Once you launch and optimize your WordPress website or blog’s default settings to make them easier for readers and search engine bots to work with, there’s still work to do! You can make your blog or website even more user-friendly and search engine-friendly. And one way to do that is by using WordPress plugins.
But there are many such plugins to choose from, so where do you begin? These four WordPress plugins are four of the most popular, and a good place to start:
Plugins for HTML and XML Sitemaps
Creating sitemaps for your WordPress site in both HTML and XML can help you get your blog posts and web content indexed by search engine bots faster. You can try the Simple Sitemap plugin to generate the HTML sitemap, and the Google XML Sitemaps plugin to create the XML sitemap.
Category Pagination Fix Plugin
This plugin corrects a particular WordPress bug – the 404 errors that can occur when you’re using the custom permalink structure (%category%/%postname%/) and you try to access a category page beyond the first page. The Category Pagination Fix plugin also fixes the WordPress bug with the “next” and “previous” buttons when using the custom permalink structure.
The Remove Link URL Plugin
WordPress has the odd habit of linking all your uploaded images to themselves – so when a user clicks on an image, they get a page with just the image by itself and no navigation other than the browser’s “back” button. And it’s not even a bigger version of the image. Avoid annoying your users and presenting a dead link to search engines by using the Remove Link URL plugin for WordPress.
All in One SEO Pack plugin
WordPress’ default setting for HTML page title tags is to set the value to the page’s or blog post’s title. And WordPress doesn’t do anything at all for other types of meta tags such as the meta keywords or meta description tag. Once the All in One SEO Pack plugin is installed and enabled, and then configured via the Admin page, optimize the meta data for your Home page.
Also, be sure to delete “| %blog title%” from the “Post Title Format” and “Page Title Format” fields. Why? Keeping the blog name in the post or page title can make them too long and risks causing an error.
You can also set the All in One SEO Pack plugin to add the rel=author tag to your pages and posts, which causes your profile picture to show up in search engine results pages and adds to your Google Authorship. To do this, add the URL for your Google+ profile to the field called “Google Plus Profile Sitewide Default.” And of course, be sure to add your WordPress blog or website to the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile so there will be two-way authentication.
WordPress is a great platform as-is, but you can make it so much better. These and many more WordPress plugins can help make your website more user-friendly for readers, and more visible to search engine bots.