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9 SEO Plugins Every WordPress Blog Should Have

Do you want to increase the search engine ranking of your WordPress blog? Check out these 9 SEO WordPress plugins that Shawn Jooste from Elite Blogger has pulled together for us.

seo-wordpress-plugins.pngThe best place by far to find traffic is from search engines. The art of Search Engine Optimization is often very daunting for new bloggers. Even some experienced bloggers just see SEO as a cloudy puddle of mud they would rather not play in.

WordPress by default is pretty decent at letting search engines see what’s going on. But there are a whole bunch of other things that can be done to make your blog rank better. Fortunately there are plugins available to help you get better rankings for your blog, so you don’t have to go digging into the code of your blog to get some results from search engines.

I’m not going to explain the validity or effects of each of these SEO tactics in detail. There is more than enough of that on the Internet already if you want to do some research. I’ll mention briefly what the benefits of each plugin is, and why you need it.

1. All in One SEO Pack

This allows you to set the basic SEO stuff for your blog. You need page titles, meta tags, keywords, and descriptions. This plugin allows you to configure them for either your entire blog or on a post by post basis.

2. Redirection

From time to time you make changes on your blog. Sometimes these changes end up breaking your Permalink structure. This often happens when you make a change to an old post, or do an upgrade to WordPress and make some changes to the permalinks. It’s very very common if you move your blog from one host to another.

Basically what happens is that each post has a unique URL, called a permalink. When this changes, visitors who go to that blog post won’t find it. The redirection plugin helps you fix these problems by redirecting the visitor to the new permalink. This reduces the amount of traffic you get to pages that don’t exist.

3. Robots Meta

By default search engines crawl and index ALL the pages on your blog. This isn’t ideal, because it creates duplicate content and you can get yourself punished by search engines without knowing it. What the Robots Meta plugin allows you to do is tell the search engines which sections of your blog to crawl. This means that you’ll get more respect from search engines, and likely more traffic.

4. SEO Smart Links

One of the key issues with SEO is your internal linking structure. The more you link to a certain page on your blog, the more important it is to your overall content. Search engines treat your internal links as an indication of how well structured your site is. The problem with this is that if you had to manually go and create links to relevant and important posts you’ll spend hours and hours doing it.

SEO Smart links allows you to specify a word, like ‘SEO’ and then link it to a post on your site. Then each time the word SEO appears on your site, it’s automatically turned into a link you specified.

5. SEO Friendly Images

Images also play an important role in your SEO strategy. So it’s important that you tag them correctly. SEO Friendly images allows you to do this, and saves you hours and hours of work. If, like most bloggers you use images in your posts, then this plugin is essential.

6. Google Positioner

It’s important to know your keywords. And this handy plugin allows you to track the keywords you’re getting searches for. It’s pointless selecting a few keywords, then writing some content for those keywords and hoping that the rest goes well. SEO is about being proactive and tracing what works and what doesn’t.

7. Permalinks Moved Permanently

A common mistake bloggers make is choosing the wrong permalink structure. When you start your blog you think you know which is best, and as time goes buy you want to change your permalink structure. The problem with changing your permalink structure is that your traffic will come to a standstill until your site is reindexed, and that could take months.

This plugin is similar to redirect but is an easier and better way to manage permanent permalink changes.

8. Nofollow Case by Case

The nofollow attribute over the last year or two has had a fairly large impact on the blogosphere. All comments in WordPress by default are nofollow links. This means that no Page Rank (PR) is being given via the link. This plugin changes that and makes comment links valuable again. There are a number of reasons you would want to give away link juice. It’s often used to attract people and encourage them to comment. It can be very useful for new blogs who need some exposure.

9. SEO Slugs

Stop words are ignored by search engines. So most of your post titles have them in, but they are meaningless to search engines. So when you have a post title like this: “What You Can Do Immediately For Higher Rankings” you have a permalink like this: ‘/what-you-can-do-immediately-for-higher-rankings’ but what you really want is for your permalink to look like this: /immediately-higher-rankings.

This plugin automatically removes stop words from the permalink, helping you to rank better.


Getting better traffic from search engines will help you boost your blog. You’ll get better income, rank better, and be able to build a better brand.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Thanks Darren. Some good plugins I didnt know about.
    Off to install them now!!

  2. I agree with what others have mentioned – that the redirection plugin seems pretty unnecessary. WordPress seems to handle all of that automatically these days. I changed quite a few categories (which I include in my permalink structures) on one of my sites (as well as some manual smaller changes to some posts), and WordPress took care of the redirects perfectly without any plugins.

