WordPress SEO Without a Search Engine Optimization Plugin

WordPress SEO

Written by Jeremy Earle, JD

August 10, 2022

SEO for WordPress without the Use of an SEO Plugin

Does your WordPress site require an additional SEO tool? Find out more about SEO plugins, how to pick one, and if they’re necessary.

Because some of my WordPress sites have more functionality than I need, I don’t utilize an SEO plugin to optimize them.

In this article, you’ll discover how to optimize your WordPress site for search engines without using a plugin.

This is not meant to dissuade you from using one but rather to demonstrate how you may take complete control of your SEO if you so choose.

SEO Plugins are a Great Help

SEO plugins are suggested solutions for publishers who cannot write PHP, who are lost with HTACCESS files, and those who have no idea what robots.txt files are.

The coding requirements for SEO’s technical side are relatively high. SEO plugins make it easier for anybody to produce content on the web.

SEO plugins are often criticized for being overburdened with functionality that isn’t essential. However, this isn’t the case in every instance of the phenomenon.

You may choose the SEO functions you need from lean, quick, and modular SEO Plugins.

This is a kind of SEO plugin that may be found in The SEO Framework. If you’re looking for greater control over your SEO but want to pick and choose the features you need, this is the best option for you.

Publishers afraid to take a chance and don’t want to try anything new may feel secure in their decision to use SEO plugins. Since there is a great deal at risk, the best option is usually the most trusted.

SEO Plugins: Why I Refuse to Use Them

Due to an SEO plugin problem, I decided to establish a site this year without any SEO plugins. It worked for me, and I used it for other places, so I decided to stop using SEO plugins.

Because it appeared as I could better manage a website’s SEO, I shifted away from a single SEO plugin.

It was a journey back to where I had begun with WordPress – improving WordPress without a specialized SEO plugin.

SEO Plugins Don’t Make Sense to Me

My aversion to SEO plugins stems from four main concerns:

WordPress or a theme’s redundant features.

Problem-solving extras that aren’t essential.

SEO plugins might introduce many issues and conflicts with other plugins because of their complexity.

SEO management becomes more streamlined.

Because of these reasons, I prefer to use standalone solutions.

It’s easier to write code for a solution that addresses a single issue.

Plugins aren’t required for specific SEO capabilities.

The upkeep of standalone solutions is much simpler than that of a system.

Cleaner and more efficient WordPress installation.

WordPress SEO Features You Should Know About

The core of WordPress has improved throughout the years. Automatic processes like canonicals are in place.

Schema markup, breadcrumb navigation, Open Graph metadata, and other SEO elements can be found in many WordPress themes.

Regardless of whatever template you choose, here are a few things to consider.

WordPress SEO Essentials

Schema.org Structured Data and the use of breadcrumbs.

Descriptions in the form of metadata.

Metadata for the Open Graph.

Removal of the underlying category structure.

Schema information.

An easy approach is to apply the Nofollow attribute to certain URLs.

Plugins for Search Engine Optimization in WordPress

XT Breadcrumb Navigation.

Simple WP Meta Descriptions to write. Easy.

For Facebook and Twitter Card Tags, the Open Graph

Remove the category from the URL’s location.

WordPress Plugin for Schema.

The best WordPress plugin for removing backlinks.

Plugins for WordPress SEO

Page redirection for attachments.

Redirection WordPress Redirect Plugin: More than a million users have installed this tool.

There have been over 2 million downloads of the XML Site Map.

Breadcrumbs are a handy tool.

If your site is ranked highly in the search results, adding Schema structured data will help you achieve better results. The click-through rate may be improved as a result of the updated listings.

Breadcrumb navigation does not need a plugin to be coded. Your website’s “child” functions.php file is where the code should go.

If you put it to your theme’s functions.php file, as recommended by most instructions, your breadcrumbs will be lost if the theme changes and the functions.php file.

