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3 WordPress SEO Plugins That Will Give You A Leg Up On The Competition

| March 30, 2011 More

wordpress seo pluginsIf you are using WordPress for your blog or website then there are a couple of plugins that you should be using to help you increase your search engine traffic.

Your content and on page SEO seems to be becoming a lot more important, especially with Google’s latest update, so what I wanted to do was share a couple of plugins that I personally use on my sites.


1. WordPress SEO Plugin

I was a massive All-In-One SEO Plugin fan for a very long time before I stumbled upon a new  plugin called WordPress SEO.

This plugin is created by Yoast, who is well-known as an expert in SEO for WordPress, and it does a whole lot more than all the other similar plugins.

It’s features include:

  • Post titles and meta descriptions
  • Robots Meta configuration
  • Canonical
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Permalink clean up
  • XML Sitemaps
  • RSS enhancements
  • Edit your robots.txt and .htaccess
  • Clean up head section

As you can see, this plugin cut’s out the need for a lot of ‘must have’ plugins, such as the Google XML Sitemaps plugin.

Link: WordPress SEO Plugin

2. Simple Tags

So many people are not aware of the massive SEO benefit of tags.

The tags feature in WordPress allows you to target a lot more long-tail keywords and I find that a high percentage of my site’s search traffic comes through the pages that these tags create. Now while you can easily create tags without any plugins, I use Simple tags for two main reasons.

  • Posting Tags On Pages
    Most of my blogs have a couple of ‘pages’ as well as blog posts, and the regular tag feature only allows you to create tags on your blog posts. Simple Tags allows you to create them for pages as well – which is an extra SEO bonus.
  • Creates Tags For What People Are Searching For
    Thinking up your own tags is great, but this plugin uses Yahoo and other resources to suggest tags for you – based off your content.

Link: Simple Tags

3. Auto Excerpt

However, the thing we have to worry about when it comes to using tags is duplicate content.

A lot of WordPress themes have full posts showing on the ‘tags’ and ‘archive’ pages. Since you have the exact same thing on two different pages of your website, Google sees this as duplicate content and will most likely only index one of your pages. What you need to do to stop this is to make your archives/tags pages into excerpts – where it only shows the first 100 characters or words and then links you through to the full articles.

This works well for two reasons:

  1. You are getting two pages indexed instead of one.
  2. It increases your ‘time on site’ and ‘views per visitor’ because they have to click to another page to read the whole article

Auto Excerpt makes it easy to change your archives to excerpt with the click of a button – instead of worrying about all the messy code inside the theme.

Link: Auto Excerpt

Now while these three plugins do not take the place of quality content and good keyword research, they will give your website a great SEO platform to help you gain addition search traffic.

This is a guest post by Pat Chambers. Pat is an Australian blogger who writes at Mining Jobs No Experience sharing quality information and resources about how you can make a start in the Australian mining industry, even if you have no prior qualifications, through trainee mining jobs and apprenticeships.

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Comments (51)

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  1. Liny says:

    I have tried all three of these and so far I love simple tags the most. Works great with my other plugins and gets the job done. As far as wordpress seo I can’t say the same. I found it to be pretty buggy, many features not working. This could have been due to some conflict I suppose but none the less I switched back to all in one seo. I would like to hear from others what they thought of it. Great post though, good share. Thanks.
    Liny recently posted..Website Design and Search Engine OptimizationMy Profile

    • Pat says:

      That’s really interesting Liny, cause I haven’t had any problems with the WordPress SEO plugin – but glad you found Simple Tags!

  2. Karen says:

    This is really helpful to those who are starting out blogging with WordPress and wants to attract an audience. Likewise, it is also very useful to those who want to get ahead.

  3. Murray Lunn from Buy PLR Articles says:

    I didn’t know about the auto excerpt plugin which looks really awesome. Come to think of it, I need to dig through the tag and archive pages to make sure they aren’t being indexed otherwise I need to install the plugin asap.

    • Pat says:

      Yea, it is a really helpful one Murray! Now that Google is hitting down even harder, it is best to play it safe.

  4. John says:

    Of course these plugins are nice and useful for getting unique traffic. Simple post but effective. Thanks!

  5. Jason says:

    Those are must to have plug-ins, good and very simple. However it depends on the personal skills how to maximize the potential of SEO plugins and determine the right keywords and cross link the pages.

    • Pat says:

      That is true Jason. We can SEO all we like but if we are targeting the wrong keywords then it really is pointless.

  6. Sam says:

    WordPress SEO Plugin is very popular and almost every wordpress use it. And it really help to manage almost every SEO feature.
    Sam recently posted..Summer Holiday PackagesMy Profile

  7. karan from Link building tips says:

    I generally avoid getting things done on automation as most of the time it is done on an arbitrary procedure.

    And another plugin that I personally use is SEO pressor, it works pretty good, give it a try.

    • Pat says:

      Hi Karen, none of these plugins actually auto make anything – they just simplify the process.

