5 New WordPress Plugins SEOs Will Love To Use – Beginners Guide 2018 !

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If you want to get more out of your WordPress site, then you know how important it is to have the right set of plugins. Recently, there has been a new surge of plugins designed to help your site perform better on keyword searches.

These SEO-friendly plugins will bring in a lot more traffic and that is always a positive. In this post, we will run down five of the best new WordPress plugins that either directly or indirectly improve SEO outcomes.

1. Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

AMP is a new initiative from Google that aims to speed up the user experience on mobile devices. The basic concept is simple: a content delivery network for your site. A CDN is a system of data centres that cache and load your site. Whenever someone clicks on your site and you are participating in AMP, they will be served by the data centre closest to their physical location. That makes the site load up to four times faster.

Plus, because it is a Google product, your site will rank above competitor sites that are not using AMP. It’s totally free to use and easy to install. Google will begin linking to AMP versions of pages in the coming months, so now is the time to get on board.

2. Yoast

Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins for a reason: it keeps getting better. Even though it is not technically new, Yoast is updated often to keep up with the very latest SEO trends and techniques. The plugin can scan your posts to search for any ways you can improve them, such as by adding alt tags to images, having the right length, writing to include your focus keyword, whether you used a meta description properly and more.

There’s several social media tools, an XML sitemap generator, the ability to edit robots.txt and .htaccess, easy switching between multiple sites, and new features coming online with every update. Yoast has a free and a paid version.

3. Schema Creator

Are you using rich snippets? These are extra bits of information that Google will display below your link in SERPs. For example, a product link could display ratings, price, availability and the number of ratings that product has. A business link could display hours of operation, payment methods, and contact information. These are very attractive to searchers, and if your snippets are formatted according to Schema.org standards, they are attractive to Google as well. Schema Creator is a free plugin that will quickly and automatically make microdata for any and all of your posts in the right format. It’s the best way to start learning about and using rich snippets, which really make you stand out from other results in a SERP.

4. Ultimate Social Deux

Social media integration is critical for SEO as well as for propagation of content across reader networks. If you want a light and clean set of social media buttons, then you need Ultimate Social Deus. It costs $14, but it is well worth it. The buttons don’t use iFrames, so they load very quickly. In addition, they are mobile-responsive, which is another big SEO win.

You can place the buttons in several different configurations around your post, and you also get to control whether they display counters of how many shares each social media network has gotten for each post. It’s quick, easy, and extremely effective, so you don’t need to worry about slowing down the user experience or losing your responsive status for mobile search.

5. WP-Optimize

Here’s another speed-oriented plugin. WP-Optimize has a lot of features, and they are all aimed at helping you reduce clutter in your database. There are a lot of default options in WordPress that can fill your database with old revisions, deleted comments, unapproved comments and other junk. WP-Optimize goes through and cleans all of that out regularly for you. It has a mobile interface so that you can get it running while you are not at your computer. You can also tell it how many weeks of data to retain so that you do not accidentally delete anything too recent. WP-Optimize is a free plugin.

There are always more updates and new plugins coming out for WordPress, but these five should give you a major boost in SEO  if you are not using them already. They are also great for other functions and quality of life improvements for your workflow, so try them out and you will see just how much your publishing process improves.

What’s your favourite WordPress plugin? Let us know in the comments!

What are breadcrumbs and why are they important for SEO?

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What are breadcrumbs and why are they important for SEO?

Breadcrumbs are an important part of almost any good website. These little navigational aides not just help people visualize where they are on your site, but also help Google determine how your site is structured. That’s why it makes a lot of sense to add these helpful little pointers. Let’s see how breadcrumbs work.

What are breadcrumbs?

When Hansel and Gretel went into the woods, Hansel dropped pieces of bread on the ground so they could find their way home if the two of them ever got lost. These breadcrumbs eventually became the model for the breadcrumbs we see on websites nowadays. A breadcrumb is a small text path, often located at the top of a page. On yoast.com, for instance, the path to our Yoast SEO plugin page is Home > Software > WordPress Plugins > Yoast SEO for WordPress. This breadcrumb immediately shows you where you are. Every part of that path is clickable, all the way to the homepage.

