things like key words used in the title, the length of the title is not too long or too short, the keyword’s used in the first sentence. Now a lot of these things are up for interpretation, but in general, if you are seeing a lot of green, you’re doing well. This is just a great way to see how you’re doing as you compose your posts, and you can change it as you like, if you see that maybe it’s not as SEO-optimized as you would like.

The next thing I would like to show you is this cool feature here where it automatically pulls pictures, Twitter feeds, Wikipedia, Google News, and Blogz information. If you are looking for something current to link to, you can click on “Google News” and it would search Google News for this keyword. You could scroll down, find an article, and maybe add that to your post.

The next plugin we’re going to look at is called SEO Rank Reporter. Just put in “SEO Rank Reporter” and click “Search Plugins.” Once that’s installed, go down here to where it says “Rank Reporter” and click on “Rank Report.” What this plugin does is, it automatically searches Google to see where the pages on your site rank. It checks every three days by default. So again, let’s say we are trying to rank for that keyword “paleo diet,” you click on the “Add Keywords” button, and you put in your keyword “paleo diet,” and then here you put your URL.

So let’s just say “paleorecipes.com/paleodiet.” Then once you add that to Reporter, it will automatically search Google for that keyword and that URL match. In this case, it is not in the top 100 results; but if you’re trying to target that keyword, it would check every three days and let you know where it is.  You click on the “Confirm” and “Add to Reporter” and then it will automatically check for you. You can even check based on different dates and things like if you want to track how well the page has been doing over time.

The next plugin I’ll show you is the Broken Link Checker. Now this is a very cool plugin, because no matter how new your site is, it is likely that you have some broken links or maybe some images are not showing up. It is just inevitable, if you do link to other websites, that they change the URL or the site goes down or something happens. Put in “Broken Link Checker,” click “Search plugins,” like you would any other plugin. Once it’s installed, hover over the settings tab, and click on “Link Checker.” What this tool will do is it will automatically check your entire site, and in this case, there are no broken links. If they do find broken links, it can actually email you to let you know.

I just keep these default settings as they are so when there is a broken link, it lets me know. I can go in and check and see what’s up. These advanced settings you don’t really need to do anything with, because you’re really just checking to make sure you don’t have broken links, which is very bad for SEO because it shows Google you kind of neglected the page. It is not good for user experience because people that click on a broken link think that you neglected the page. In general, you do want to be on top of this, and this is the one easy way to do that without having to do a lot of work.

The next one I’ll show you is SEO Friendly Images. Just search for “SEO Friendly Images.” Once that’s installed, hover over the settings again and click on “SEO Friendly Images.” What this tool does, it’s very cool, so when you add an image to WordPress a lot of times you may not add the title or an alt tag and that makes it difficult for Google to figure out what that image is about. That’s important for two reasons. First, if you have highly optimized images, it can help your images show up highly within Google image search which can bring you some traffic. It also helps Google just get a general picture of what your posts are about, which can help boost the relevancy and give it more traffic in Google. But it is very difficult to do that if you are adding, let’s say, a hundred images to an article or if you tend to add a lot of screen shots and things like that.

What this does is, it has default settings here where it automatically takes the name of the file and the title of the post and puts it together and makes a new file name. So, if the name of the file was “paleodiet.jpg” and the title was “The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet,” it would [make] put those things together. It adds a lot of keywords to the Alt attribute, which is the tag on images that Google pays the most attention to. This is just an easy way to automate that without having to do a lot of work.

The last plugin I’ll show you is called “404 to Start.” And in case you don’t know, a 404 error is a page that doesn’t exist on a site. Sometimes, when people visit a page on your site that’s been deleted, or maybe you changed your URL and didn’t do a redirect, they get a 404 error. This is no big deal, but generally this is not good for user experience or for SEO, because if you have links pointed to that page you have link juice that is not going anywhere, right? This plugin, called “404 to Start,” automatically redirects your 404 pages to a URL that you choose.

To install this plugin put in “404 to Start,” click on “Search Plugins,” and once that’s installed, head over here to “Settings” and “404 to Start.” You’ll see this page here. What this does is it allows you to choose where you want your 404 pages to go. Now, you definitely want to keep this here where it says “301 move permanently.” It’s very important not to change this, because that’s the most SEO friendly reader up. That tells Google that this page is moved permanently to this place, so all the links pointed to the old page should now count for this new page. Under the target URL, you can put in anything you want.

Obviously, your home page is a good option, because that’s probably where you want to funnel link juice. But, if you don’t want to do that, you can choose some internal page that you’re trying to rank, or whatever page you are trying to rank, and you need more link juice going to that page. This is just much more SEO-friendly than having a bunch of 404 pages on your site. It also increases user experience because no user really wants to see a 404 page.

So that’s it for the SEO plugins for WordPress that you need to have in 2013. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next video.