      I’ve heard quite a bit about SEO Pressor, but am still yet to try it.

      • karan from Link building tips says:

        Sorry for interepting Pat but its “Karan”, anyways, Auto Excerpt seemed to be something automated, didn’t read that one just skimmed through..

        And ya do give seo pressor a try its good, or if you can afford scribe seo, go for it, it’s the best one out there.

        • Pat says:

          Oh! I’m sorry for getting your name wrong Karan! I see where you got the ‘auto’ part from, but the plugin is basically just a design change that converts your archive pages from showing full posts to just showing excerpts – nothing serious.

  8. M.K. Safi says:

    Thanks for these tips. Really cool!

    WordPress SEO seems great, I’m only reluctant to commit to it because it’s in very early beta. Have you been using it for a long time and have you run into any issues with it?

    Also, I don’t think there’s a real benefit to consolidating plugins. In fact, specialized plugins might be better because they allow the developer to focus on a specific area rather than having to juggle everything at once.

    A 100 well coded plugins will not negatively impact a site. On the other hand, a single badly coded plugin can take down an entire site.
    M.K. Safi recently posted..The Best WordPress Review Site PluginMy Profile

    • Pat says:

      The only problem I see with having a lot of plugins, compared to just a few is that it can affect your load time.

      I’ve been using WordPress SEO for a couple of months now and come across no problems yet.

  9. Marcus says:

    Don’t overestimate the power of plugins and underestimate your competition. Those are free plugins that everybody knows, so it is good to assume that competition is using the same one. Proper keyword research and link building are the keywords to overthrow competition.

    • Pat says:

      That’s exactly right Marcus! These are just tools and the real results will come from the work that you put in.

  10. Mani Viswanathan

    Auto Excerpt seems interesting. Will read more about it & try it.
    Mani Viswanathan recently posted..3 Tips to Get Killer Blog Post IdeasMy Profile

  11. Nicholas Teo says:

    I use All-In-One SEO Plugin and have not tried any of the plugin you mention. Will give WordPress SEO Plugin a test
    Nicholas Teo recently posted..Auspicious Dates to Buy and Collect Your Car – April 2011My Profile

  12. Andreas from Blog Advertising says:

    I am using the wordpress SEO plugin and also for all client sites because its easy to work with and provides all the necessary tools to cover the SEO part of a blog, so that blog owners can concentrate on creating content and rely on this plugin to do its work.

  13. Nasif says:

    Yoast is an awesome plugin. Due to fear of duplicate content issue I had put noindex and follow meta tag in archive, category and tag pages.
    Nasif recently posted..10 Alternatives to the iPadMy Profile

  14. Maria Pavel says:

    Right now i’m using the All-In-One SEO plugin, i’ve read some time ago it’s the best one on the market.
    But i’ll give your WordPress SEO plugin a try on a test blog to see how it handles the load.
    Maria Pavel recently posted..CNA Training in ConnecticutMy Profile

  15. kavita says:

    wordpress offer plenty of plugin these are really helpful do the task simpler and make the post SEO friendly .
    kavita recently posted..Lyrics of Pyaar Mein Song – Thank YouMy Profile

  16. Andy says:

    This are great plugins, combined with few others related to caching and webmaster tools for sure will make website more SE friendly.

  17. Symfony says:

    Your post has arouse my interest in the wordpress SEO plug in. I haven’t heard about this exactly plug in but if it is as you described it, it should be a good tool. I gonna check it as soon as possible. Thanks!

  18. Kimi says:

    Hi Pat,

    I am using all the plugins above except auto excerpt, which is really cool if I read your review.

    I will definitely try it and will come back for the review lol..


    Kimi recently posted..WordPress 32 PHP and MySQL New RequirementsMy Profile

  19. shyam jos says:

    All-In-One SEO Plugin is the best

  20. Rachel says:

    I agree, All-In-One-SEO plugin is one of the best, however these presented in this post should not be ignored.


  21. Jake says:

    why all in one seo isn’t in this list? i guess it;s probably the most used seo plugin. I’ll try these plugins sometime, but for now, all in one seo remains my nr 1 seo plugin
    Jake recently posted..Groom Wedding SpeechMy Profile

    • Pat says:

      AIO SEO isn’t in the list because I replaced it with WordPress SEO (which i think is better and does more).

      • Jim says:

        Cute, that you find WordPress SEO better than AIO SEO, but consider this:

        - From the WordPress SEO website I quote: NOTE: this plugin is still in beta. While you can download it, there are absolutely no guarantees and you should back up before you use it.

        I like the no guaranties part. Very confident.

        Jeff Starr on Perishable Press tested both plugins, up to the code. His conclusion was that WordPress SEO may have a lot of potential in the future, until the bugs are fixed.
        Read about it here:

        I’ll probably start using WordPress SEO when the bugs are fixed. Until then. I’ll keep using AIOSEO because it does a better job at the moment and is more reliable.

