Looking to move up in Google and improve your site’s visibility? There are numerous strategies you could use: content marketing, keyword research, title tags — the list goes on.
With a plethora of information online, it’s possible to go the DIY route. But for best (and speedier) results you might consider an SEO package that covers all your needs.
This post addresses SEO services and WordPress plugins and how you could use either (or both!) to drive website traffic.
Typical SEO packages consist of several services all aimed at one thing: getting your content into the hands (or eyes) of more users. With various tools, SEO services and plugins help increase keyword rankings and, potentially, conversions (sales, subscriptions, visits, etc.)
WordPress plugins like Yoast and All in One SEO provide tools to do some of these things on your own, however, SEO companies offer specialized services to your situation.
Services in a Typical SEO Package
Typical SEO packages include content marketing, title tag optimization, keyword research, and data analysis in Google Analytics. Here’s what each service does (and why they are useful to you).
Content marketing includes the creation and promotion of relevant, interesting content to attract potential customers and engage them on your website.
SEO companies often create engaging content that revolves around your specific goals.
Prefer making your own content? Some SEO companies provide recommendations to guide your content marketing strategy, targeting certain keywords and topics that users search for.
You may know title tags as the big blue links that display when you search for something in Google:
These tags are extremely important - web pages often rank higher when their tags exactly match the searched keyword. For more information on how to use title tags, see our post on title tag tips).
Choosing the right keywords is a process vitally important to the success of your content. SEO companies like Logical look at three numbers to determine the best keywords:
Frequency of search or search volume.
We select keywords that consumers are actually using. For example, “thai restaurants” is searched 5,400 times per month, while “thai food restaurants” is searched 390 times per month.
So, if we were selecting keywords for a Thai food place, we might suggest using “thai restaurants” over “thai food restaurants” in their content (especially in the title tags) due to its higher search volume.
The ability to rank highly in a search engine’s pages, or competition.Some keywords have already been targeted with content published by various websites.
We measure the competition score of keywords and factor that score into our keyword selection process.For example, a keyword like “apple cider” will pull many highly trafficked websites with high ranking strength (like Wikipedia and WebMD), whereas a keyword like “apple cider charlottesville” will produce search results with less competitive domains and would be a better pick for that content.
The relevance to your specific servicesSEO circles often refer to this number as value. Keywords you target should be relevant to your products or services. Otherwise you’ll attract visitors with a low likelihood of converting (taking action).
This wastes both their time and yours - you spent time and/or money designing content for an audience that doesn’t want it. Your content must be relevant to your goals in order to attract the right viewers (ones that might convert viewing to purchasing, subscribing, etc.)
Analytics, created by Google, reports website usage statistics. It tracks just about everything — from user location and device to the method they used to find your site (social media, ads, etc.)
SEO requires data analysis. By viewing the different demographic intersections, an SEO company can help you tailor content to your audience.
SEO Plugins for WordPress
If you are looking for a WordPress SEO plugin, you have many strong options - each with a highly devoted fan-base.
Each plugin offers a unique interface with various features and various levels of difficulty to use.
Let’s address the three main SEO plugins for WordPress (Yoast, All in One SEO, and The SEO Framework), and how they operate with WooCommerce, a popular e-commerce / WordPress plugin.
Yoast SEO is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin. With tens of thousands of reviews (and 4.9 stars to boot), it’s no wonder Yoast is widely used in the WordPress community.
Yoast offers a variety of other plugins for various mediums — from blogs to videos to news. Each plugin helps your content appear more frequently than other related content by optimizing your page for keywords, checking for readability, searching for duplicate content.
The features are presented on a number of labelled, easily navigated pages. Each page also has a help button which will explain the contents of the page.
Of all its features, Yoast SEO’s content analysis tool in its post editor is one of the most highly praised. It allows you to see a preview of how your site will appear in a search engine.
You can also enter a focus keyword which Yoast SEO will use to analyze your content and make suggestions for improving the SEO score of your post, such as adding the keyword to subheadings.
All in One SEO
All in One SEO Pack is the second most popular WordPress plugin ever released - its website boasts over 45 million downloads. It helps you improve keyword rankings by adding meta tags, checking for duplicate content, and creating an XML sitemap.
Its features are straightforward — beginners can use them without problem and advanced users can manipulate extra features.
The settings are all on one page, however, it’s arguably more difficult to navigate than the multi-page setup of Yoast’s settings.
All in One SEO adopts a simpler method to Yoast's optimizing posts. It allows you to edit the title and description of a post, but does not provide an in-depth content analysis. You can also turn certain features off when you do not need them. (Yoast SEO does not include this feature).
The SEO Framework
While The SEO Framework is a newer, less downloaded WordPress plugin, it has gained traction in the WordPress community due to its many useful features.
At the start, its features are slightly less transparent than the previous two SEO plugins discussed, making it a little daunting for beginners.
There is a longer list of settings divided into three tabs with labels that are less intuitive than Yoast SEO and All in One SEO. However, once you get the hang of it, you can quickly designate settings for search engine robots, sitemaps, meta titles, and more.
In WordPress, The SEO Framework appears as a box allowing you to edit your individual post titles and descriptions while providing subtle recommendations for lengths and content. There is also an SEO tab in the sidebar that provides relevant information about your post.
WooCommerce and SEO plugins
WooCommerce is a separate, free plugin that allows you to sell products directly from your WordPress site. Many SEO plugins, including the ones discussed in this post, are compatible with the WooCommerce plugin.
The first plugin helps companies develop a more informative contact page and sell their products to local consumers. It adds features that make it easier for customers to pick up orders from your location or track their shipment.
It also inserts a Google Map to your contact page so that potential customers can easily locate your store.
The WooCommerce SEO plugin offers a number of features that make ecommerce easier.
These features are pitched towards stores that operate mostly online. It includes a Pinterest feature, which allows pins of your products to show the price, description, and a link to your website.
It also cleans out the sitemap, so that the search engine can find critical information easier and direct more traffic to your site.
Wrapping it Up
SEO packages and SEO plugins are important to understand to get your website seen by more potential customers.
A typical SEO package with content marketing, keyword research, title tag improvement, and more features should improve your site’s visibility and increase your position in Google rankings.
Hiring an SEO company you can trust and putting your website into the hands of professionals who know the process may yield quicker results.
To do SEO yourself, WordPress SEO plugins like Yoast, All in One SEO, and The SEO Framework can help you take control of your website’s visibility. If you're running an online store, these plugins work with WooCommerce to help increase product visibility and sales.