Let's Get Crazy - SEO without an SEO Plugin
BenjisMom can attest to this but I've always been a risk taker.
So let's turn this house upside-down...
I'm launching a new bog and I will fly solo WITHOUT an SEO Plugin. No 'All In One', no Yoast... NOTHING.
I won't lie... my palms are sweaty... knees weak, arms are heavy, there's vomit on my sweater already.. mom's spaghetti, I'm nervous. (if you understood this reference, drop me a, "Lose yourself" in the comments.)
But if you only learn one thing from this entire article, learn this... IT IS NEVER A BAD IDEA TO TEST.
Why Do something So crazy?
Don't get me wrong, SEO plugins are very useful and this article is NOT to convince bloggers to dump your SEO plugin.
In fact, let me state plainly that you should use what makes you most comfortable according to the training here at WA.
But for me personally... most SEO plugins have features I don't really need.
So my main goal in this test is this:
1. Improve Time Efficiency: There has been so many times where I had redundant features in plugins and those things negatively affected my sites reporting and/or performance. These were hard lessons that took me hours to figure out. Time that I could have used to create more content.
2. Get FASTER: Because of mobile-first indexing, I need my site to be as lean as possible. The fewer bloated plugins I have installed, the better. Google will not give you a bump in rankings for having the fastest site, but Google will ding you for having a slow site. So overall speed and loading time of my site is 2nd priority after Content creation.
3. Positive and Liberating Mindset: I used to be in the rat race of churning out content as quickly as I could and then manually indexing in Google and then get frustrated why Google won't crawl my site fast enough. But now, I write the content, hit publish, then move on with more important things.
4. Mitigate Points of Failure: I am sure some of you remember that faithful Yoast update that created a "Google Panda-like" slap to blogs. I don't want that to happen again because a software developer did not test their product properly.
Wordpress has you covered
So Wordpress, especially since Gutenberg, has a lot of the necessary SEO functions already built in.
Canonical URLs, 404 redirection, robots.txt editors, etc...
And for the few things you actually need an SEO Plugin for, you can install a very small, lean, and fast plugin that specializes in doing one function.
"But Chris, why would you uninstall 1 plugin to install 4 in its place??"
I hear you loud and clear...
Picture this... hiring an all-around (dare I say 'all-in-one') handyman to renovate your kitchen versus hiring a contractor that does nothing but renovate kitchens for a living.
Or even one step farther... when you go to your doctor (or general practitioner), when he sees something of note, he doesn't diagnose it himself; he refers you to a specialist.
Catch my drift?
Plus, how many times have you carefully worded your keyword-rich meta-description, only to Google your site and see that Google used another random snippet from the article?
Why waste time writing something that Google is ignoring?
But what if Google can't find my site?
First, we are talking about Google here... not Sizzler.
Those guys and gals are good at what they do. Google WILL find you. It is what they do all day, every day... no problem.
Plus, any information that you need to know about your site (good or bad), you will find in Google Analytics or the Google Search Console.
So concentrate on creating more content. Content is king and content will get you ranked.
So My Next Move....
I will do my best to optimize my site for SEO without having to use any bloated plugins.
Find a good theme with SEO functions already built-in.
Concentrate on the content and let everything else fall into place...
I will provide updates over the coming months to let you know how it goes.
Caution and Disclaimer...
I, again, just want to reiterate that I am doing this for MY TEST SITE.
Please do not follow suit. If you do, do so at your own risk.
As a seasoned (and obsessed) blogger/entrepreneur I have the time and funds to test this out and it not affect my bottom line.
The training here at WA is darn near flawless and works when followed step-by-step. So I recommend doing it just as constituted.
But if you are feeling adventurous, launch your next blog SEO plugin-free. Start creating content, give it a few months and see what happens.
Worst case... you can just install AIO and call it a day.