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When I first started as a freelance content writer, there were still people who wanted certain keyword densities and other outdated ideas.  Other people were still trying to force keywords into articles just to gain links.  All of that is firmly behind us but the world of SEO still remains confusing.  So if you are baffled by search engine optimisation, then the answer is to get a good SEO plugin to help out.  Here are a look at a few of the ones I have encountered and the one I use myself.

Yoast SEO Plugin

I mention Yoast first because it is the SEO plugin that I use on this and my other websites so it is the one I can talk about first hand.  Yoast is also the most downloaded WordPress plugin ever and is free of charge to use, though there is an upgraded version for more features for advanced users.

I like Yoast because it is very easy to see what is working from an SEO perspective within the post itself.  It uses a red-amber-green system to indicate what is good and what needs amending, based on the plugin’s rules.  It also acts a great reminder for those little changes, such as the URL and the snippet that can be easy to forget while doing all your formatting work.

I do follow the suggestions made by the plugin in the majority of cases but not always.  For example, it always tells me off that category descriptions are under 300 words but I’m not going to write a big description for a category – most themes don’t even show the description!  But as a general rule, Yoast is good and easy to use.

All In One SEO Pack

After Yoast, the SEO plugin I hear mentioned the most is All In One SEO Pack.  This plugin has over one million downloads and is extremely friendly for beginners.  It doesn’t need any custom settings to get into action but you can use these features once you are more familiar with the whole concept.

The plugin offers optimisation of titles based on what search engines like Google look for and advanced settings even allow overwriting of default meta details and setting meta descriptions and keywords.

It also offers SEO integration for e-commerce sites, such as those using WooCommerce, so if you are selling products through your website, this might be a good plugin to consider.  It even automatically notifies search engines when you make changes to your website.

SEOPressor

SEOPressor is a paid plugin with prices starting from $9 at the time of writing.  What makes it worthwhile considering versus free plugins is the keyword analysis features.  It has a built in tool that lets you find long tail keywords that are relevant to your subject and helps make content more search engine friendly.

It also conducts an assessment of each post and gives a score.  This helps users look to see what might need adjusting and also to see how this rates versus success of the piece once published.  Finally, it helps with internal linking as you can set it to assign links to specific keywords or phrases.

SEO by Squirrly

SEO by Squirrly is another plugin that can work alongside Yoast or others and helps to find keywords as well as analyse your SEO stats and conduct regular audits of your content.  It uses a colour indication system similar to Yoast and offers the benefits of an SEO expert without the need for one.

The software is free to use for up to 5 articles a month, 5 keyword analysis and a weekly audit report.  If you need more than this, then there are upgraded plans available.

SEO Friendly Images

Raise your hand if you ever realised you forget to change the default name of a photo file before you published?  Or forget to add alt text?  That’s where SEO Friendly Images comes in.  This plugin will update images with a proper title and Alt information for SEO purposes to help boost the post in those rankings.

These are just a few of the SEO plugins that have positive reviews but if you know another one then please get in touch and I can add it!

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