Listen To The Blog Post:
I often get asked what plugins website owners should install to boost their SEO. I want to start this article off by being very clear. You can do perfectly fine with ranking your website without plugins…the most important thing is content after all. However, plugins can be great to add user functionality to your website. (This is something Google does in fact like.)
I want to state I’m going to avoid mentioning “SEO plugins” by nature, as most likely you already know about things like Yoast SEO. This is going to focus on plugins you wouldn’t think to add that can make a huge difference. My goal is to introduce you to an awesome plugin you haven’t heard of before reading this article.
The other requirement I’m throwing in is that all plugins must have a free version. I understand that not everyone pursuing SEO has an insane budget, and sometimes you just need to lay a foundation to get the ball rolling.
In this post I’m going to cover 5 plugins you should check out to improve the quality of your website for visitors.
Table of Contents
This one makes reading your content a lot less intimidating for visitors. It enables people to skim your articles and skip to a section they’re interested in. This increases on-page time and decreases your bounce rate, which sends positive signals to Google. There are many free and paid plugins that automatically add this to every blog post you publish.
I personally use Easy Table of Contents by Magazine3 for this.
One User Avatar & WP Post Author
I wanted to include both of these plugins as one entry, because they work really well together. Adding an author box to your content builds E.A.T. (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) with Google. This is an easy way to build authority without doing a lot of work.
By adding an author box, it also makes your content feel more personable. One User Avatar lets you easily upload and add an image of yourself to the author box. WP Post Author will automatically insert this into your blog posts.
Remember, website loading speed is in fact an SEO factor. Shared hosting has become an SEOs worst nightmare, and website downtime has become common if you are using big hosting companies like GoDaddy or HostGator. This is unfortunate, but a topic for another day.
LiteSpeed Cache is a free plugin that speeds up your WordPress website by caching it. Caching increases how fast visitor’s devices can pull your website files to load it. This is a great way to easily improve your SEO without much effort.
As a bonus tip, I recommend signing up for a free CloudFlare account. CloudFlare is a CDN (Content Delivery Network) that links with LiteSpeed Cache. This will also speed up your website.
The way CloudFlare works is it stores versions of your website on servers across the world, so when a visitor goes to visit your site it pulls it from a server closer to them. This drastically decreases your load time in other countries and provinces.
Images are often the #1 culprit of website speed issues. Smush is a free plugin that automatically compresses every image you upload to your WordPress website. Essentially, proper compression decreases the file size of each image without a decrease in observable image quality.
This plugin is a life saver and I use it on all my websites.
Yet Another Stars Rating
YASR (Yet Another Stars Rating) is an epic plugin that adds a fun little feature to your website. It allows readers to rate each blog post they digest. This is awesome for a number of reasons.
First of all, it allows you to see if the content you are putting out is stuff people actually want to read. But besides getting valuable feedback, it increases the engagement users have with your website. Any time you can do this, Google likes it.
In fact, the longer users stay on the page, the better it looks for your SEO.
That Wraps It Up
These have been 5 free WordPress plugins that boost your SEO. Want me to cover paid plugins…? Or have a question about Search Engine Optimization?
Feel free to leave a comment down below – I’d love to hear from you.