Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving how easily search engines read and analyze the data from your website. Improving SEO means higher search engine rankings and greater online visibility. It can determine how a page is displayed on the search engine’s results, how much traffic it gets, and much more. To learn more about SEO see our SEO basics article.
Improving a website’s SEO can be quite challenging if you don’t understand how to edit your site code. Luckily, we are experts in WordPress design and development, and as such, we can share some of the plugins we usually use.
This article details the tools and plugins that will make optimising your pages a piece of cake. As well as this, it will explain ways to test the various parts of SEO, such as Schema and social cards.
This tool lets you know exactly how good your SEO is. It provides a score from 0 – 100. The score will increase the more ‘checks’ you get right. Each check is explained in detail and gives you tips on how to improve.
The tool is free but will only allow you to check one website a day. However, with an account, you can check multiple websites a day. There is also a premium service, which provides more features.
This tool analyzes a given page and shows you what it will look like on a search engine. It’s great to see how your search result will look once you have updated the page’s SEO data.
Most search engines take time to crawl your site again unless you use Google Webmaster tools. This tool helps to prevent that issue.
Schema data allows Google and other search engines to know exactly what data they can use on the site. This data can then be used for various bits of functionality on the search reasons page. Functionality such as Social Profile links, articles, books, and more. To see more examples you can go their Search Gallery.
This testing tool allows you to test the schema on each page, making sure the search engine can read the data correctly. The tool can be used via a URL or a code snippet.
Hall Analysis Schema Generator allows you to create the schema data step by step. Providing the various types of markup you can have with field inputs. Once finished you can copy the JSON-ID code onto your site.
This tool is great if you don’t have the time to go through the Schema.org site to check what you need.
The Facebook sharing debugger allows you to see how the page will be shown on a user’s Facebook feed. It’s great for debugging how the page’s meta actually looks on the card.
The best thing about this tool is it allows you to scrape the page for updated data. So for example, if you update an image or title on the site but Facebook is still showing the old data, scraping will solve the issue.
The speed at which a website loads can affect the SEO rating. Even if the page has great SEO in other areas, having poor page speed will decrease the SEO rating significantly because it provides a bad user experience.
Google PageSpeed gives a page a score out of 100 and lists what issues there are. Issues such as un-minified JS and CSS, uncompressed images, and server loading time.
The tool can actually solve some of the issues for you by sending you a zip file with the corrected files. However, it is recommended you only use this tool to analyse the issues at hand and go about fixing them with a plugin, such as W3 Total Cache.
Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress websites. It provides all the tools you need to improve the SEO on your site. From basic details, such as titles, descriptions, and keywords, to more complex details as Open Graph data, Sitemaps, and content analysis. It’s a must have!
All in One SEO is the second most popular SEO plugin for WordPress. Much like Yoast, All in One SEO provides the tools needed to optimise your page.
Yoast and All In One are both great complete plugins to help with SEO. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and the specific features available on the free version.
WPbeginner release a great article comparing the two – http://www.wpbeginner.com/opinion/yoast-seo-vs-all-in-one-seo-pack-which-is-the-best-wordpress-seo-plugin/
It’s generally a good idea to keep on top of broken links and missing images on your site. Having these broken links won’t affect the search engine as they will eventually be removed from their index. However, it will hurt the user’s experience and how the user views your page.
This plugin scans the website for 404 links and images and allows you to fix them via the admin area.
This plugin creates a sitemap that helps search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your site. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently.
As stated earlier, your websites loading speed will affect your search engine result page rankings. Total Cache is one of the most popular caching plugins that provides tools to make your pages load faster. Tools such as improved browser caching, minified CSS and JS, HTTP compression, and more.
So, that’s about it!
We use a lot of these plugins and tools on a daily basis to help us improve a website’s search engine result page ranking. There are many tools and practices that will improve your SEO.
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, check out these articles from our SEO experts.