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No matter what kind of website you have, SEO is a multifaceted discipline. It often involves blogs and other web copy that are optimized for keywords, images with the perfect tags and meta descriptions, and even video that’s competitive on YouTube. Knowing all of the plugins that exist for WordPress that can aid your efforts is critical for your success. After all, there’s no one size fits all solution. While there are aspects of SEO that apply to everyone, like utilizing a broken link checker, certain features or techniques are more appropriate in certain situations than others, and advanced tools can be invaluable to cut down on loading times and further optimize your sites and pages.
In case you need a reminder as to why SEO optimization is so critical to your business’ success, let’s look at some statistics. For one, around 93% of the time, people start their internet journey on a search engine to seek out all content types and to cover most needs. Consequently, 39% of global eCommerce traffic starts there. At the same time, 75% of Google users don’t browse past the first page of results, so it’s important for business owners to get those eyeballs early via optimization features.
Not convinced SEO is necessary yet? Another statistic shows that for a typical SERP, the top five listings get over 67% of all site visits. Prioritizing SEO is critical to ensuring that you get a healthy amount of organic traffic. You shouldn’t rely on other marketing techniques for most of your traffic, especially since so much of it is highly competitive. With that in mind, let’s look at the best SEO free and premium plugins and analytics features for WordPress that will help increase your blog post SEO for individual posts and your site overall.
WordPress and SEO
WordPress is famous for being a CMS that is optimized for SEO for your individual posts and general site pages. After all, it was originally built as a very sophisticated blogging platform, accessible by inexperienced and experienced users alike, even after its use expanded far beyond the blogosphere. The drop-down and side menus are excellent for sorting information into categories, which is an important aspect of SEO efforts.
That being said, WordPress alone doesn’t allow you to easily optimize your meta title and meta description for each page or blog post, which can impair an SEO analysis. This information is critical for you to inform search engines how you want your title and description to show up in Google Search Results. Similar to business cards or traditional text advertising, meta titles and meta descriptions are the first impressions that tell people what’s on your site and let them decide if they want to visit after entering their search terms.
Further Reading: The 17 Most Useful WordPress Tips and Tricks to Blog Like a Pro!
Do You Need an SEO Plugin for WordPress?
Simply put, choosing the best SEO plugins for WordPress is essential. That is why you need an SEO plugin, to at a minimum allow you to easily enter the meta title and meta description for each post or page. With that said, SEO Plugins can do a LOT more than just that. For instance, they can help make your website more readable by humans and can offer additional features like competitor analysis tools. Basic SEO tips can only get you so far without a plugin to deliver a readability analysis and evaluate SEO components. Let’s check out these best SEO plugins for WordPress, any additional features they offer, and dig into how they can help you in your search engine optimization efforts.
Which Free SEO Plugin is Best for WordPress?
Hands down, Yoast SEO has become the default handy tool for WordPress SEO. While a few years ago there were a few that were in contention, over the last few years, Yoast SEO has solidified its ranking. And while Yoast SEO isn’t quite synonymous with SEO overall, it’s typically the go-to among the best SEO plugins for WordPress.
Despite the popularity of Yoast SEO and Yoast SEO Premium, each plugin has its own unique features and user interface, so you might find an alternative that suits your needs. For instance, you might want to use one that specializes in eCommerce sites or includes a Google keyword planner. Or, in some situations, choosing an SEO plugin that’s already part of your website tool stack or WordPress maintenance service makes your life easier, while still delivering the necessary results.
Further Reading: The 21 Best WordPress Plugins for Business Blogs in 2023
The 15 Best SEO Plugins for WordPress
With all of that said, let’s take a look at your SEO plugin options, from built-in to third-party SEO tools. These are chosen for their high quality and, in some cases, specialized functionality that can benefit certain types of businesses or websites. For instance, some specialize in technical fields and offer more advanced webmaster tools like redirect managers and automation features, where your potential audience has specific things they’re looking for or your site is large enough to warrant advanced features and a premium plugin over basic SEO features.
Comprehensive WordPress SEO Plugins
Among the best SEO plugins for WordPress, these give the widest, most general SEO support. This means that you need to know what features are essential and which are optional. In addition, understanding which optional items should be used for your site or niche might take some learning or experimenting; load time may be essential for some larger sites, while loading times may not be as vital for a small blog.
