4 WordPress SEO Enhancements You Wish You Had – Part 1 by Bruce Clay

Read the whole series: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

WordPress is the most popular content management system out there and powers more than a quarter of the world’s websites. Huge brands are hosted on it, like TechCrunch and BBC America. You likely have a WordPress site, too.

The fact that it’s open source and easy to use makes it desirable for all types of brands, businesses and professionals. Enter WordPress plugins — one of the easiest ways to customize the functionality of a WordPress site. At the time of writing, there are almost 52,000 to choose from.

WordPress.org has 52000 plugins

However, WordPress is not SEO enabled by default, and finding the right plugins to help you accomplish everything you want in SEO can be a challenge. That leaves many brands and professionals with the task of identifying which plugins will address different SEO issues before, during and after creating a post or page.

Whether you use Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, Ultimate SEO, or another plugin, you probably have many needs covered — like being able to craft custom titles, meta descriptions, and URL slugs for your posts.

All these are essential for SEO. But beyond these basics, does your plugin give you visibility of your posts’ performance? Allow you to distribute multiple keywords through your posts? Alert you of potential broken links or usability problems? Help you optimize for multiple keywords or variations?

In this post, we’ll look at where there are gaps in the SEO plugin space and what an SEO wish list looks like.

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SEO Plugin Gap No. 1: You Can’t Optimize for More Than One Keyword per Post

Many website publishers target multiple keywords for any one piece of content, and need to track how the content is optimized for them.

Two of the more popular SEO plugins for WordPress offer good functionality but are still lacking in this area.

The Yoast SEO plugin only allows one focus keyword per page or post (except in the premium version). So though you can definitely include more than one keyword in a piece of content, the plugin can’t confirm that you’ve optimized the post for these additional terms or even for variations of your main keyword.

Another popular plugin for SEO is the All in One SEO Pack. It doesn’t offer a focus keyword feature at all. So you’re out of luck if you’re using that one and want to be able to track your keywords for SEO.

The gap: A plugin that allows you to focus on optimizing for more than one keyword.

SEO Plugin Gap No. 2: You Can’t See How Your Keywords Are Distributed Throughout the Content

Keyword distribution may impact the ranking of your web content. Keyword distribution refers to using the keywords (and their semantic variations) consistently throughout the text from top to bottom.

Distribution can influence rankings because if a keyword shows up only in the first hundred words on a page, a search engine bot may determine the content is not as relevant as a page that talks about the keyword throughout.

While some WordPress SEO plugins track which page elements contain a focus keyword, there aren’t any viable plugins on the market right now that allow you to see your keyword distribution. So for those who want to check how well they’re distributing keywords as they write, it has to be done manually, which can be time-consuming (or you have to use an external tool like our SEOToolSet).

The gap: A plugin that clearly shows where the keywords are in the content.

SEO Plugin Gap No. 3: You Can’t Easily See Which of Your Posts Are Succeeding in the Search Results

Today, if you wanted to see what pages on your WordPress site are succeeding in the search results — data like click throughs, impressions, average rankings, and which queries are bringing search traffic to each post — you’d have to go outside WordPress. You might have to check different accounts to piece it together, like your Google Search Console, Google Analytics and/or third-party analytics software.

person blinded by flying hairPlugins exist that offer some data. But the top SEO plugins don’t show current analytics data in the WordPress dashboard or in the post editor (where it would be much easier to keep tabs on).

Unfortunately, not being able to access this information easily can either a) tax your resources or b) cause you not to gather any data.

When you don’t know which posts are resonating in organic search, it can hinder planning for future posts and social media campaigns. You’re basically flying blind.

Knowing which posts and topics are succeeding allows you to create more winning content. It also helps you avoid wasting time promoting content with high bounce rates or which generates little interest and little traffic to your site.

What you want is “unicorn” content — your very best, standout content. You want to be able to find your best content, amplify it, and then make more like it. You can only do this with analytics data informing you of the unicorns in the herd.

The gap: A plugin that shows the content creator how their content and their site are performing.

SEO Plugin Gap No. 4: You Can’t Confirm Your New Page Is Mobile-Friendly or Identify Mobile Errors

Google’s mobile-first index may hit in 2018. When it does, Google will base its index and subsequent rankings on the mobile version of your site. (You can read more about what that means here and here.)

