Did you know that 93 percent of all Internet traffic begins with a search engine? Furthermore, 75 percent of searchers don’t search past the first page of results.
Looking even deeper into the significance of search, we find that search engine tools are the number one form of traffic for content sites – even more than social media, by 300 percent! If you’re running a WordPress blog, that means you’re a content site, and search engines are your best friend.
As Internet marketing guru Neil Patel points out, “Content Marketing is the cheapest and most effective way to do SEO these days. Not only does writing high quality content produce links at a quicker pace than building them manually, but it’s also cheaper.”
So, what do you do when the best way to rank on search engines is to ignore old-school SEO tactics and write user-friendly content? Are there still ways to make your content SEO-friendly as well?
While the days of manual link-building schemes and keyword stuffing are over, you can boost your search engine rankings by utilizing a number of tools that will optimize your WordPress blog content for search engines, without abusing the system. Take a look at some of these best options below.
Quick Ways to Optimize Your Blog:
Before we jump into these tools and plugins, you’ll have to Optimize your WordPress blog so it can run these plugins effectively.
To get started, make sure your site load time is properly optimized. Use an online speed test tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to analyze your site performance and view tips on how to make it faster.
Bonus: Page speed can impact your search rankings, so running these tests and fixing issues is a good SEO tactic on its own.
SEO Tools and WordPress Plugins:
Once you’ve made these changes and your site is running quicker, take a look at the following tools and plugins to help boost your SEO marketing efforts.
SEMRush is a tool that allows you to compare your marketing efforts against those of your competitors. Take a look at your own site performance through reports that analyze your traffic growth and keyword rankings. You can even see which locations your keywords are performing well at.
Then, check out reports that analyze your competitors’ results, including:
- Costs percentage
- Competitive density
Feel free to enter any domain name you want to compare to; you don’t have to create a campaign first.
Start with the Pro package for $69.95 per month, or upgrade to the guru or business packages for $149.95 and $549.95 respectively. This is an especially useful tool for people who want to keep a close eye on their campaigns in real-time but also need something more powerful than most free tools can offer.
2. Google Keyword Planner
Just because keyword stuffing doesn’t work as an SEO tactic anymore doesn’t mean strategically planning your keyword use isn’t effective.
Google Keyword Planner can help inspire campaign ideas and show you what customers are searching for most frequently.
As Google explains it, “You can search for keyword and ad group ideas, get historical statistics, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together.”
Bonus: This tool is free. You’ll just have to have an AdWords account, but that’s free, too.
What makes the Google Keyword Planner tool so great is that it doesn’t just deliver keyword ideas.
It also shows the historical data associated with those keywords so you know how popular they are. Furthermore, you’ll get reports on how effective keywords will be over time.
This is a practical tool to use whether you’re stumped about your next campaign or you’re an established Internet marketing guru – and you certainly can’t go wrong with the price.
3. Long Tail Pro
Long Tail Pro is a bit of a step up from the Google Keyword Planner, with business people like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income using it to grow their blogs and businesses.
As their website promises, Long Tail Pro isn’t just about keywords. It’s about growing your business through targeted traffic, more leads, and scalable growth.
With Long Tail Pro, it’s not just about analyzing keywords. You can also research competitors and test niche visibility. With just a quick, five-minute setup, you can place all your targeted campaigns in one place so you can stop wasting time with multiple tools and start worrying about other aspects of your business.
Start with a 10-day free trial (no credit card required), and if you like what you see, upgrade for a one-time $97 fee. Enjoy even more features such as calculating keyword competitiveness for an additional $27 per month.
With countless positive reviews from people in all niches, it’s worth giving the free trial a shot.
4. SEO Quake for Your Browser
SEO Quake is an SEO analytics tool for Firefox and Chrome (and Opera).
With it, you can view reports on any site based on numerous parameters, including page rank, Google index, and Alexa ranking. It also highlights nofollow links as well as reports on keyword density for various phrases. Plus, it’s all customizable so that you can set your own parameters.
With SEO Quake, you can check out reports on your own site as well as compare your stats against competitors’.
Brought to you by the same people behind SEMRush, you can expect an excellent tool. Best of all, it’s free!
5. Yoast SEO (formerly WordPress SEO by Yoast)
Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress users. It’s free and backed by a 4.7-star rating from over 3,500 reviewers – and it’s been downloaded a whopping.
14 million times. If you’re looking for a quality SEO plugin that won’t break your budget, this is it.
With it, you can analyze how well each post and page is optimized for the search engines based on which keyword you’re targeting. Plus, it makes adding a custom title or meta description for each post and page simple. You can also add Open Graph tags, generate XML sitemaps, clean up permalinks, and remove excess bloat from your site’s code.
If you’re looking for more from this plugin, purchase the premium version, which starts at $69 for a single site. License up to five sites for $129, or work with up to 20 sites for $249. With the premium version, you’ll get the added benefit of a redirect manager along with premium support.
Even if you don’t choose to go with the paid version, Yoast SEO is a must-have on your WordPress site.
6. Broken Link Checker
Broken Link Checker is a WordPress plugin that monitors your posts, pages, comments, and other content for broken links and missing images.
Checking for broken links is important to SEO because search engines look at and follow your links. If you have irrelevant or spammy links (including those in your comment section), you could get penalized.
If this plugin finds a broken link, it will notify you on your WordPress dashboard or through email, allowing you to go in and fix these links. Editing links is easy since you can do it directly in the plugin page rather than by manually updating each link.
Not only are plugins like this great for SEO, they make your site more user-friendly, too. This is a great tool to use if you’re looking to better optimize your site for search engines while on a tight budget.
LinkPatrol helps you, “find, fix and get control of the links on your website,” and is quite an upgrade from free WordPress plugins. As we discussed in our review of LinkPatrol, this tool helps track your outgoing links and makes it easy to clean up outdated ones.
LinkPatrol simplifies the process by delivering link reports and allowing you to easily delete broken or spammy links. You can also add the ‘rel=nofollow’ tag to other links you don’t want influencing your search rankings.
If you’re running a multi-author site, LinkPatrol also organizes your links based on authors to put you back in control of your contributors and their linking habits.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. LinkPatrol is in an indispensable tool for site owners who are serious about SEO.
However, this incredible plugin doesn’t come without cost. Its one-time fees start at $50 for a single site and increase to $100 for five sites and $200 for 20 sites. Grab our coupon, and you can save 15 percent off your purchase.
Wrapping it Up:
While no one can perfect an SEO formula – thanks to search engine algorithms constantly changing – there are tools you can use to create a search engine friendly site that can help boost your rankings.
To start off, try the free versions of these tools and plugins, but make sure to install Yoast SEO. For beginners, this plugin makes it a cinch to learn basic SEO practices.
Using these tools and plugins will not only help grow your traffic with more online visibility, but your dedicated search engine optimization efforts will pay off sooner rather than later.
So, which one of these tools and plugins will you try first? Make sure to let us know in the comments.