Got a WordPress website? Check out 3 of our highly recommended plugins that will help with your SEO. User-friendly and very helpful, try them out today.
Yoast is an awesome plugin and receives our highest recommendation.
The key functionality Yoast offers is the ability to customise title tags and meta descriptions for any webpage. This applies not only to your standard Pages and Posts, but even the Blog category pages - the automatically generated URLs which aggregate Posts based on the categories.
This feature comes equipped with a coloured “progress bar” type feature which reflects how much of the character limit (that’s 55 for title tags, and 160 for meta descriptions) you’re utilising.
Yoast offers another invaluable feature: the ability to adjust robots.txt instructions for each webpage. This gives you more control over the indexability of the page. You can use this to hide it from the organic search results. You can also canonicalise the page to another URL.
These elements also integrate with an automatically updated XML sitemap, which YoastSEO helpfully creates. So if you noindex the page, it will immediately be removed from the XML sitemap as well.
While WordPress is generally a pretty capable CMS, a major pain point we’ve found is that it can be quite difficult to implement URL re-directs. Other platforms such as Drupal offer this functionality natively.
If you’ve changed the URL of a new webpage, or identified up some 404ing URLs in Google Search Console, you’ll want to make sure that the old URLs are correctly 301 re-directed to a new live webpage. This ensures that the SEO authority of any previous URLs is correctly transferred to the new webpage, and if any users do hit the old URL, they’re directed to the new content.
The Redirections plugin makes this an absolute breeze with a simple and easy-to-use interface.
It also provides visibility into how many hits each of the URLs has received over its lifetime:
Oversized images are a constant nuisance for page speed. We’ve seen high resolution 800x800 logos sitting in media libraries, dynamically resized down to serve 150x150 on every single webpage.
WP Smush operates in bulk, automatically reviewing all image assets and compressing them down into a more appropriate size. This helps to mitigate unnecessarily long page load time.
The free version allows unlimited optimisation for any images up to 5MB, which should be adequate for most websites (an image over 5MB is absurdly large).
Note that it is best practice to compress and resize all images before uploading to the website, (and we recommend integrating this into your on-going SEO process).
However we recognise that it’s easier said than done! If you haven’t managed to do this in the past, WP Smush is a great way to retroactively optimise a backlog of bulky images.