Search engine optimization has become one of the most common elements of almost all businesses that are online. Also, it is one of those hot topics that is only getting hotter day by day. Another hot topic that is taking the digital marketing space by storm is ‘WordPress’. Clubbing these two will be a pure gem. In this guide, I will be talking about WordPress SEO plugins.
The list is huge, so you don’t have to bang on your hosting server and install all the plugins. Depending on your needs that need immediate attention, you can install those plugins first. The list mentioned here will touch various aspects of search engine optimization and hence the plugins will vary accordingly.
WordPress is super SEO-friendly but still, there will be some loopholes left that will fill as per your needs. The optimizations you make are to meet your business goals and hence wordpress is not at fault of not being perfectly SEO friendly.
That being said, let’s dive into the list of the WordPress SEO plugins you’ll ever need in 2019.
Top WordPress SEO Plugins (& Tools) for Your Blog
#1 WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin
It would be an ethical crime if I begin the post about WordPress SEO plugins with other than Yoast. One of the reasons I migrated to self-hosted wordpress was a post by Yoast on WordPress SEO. The plugin is all you will need as a beginner to manage your On-Page SEO needs.
Yoast is the original wordpress SEO plugin since 2008, with over 5+ million active installs. With Yoast you will be able to take care of the following SEO needs:
Create & manage sitemap XML file by a click of a button
Set canonical URLs & manage duplicate content
Title & Meta description for the SERPs
Detailed SEO analysis of the content you create on your blog
You can integrate all top search engines webmaster tools like Google, Bing, Yandex & Baidu
Manage individual page & preview how it will be displayed on the SERPs
There are a ton of features that you’d find super useful. This is a must-have SEO plugin for wordpress website/blog.
Here’s a video by Neil Patel that will help you understand the importance of Yoast Plugin
#2 All in One SEO Pack
Second most popular SEO plugin for wordpress to date. With over 2 million active installs, this plugin is helping millions of beginners with On-Page SEO. You can check out the features this plugin provides here.
If I had to choose one plugin of Yoast & this plugin, I’ll choose Yoast for two major reasons.
Yoast has a ton of resources on SEO training for free. While All in one SEO has the knowledge base as a pro feature.
The support is also free to a great extent. There are guides you can refer from the knowledge base for free, if you cannot find the solution, you can reach out to the support team.
Yoast does a way better job at support for the tool which is more important than providing the tool.
#3 Premium SEO Pack
Third party plugin and paid one. This plugin is not hosted on wordpress plugin repository, hence I’m not sure how secure this plugin will be. However, based on the reviews, I can say this is a reliable plugin.
This plugin is an analytics cum SEO tool. You can integrate Google Analytics, check your page speed data, set focus keywords, etc.
My money still on Yoast.
Note: This plugin is not available on the WordPress plugin repository. Install & activate at your own risk.
#4 W3 Total Cache
Did you know that site loading speed has been officially declared as a ranking factor by Google? Google recommends considering page speed very seriously.
Google’s Zhiheng Wang and Doantam Phan wrote:
The “Speed Update,” as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.
Therefore, speeding up your webpages should be a top priority. I personally use W3 Total Cache plugin for my blogs and it works like a charm. Implementing browser caching, this plugin ensures your pages loads faster than they used to before using it.
It has a ton of options you can configure as per your need. W3 Total Cache plugin also has CDN integration but that’s a paid feature.
Check out the plugin in the wordpress plugin repository here.
Alternatively, you can try the WP Super Cache plugin.
#5 SEO by Squirrly
I won’t dare to pronounce the latter part of the plugin’s name but the plugin is liked by top marketers like Brian Dean from Backlinko & Neil Patel. You can discover keywords to use in your articles, real-time SEO tips to tweak your articles, audit your website and a ton of features that you can keep counting the whole day.
Check out the plugin here and if it suits you, download and activate it straight away. You won’t regret.
Yet another simple but highly important redirection plugin for wordpress SEO. Depending on the data I get from the search engines, I keep updating the articles with keywords that my webpages are getting impressions for. This includes changing the URL of the webpages too.
Now, if you try changing URL of the existing blog post on wordpress, you’ll notice that wordpress informs you about the redirection error you might get. When you change the URL, the old URL is still accessible and if users land on that page, they’ll see a 404 page which means disappointing users and that’s a big red flag raised against you.
To manage this, you can use this plugin to redirect the old URLs to the new ones without worrying of losing any traffic. If anyone accesses the old URL, they’ll be automatically redirected to the new URL without taking any extra time.
#7 All in One Schema Rich Snippets
There’s a thin line between a casual blogger and a professional blogger. The difference is seen in the SERPs. The way the page results of a professional blogger appear on SERPs is totally different.
Rich Snippets are SERPs feature used by top search engines to give enhanced experience for their end users. This means that search results display extra information the users might be interested in. But website owners need to define this before search engines can display that information to the end users.
That’s where this plugin comes into action. With the help of this plugin, you can get high-quality rich snippets in the SERPs using schema markup.
Learn more about scheme markup here.
One of the best paid keyword research tool out there. With the help of Ahrefs, you can dig backlink data, keywords data, conduct audit for your website/blog and what not. Ahrefs is not a pocket-friendly tool to rely on. However, you can use free tools like UberSuggest that does the same job pretty well.
