Natural referencing (SEO) is an important lever if you want to have visibility on the internet. SEO is about getting good search engine rankings. If you have a WordPress site like most people, there are a number of factors that will help your site rank well. But what about SEO plugins? Can these extensions really help with good positioning in the first results of search engines?
SEO plugins: essential or not for WordPress?
SEO is now the sinews of war if you want to have more visibility than your competitors. You can start by reading this article on organic SEO to better understand the issues associated with SEO. In the case of a WordPress site, the main objective of the optimization will be to improve the technical (on-site) elements of this CMS, so that all good SEO practices are properly implemented.
With WordPress, you can also install plugins dedicated to SEO. These plugins, like other elements, are supposed to help your site rank well. However, they are not necessarily essential: you have to understand WordPress plugins as tools. These are handy solutions because they give you access to sitemap, metadata, robot.txt file, and the like, but that doesn’t mean that when you install such a plugin your site’s SEO will go down. systematically change for the better. In fact, for most sites, installing SEO plugins won’t make any difference. Better, if you know your way around, you can clearly do without it.
It is important to make the distinction: SEO extensions are useful but not essential.
Plugins: useful but not essential for SEO
Which SEO plugins to use in WordPress?
The main features of WordPress don’t always give you the flexibility to make fine SEO tweaks, especially if you don’t know your code. Indeed, it amounts to doing technical manipulations on the theme you have chosen. The plugins dedicated to SEO for WordPress will be to choose according to your real optimization needs: do not install everything “just in case”.
For example, simple extensions like Platinium SEO, Google XML Sitemaps will be used to act on specific SEO points: what Google robots should index or not, etc. Others like All in One SEO and SEO Ultimate allow you to act on many SEO levers at the same time. However, the configurations of these plugins can be very complex. The WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin is considered the best plugin to reference a WordPress site: it allows you to optimize content, H1 titles, categories, meta desc, etc. There is even a module dedicated to local SEO and others to compress images.
In any case, we recommend that you exercise restraint with plugins. Despite their usefulness, plugins can considerably weigh down your site by increasing the number of requests. However, the goal is to have a well-referenced site, therefore fast. This involves uninstalling any WordPress plugins that you won’t be using in order to improve your site’s loading speed.
Among the best SEO plugins for WordPress, we can mention among others:
Yoast SEO adds to your management interface the means to modify title tags, remove duplicate internal content, add rich snippets, etc.
All in One SEO: optimizes content title, page title, and page URL as well as metadata and 404 page
Rank Math: This allows you to generate 6 sitemaps and control the indexing of pages, categories, labels, etc.
The SEO Framework: personalizes metadata, adds the information necessary for local referencing, integrates external tools (Google Analytics, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
SEOPress: analyzes the content of the site and offers SEO optimizations, configures redirects, social network snippets, etc.
Of course, you have to consider that the notion of “best” is very subjective in this case: the usefulness of the module will depend on your SEO needs! Some plugins are specialized while others do a bit of everything. Beware of duplicates and don’t install everything at the risk of causing confusion, bugs, and cumbersome that will negatively impact your SEO. Finally, if despite your efforts, your site remains poorly optimized, reconsider your choice of theme or get help from an SEO specialist. Auditing your site will help determine areas for improvement.