If you don’t ensure you have mobile-friendly web pages and also don’t consistently monitor your mobile content for issues, then you could be creating a bad user experience and your rankings can suffer — this is especially true in a “mobile first” world.

While Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test lets publishers check their pages for problems, how often do you actually take that step? Having visibility within WordPress could make all the difference.

The gap: A plugin that alerts you to problems with mobile usability and performance.

What’s Your Vote?

In sum, WordPress can be an excellent platform for your website that accomplishes much of what you need in a CMS today. The challenge is making it SEO-friendly, and right now, there is still work to do.

Now I want your vote: Which of these issues matter to you?

Create your survey with SurveyMonkey

I’ll cover more enhancements needed to solve WordPress and SEO problems in Part 2 of this post.




Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education. Connect with him on LinkedIn or through the BruceClay.com website.

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (51)
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51 Replies to “4 WordPress SEO Enhancements You Wish You Had – Part 1 by Bruce Clay”

thank bruce For sharing this blog with us. very helpful for me

People would be foolish to use WP SEO plugins to ‘optimize’ pages – they are much too limited.

Very useful technique for wordpress users.

In a world full of tech-driven people and the internet in their hands, there are hundreds of opportunities to rank in search engines

Yes, and as far as it goes, Yoast SEO is great. :)

Really appreciate your info but for a long while I am using Yoast SEO plugin and I am quite satisfied with using this plugin.

Exactly, Those are gaps on WP.

very informative article. I love yoast plugin i am using free version but it was also amazing thanks for sharing !!

Yoast SEO is a batter WordPress SEO plugin to rank your blog on Search engine.

Yoast SEO is a batter WordPress SEO plugin to rank your blog on Search engine.

After WordPress arrives, we are introducing the content update. I need to focus on the distribution of multiple keywords. If I have a Yoast SEO pro pack, the features will be available. But the SEO companies in Coimbatore do not like the pro edition of Yoast due to its high cost.

These techniques are most helpful for who those use wordpress.

Interesting that you use Yoast on your own website.

Paula Allen

Nanne: We use Yoast and the Bruce Clay SEO plugin. They complement each other, and that was by design.

Those search engine optimization techniques in WordPress help me a lot. These techniques are most helpful for who those use wordpress.

WP SEO Plugins are way off. 1, in particular, was asking me to place my targetted keyword 20 times into my post, which is Keyword Stuffing. I’ll continue to use them for technical reasons, but use my mind for the actual web copy.

In my opinion, along with the post performance, all the points are necessary.

Glad to hear some of the gaps in SEO plugins, There are long way from being perfect only professionals SEO with the help of plugins will help you rank higher.

Great information regarding WordPress enhance during SEO, I agreed with your all 4 difficulties occur during SEO of WordPress website SEO, Thanku for sharing such types of information.

This the best and helpful information for every WordPress lover who makes their website on WordPress, This information helps them to know some important SEO problem which occurs during the SEO of WordPress website SEO optimisation.


Thanks for giving the information, It is very useful information.
Digital Marketing Services

i only have problem about permalink customize

Through your pen I found the problem up interesting! I believe there are many other people who are interested in them just like me! How long does it take to complete this article? I have read through other blogs, but they are cumbersome and confusing. I hope you continue to have such quality articles to share with everyone!

I have read through other blogs, but they are cumbersome and confusing. I hope you continue to have such quality articles to share with everyone! I believe a lot of people will be surprised to read this article!


I need inform to you, this is great blog it’s cleared my ppc doubts

I agreed that the SEO is a skill that takes time and can sometimes make you little bored, but a quick research of keywords is right before posting. Getting how to implement SEO strategies correctly with your niche takes time and research. In case, talking about the benefits of SEO, search optimization is nothing but the Marketing, is to get your content availability & findability to users from search engines…

Having the URLs to your site posts from the search is necessary, and its the purpose of SEO. You can’t just sit and expect for the world to come to your blog posts, rather you need to drive yourself to the world first so that it start to catch your content. I wouldn’t pay to much but enough time on SEO. All you require to think about the keyword research for PR, link-building to authority sites for DA. I prefer SEO optimized template, SEO plugins & still forcing SEO better up to the stage where I wish this word or that in the title of the post that’ll cause more organic traffic.

