Although WordPress is a very SEO friendly platform out of the box, like a WordPress SEO expert, I still highly recommend using SEO plugins to further improve your WP website’s SEO. But, honestly, I have no idea why everyone is saying that an SEO plugin is a “must-use”. I am sure it’s due to the fact that some SEO plugins have extended their marketing so much that they have created this “whim” in the minds of people (which is alright from the marketing point of view). If just by using an “SEO plugin” would do some magic, every website would have been number 1 today.
But let me tell you something honestly. You don’t really need an SEO plugin to get higher up in search engines. The SEO comes from your content, the quality of your content and not from a “plugin”.
First, let me explain to you in simple terms what a plugin really does. A plugin is something which saves you time from coding. It does not have any magic wand, which can create wonders for your website. Its simply outputting the code in the front-end for you, for which they have created meta boxes in the backend.
Here are the 3 basic and important meta tags which each page should have.
Here’s the code for the above.
The most important part of the page. You should display the page title here, the most relevant to your page. To generate the page titles for the site using your page names you can do the following. Try to use the keyword you are targeting in the beginning.
<title><?php the_title(); ?></title>
A short excerpt about your page. Usually around 100 characters, not more. Do not write it too long. And for this too, try using the keywords in the beginning.
In WordPress, you can generate the description for each page by using the excerpt of the page, which would be the following.
<meta name="description" content="<?php the_excerpt(); ?>"/>
This basically tells the search engine bot whether to visit this page or not. A typical robots meta tag would be something like the following.
<meta name="robots" content="index, nofollow">
if you can add the above in your header.php, then you don’t need to use any SEO Plugin 🙂
Remember, it’s your content and not the plugin which actually matters in SEO.