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If you use WordPress as a content management system or use it for blogging on your business website, you might be wondering whether you need all those plugins that Internet marketers keep recommending, particularly the SEO plugins. Let me just say that SEO is different for every website, so any recommendation for a cookie-cutter SEO plan is a bad recommendation.

That said, there are a few SEO plugins that are good to have, but I’ve seen websites succeed without them. Here’s what I’d suggest to you if you are starting a new website today.

First, build your site and set up your blog. Make sure you employ traditional SEO tactics that are known to still work. These include optimizing your title tags, ensuring your website navigation is pure and easy to use, and managing your keywords effectively. Promote your website using social media, but be careful that you don’t become a social media and/or link spammer. Before you start adding SEO plugins, wait 30 to 60 days. Meanwhile, blog every day using your keyword list as a checklist for topics to write about.

During that 30-60 trial period, monitor your search engine rankings, traffic, and keyword referrer list. Are people finding your website for the keywords you want to be found for? Is your site indexed?

If your site does well without the SEO plugins, you may not need them. But if your site isn’t doing well after 60 days and isn’t gaining in search engine visibility, then add one plugin. Don’t add any more. Test that plugin to see if it improves your search engine visibility. If not, try another. Stop testing plugins when you see improvement. Test each one for 30 days before switching it with another plugin. If you see no improvement at all after 6 months, get rid of all SEO plugins and see how you rank for your keywords now. Chances are, you can get by without the plugins, but it’s nice to have them if you need them.

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