If you don’t have schema markup associated with your breadcrumbs, things may become more problematic. So that’s another line of code.

It’s possible however it could be simpler to use a plugin to ensure that it functions correctly.

The BreadCrumbs NavXT WordPress Plugin works well for my needs. This component handles breadcrumbs and schema data.

Medium-level vulnerability in the NavXT plugin was swiftly addressed. However, this was a one-off for this plugin that had never occurred before and did not create any issues for consumers.

When it comes to a website’s Meta Description

Easy WP Meta Description is a good option for meta descriptions, in my opinion. However, meta descriptions aren’t a ranking element, but they appear in the SERPs if you’re ranked high enough.

A sentence from your web page will be used instead of your meta description if Google thinks it’s a better fit for the description. On the other hand, Google does a good job of delivering a relevant snippet from your website to its searchers.

It’s up to you to decide. You may write your meta description or let Google do it for you.

Tag for the title of the article

I write an article title that may be used as a title tag. Workarounds for this may be found in the theme and plugins, however, I believe they are unnecessary. Titles for online pages should be as excellent as those used in print articles.

Meta Data for Open Graphs

This isn’t technically an SEO function, but it has the potential to impact the amount of traffic that comes to your site in the long run. When your URL is shared on Facebook and Twitter, you may designate a picture and words to appear in place of the URL itself.

The Open Graph Meta Data plugin gives your website a polished look that will wow any prospective customers.

WordPress Category Base should be removed.

There’s no need to include “category” in your URL structure. A good rule of thumb is to keep your URLs as short as possible by using the domain name, the category name, and the page name.

Users and search engines can better understand what the website is about with the least words possible if the URL is shorter. The Remove Category Base plugin may be found here.

WP Plugin for Schema-Based Data.

In addition to reviews and article schema, the Schema WordPress plugin will incorporate most Schema structured data you require.

A hand-coding schema markup is also an option. It’s possible to copy and paste the JSON-LD script for reviews into the WordPress editor while in Text Mode, for example.

Make your adjustments to areas like product name and rating.

In this template, the author is listed as

A post-by-post or template-by-template approach may be used to introduce structured data of any kind, whether it’s created by hand or automatically.

Plugins aren’t required. Even if WordPress updates at an infrequent rate, using a plugin is the most efficient approach to expanding this process.

Nofollow Plugin for WordPress

No following URLs may be done right away with the Ultimate Nofollow plugin, which allows you to do so as you are constructing them. Sitewide follows they are also an option if you need it. But I don’t utilize them at all.

Plugins for WordPress SEO

Redirection of Attachment Pages

This plugin can help you if you’ve accidentally built a web page for every picture attachment on your WordPress site.

The Attachment Pages Redirect plugin will help you get your attachments back to their original state. The solution to your issue is as simple as installing and activating this program.

No configuration is required for the Attachment Pages Redirect plugin. It’s as simple as that. It couldn’t be simpler to fix rogue attachment pages.

Simply utilize the right option for forwarding attachments when adding media in future posts.

Assign a new boss

Suppose you don’t feel comfortable editing. htaccess files to set redirects; this is a valuable plugin. To redirect an old page to another page, do this if you have a good cause.

404 Errors Aren’t Always Dangerous

The home page should not be redirected by using a redirect manager.

Several SEO plugins make this claim to terrify you into thinking that 404 error codes are harmful to your site’s health. The opposite is true. Four hundred four error codes are not detrimental to your site’s “health.”

Spammers may have linked to your site with a partial URL, resulting in 404 errors. That’s completely natural and shouldn’t cause any concern. The best answer is a 404 error.

A publisher’s internal link problem causes some 404s. What you’ve done is your fault (you mistyped the URL). Update the URL to the proper one if that’s a problem.

However, 404 error codes are entirely normal and do not harm your website in any way.

According to Google’s John Mueller, 404 error codes aren’t a problem.