        I suggest that your replace WordPress SEO by AIOSEO in your article.
        Another reason to put AIOSEO back in this article is that you are not sure about WordPress SEO yourself. You use AIOSEO!

  22. Mary says:

    Nice guidance…….. Pat! all the three are found to have useful and effective. Specially your suggestion for tags to be select manually appeals to heart.
    Mary recently posted..Website Development ServicesMy Profile

  23. Akhilesh

    After the Google Panda update, most bloggers are no-indexing their tags and categories pages. So, in that situation, I do not see much need of the Auto Excerpt plugin but the other two are good.
    Akhilesh recently posted..How to Download Youtube Videos in Computers and MobilesMy Profile

    • Pat says:

      None of my sites seem to have been affected by the Panda update. I still think that tags can plan an affective role in driving traffic.

  24. Peter Lawlor says:

    Adding an SEO plugin to WordPress is critically important. Thanks for the recommendation for your readers.

    I never heard of Simple Tags before so thanks for the tip. I’ll give it a try because, I also use pages sometimes.

    I agree, nothing replaces great content and keyword research, but every extra bit of help in the world of SEO helps.
    Peter Lawlor recently posted..ActuallyRank Review by a Real User – Find DoFollow Blogs Now!My Profile

  25. Alex says:

    Yes – Simple Tags is great. I’d also give a shout out to RSS For Pages – great for those of us who use WP as a content management system.
    Alex recently posted..ResourcesMy Profile

  26. Suresh Khanal

    Hi Pat,

    I’m always loving all-in-one-seo plugin and as you’ve mentioned another plugin even better, I wish to test it. But what will happen to my earlier posts that have AIO title, description and keywords. Are they automatically transported or do I have any import mechanism so that I can start using WordPress SEO?
    Suresh Khanal recently posted..Achieve Highest Score on SEO Blog PostMy Profile

    • Pat says:

      Hi Suresh,

      I am pretty sure they have an import feature which allows you to do this. Visit the plugins page and it should be able to tell you.

  27. Bruce says:

    I’ve always used a premium theme – Thesis -that supposedly doesn’t need any help with it’s SEO functionality, so I’ve never bothered with extra plugins like these, but am now wondering if it is doing all it’s meant to.
    Bruce recently posted..Actually Rank – Brand New Link BuildingMy Profile

  28. jobs says:

    awesome SEO plugins you just described. i would definitely give them a try

  29. Harsh says:

    Great work. I wasnt knowing about Post tags plugin and will try it out for sure. Thanks for the plugin information.
    Harsh recently posted..Do you have “Poke Friends” on FacebookMy Profile

  30. Bob says:

    WordPress SEO sounds really great. I was actually on the lookout for a SEO plugin that can handle Breadcrumbs. Great stuff – thanks for sharing.
    Bob recently posted..Backlink Energizer – Review &amp Backlink Engine BonusMy Profile

  31. Abby from Custom Napkins says:

    Oh nice. I haven’t tried Auto Excerpt, but it sounds really handy. Thanks for the tip!

  32. Vuong says:

    I highly recommend you not use Simple Tag, it may eat your CPU usage more than any other plugin. Just read a relevant story about it.
    Vuong recently posted..Grab Free Key Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 in 3 Months From Russia GrouponMy Profile

  33. I have tried some seo plugins in the past, didn’t really get desired results. Nice plugins though.
    Make money Nigeria recently posted..Google Adwords Cheap Advertising in Nigeria- How Nigerians Can Advertise their products- websites and services online via GoogleMy Profile

  34. Ankit says:

    Well, being honest I havent tried any of the plugin. They actually seems worthy to give a try atleast.

  35. I huge to use All in one SEO but few weeks back moved to WordPress SEO Plugin, its really great plugin..
    Saket Jajodia recently posted..How To Create Image Map Without Knowing Any Code Or Using Any SoftwareMy Profile

  36. Petra says:

    Another really interesting article! I’ve heard a lot of people mention that it’s a good idea not to have your entire blog post visible on the homepage (that ultimately it’s better when visitors to your site have to click through to a separate page to view the entire post), but I never knew the reason behind this. The world of SEO is really a fascinating one. Auto Excerpt is definitely going to be something I check out!

  37. Rajesh says:

    Great plugins. Well, All in one SEO serves a good purpose for wordpress SEO. Thanks for the plugins list.
    Rajesh recently posted..How to Hack a Myspace AccountMy Profile

  38. admin says:

    Besides Auto excerpt I have been using both of the above and definitely these are the best on earth as they dont event bother you and keep processing their task..
    Excellent stuff..
    admin recently posted..4 Things ALL Articles Must Have – Don’t Forget!My Profile

  39. Sameer

    There are lot of SEO plugin for wordpress and trust me, i would be looking forward to choose the Premium Plugin instead of the Free One from WordPress
    Sameer recently posted..Nokia’s social App Coming on Android and iPhoneMy Profile

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