Sure, it doesn’t contain as much of data as Ahrefs does, but it’s more than enough, to begin with.
Unless you’re under a rock, you should’ve come across SEMrush at least once. SEMrush is more than just a keyword research tool. Unlike Ahrefs, it has a wide variety of tools to offer. One of which is SEMrush Writing Assistant.
With help this plugin, you will be able to get detailed insight from an on-page SEO perspective and improve chances of ranking higher with the help of this data backed plugin. You will get suggestions based on your target keywords and writing score.
#10 Google Keyword Planner
Show me someone who has more insights into what people are searching for than Google. I’ll wait.
Google Keyword Planner is actually meant for advertisers to decide keywords to include in their ad copy, became a savior for beginners. As the rich data, the tool provides on the search volume of any given keyword. There’s no plugin for this tool on wordpress, but what more can we ask for?
Thanks to Google for keeping this tool accessible to everyone. I began my keyword research with this tool. However, the tool no more shows exact search volume which was a major decider for me. But still, this tool is way better than many free features of the other paid tools.
If there any tool that’s one of the best keyword research tool available for free, it’s KeywordTool.io. Simply enter your target keyword and the tool will spit out new keyword ideas you can use in your blog posts. This tool fetches data from the Google autosuggest feature in the search engine. Needless to say how updated Google’s autosuggestions are. It free and it helps you optimize your content by suggestions from YouTube, Bing, & App Stores.
#12 Open Site Explorer
One of the many free tools provided by Moz is Open Site Explorer. You can spy on any domain, find who’s linking to that domain, what anchor texts they use and keywords they rank for, etc. The tool is basically free but has a cap on daily research you can make. You can unlock full potential by subscribing to the pro version of the tool.
#13 OutReach Plus
If email marketing is your backbone, then OutReach Plus will be the backbone of your backbone. With features like smart personalization, automated response, open rates, replies, link clicks and more.
The best feature of this tool is the built-in email client which ensure that your email doesn’t get mistaken as spam email.
#14 Broken Link Checker
Broken links are a bad experience to the end users, which raises a red flag against your domain. The external links you link out to may expire or redirect and simply get extinct. Whatever the reason be, broken links simply are simply not permissible.
Therefore you should keep checking for broken links on your blog. This plugin will inform you if it finds any broken link which you can either replace with other links or simply remove it.
#15 NoFollow Checkbox
Did you know that search engine crawlers crawl your webpages with certain crawl budget? If the budget is overspent, you might lose SEO benefit because of it. To keep this in check, you can declare certain external links (and internal link sometimes) as Nofollow and retain the crawler on your webpage.
Make sure you don’t nofollow all external links, this will raise a red flag and crawler may mark your webpage as spam. NoFollow only those links that are either less relevant or optional links. Like affiliate links, link to forum threads, homepage, etc. Furthermore, dofollow external links that are highly relevant to your blog post. External links indirectly help you improve your SEO by improving the user experience of your end user.
With the help of this plugin, you can add a nofollow checkbox in the add link menu of wordpress.
#16 SEO Quake
If you want to keep a close on your competitors, then use SEO Quake free extension available for Chrome, Firefox & Opera. Unlike other paid competitor spying tool, SEO Quake shares data like page rank, last updated, Alexa rank and other SEO metrics, for FREE!
Furthermore, you can export the data in CSV file for offline use.
#17 Image Compression & Optimizing plugins
Multimedia is the heart of blogging and with tools like canva making to the market, usage of images is only going to increase. Most of these tools generate high-quality images which slow down your webpages & reduces the chances of ranking well.
With image optimizing plugins like Short Pixel, you can compress images without losing quality. You can also use the Image Optimization Plugin to optimize images for image search engines and get traffic from there too.
#18 WP Touch Mobile & AMP plugins
While the whole world going mobile, Google has pulled up its socks for mobile first indexing. Plugins like WP Touch Mobile & AMP make sure that your webpages are mobile friendly on devices like Mobile Phones & Tablets.
These plugins will keep your webpages in good shape. Furthermore, if your traffic is majorly from mobile devices, you should definitely have this plugin. I’d recommend AMP but you’ll lose the theme you have for the desktop version.
#19 Social sharing plugins
Social media is booming and is the next big thing for the digital marketing industry. More & more people are joining various social media platforms and hence making it important for businesses to acquire their users on social media too. Therefore, if you want your visitors to share your content on their social media network, make it easy for them to share.
#20 SEO Framework
Here’s the best plugin of this lot. I saved it for the end. If you are with me till here, this plugin is a token of respect for you.
All the plugins I listed above are either paid or free. But the SEO features that this plugin has is absolutely free and is a great alternative to many paid plugins & tools I listed above.
You can check out the features SEO Framework can help you with here. The list is very long to include here. But I promise that this is the best beginner-friendly plugin you will find on SEO wordpress plugin directory.
Final Thoughts on WordPress SEO Plugins
A good craftsman is as good as his tools, rightly said. WordPress is a great tool, but it’s the plugins that do the actual magic.
I hope I have added value to your time by sharing this list of wordpress SEO plugins. If there’s a plugin that you think I should include in this list, mention it in the comment below.
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