What is a better solution of doing SEO for WordPress than using a dedicated plugin?

The WordPress plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast is considered the best SEO plugin for WordPress and is currently the most popular one.

So, we have the CMS with the biggest number of users (WordPress) and the most popular plugin for doing SEO on it – Active Installs: 1+ Million.

My question is the following – is there a problem with using the plugin and is it possible to achieve the same results as the plugin provides by manually coding things?

I made a video on the matter:

In the video, I talk about:

What the plugin does?

The plugin itself, a small description: WordPress › WordPress SEO by Yoast « WordPress Plugins.

A video describing the plugin:

What does it do very well?

  • XML sitemap notification.
  • Not indexed notification.
  • … perhaps other things?

What’s the biggest problem of the plugin?

It tends to occupy a lot of resources (1) and it has quite a few unnecessary functions – bloatware (2).

What’s misleading about the plugin?

The focus keyword: What’s The Focus Keyword in WordPress SEO by Yoast?.
On the matter: How to determine a relevant list of keywords for a web site?: OlivianBreda.com

Stopwords in URL / title.

What is the problem with the plugin?

  • (overall, not with the plugin) Keywords meta tag – Overuse.
  • (overall, not with the plugin) Linkbuilding – Overuse.
  • (overall, not with the plugin) Unique content – Overuse.
  • (similarly, a probley with the plugin) The plugin tends to look a lot like bloatware (Software bloat – Wikipedia), in my opinion.

To determine this, it’s helpful to use: WordPress › P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) « WordPress Plugins.

Other SEO plugins have the same problem: WordPress › Redirection « WordPress Plugins.

What are the alternatives for using the plugin?

Open Graph – og:title, og:image, og:description, the rest
How To Add Open Graph Meta Tags To WordPress | Elegant Themes Blog
You need to test these with: Facebook’s Object Debugger.

Twitter Social Graph
Beginners Guide on How to Add Twitter Cards in WordPress

Google+ rel=publisher:
How to implement Google Publisher markup on your website (and why you should) – Moveable Online

Meta title
How to Generate Perfect WordPress Title Tags without a Plugin | Perishable Press
Adding the Blog Description to a WordPress Site Title | Xenero

Meta description
WordPress Hacks: Using Post Excerpts as Meta Descriptions | kohactive

Sitemap.xml
You need this plugin: WordPress › XML Sitemaps « WordPress Plugins.

Google Webmaster Tools & Bing Webmasters & Alexa
There are solutions to manually verify the web site.

Canonical URLs
How to Add Canonical Urls to WordPress Blogs | QOT

Noindex for categories & archives pages
Should you do it?

If you decide to do it:
Use noindex Meta Tag in WordPress to Prevent Search Engine Indexing Categories, Tags and Archives – SysTutorials

Schema.org
Hardcodong, or data highlighter:
Webmaster Tools -Data Highlighter
, or dedicated plugin:
WordPress › All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets « WordPress Plugins
, or plain ignore it.

Some conclusions?

  • If you use the plugin, be informed, and verify the output (the result in code) and data usage.
  • You don’t need most of the things the plugin does. See the video for details on what I use.
  • If you code things yourself, you will be forced to learn some things about SEO.

What are some improvements for the future?

  • Remove special characters from description.
  • Force cut the description do desired size.
  • If more than one image can be chosen from a single blog post, for og:image, pick the image with the best dimensions for social media.
  • Manually edit the meta description for each blog post.
  • Use a plugin like https://wordpress.org/plugins/hyper-cache/ (small & tiny)
  • Get links!

wordpress-plugin

Description:

WordPress out of the box is already technically quite a good platform for SEO, this was true when Joost wrote his original WordPress SEO article in 2008 (and updated every few months) and it’s still true today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve it further! This plugin is written from the ground up by Joost de Valk and his team at Yoast to improve your site’s SEO on all needed aspects. While this WordPress SEO plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization, more on that below, it first and foremost helps you write better content. WordPress SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere. (via)

PS, 2015.04.27: Background photo credits: JPL | Space Images | NASA’s Great Observatories Witness a Galactic Spectacle, NASA/CXC/SAO/JPL-Caltech/STScI.

Another opinion:
About To Launch A WordPress Site? Here’s What You Need To Know About SEO


Note: Also see the Yahoo! Group on which I present similar issues:IMRo. To join, email imro-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and reply to the confirmation email.

I am a Freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading. I live in London, and lots of things live in me.

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