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How Useful Are SEO Plugins for Website Optimization?

Posted by Catherine Hatch on Tue, Jul 02, 2019 @ 10:45 AM

SEOMost business owners understand the power of their website as a marketing and communication tool. An online presence is essential in the modern era, and a presence on search engines is one of the best ways to promote your brand. For this reason, many businesses are taking steps to improve their website’s SEO. One option for improving SEO is installing an SEO plugin on your website’s existing CMS. You might be wondering, though, exactly how useful are these plugins in creating a successful SEO strategy? We’ve broken down everything you need to know in the post below.

 

What Is an SEO Plugin?

SEO plugins are plugins that you can download on your CMS to help evaluate your web pages’ SEO. Some of the most popular SEO plugins include All in One SEO Pack and Yoast. These plugins allow you to edit the title tags on each page of your site. They also allow you to plug in target keywords and grade your web page based on how well it is optimized for the target keyword. These plugins usually take into account the frequency of keyword use and the number of words on a page or title tag. SEO plugins are designed to help guide your optimization and can provide helpful hints to improve your page-level SEO.

Advantages

Tracking Keywords

SEO plugins allow you to plug in target keywords. Plugging in these keywords allows you to keep track of the target keywords on your page to properly optimize them. Having a larger list of keywords can also help you properly develop your keyword strategy, focusing on different keywords for each page. Without tracking keywords, it is difficult to measure the success of your SEO efforts.

Changing Meta Tags

Arguably the biggest benefit to using SEO plugins is the ability to edit meta tags. Without an SEO plugin, Google will auto-populate your page’s meta tag based on the title of the page, the title of your website, or a combination of the two. This auto-population does not allow for the most strategic inclusion of keywords. When you can edit your page’s meta tags, you have the opportunity to include multiple keywords in your meta tag, improving your page’s SEO for your target keywords. The ability to change meta tags is essential in developing the best possible SEO strategy.

Evaluating Page-Level SEO

In addition to the editing features SEO plugins provide, they will also evaluate your page’s SEO and make suggestions for improvement. When you plug in your target keywords for a page, your SEO plugin will evaluate your current SEO efforts. Yoast, for example, will give pages a red dot for poor optimization, an orange dot for some optimization efforts, and a green dot for a well-optimized page. These plugins will also include suggestions for improvement, such as including your keyword in a header or adding more words to the page. SEO plugins are very useful in providing suggestions for improvement on page-level SEO

What’s Missing?

Site-Level SEO

Most SEO plugins do not have a comprehensive method to track site-level SEO. You can optimize single pages for single keywords, but there is no overarching system to develop a cohesive strategy. For the best possible SEO strategy, it’s important to track all of your keywords to make sure everything is covered and you’re not repeating the same keywords too many times. To create a comprehensive strategy that keeps track of site-level SEO, you’ll need more than a simple plugin. It typically takes a person or a team to develop and track this type of strategy.

Keyword Research

SEO plugins are great for helping you optimize your pages for specific keywords. However, they do not help you select the best keywords for your strategy. Selecting the best keywords is important because certain keywords might not be searched for at all while others are far too competitive for your website to rank. Performing keyword research to choose the best keywords is essential to a successful SEO strategy. Keyword research is best performed by SEO experts who can use a variety of software and research tactics to evaluate target keywords.

Search Intent

One of the newer features of SEO that is constantly increasing in importance is search intent. Google’s algorithms are becoming more advanced and it now attempts to understand the intent behind a search and match it to the best page rather than simply match exact keywords. SEO plugins can help evaluate the number of times a keyword is included and keyword placement, but they do not take search intent into account. These plugins do not typically consider variations on keywords and words that are related to the keyword. However, these factors are important in Google’s overall rankings. Because SEO plugins do not help you optimize for search intent, they do not provide the most comprehensive instructions and should therefore be supplemented with other tactics.

Analytics

SEO plugins do not provide any sort of analytics or tracking. They simply function to guide your optimization efforts when creating and editing a page. Once your page is created, these plugins do not keep track of traffic or ranking. Instead, they evaluate your page simply based on their own algorithms. For this reason, SEO plugins do not provide data to inform your strategy or allow for A/B testing of any sort. While the plugins are valuable for certain methods of evaluation and for editing meta tags, they do not provide the information needed for a comprehensive SEO strategy.

Strategy

SEO plugins do not help businesses develop an SEO strategy. They are essentially one piece of the puzzle, helping you create the best page-level SEO once you have established your target keywords. However, to be truly successful in SEO, it’s important to have experts on your team who know how to develop a comprehensive strategy as well as how to test and alter the strategy when necessary. SEO plugins do not allow for site-level SEO or any sort of information beyond basic keyword inclusion, so using this plugin alone will not create a successful SEO strategy.

Should I Download an SEO Plugin?

If you’re new to the SEO world, an SEO plugin on your site is a great place to start. They are very useful in evaluating your pages for page-level SEO and providing useful suggestions to improve your page’s SEO. However, for a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes research and data, it’s important to pair with an SEO expert. Without using a team or individual who can fully develop an SEO strategy that will work for your entire website, you will not have success on search engines. You should certainly download an SEO plugin to aid in your SEO efforts, but do not rely on plugins for all SEO efforts.

 

ImageWorks, LLC | CT Search Engine Optimization

It’s important to have a site fully optimized for every type of search to maximize your chance of a top Google rank. If the task of keeping up to date on the latest SEO trends seems too daunting, don’t be afraid to call in the experts!

While professional SEO services can offer many opportunities to your business, you should never depend on SEO alone for the growth of your business. The companies that thrive on the online world have a comprehensive approach and utilize both online and offline marketing strategies. SEO can be a big piece; however, it is only one slice of the marketing pie.

By integrating all of today's Web tools such as SEO, social media, pay per click, and blogs, ImageWorks, LLC can turn your site into a lead generation tool.

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Topics: SEO strategy, Search Engine Optimization, SEO Plugins

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