In this video, Matt Diggity discusses the essential SEO plugins for WordPress (as of September 2023).
His plugins: Rank Math, Elementor, WP Rocket, EWWW Image Optimizer, Pretty Links, Redirection, Contact Form 7, Wordfence, and ManageWP.
Matt Diggity delves deeper into the features of Rank Math, highlighting its superior schema generator. Schema is a code that informs Google about the content of your page, ensuring that search engines understand it better. Rank Math’s user-friendly interface allows users to generate schema for various content types, enabling rich results for articles, product reviews, recipes, and events. The plugin also manages XML sitemap generation automatically, a crucial feature for SEO. Additionally, Rank Math provides a bulk editing feature for titles and descriptions, which is especially useful for teams.
Next, Matt introduces Elementor, a premium page builder plugin priced at $199 per year. Elementor offers a drag-and-drop editor that enables users to create designer-quality designs. It allows for custom text blocks, font customization, image formatting, and table creation. Elementor also covers the table of contents, eliminating the need for additional plugins. While Elementor is SEO-friendly and responsive, it can slightly slow down website load times due to the extensive code required by page builder plugins. However, Matt believes the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
Site Speed Optimization
The video then shifts focus to website speed optimization. Matt emphasizes the importance of website speed, especially since Google has transitioned to mobile-first indexing. With the majority of online searches conducted on mobile devices, it’s crucial for websites to load quickly for a better user experience. While Matt previously recommended Nitro Pack for website speed, he now suggests a combination of plugins for a more cost-effective solution.
- WP Rocket: A paid caching plugin priced at $59 per year. Caching pre-loads web pages, images, and scripts, allowing them to load faster upon subsequent visits. WP Rocket significantly improves site speed.
- EWWW Image Optimizer: A paid image optimization plugin, although there’s a free version as well that does the job for most sites. It automatically resizes images, eliminating the need for manual adjustments. It also optimizes previously uploaded images.
Pretty Links is a free plugin that cloaks links, making them appear cleaner and less like affiliate links. It also provides a dashboard report showing link click counts.
Another free plugin, Redirection allows users to create 301 redirects without editing the .htaccess file, ensuring that URL changes don’t negatively impact SEO.
Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is a longstanding free plugin that creates contact forms for websites. He’s been using this for years, and it just works.
Wordfence is a free security plugin that protects sites from hackers, especially brute force attacks. It also scans for malware. If you’ve ever had a site hacked, you know what protection is worth. (I’ve lost thousands of dollars because of hacked sites.)
ManageWP is a backup plugin that offers free monthly backups. For more frequent backups, a paid version is available. It’s essential for restoring a site in case of hacking or for cloning a website for migration or staging purposes.