Breadcrumbs also appear in Google. If you use Yoast SEO or add the correct form of structured data to your site, search engines can pick up this data and could show your breadcrumbs in the search results. These provide users with an easy to understand overview of where the page sits on your site.

Different kinds

Looking closely, we can distinguish different types of breadcrumbs. These are the three most common types of breadcrumbs you will find on sites:

Hierarchy based breadcrumbs

These will pop up most often. We use them on our site as well. Breadcrumbs like this will tell you where you are in a site structure and how many steps you can take to get back to the homepage. Something like Home > Blog > Category > Post name.

breadcrumbs hierarchy

Attribute-based breadcrumbs

Attribute-based breadcrumbs appear after a certain selection has been made, for instance, while searching for a product on an e-commerce site. Maybe, Home > Product category > Gender > Size > Color.

breadcrumbs attribute

History-based breadcrumbs

History-based breadcrumbs do what it says on the tin; they are ordered according to what you have been doing on the site. Think of these as a replacement for your internet history bar. These would appear like this: Home >  Previous page > Previous page > Previous page > Current page. It’s also possible to combine these like Macy’s does in the screenshot below.

breadcrumbs history

Advantages to using breadcrumbs

There are a couple of advantages to using breadcrumbs on your site. Let’s go over them quickly:

1. Google loves them

Your visitors like breadcrumbs, but Google likes them as well. Breadcrumbs give Google another way of figuring out how your website is structured. In addition to that, Google might use your breadcrumbs to show these in the search results. This way, your search result will at one become much more enticing to users. To increase the chance to get these breadcrumbs in Google, you need to add structured data or use Yoast SEO.

2. They enhance the user experience

People hate to get lost. When confronted with a new location, people often look around in search of recognizable objects or landmarks. The same goes for websites. You need to keep visitors happy and reduce as much friction as possible. Breadcrumbs can help your user experience since it is a well-known interface element that instantly shows people a way out. No need to click the back button!

3. The lower bounce rates

Hardly anyone comes in via the homepage anymore. It’s all organic search nowadays. That means every part of your site could be an entry point. You must come up with a way to guide these visitors to other parts of your site if the selected page does not meet their expectations. Breadcrumbs can lower bounce rates because you’re offering visitors an alternative means of browsing your site. Don’t you think it’s better to send a visitor to your homepage than back to Google?

How to add breadcrumbs

There are several ways of adding breadcrumbs to your site. Firstly, if you use a WordPress site, you can use one of the many breadcrumb plugins or just use Yoast SEO. If you use a different CMS the process might be different. It is also possible to add them by hand. If you want them to appear in Google as well, you need to use structured data in a way that Google understands. You can find more information on this in Google’s developer documentation on breadcrumbs.

Yoast SEO offers an easy way to add breadcrumbs to your WordPress site. It will add everything necessary to add them not just visible on your site, but get them ready for Google as well. To add breadcrumbs to your site, you need to add the following piece of code to your theme where you want them to appear:

1 <?php
2 if ( function_exists( 'yoast_breadcrumb' ) ) {
3   yoast_breadcrumb( '&lt;p id="breadcrumbs"&gt;', '&lt;/p&gt;' );
4 }
5 ?>

This code can often be placed inside the single.php or page.php files, just above the title of the page. Some themes want it at the end of the header.php file. Try not to add it to functions.php since this could create problems.

After adding the code, you can go to the advanced settings of Yoast SEO and switch on breadcrumb support. Here, you can also determine how the breadcrumb structure will look and what prefixes will be used. Find out more on our Knowledge Base page on implementing breadcrumbs with Yoast SEO.

Conclusion

While using breadcrumbs, Hansel and Gretel still got lost in the woods. Don’t let that happen to your visitor. Breadcrumbs provide an easy to grasp way of navigating for users. Visitors instantly understand how the site structure works. For the same reason, Google loves them as well. Use Yoast SEO to add breadcrumbs to your site easily.