  3. Nice list of plugins. I have All in One SEO and SEO Slug. Others I have to look into.

  4. Great list! I’ve been looking for some help in the SEO department, I think this will do the trick.


  5. I use keylords.com for finding keywords for my site. The thing I like most is that this service not only shows price, publisher competition and popularity, but pageranks of sites, which are in first page of Google SERPS for specific keyword. So I choose keywords with average pagerank that is lower than mine, and after posting an article with that keyword, soon I am in the first SERP page for that keyword.
    The secret is to choose popular keywords, but with still low pageranks :) and with moderate price, of course :)

  6. Very useful set of plugins. Didn’t know I needed some of them until I saw this list. Thanls.

  7. Google Positioner plugin says it’s only compatible up to WP 2.5 – Is that correct? And SEO Slugs only to 2.1.2, maybe I’m missing something here? (I got this info from the wordpress.org “extensions” area).

    One tool that is not directly keyword/link related is Google XML Sitemaps. Using should improve crawling quality and will in turn improve SEO: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/

    Two tools you mentioned that I’m going to try are the Positioner and SEO Slugs (Which work on WP 2.7?). Thanks for a great post!

  8. Some useful information. I’ll be sure to install some of them next time I’m doing blog maintenance.

  9. Thank you so much for this list . My blog is hosted on blogger not wordpress . However , i think i can use some of them or find blogger equivalent for these tools .

  10. Darren,

    You’re awesome man! This list is invaluable to all bloggers. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    JR Farr

  11. Thanks for this “must have” list.
    I use Redirection and i can say i’ts really wonderful, i wouldn’t live without it :)
    P.s. do you know if Seo Slugs can remove stop words in languages other than english?

  12. Gary C. says: 12/17/2008 at 3:52 am

    Wow. I just read your book, ProBlogger. This is not a book. It is a truthful paradigm-changing full course on blogging. I enjoyed the direct head-on content with no fluff.

    You told the truth about blogging in that with time, research and hardwork it is possible to make a great living blogging.

    I recommend this book to all that want an action roadmap and an awsome course on blogging. This rates as one of my top five reads in the fast 3 years. I read and study about 75 books a year.

    You guys really need to do the blogging world a favor and really get the word out about this jewel of blogging instruction. If this were a reality show, you would be rated number one. You may be tired of pushing your book but you need to renew your efforts on letting others in on this awsome life-changing work.

    ProBlogger is the name of the book. Go get it now. What, are you still here? Go get this book. It will be the best Christmas gift you give yourself this year! Go, go, go. Invest in it NOW! Go. Please. You will be delighted that you did.

  13. Thanks for the tips on plug-ins. I’m starting to use more plug-ins. I do use the All-in One Seo. I never heard of the SEO slugs. I’ll review these plug-ins and check them out.

  14. Regarding SEO Smart Links:

    Is it better if you have the time to hyperlink the keywords yourself as it allows you the ability to include alt tags or does that really not matter when linking internally? The SEO Smart Links makes the alt tag the same as the keyword page url.

  15. I would like to ask do i need to install all of those 9 SEO plugins?
    Is problogger.net install all of those plugin?

  16. waa. most of that plugin, i still not have. I think i should install some of them for my site.

  17. Very useful list. I have digged it :)

  18. i am totally new to blogging and as such i found your comments and tips invaluable. You just made my day by .explaining the difference between a blog and a website. Great list too, thanks :]

  19. Thanks for the list, I was missing a few of these!

  20. “SEO Smart Links” seems to link only to internal pages.

    Check also “Cross Linker” at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/cross-linker/

    It allows internal and esternal linking ;)


  21. Great list and I highly recommend related posts plugin.

  22. I’ve had my blog for about 8 months now. I had no idea some of these plugins even existed. Thanks for the quality information.

  23. Great list! There’s definitely some on the list that I missed. Thanks.

  24. Thanks Darren:

    The only thing I can say is Damn, someone beat us to the punch with Smart Links Plug in. We were thinking about developing something like that anyway, since we do the it “the old fashioned way” to sculpt link flow for relevant keywords.

    Thanks for the update on some great new plugins.

  25. Terrific list of plugins, I use almost all of them. There’s one more that I swear by and that’s the Related Post plugin, as you mentioned, internal links are important and this plugin gives you more and is nice for you readers as well.

  26. I am uploading the Google Positioner plugin as I write this comment :)

  27. Thank you for your share. I’ve already use one of them, all in one seo pack, and wanna use the others… I think this content is good for my bahasa blog…I’ll ganna translate it…

  28. Great post Darren. This is sure to be a top post. I’ve been looking to enhance my SEO for a while now. Thank you!

  29. Great post, I swear by afew of these plugins already but thanks for afew new ideas!

  30. Great post, I swear by All in one SEO already but thanks for the new ideas!

  31. Thanks for the advice. I just ordered your ProBlogger book from Amazon. I can’t wait to dig into it and really learn from the pros!

