Overview of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Most website owners will want some form of search engine optimization to help their page rank higher in searches. These searches can be conducted from Google (mostly), Bing, Yahoo!, and a number of other smaller search engines. There are also more specialized search engines that work for products such as Amazon and eBay. In order to determine a strategy, you have to determine whether you have a wide audience that is spread across the world or if you are looking for local traffic, which a small business would benefit from.
Most of the experts in the field, do not know specifically how the search engines determine what site should rank over another. The parameters of the search are proprietary to the search engines and are not disclosed. However, it is known that keywords play a big part. Having a lot of original content and backlinks, sites linking to your site giving it more credibility, are also part of the equation. In WordPress, there are plugins that can help you in the process of making your page more visible and give it a higher ranking.
The Three Main SEO Plugins
Generally, there are three main plugins in WordPress and a number of smaller plugins. The leading plugins are Yoast SEO, Rank Math, and All in One SEO. In some cases, you will want to check the requirements of your theme, as some are optimized for one plugin or the other.
Yoast SEO is generally considered to be the leading plugin with over 5 million installations. Yoast offers an impressive number of features with its free version and more with the paid version. Yoast developed as a plugin around the same time as All in One SEO, but has about twice as many users, showing its popularity. Silphium used Yoast on some of its first websites. Even if you do not use Yoast, you may benefit from the blog it puts out, which is very informative.
All in One SEO
All in One SEO is the second place plugin with about 2 million installations. It claims to be the most comprehensive plugin and like the others offers free and paid versions. The description of this plugin states it is one of the easiest to use and it appears to contain quite a few webmaster tools to integrate social media and WooCommerce. Silphium does not have any experience with this plugin, but the number of users shows it is doing something right. This plugin comes from the same group that puts out MonsterInsights, one of the Analytics plugins discussed in the last post.
Rank Math is a new player to the game and has made quite a splash with over 600,000 installations. Some of the leading WordPress themes, including OceanWP, are optimized for Rank Math. Rank Math is the plugin that Silphium primarily uses. It offers an impressive amount of features for its free plan, about as many as Yoast’s paid plan, claims to be one of the easiest to set up, and offers unlimited keywords.
Other Smaller SEO Plugins
As stated above there are a number of smaller SEO plugins available as well. Some of them include:
- SEOPress, on-site SEO: This plugin appears to be more privacy-focused and works on the local installation of your WordPress. This could be an option if you are looking for a plugin that does send information to third-parties.
- The SEO Framework: This plugin looks to be as comprehensive as the others and offers a suite of companion plugins that can make it even more powerful. A unique color-coded diagram showing how your post is doing as far as ranking and warns you of any errors in your site.
- Slim SEO: This plugin emphasizes its speed and simplicity.
- Platinum SEO: This plugin appears to be for the more technical minded. If you know how to code, this plugin appears to offer a lot of functionality.
- Caching Plugins: A number of the caching plugins available for WordPress, such as W3 Total Cache, offer some SEO capability, but not as much as a dedicated plugin.