Thanks to constantly improving technology, search engine optimization is no longer a tedious process that takes years to perfect. Using the WordPress content management system and a few strategic plugins, you can put SEO on the backburner while you run your business, field customer service calls and steadily expand on your success well into the future. Here are the most recently updated 2014 SEO plugins to ensure that you dominate the search listings in the New Year.
SEO by Yoast
Most of these SEO plugins come with very high ratings and SEO by Yoast is no exception. This plugin is easy to use, fully customizable and it makes tasks like XML sitemap creation, permalink cleanup and social media content optimization easy for even the least technically savvy among us.
Google Analytics is very important to search engine optimization, so you know that at least one of these SEO plugins is going to be dedicated to it. This plugin offers it all, including a widget for your WordPress dashboard that shows your site’s basic analytics information. You can also ignore logged in users, track the last thirty days from your dashboard, track download links, site speed and much more.
WP Super Cache
Your SEO efforts will suffer if your site loads too slowly. To speed things up, use the WP Super Cache plugin. The installation allows you to take dynamic pages and cache them into smaller files that load much faster. With one click install and the ability to speed up your site considerably, this is another one of those plugins you won’t want to be without.
Jetpack by WordPress.com
Marketers who have been using SEO plugins for some time may be familiar with this one. It’s a plugin that comes with plenty of features to help you maximize your marketing efforts, such as social comments, email and post subscriptions, contact forms, statistics, a URL shortener and so much more.
All in One SEO Pack
Many of these SEO plugins come from Yoast and this is another must-have from the innovative brand. The All in One Pack allows you to optimize your WordPress pages and posts, and you can set up website verification and implement Google Authorship with ease.
Google XML Sitemaps
Your search engine optimization efforts will become improved when you make it easy for search engine spiders to crawl your site. A sitemap is perfect for this objective. To make sitemap creation easy, get the Google XML sitemap. With a few key presses, you will have an easy-to-crawl map of your site with all of your posts, pages and URLs prominently listed. With a sitemap, it won’t take long for your site to rank prominently within Google, Bing and all other search engines.
SEO Friendly Images
2014 is set to be the year of visual marketing and this is one of the SEO plugins that is perfect for optimizing all of the eye-catching images on your site. When you load this plugin, all of your images will instantly update with proper ALT and TITLE attributes. This will make your images instantly searchable in the image section of the popular engines, such as Google’s image search.
WordPress SEO Training Videos – Premium
Now we’re back to Yoast, which creates some of the best SEO plugins available for WordPress. They are also premium plugins, so they may be ideal for advanced users who need a little more functionality to push their SEO efforts through the proverbial glass ceiling. The search engine optimization training videos plugin adds a tab in the edit post page that includes training videos designed to train your editing team how to use the plugin’s functionality. There is also a ‘Manual’ menu item to the WP SEO plugin that offers videos that will train you how to use the WordPress SEO backend.
Video SEO for WordPress by Yoast – Premium
This premium Yoast WordPress plugin ensures that all of your embedded videos show up in the search results as videos with a built-in thumbnail image. You may not realize it now, but having the thumbnail will improve your search engine optimization rankings and your videos will more easily grab the attention of your desired audience.
This is one of those plugins that is perfect for bloggers, but it’s really ideal for anyone who regularly includes videos with their content. The Video SEO plugin supports automatic XML video sitemap creation, MediaRSS enhancements for your content’s RSS feed, full support for schema.org VideoObject markup, Facebook OpenGraph tags on your video pages (to allow your videos to alternately be played on Facebook) and support for many major video sites, such as YouTube, Blip, Vimeo, DailyMotion and Wistia.
Local SEO Plugin by Yoast – Premium
Last but not least, the Local search engine optimization plugin by Yoast is ideal for those businesses that rely on local customers. Like other local plugins, this one improves the usefulness of your site’s contact page. You can include Google Maps to make your location easily findable, a store locator, a well-formatted address that is ideal for search engines and more. This one is a premium app, but it’s a great one to include if you’re hazy on how to properly implement search engine optimization for a local audience.
You now have quite a few SEO plugins to enhance your visibility and dominate the search listings for all of your posts, pages, videos, images and all other content. You may want to select only a few from this list, as the entire list may bog your site down. Remember, you want your site to load quickly for more improved visitor engagement and site rankings. With a handful of the above plugins and plenty of unique content that is relevant to your overall marketing message, you will succeed with online marketing in 2014.
What’s really exciting is that these plugins and the WordPress platform itself are bound to be improved over the next few months and years. They’re already so advanced right now, it’s hard to imagine them getting any better. One thing is for sure – Search engine optimization is now easier and less time consuming thanks to an ever-increasing line of free and premium SEO plugins.