Yoast SEO is among the best plugins for WordPress for a reason. Going beyond simply telling you how you’re performing on search engines, Yoast SEO gives you suggestions for improvement and the structured data to back it up. And, the plugin works for more than just plain text: some versions include video, social media functionalities, and more. Even the most basic version gives you suggestions to backlink like a pro. They’ll even kill dead links for you. Do note that there are free and several paid or premium versions, so be sure to pick the right one for you.
All in One SEO for WordPress (AIOSEO)
With AIOSEO, you get a lot of tools in one easy-to-use user-friendly plugin. For instance, you get support for video, local SEO, and Google news in one tool. As an added bonus, you get on-page analytics and suggestions for improvement. By contrast, some of the other best SEO plugins for WordPress require you to install these tools separately. However, perhaps the most compelling feature is the ability to control access for different users, making team blog management a snap. While this is not necessarily a valuable tool to improve search rankings, it can be particularly useful for advanced users.
This plugin has a few notable features. For instance, the tool is fully integrated with multiple social networks, including Pinterest and LinkedIn. This lets you take much of the guesswork out of your social media SEO. In addition, Rank Math uses an easily readable interface that lets you turn on only what you need to receive actionable insights alone, without any additional fluff.
If you run a marketing or SEO agency, then this is among the best SEO plugins for WordPress. That’s because they offer a white label solution that lets you put your company name on their product. Best of all, this is available even on the free version. For everyone else, the image SEO features are excellent.
SEO by Squirrly
Squirrly SEO is great because it is driven by the latest AI technology. It is designed specifically for small business owners who don’t have a lot of time to learn SEO or run their websites. The developers also claim that it takes the guesswork out of good performance and provides a “paint by number” approach to making content for search engine optimization.
Ahrefs SEO WordPress Plugin
Ahrefs is another name in SEO that has a long record for high-quality results. However, they are best known for automated site audits. These tell you what’s doing well, and where you need to improve. But they go further by giving suggestions on how to improve it. The other thing that Ahrefs does is provide analytics right next to your page listings. This way, you don’t have to look for the info anywhere else and can implement the insights delivered by the powerful features immediately.
The SEO Framework
The SEO Framework has two basic selling points. First, they claim to be the most ethical SEO plugin out there, using only white hat techniques and foregoing customer tracking. This means that they are the best if you need a high level of privacy protection. Second, this is among the best SEO plugins for WordPress when you and your clients need high security. If you run a site where this is potentially an issue, often due to the types of content with sensitive subject matter or business practices, check it out.
WP Meta SEO
WP Meta SEO has one of the more advanced features set offered in a WordPress plugin, in order to make sure that your keyword suggestions, internal links, and overall SEO efforts are up to snuff. The plugin provides an in-depth SEO analysis and ranking factors to determine how well your keyword rankings are performing, and to determine the likelihood of receiving more organic traffic to your site. One of the more popular SEO plugins, WP Meta SEO is useful because it’s a WordPress-specific plugin that can be used to tackle numerous SEO efforts, including the presence of broken links, inadequate sitemaps, inadequate external links, and more.
Further Reading: Blogging for Beginners Tips: 5 Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE Starting a WordPress Blog!
Onsite Content Optimization WordPress SEO Plugins
If you want to focus solely on the SEO of your content, there is one highly recommended plugin. This is a dedicated tool when you aren’t interested in any of the bells and whistles. For this reason, it’s a decent place to start looking for the best SEO plugins for WordPress.
SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant
If you already use SEMrush for your online marketing needs, then check out the writing assistant. It helps you compose content that’s immediately competitive on search engines without having to adjust SEO settings or identify your own content insights. In addition, there’s a version that is added to Google Docs. This means you can use already free software for word processing and enjoy the benefits of the writing assistant. Finally, take comfort with their free plagiarism checker that can help even the most experienced users.
Google Analytics WordPress SEO Plugins
While you can enter the Google Analytics code yourself in your WordPress theme, having a separate plugin makes it easier to do so. These also allow you to see critical Google Analytics information inside your WordPress dashboard without leaving, which is very convenient.
This one has an incredible advantage for any company that does business in Europe, even if it’s just selling digital products. Specifically, MonsterInsights gives you information about your audience while also being compliant with EU data protection standards. In addition, this plugin has dedicated eCommerce functionality, which is a handy tool for anyone with an online store.