Once you study the SEO & its techniques, you then get used to thinking about posting with that. I notice it’s more necessary to create quality content & build onpage SEO skills as you go. With SEO, you’re just delivering your content to search engines more user-friendly, and I recommended to stay to basic SEO tips, and your blog will be better for it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about SEO.

Your article is detailed, thanks to it I solved the problem I am entangled. I will regularly follow your writers and visit this site daily.

Nice to tell that i know this SEO now thanks for this great post

For me the most important part would be being able to measure which of my posts are getting attention and how much of it. Otherwise, as you say, I’m just flying blind.

Thanks a lot for the post!

Great ideas in here, and I hope some developers are paying attention! Your idea for “Wouldn’t it be nice if an SEO plugin could size-up the competitors and tell you, for example, how long your page needs to be before you publish?” would be great for reverse engineering top ranking pages of competitors and adding on another 500-1000 more words (within the post) to potentially outrank them.

Hey, Bruce,
Definitely, these all are lacking in WordPress plugins. From my personal experience, i used Yoast and All in SEO plugins for optimizing on page. But, unfortunately, no one meets all the needs. Looking forward to your part 2 section. Hope we could find solution from it.

Hi Good day….

Excellent post and very useful for everyone especially wordpress developers and seo analyst…keep updating

thanks for sharing this!!

It helps me alot

Never knew that yoast only optimized my post for only one keyword.

I totally agree with this article. Thanks for sharing and giving this informative article ;-)

Hi, this is true. Using the optimizing the website built in WordPress has this kind of issues.

However, I like the WordPress platform because its easy to make changes even if you don’t know much about the code and languages. :-)

I use Yoast, just because I always have and change is tough, but I do wish there was a better all around tool that wasn’t too complicated to use and didn’t require a ton of steps and coding know how. I’m glad you optimized your post the way you did so I could discover your content and keep tabs on your latest strategies.

I voted for optimizing more then 1 keyword. I have see pages rank for well over 100 separate related keywords! It would be nice to take that into consideration inside of WordPress.

I currently use Yoast on all of my WordPress sites but feel it is somewhat limited.I wish it would show all keywords in content but I’ll be sure to check out SEOToolset.Thanks for your insights!

Totaly agree! You are right, those are big gaps on WordPress! Maybe someone will manage it and find a solution!

Nice article on WordPress SEO improving and we will do better by using that SEO plugin for better ranking our post.

Thanks for Great Article.

Great article, thanks for sharing it! Look forward to part 2!

Nice way to sharing the valuable information.

Interesting that you use Yoast on your own website.

Paula Allen

Vishaal – Yes, and as far as it goes, Yoast SEO is great. :)

Google hit many mainly tech-related websites very badly with its algorithm change in 2011 and they haven’t recovered to this day regardless of how well they followed Google’s guidelines or SEO.

Popular sites, such as infopackets.com, ghacks.net and lockergnome.com, had to slim down drastically and are still struggling. Google definitely has it in mind not to allow certain types of sites to rank well.

This attitude has now spread to mainly US sites that have conservative content, such as infowars.com. Google, Facebook and Twitter are globalist-owned sites in the same club as the mainstream media fake-news outfits. We should all know who they are by now – they backed Clinton 100% in the 2016 US election process.

Sites that tell the truth have to fight against their algorithms that exclude them from search results and trending content.

In my opinion the post performance is the most important, however other points are nice features too.

People would be foolish to use WP SEO plugins to ‘optimize’ pages – they are much too limited.


Hi guys, Yoast premium lets you check for more than 1 kw. Nice post all the same. Cheers, Dan

Paula Allen

Dan, right, it says that in the post (see parentheses). However, the vast majority of Yoast installs are the free kind, which doesn’t.


All of those are really important but the biggest issue I find with WordPress is speed. It can be very difficult for many WordPress users to successfully increase the speed of their website.

Of the items listed, I would say mobile-friendliness would be most important to me.


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