  32. Nice list, I’d add permalinks in there rather than nofollow. Nofollow really is a traffic thing and is not really advantages in an SEO view point but rather in a marketing view point. Plus pages with keywords in the URL are great for SEO so permalinks is a should have – even though it’s not a plugin (but there are plugins to there revolving around it).

  33. We just set up a companion blog, FaveCraftsBlog.com to go along with our site. For the folks that are asking about site map generator, we used this plugin: Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator for WordPress from http://www.arnebrachhold.de/projects/wordpress-plugins/google-xml-sitemaps-generator/ – we use this for all of our companion blogs. Very simple and works well.

  34. I just wanted to thank you for this list. The Google SEO Positioner is a true time saver.

    It’s not often you find good advice with so many resources on the web. This is a great one.

    I haven’t picked up your book but by the sounds of it, it’s pretty good. I’ve been reading some of the other bloggers out there. There are so many different angles to take and improve on it’s so much fun.

  35. in term of internal linking and content, i love to use plugin Insights. with insights we can search a related topic in our previous posts and put the link into the new post, and we can also do a search query to google, youtube, wikipedia, and more to find a content that related to our posts, making the content richer and at the same time, we are doing a link baiting.

  36. Great list and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for plugins for WordPress to help with there SEO.

  37. I have the all in one seo pack and love it. the one on the list that I had never heard of is the Google positioner, I am going to download this one right away. I dont think I am going to mess with my permalinks until I read a little more about this but the list really shines the light on a handful of plug ins that I have not found before. Thanks for the help.

  38. @stuart, I used it too. great plugin and very quick to get set up

  39. Is there anything that WordPress plugins cannot do?
    From this list All in one SEO is by far the pick. I have been using it for nearly 2 years now.

  40. SEO slugs, SEO smartlinks and SEO friendly images are all new to me. These sound pretty cool so I’m going to check them out. Thanks for the information.

    -Gerald Weber

  41. I really like All in one SEO, it’s so easy to use and from first install it is improving the blog! Recommend it to all!

  42. Good plug-ins! Thanks for sharing them Darren! I too love All in One SEO, great plug-in

  43. Great article. I am all for useful WordPress plugins.

  44. I dislike the Al in one SEO Pack, it has been having more and more problems for many users these days which could lead to a negative SEO impact for many bloggers who think installing it is good enough and let it go. I much prefer Headspace 2 which while requiring a little more work, does an fantastic job of maintaining metadata.

    You can still use HS2 to automatically generate your meta data including page slugs, page descriptions and tags, the real power is the option of manually entering this information both on the write page but also doing it en masse from the manage meta data page it creates. You can set it for between 25 and 200 entries at a time, though I recommend no more than a 50 if altering page slugs.

    Unless I am doing something wrong or my blog won’t accept the input of auto slug tools I have yet to find one that would automatically alter the slug without actually opening the actual page. While it is is fine to have a slug plugin for new posts, even though I prefer to just take 3 seconds and alter the slug manually removing insignificant yet non trash words, headspace 2 is the only plugin that will let you quickly and easily change the slugs of old posts. I purchased an old blog not long back and used HS2 to custom edit the slug of more than 3000 posts in a single afternoon.

    While I agree with notion the the SEO Friendly images is a powerful plugin, I feel it is a bad recommendation for noobs. Since the plugin simply used the image file name to create the alt and title text if you don’t have a good file name you don’t have very good alt or titles for the image. God forbid you get most of your images from flickr with file name like 266169446.jpg I think it is simpler just to get in the good habit of using a tool like the tinymce plugin’s image button that will not only let you quickly and easily add the custom title and alt tags, it will let you align and perfectly size the image for your spot.

  45. Installing the remaining ones I did not have. Thank you.

  46. All in One is probably my most used worpdress plugin

  47. What I would really like, in place of No Follow Case by Case is more like a Do Follow Case by Case. That way I can tell people that if they post thoughtful comments frequently, we will set their account to do follow.

    Is there anything out there like that?


  48. Thanks for this list. I’m already using All in One SEO, and I’m opening the others in new tabs as I write this!

  49. Great list and I highly recommend related posts plugin.

  50. @Sarah that is a really cool idea. I wonder if it exists. I’ll hunt around and see if I can find anything. Failing that I’ll write a plugin to do that.

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