Search engine optimization, or SEO, is crucial if you want your website’s content to be found on the first page of Google’s search results.
Designed as a set of rules, SEO is the practice of tweaking content, such as keywords, content layout, and image descriptions, so that Google will find your site easily and rank it high in search results as some of the most useful content available for those searching your niche.
After all, it’s not enough to have a great looking website and killer content. You must create content that is noticed by crawlers and delivered to your target audience (preferably on page one) so that people will visit your website, subscribe to your newsletter, and even purchase your products or services.
In the past, we have discussed two highly popular SEO plugins that are often find themselves matched up against one another. And, while these plugins are quite effective, and there are definitely other SEO tools to take advantage of, today we are going to look at an SEO plugin that is packed full of features to help aid your SEO efforts: WP Meta SEO.
What is WP Meta SEO?
WP Meta SEO is a free SEO plugin that provides website owners with the necessary tools to maintain complete control over their website’s SEO. Easy enough for beginners, yet also advanced enough for SEO specialists, this plugin was designed to give you the SEO rankings you deserve.
Here is a quick glance at some of WP Meta SEO’s features:
- On page SEO analysis
- AJAX saving
- Quick view dashboard
- Image sizing and optimization
- Translation ready
- Custom social sharing
- Fully accessible
- Lightweight and clean for use on WordPress framework
Using WP Meta SEO
Installation & Activation
To install WP Meta SEO on your website, navigate to Plugins > Add New and search WP Meta SEO.
Select Install Now and then Activate. You will notice a new menu item labeled WP Meta SEO is now in your WordPress dashboard.
The WP Meta SEO dashboard is a great way to see how optimized your website is in terms of SEO. It provides percentage points for several criteria, such as meta descriptions, HTML image resizing, and 404 errors.
In addition, if you hover over each individual section, you will notice suggestions for improvement. These suggestions direct you to the appropriate WP Meta SEO tool so you can fix the issue and improve your SEO.
If you navigate to WP Meta SEO > Settings you will see several settings tabs:
- Global. View your homepage’s meta title and description. In addition, set up your social profile details, activate a meta keyword (which is helpful for multilingual websites), and force SEO validation.
- Redirections and 404. Configure where to direct site visitors when they encounter a 404 error.
- Breadcrumb. Define the breadcrumb separator and enable clickable breadcrumbs.
- Send Email. Enable email reports by filling in the appropriate details.
- Local Business. Update your local business information for Google search results.
- Translation. Translate the plugin, as well as receive and share translations.
Editing your content’s meta is very easy using WP Meta SEO. And by doing so, you make your content richer for search engines so your website garners higher search result rankings.
You can edit meta descriptions using the dedicated Content Meta interface or from within the WordPress editor itself.
With the editing interface you can do any of the following:
- Instantly save all changes thanks to AJAX saving
- Add a Meta Title
- Define a Meta Description
Don’t have time to add meta titles to every single post and page on your site, despite knowing how effective it is for your SEO?
Don’t worry. WP Meta SEO has a bulk meta editing tool that allows you to assign the content title as the meta title to all of your posts and pages with a few simple clicks.
On the other hand, if you choose to edit the content meta directly in the WordPress editor, it will look like this:
SEO Page Optimization
Here you will see a snippet preview of your Search engine title and Search engine description as it will appear in search engine results. In addition, you will notice an SEO percentage score that grades your SEO effectiveness based on 7 criteria:
- Page title word in content heading
- Meta title filled
- Page title word in content
- Page URL matches page title
- Meta description filled
- Wrong image sizes
- Image has meta title or alt
A green check mark means you meet the criteria. A yellow exclamation mark means you do not. To improve your SEO score, simply make the requested changes.
Social for Search Engine
This feature allows you to customize the descriptions for your Facebook and Twitter accounts, and even add an image. This way whenever your content is shared, the description and image you have defined automatically appear.
WP Meta SEO helps turn your complex website into a URL archive and makes it available to crawlers for display in search results.
