I don’t recommend using an SEO plugin, and I don’t recommend not using one. It depends on who you’re trying to reach out to.
E.g., if you’re a local business (say a veterinarian) and everybody in town knows who you are, worrying about SEO probably isn’t going to give you a good return on your investment. That time could better be spent promoting your website and your business through social media.
On the other hand, if you are trying to reach out to people who don’t know who you are or where you are, then a little effort toward SEO can’t hurt. That said, SEO is not a magic bullet. The key to good site promotion is good navigation and structure, good content, and regular updates.
I like the Yoast SEO plugin. (There’s another one out there whose name escapes me at the moment, but it’s very popular. It’s also kind of buggy, at least with Graphene, in my experience.)
They can, depending on how your host is set up and which plugin you use and how you have it configured.
“A lot” is relative, though. Eliminating calls to the database (which “related posts” type plugins often make a lot of) can sometimes have a greater effect.
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