404 error codes are normal, he adds:

No need to “correct” crawl issues on your site.” A healthy, well-configured website is anticipated to have 404 errors.

Redirecting to an alternative URL is a smart idea if you have one. Fake content redirects and disallows in robots.txt complicate our ability to understand your site’s structure and correctly analyze it if you do not follow these guidelines. “Soft 404″ errors” are what we refer to them as.

More information about 404 error codes may be found here, courtesy of Google.

The XML Sitemap.

Crawling a website is made easier by Google’s usage of site feeds. For Google to locate your feed, you must create a page.

As a result, I’ve included an XML site map as an alternative. Google’s developer website states the following:

If you have an Atom/RSS sitemap and wish to notify search engines other than Google of your updates, use Pubsubhubbub.”

Alternatively, Google may find the web page by crawling through links one at a time.

Alternatively, you may submit each URL separately or as part of a site map; further instructions from Google can be found here.

Crawl your site using software like Xenu Link Sleuth and build an XML site map if it is seldom changed. To build the map, Link Sleuth must be allowed to crawl your website. Uploading it to your server is as simple as doing so.

Alternatively, you may use a plugin such as the Google XML Sitemap Generator.

Repetitive Functions of SEO Plugins

SEO plugins may have functions that are unnecessary or redundant.

URLs that are recognized by search engines as being the correct ones

WordPress has built-in support for canonical URLs. This doesn’t need the use of an SEO plugin.

The access and robots files may be edited using these programs.

For altering robots.txt or updating an access file, you need nothing but a text editor or HTML editor. If you’re not sure about anything, don’t touch with such files.

WordPress plugins aren’t necessary if you know how to change them yourself. As simple as using FTP software and your text file?

Redirection of a 404 Error Page

SEO plugins supply this under the misguided idea that 404 status codes are detrimental. Google’s John Mueller has previously said that 404 error codes are acceptable. Correct only those that directly result from a clerical mistake, such as a misspelled URL.

Generators of sitemaps

A site map isn’t necessarily essential because Google scans URLs through RSS feeds and links.

On the other hand, a site map comes in handy if you’ve made significant modifications to your site and want Google to find them as quickly as possible. If you don’t want to install a plugin to produce a site map manually, then it’s a good idea.

Still, you may use a site map generator plugin to do this work rather than a massive SEO plugin that does all of this for you.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with Word Processing

As a result, it may not be the optimal platform for running keyword and word processing tasks on WordPress. To get a real-world app for checking your work, utilize a tool like Hemingway App. Use a real program that creates a word cloud to analyze web page.

An SEO plugin can’t do all of these things, of course. A separate app will be more effective.

Instead of using six different plugins, why not just use one?

Even though an all-in-one SEO plugin is just one plugin, it acts as if it were 10 or more.

You may break up your SEO plugin into individual plugins by adding up all of the functionality you use. You may be astonished to learn how many plugins you have installed on your WordPress site — functionality that you may not use.

As a result, the issue of whether you need six or one plugins is irrelevant. Is there a limit to the number of features you can have?

All-in-one WordPress SEO plugin solutions, on the other hand, have a lot fewer functions.

There is a difference between “All in One” and “All You’ll Ever Need.”

Users with little to no WordPress or coding experience might benefit from SEO plugins. For SEO, plugins are a lifesaver for those who lack the expertise to choose and select the best options.

A dedicated SEO plugin is an excellent option for big organizations since it eliminates the need to deal with many plugins or custom solutions.

On the other hand, SEO plugins might be overkill for individuals with greater expertise or who aren’t bound by bureaucratic limits.

By default, SEO plugins are being installed on WordPress sites, allowing users to effectively sleepwalk through their site’s SEO.

As this post demonstrates, you need not necessitate all of the features provided by a specialist SEO plugin.

Installing an SEO plugin with the functionality you don’t need isn’t the only option. You may not require an all-in-one solution.

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