Most site owners strive to increase their organic traffic – i.e. visitors who arrive via unpaid search results through sites such as Google and Bing. However, with so many web pages competing for coveted spots on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), it can be extremely difficult to boost your ranking.
The entire goal of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to refine your web pages so they rank higher in SERPs. Thankfully, there are lots of tools available to help you execute your SEO strategy, and as a result boost your search engine rankings.
In this article, we’ll look at ten of the best WordPress tools and plugins to help you optimize your web pages for 2017. Let’s get started!
1. Yoast SEO (Free)
With over 36 million downloads, Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. It comes packed with easy to use functionality to help you with your SEO strategies. It’s well known for its page analysis feature, which helps you to improve keyword usage, content length, readability, and more. Other handy options include XML sitemap creation and notifications, breadcrumbs, and social media integration. If you’re an SEO beginner, this plugin is a fantastic place to start.
2. All in One SEO Pack (Free)
All in One SEO Pack is another hugely popular free WordPress plugin, with over 30 million downloads. It’s often pegged as an alternative to Yoast SEO, although it doesn’t offer the same depth when it comes to on-page analysis. However, it does have many other similar features such as meta tags, XML sitemaps, and social media integration. One unique feature of All in One SEO Pack is that it’s the only free plugin to provide SEO integration for e-commerce sites – including those using WooCommerce.
3. Premium SEO Pack ($44)
Premium SEO Pack is a WordPress plugin that is jam-packed with features. This premium plugin combines the best of both SEO and social optimization to limit the need for multiple plugins.
It includes on-page optimization, rank tracking, XML sitemaps, and competitive analysis. Premium SEO Pack also offers features to optimize your images, link profiles, and page speed. This plugin also has plenty of social options such as social statistic reporting, rich snippets, a Facebook planner module, and Twitter cards.
4. SEOPressor ($9 per Month)
SEOPressor is a premium WordPress plugin designed to give you maximum control of your website’s SEO in an easy to use interface. The developers claims the plugin’s advanced algorithm emulates that of Google, so you get accurate suggestions for optimizing your pages. SEOPressor gathers all of the essential SEO data for your site, and presents it in one place – alerting you to any issues.
The plugin also incorporates semantic analytics and the relevant associated markup standards. It offers you complete control over how search engines crawl your site, and also optimizes your link profile. At $9 per month for full use of the tool, SEOPressor seems like a pretty great deal.
5. Moz Pro ($79 per Month)
Moz Pro offers a collection of tools and features to help you manage your website’s SEO strategy. It tracks weekly ranking for your site and your competitors, and discovers and prioritizes keywords using its Keyword Explorer tool. It also uses Open Site Explorer to help with link building, and crawls your site to search for any relevant issues.
If you need further persuasion, Moz Pro also provides features to help you with your on-page SEO, and offers a suite of reporting and analytics options. Starting at $79 per month (for an annual subscription) the price is definitely steep compared to others. However, if you think you will use all of its offerings, it might be worth it.
6. Rankie ($17)
Rankie is a premium WordPress plugin that has been designed specifically to help you keep track of your web page’s Google rankings. You enter the keywords you want to rank for in the dashboard, and the plugin monitors your Google results page position for all of those keywords. It can update rankings daily, or you can choose to update a particular keyword in real time.
For progress tracking, you can easily generate reports and optionally download them as PDF files. Rankie also has an integrated tool that suggests lists of keywords you may want to target.
7. Google Keyword Planner (Free)
Google Keyword Planner is a tool for AdWords subscribers that suggests keywords to try to rank for. You can enter information about your product and site, and target your search with various parameters. For every suggested keyword you can view historical data including average monthly searches, the level of competition, and a suggested AdWords bid.
While this tool is extremely valuable, it does have a somewhat less than intuitive interface, so it’s worth checking out a good tutorial before getting stuck in.
8. Keyword Tool (Free)
Keyword Tool is pegged as an alternative to Google Keyword Planner. It has a simple interface, and uses Google’s autocomplete feature to generate hundreds of long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term you enter. However, unlike Google Keyword Planner, the free version of Keyword Tool lists only the keywords and not the accompanying data such as search volume, cost per click, and competition. This information can be unlocked if you opt to pay for the higher tier premium versions.
9. LinkPatrol ($50)
LinkPatrol is a premium WordPress plugin that is focused on helping you clean up your outgoing link profile. It takes just seconds to scan your entire site for links, and provides you with a list of all of the authors, domains, and anchor text associated with them. If you notice bad links, it’s quick and simple to add a nofollow tag or strip the link of the URL.
10. GTmetrix (Free)
GTmetrix is a tool designed to help with site speed, a factor that search engines consider in ranking algorithms. It offers you insights into how quickly your site loads, then helps you to improve its performance. It analyzes your pages with Google Page Speed and Yahoo YSlow rulesets, and delivers results including page load time and total page size. You can also see how your site stacks up against other GTmetrix monitored sites.
The tool also enables you to track performance, analyze site speed through a mobile device, and test your page in multiple regions. Finally, you’re also able to record page loads and play the results back to pinpoint performance issues.
SEO is a complex topic, and can often seem daunting at first. With so many components to think about, it can become an overwhelming task to optimize your web pages to better game the SERPs.
In this piece, we’ve provided you with ten tools and WordPress plugins to help you devise and implement your SEO strategy for 2017. Let’s recap them quickly:
- General purpose: Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, Premium SEO Pack, SEOPressor, and Moz Pro.
- Rankings: Rankie.
- Keywords: Google Keyword Planner and Keyword Tool.
- Links: LinkPatrol.
- Page speed: GTmetrix.
Do any of these tools feature in your day-to-day SEO workflow? Do you have any other SEO tips for the new year? Let us know in the comments section below!