What if we tell you that you can do WordPress SEO without plugins? Yes, you heard it right! Today we will be sharing how you can perform the SEO without a WordPress SEO plugin. Note down one thing; we are not here to discourage you from SEO, instead we will tell you how to do it without a plugin.
How to improve WordPress Site SEO without SEO Plugin? We will be discussing the answer in details but as we are not discouraging the use of plugin so first, we will be discussing the benefits of SEO plugins and then moving forward.
SEO Plugins are Beneficial
These plugins are recommended for those who are not able to code PHP, who are lost in HTACCESS file, and for those who consider robots.txt file a mystery. If we talk about the coding, then the technical side of SEO has a high bar.
The element that pinches about the plugin is that they have many unnecessary features. It might be subjective, but this thing exists. There are also some lean and fast WordPress SEO plugins, for e.g. The SEO Framework. It is one the best if you want to take full control of your SEO and use only those features that are needed.
Reasons for not Using SEO plugin
Following are the reasons:
- Some features are already present in WordPress or a theme.
- Irrelevant features that solve assumed problems
- Many bugs appear due to the complexity of the SEO plugin. If you don’t believe this, read the changelog of your favorite plugin and read about bugs that are being fixed every week. Some of the SEO plugins have bugs.
- You get more grip on SEO.
Reasons to Prefers Standalone Solutions
- It is easy to code for a solution that handles one problem.
- You don’t need a Plugin for some SEO features.
- These solutions are easy to be maintained.
- Easy WordPress installation without irrelevant features.
SEO Features Required for WordPress
Your need may vary according to the theme you are using. Some of the features are listed below:
- Breadcrumbs along with Schema.org Structured Data
- Open Graph metadata
- Meta Descriptions
- Easy addition of nofollow attribute on specific links.
SEO WordPress Plugin
Some of the WordPress plugins used for SEO are as follows:
- Breadcrumb NavXT
- Easy WP Meta Description
- Open Graph Meta Data Plugin
- Category Removal from URL
- Schema WordPress Plugin
- Ultimate Nofollow WordPress Plugin
Now, we will be discussing the necessary WordPress SEO feature:
As mentioned above for meta description handling Easy WP Meta Description is a good choice. It is not a ranking factor but they appear in the SERPs when you are ranked. How to add meta description in WordPress without Plugin? Well, Google does this job for you. Google rewrites your meta description if he finds a better phrase from your website and Google is good in this. So, it your choice either you can add it by yourself or let Google tell about your website according to the relevant search done by a user.
It is a useful feature by adding the schema structured data your listing will be enhanced if you are ranking in SERPs. This might help you in the click- through rate.
It is possible to code a breadcrumb without a plugin. The code should be placed in websites’ “child” function.php file. It is recommended in most of the tutorials to place it in your theme’s function.php. But remember one thing you will lose when theme function is updated and the function.php file is part of that update.
Placing breadcrumbs can be complicated as you need to link the schema markup with it. So that means more coding. But using a plugin is better at this. So, Breadcrumb NavXT is good to go as it handles the breadcrumbs and structure data properly.
If your article title is good enough to be used as the title tag, then it is good enough to be used as a title of the webpage. There are methods to overcome the problem related to coding this to WordPress meta tag plugin or in theme.
4-Removal of Category Base from WordPress
It is not necessary to put category words in your URL structure. You should reduce the name of your URL to domain name, page name, and relevant category name. A short URL is easy to remember and type. In addition, it also tells his identity to the users in minimum words.
5-Open Graph Meta Data
Well, this is not an SEO feature. With this feature, you can know how much traffic goes to your website. It enables you to show an image when your URL is shared on Facebook or Twitter. For a professional appearance in front of your potential visitors use Open Graph Meta Data Plugin.
6-Schema Structured Data WordPress Plugin
This plugin will embed Schema structured data that will include article schema, reviews and much more. Schema markup can be coded as well. You can do it manually, and even automatically on a post by post basis or making direct changes to your template. No need to use a plugin but if you use then it will help you to stay updated irrespective of the time WordPress gets updated.
7-Ultimate Nofollow Plugin
With Ultimate Nofollow WordPress Plugin you get the option to create a specific URL nofollow when creating the URL.
These were some essential features. Now, will be discussing some additional SEO features for WordPress. Read ahead:
8- Redirect Attachment Pages
If you have accidentally created web pages for every image attachment, then the Attachment Pages Redirect Plugin is the solution of your problem. You can recover the attachment according to their true behavior. Just install the plugin, activate it and your problem is solved.
It is useful if you don’t enjoy editing htaccess files to create redirects. If you have a valid reason, then use it to redirect pages (old to new).
10- Non-Unhealthy 404 Responses
It is not recommended to use a redirect manager for redirecting a deleted page to homepage. You may get that some 404 plugins are not good for the health of your website but that’s not the case. Some reasons behind 404 responses are:
- 404 responses are due to spammer inking to your website with a URL. This is normal, no need to worry about it.
- Some responses are due to an error of internal linking by the publisher. This is the error caused by the individual when a URL is mistyped. This needs to be corrected by placing the right URL.
These 404 responses are natural and do not need fixing, as said by Google’s John Mueller. For more information regarding the 404 responses code can be read here:
11- XML Site Map
To crawl a website, Google uses site feeds. When you add a page, Google finds your feed and discover it in this manner. So, XML sitemap is an optional solution. Google also utilizes the normal process of discovering the web pages by simply crawling from link to link.
Another option is that you can submit your URL individually or via sitemap by following the steps instructed by Google.
If your website is not updated. You can use an app like Xenu Link and Sleuth to create an XML sitemap. Just upload it to your server. No web hosting is needed to generate a map or you can use plugin like Google XML Sitemap Generator Plugin.
Unnecessary SEO Plugin Attribute
Some of the redundant features of the SEO plugin are as follows:
- Canonical URLS
- 404 Status Code Redirection
- Robots.txt and htaccess file editors
- Sitemap Generators
- Promotional Links in Sitemap
- Word Processing and Keyword Research
Use One Plugin Instead of Six
One SEO plugin seems like it is a single plugin but that’s not the case. Count the features in your plugin and count each one individually. You will be surprised to know that you have got many extra plugins that you don’t even need.
SEO plugins are useful for those who have less knowledge about the coding. These plugins act as a solution to their problems. The use of a dedicated SEO plugin is useful if your using it in a large organization and don’t want to use individual plugins.
How do I make my WordPress site SEO friendly? Well, you have the answer now! It’s up to you to choose the way you like according to your need. Furthermore, if you are looking for other web development or web designing service, then you can contact professionals of TopNotch Innovative Technologies for the Job. Get in touch with us and we will provide you the solutions for your problems.