Do I Need a SEO Plugin?
Blogs and content framework software like WordPress are by nature SEO friendly. Each post has its own title which becomes the title tag. The keyword tag in the meta section of the head area of the code isn’t very important any more. If your opening paragraph is keyword rich and aimed for a human reader, your description will be pretty good as well. (If there is no description tag used, search spiders index the first bit of page text they find.) So do you need to go to the trouble of adding a SEO plugin for your WordPress site?
The short answer is yes. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, the plugin will remind you to think of SEO when you’re writing. Not every writer does that and a little reminder can go a long way.
Secondly, a SEO plugin can give a writer greater flexibility and creativity with their articles. For the best SEO results, a writer will need to repeat their optimized keyword phrase as early in the first paragraph as they can. That’s limiting. I didn’t do it in this article, but I can remedy that later by optimizing my description tag.
Let’s take a look real quick at an example:
This was an article I wrote last week on another site. I wanted to optimize for the keywords “co-working salt lake city.” But I didn’t begin the article with those words. I wanted to put a more creative spin on it. In the screen shot you can see a field for “meta description.” That’s the language that shows up in the search engines.
The SEO plugin also provides statistics and allows alternate titles to be used for publishing on social media sites. I don’t think it matters which SEO plugin you choose so long as it has a custom description tag.
WordPress.com doesn’t use plugins, so how do you create a custom description tag there?
A feature called “excerpts” creates the description tag. If you like your first paragraph, leaving the excerpt tag blank will force the spiders to display the first text they come to. I don’t like to leave things like that to chance, so worst case I’ll quickly cut and paste my first paragraph as the excerpt.
I believe SEO plugins are so important, they’re usually the first type I install. In the next article for WordPress week, I’ll discuss some other useful plugins that are “must haves” for any WordPress site.