Three Of the Best SEO Tools For Wordpress
The world of SEO is changing every day. That doesn't mean that you have to change SEO tactics every day. There are a lot of webmasters out there that believe that. They believe that since Google makes hundreds of algorithm changes every year, that they need to make at least as many changes to keep up. Wrong. Just follow the Google Webmaster blog. You'll find a common thread in all of the updates. Every update is aimed at trying to improve search results.
If you try to swim upstream, you'll end up with endless headaches and feel like you're wasting a lot of time. SEO can be a stressful art - even for those who work in the business. Accept the premise that your job is to give your site visitors the best possible experience on your blog and it will make your life a lot easier. Here are a few plugins for Wordpress that can help you:
Google Analytics Dashboard
Everyone knows what Google Analytics is. It's possibly the best analytics tool out there right now. It delves deep into your site and gives you all of the nitty-gritty details about what's going on there. You can see visitor counts, where people are coming from, where they go on your site, and sometimes you can even see the keywords used to get to your blog (though this is becoming more and more rare).
While using Google Analytics is probably always a good idea, it's not always convenient. Enter Google Analytics Dashboard. This plugin takes Analytics and imports it right into your Wordpress blog. Now you can get granular without staring at the Analytics dashboard. Sometimes, it's difficult to tease apart what pages are what (especially if you've ever had the Wordpress default settings for your permalinks). Go to your "posts" page in your admin area, and you can see the page views for each page. If you want to see a consolidated view of all traffic, the plugin makes a dedicated page for you so you can drill down and do the same kinds of analysis that are available directly through Google. Not only does this save you time, it can also help make the data more meaningful
Google XML Sitemaps
You need a sitemap if you want search engines to find you. Rather than build one yourself, let the Google XML sitemap generator do it for you. The sitemap generator saves you a lot of time by automatically create a sitemap, exclude any pages from the sitemap, and allows you to control which search engines get notified when you update your blog. You also have the ability to make this a truly "hands-off" generator by controlling whether the plugin automatically rewrites your sitemap according to any changes on your blog (i.e. rewrite the sitemap when you add or delete a post or page).
Finally, you can set the location of the sitemap on your blog, and specify whether you want some pages to take priority over others. There's really no reason not to use this plugin since it's safe, stable, and necessary for even the most conservative SEO.
WP Super Cache
Ever wonder how some blogs just feel "lighter" or "faster?" WP Super Cache is the reason. Your Wordpress blog generates pages using a programming language called PHP. This programming language is dynamic, which allows you to do all of the cool things that you like to do on Wordpress, but it tends to slow down your site when it's being served to visitors. WP Super Cache fixes this by generating static HTML pages in place of the dynamic PHP pages. The result? Your site loads faster and feels more responsive to user queries.
Plugins make using Wordpress easy, but they also come with a major drawback: you must rely on the publisher to update the software and all plugins have to play nicely with each other. In general, keep it simple with the plugins you use, try to minimize what you do use, and continually upgrade your SEO plugins and themes so that nothing on your site breaks or slows down.