This is important because content that is not indexed properly (or not indexed at all) will never make it on the first page of Google’s search results.
With WP Meta SEO, you can now generate your own HTML and XML sitemaps in a few simple steps. Simply configure the sitemap details, authenticate your Google account, and select Regenerate and Save Sitemaps.
In addition, you can dictate the type of content you want included in your sitemap such as menus, pages, posts and post categories, tag content, author pages, and even custom post types. Lastly, you can add custom URLs to your sitemap.
Image sizes are crucial to your site visitor’s user experience as well as the overall speed and performance of your website. Luckily, WP Meta SEO has a neat feature to help you with your image sizes so that you can optimize your website further.
Navigate to WP Meta SEO > Image Information and see a list of your website’s images. Here, you will see whether the image sizes are good and if whether there are any other suggestions for improvement such as adding a missing title.
It is also here that you can edit your image’s alt text and title, legend, and description. In fact, using WP Meta SEO’s bulk editing tool, you can define each image’s alt text and title to match the name of the image, making things a lot easier on you.
WP Meta SEO comes with the ImageRecycle plugin for dynamic resizing of your images within the WordPress editor. To enjoy a free 15-day trial, navigate to WP Meta SEO > Image Compression and download the plugin to your website.
With this helpful image resizing tool, you will be able to easily resize images within the WordPress editor saving you lots of time while also optimizing your site to be the best it can be.
404 & Redirects
Having broken links in your website can mess with your website’s SEO, affect the user experience, and make you appear unprofessional. That said, this SEO plugin helps with your 404 errors and redirects.
To start, navigate to WP Meta SEO > 404 & Redirects and find out which links on your website are showing as 404 errors. From there, you have the option to edit and redirect the broken link, remove a redirect, and re-check a redirect after you have edited the 404 error.
If the redirect is successful, you will receive a green check mark like this:
In addition, this tool will let you define link attributes as well. While this will not directly affect your website’s overall SEO, it will help with site visitors’ behavior while trying to you find your website. And, the more people that visit your website, the better search rankings you tend to have.
Other Notable Features
WP Meta SEO happens to have a few other really great features worth mentioning:
- Google Analytics. Easily enable Google Analytics tracking on your website. This helps you identify your target audience more clearly, so you can modify your SEO efforts accordingly.
- Third-Party Plugin Compatibility. WP Meta SEO works well with WooCommerce, any page builder plugin, and even custom post type plugins.
- Yoast Importer. If you are currently running Yoast on your website, and WP Meta SEO is detected, a full import of all your data from Yoast can transfer over into WP Meta SEO.
It is also worth mentioning that WP Meta SEO comes with a premium addon that will boost your SEO efforts beyond anything you could have expected. Here is a comparison between the free and pro versions of WP Meta SEO:
Support, Price, and Documentation
As far as support is concerned, WP Meta SEO offers users a forum where they can discuss pre-sale questions. In addition, you can access the WordPress Repository forum and ask any questions you want, including those regarding SEO.
If you decide to go with the premium addon (rather than use the free version) the length of support will depend on which plan you choose to go with:
WP Meta SEO is extensively documented, as seen here, with easy to follow instructions, lots of visuals to guide you, and information about every feature this SEO plugin offers.
In the end, WP Meta SEO proves to be a powerhouse when it comes to competing with the popular SEO plugins on the market today. I especially like the fact that there are so many bulk editing options, which for people with large websites, or not enough time, is a great thing to have. In addition, the broken link checker, complete with editing and redirect options, is another very useful tool to have on hand.
Of course, all of the SEO features that are built into WP Meta SEO are great. They are easy to use and will have maximum effects on your search engine rankings. Who knows, you may even find your website showing up on Google’s first page. But you’ll never know unless you try; so use WP Meta SEO and see what happens!
Have you ever used WP Meta SEO for your SEO needs? How do you feel it matches up to other popular SEO plugins on the market today? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!