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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.Related:GroupBuy SEO Tools
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:
How To Speed Up WordPress
Before you read the steps below, you might want to check your WordPress website speed on GT Metrix, Pingdom or Webpagetest.org if you haven’t already done so.
Use a Fast Loading Theme
When you decide on the theme that you want to use for your website, it is important that you go for a simpler looking theme. A flashy looking theme will more often than not come with a complex layout and unwanted features. A slow or bloated theme can cause visitors to leave the site even before it finishes loading.
√ Optimize HTML Code
√ Keep HTML comments
√ Optimize CSS Code
√ Inline all CSS
√ Save aggregated script/CSS as static files
Next, you need to install Google Webfont Optimizer plugin and activate it with the default settings. Finally, install Remove query strings from static resources plugin and activate it.
Use a Good Caching Plugin
Every second counts, and so does the size of every image. Images should always be optimized so that they don’t add to the total size of the web page. Use WP-Smush or EWWW Image Optimizer plugin to optimize images. Both these plugins will let you reduce the file size of your images using lossless optimization technology which means the quality of your images does not suffer. You can also optimize the entire media library in one go, and if you add any new pictures, they get optimized automatically.
Optimize WordPress Database
A smaller database means a faster WordPress site. Use WP-Optimize plugin to optimize WordPress database. Use it with default settings. Making changes or selecting red marked items can cause issues. Go to WP-Optimize & click on ‘Process’ & then select ‘OK’ to optimize the database.
Thi will remove any previous post revisions, unapproved comments & spam comments along with automatically saved drafts of pages and posts. You can use this plugin every few days to reduce the size of the database. Do not enable auto clean-up feature because that feature is in beta mode.
Add an Expires header to static resources & enable compression
Gzip compresses the files before sending them over to the user’s browser. Enabling it can reduce the size of files by up to 70%. Expires headers inform the user’s browser whether to serve a particular file from the cache or request it from the server. Enabling them reduces page load time & also the load on the server.
If you have already installed W3 Total Cache plugin from the step above, you just need to tick the below boxes by going to Performance > Browser Cache to enable compression & add expires headers. Just select each of the boxes mentioned below (under sections: General, CSS & JS, HTML & XML, Media & Other Files) and deselect any others.
Don’t forget to save the settings after you have selected these boxes.
√ Set Last-Modified header
√ Set expires header
√ Set cache control header
√ Set W3 Total Cache header
√ Enable HTTP (Gzip) compression
Use PHP 7.0
WordPress works up to 3 times faster on PHP 7.0 as compared to PHP 5.6, so make sure you upgrade to PHP 7.0 on your server to get faster performance. You can do this easily on most shared hosting plans. To upgrade to PHP 7.0 with SiteGround, see the steps here.
Use a Content Delivery Network
Instead of hosting your static files on a single server, with a CDN, you can distribute it across many servers throughout the world. It enables faster loading of files on users’ devices and less load on your server. Use a Content delivery network like CloudFlare or Max CDN. Cloudflare provides free CDN. Unless you have a busy website, you probably don’t need a content delivery network.