Specialized Technical WordPress SEO Plugins
There are many backend technical things that need to be done to improve the SEO of your WordPress site to come out on top in a competitor analysis. These plugins all do one thing and do one thing well from a technical perspective, with the exception of WP Rocket, which hosts a wide array of technical features that deserve your consideration. Of course, these are among the best SEO plugins for WordPress if you need extra help in the specialty area to increase your ranking on search engines.
Broken Link Checker
This is a tool that crawls your site looking for broken links. Then, the plugin lets you know about any broken links it finds so that you can fix or remove the link. By fixing links, you’ll improve your SEO with minimal effort. This is often considered a speed optimization, as it can be done quickly and easily and requires checking in on from time to time rather than constantly.
If you have a lot of redirects or 404 errors on your site, you’ll love this free plugin. Redirection is a special tool to find those errors, giving you the chance to fix them. In addition, some redirections can be done automatically by the plugin. This makes your life much easier if your site has a lot of links and is considered a plugin suitable for larger or more complicated sites.
W3 Total Cache
W3 is a caching plugin that improves user experience. Besides basic caching, like Google Search Console, this plugin improves your load speed and reduces bounce rate. There’s support for most of the major programming languages and scripts, so your WordPress site can be loaded with media and still benefit from W3 Total Cache. Finally, if you want to be mobile-friendly, this is definitely among the most popular SEO plugins because it does mobile optimization.
This one is designed to work alongside Yoast to optimize a specific type of website. So, if you have an eCommerce site then Schema Pro will optimize with that in mind. Once it’s set up, the plugin essentially runs on autopilot.
This one is designed to work alongside Yoast SEO to optimize a specific type of website. So, if you have an eCommerce site, then Schema Pro will optimize with that in mind. Once it’s set up, the plugin essentially runs on autopilot to deliver the schema markup that will most effectively index you appropriately according to your keyword rankings.
If you need a great caching plugin that also does SEO, then check out WP Rocket. The aim of WP Rocket is to improve your SEO by reducing bounce rate through improved load speeds. In addition, you can optimize the file types for multimedia and set the site to only load media files when needed. Finally, WP Rocket automatically uses best practices to ensure optimal performance for keyword rankings and more.
Further Reading: WordPress Speed Optimization: The 6 Best Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Website
When it comes to the best SEO plugins for WordPress, there’s a lot more available than most people realize. While Yoast SEO is the most dominant plugin and has been for a few years, it isn’t perfect for everyone. Many site owners will find that the other plugins in this article work better for them and their WordPress SEO needs. However, no matter what you choose, it’s critical that you have a good SEO plan to drive traffic to your site and meet the competition head on.
From a broken link checker to an evaluation of loading times, business owners and site owners rely heavily upon load time, types of content, and SEO settings to successfully reach new and existing clients and customers, promote themselves on social media platforms, and enjoy the benefits of lasting site availability and success.
Further Reading: WordPress SEO: 31+ Best Practices for Improving Your Ranking
Hero photo by Justin Morgan on Unsplash
Best SEO Plugin for WordPress FAQs
Here are the best SEO plugin for WordPress 2023:
1. Yoast SEO2. Ahrefs SEO WordPress Plugin3. Rank Math4. Premium SEO Pack5. SEOPress6. The SEO Framework7. Ultimate SEO
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that helps you create a website from scratch, or improve an existing website. WordPress is free to use, and it’s easy to set up. However, WordPress doesn’t come with built-in SEO features. This means that if you want your WordPress website to be found by Google and other search engines, you’ll need to install an SEO plugin.
These are the best free SEO for WordPress:
1. Rank Math2. All in One SEO for WordPress3. Yoast SEO4. Premium SEO Pack5. SEOPress6. SEOPresser
There are a variety of plugins available to help improve your website’s SEO. They are Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, and Ultimate SEO. These plugins can help you to optimize your website for better search engine visibility. They can also assist you in creating sitemaps, generating meta tags, and improving your website’s link structure. These plugins also offer features such as keyword research and analysis, social media integration, and support for multiple languages. Choosing the right plugin depends on your specific needs and goals.
Yoast is generally considered to be a good tool for improving SEO. Yoast provides users with clear and actionable advice on how to improve their website’s content and structure, both of which are important factors in Google’s ranking algorithm. Overall, while Yoast is not a guaranteed top search engine rankings, it is certainly a valuable tool for any website owner who is looking to improve their site’s SEO.
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