This is a guest post from Shanna Mallon, a contributing writer for Straight North.

Whether your industry is retail clothing or parts manufacturing, when you want to increase website traffic, there’s no question you have to think about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).


The fact is, search engines provide incredible traffic potential for businesses. Think about it: Even at this moment, there are likely people online looking for what you sell. So, when they go searching for “personal training in Chicago”, “limo services near me” or whatever it is you offer, what will they find?

Will they connect with you — or someone else? Optimizing your SEO is an opportunity to make sure your potential customers choose you over your competition.


The Potential of SEO Rankings

If it’s your company that comes up in the search results, it’s your company that gets the visit — and the chance to win a new customer. If it’s a competitor instead, you lose the chance. SEO is what makes all the difference. By building the kind of authority and credibility that increases search rankings, you can make it easier for prospects to find you — so you can win them over as customers.

How Plugins Can Help

Are you looking to draw more eyes to your business website or blog? If so, it’s time to think about SEO. You don’t have to know everything about search engines or their complicated algorithms to start improving your site’s rankings. You can make great strides in SEO with simple, seamless WordPress plugins designed to improve your search rankings. With that in mind, here are some great WordPress plugins worth using, each one designed to make it easy to boost your search traffic.

5 Free Plugins Worth Adding to Boost SEO

If you’re interested in improving your website’s search traffic, try these five free WordPress plugins.

  1. Yoast SEO. Self-described as the “original WordPress SEO plugin since 2008,” Yoast puts SEO tools on your site’s back end so you know what to do to improve rankings. When you’re creating a new post or page, for example, the plugin prompts you to choose a focus keyword and then ranks how well your content is optimized for it. This helps you build — and keep building — webpages that are optimized to drive more traffic to your site. Note also, the app has a paid option with additional features such as multiple focus keywords, internal linking suggestions, etc.

  2. Broken Link Checker. Broken links are bad for SEO. Why? When you link to a page — on your site or on someone else’s — that is no longer working, you effectively send your reader to an unhelpful resource. Search engines notice. So, when you have a lot of broken links, you can lose authority and credibility, leading to lower search rankings online. That’s why there’s the Broken Link Checker app. When activated, this plugin checks your site for broken links and missing images; then it automatically notifies you on your dashboard so you can fix them.

  3. Google XML Sitemaps. The idea behind a sitemap is that it tells search engines how to index your site (i.e., makes it easier to see the structure of your content and how pages connect). The Google XML Sitemaps app creates a sitemap of your site and notifies search engines whenever you create a new page.

  4. Google Analytics by MonsterInsights. If you’re like a lot of brands, you’ve heard of Google Analytics and maybe already have it set up on your site — but you aren’t sure what to do with it now. Enter the Google Analytics plugin by MonsterInsights. With this plugin, you have an easy, user-friendly way to see how visitors find your site, what posts/pages are drawing the most traffic, bounce rate and more.

  5. W3 Total Cache. What’s great about the W3 Total Cache plugin is how it speeds up your site. Because page speed has long been a factor in search rankings, the faster your site, the better for SEO. This plugin says it provides at least 10 times better site performance when fully configured. It reduces page load times, increases visitors’ time on site and leads to more page views.

When it comes to improving SEO on your business website, WordPress plugins make it easy. You don’t have to be a developer or coder to take advantage of these tools and start reaping the SEO benefits. So, if you’re looking to draw more traffic to your site, improve SEO rankings and improve business, add the free plugins listed here to your site. Each one is fairly simple to upload, activate and configure. Once implemented, they can provide a wealth of search benefits — and the traffic that results.


Shanna Mallon is a contributing writer for Straight North, one of Chicago’s leading Internet marketing agencies providing SEO, web development and other online marketing services. Shanna has been writing professionally online since 2007.