Every day, thousands of new websites compete for the top spot in search engine rankings. This is where SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, can make a difference.
According to a survey, about 39% of content marketers say they cannot drive traffic by creating content alone. Ensuring your content is SEO-friendly significantly improves website traffic and conversions. Thankfully, WordPress, the most popular blogging and publishing platform, has you covered with a range of SEO plugins.
As a blogger or publisher, WordPress SEO plugins help you discover your audience, get more traffic and sales. It also helps you master on-page SEO tasks such as meta tags, titles, and more. These plugins also simplify technical SEO tasks such as page speed optimization, redirects, canonicals, and hreflang. You can also gain deeper insights into your audience and the traffic sources with SEO plugins.
To read more about WordPress plugins beyond SEO, read our list here.
WordPress provides a built-in SEO-friendly setup right out of the box. A basic search for ''SEO'' in the WordPress plugins directory throws thousands of options.
This handpicked list (not ranked) will help you choose the best SEO plugin that suits your WordPress blog or website’s requirements.
10 Best SEO WordPress Plugins
- Yoast SEO
- W3 Total Cache
- All in One SEO
- Monster Insights
Rank Math is an all-in-one SEO plugin that helps you with on-page and technical SEO tasks. Based in New Delhi, India, it is known as The Swiss Army knife of WordPress SEO because of the number of features it provides for free.
Rank Math's plugin will do basic tasks such as automatically generating sitemaps and adding the target = “blank” attribute to your links. The 404 monitoring feature helps redirect a dead page that helps you engage with your audience better.
The paid version of Rank Math offers a keyword rank tracker, custom schema builder, video and news sitemap, Google Analytics, Google Trends connection, and more.
- Add rich snippets easily
- Pre-selected optimal settings
- Social Media Optimization
- Lightweight and quick WordPress plugin
- Steep learning curve for beginners with a lot of attributes
- Compatibility concerns with various WordPress plugin
If you’ve been following SEO plugins for WordPress, you have most likely heard of Yoast. Joost De Valk created the Yoast platform in 2007. Yoast helps you optimize your on-page SEO and enter keywords that help you rank higher on the Google search results. Yoast plugin can highly improve your website’s online presence.
However, a common criticism of Yoast SEO is that it is bloated and adds a lot of unnecessary code to your site. It also focuses on adding more keywords rather than focusing on content.
- An accessible and user-friendly tool
- Works as SEO Proofreader
- Prevent your Really Simple Syndication(RSS) feed from content scrapers
- Not good at understanding the intent of the content
- Adds a lot of advertisement to the WordPress backend
ShortPixel was founded in Bucharest, Romania, in 2014 by Simon Duduica. They launched their first paid version of the service in April 2015.
This tool compresses images, making large image files smaller and leading to faster load time. A free account will get you 100 free image compressions each month or pay for credits if you need more. One of the best ways to speed up your site is by optimizing images. Short Pixel compresses images without loss of quality, extracts EXIF data, and optimizes them in other ways.
- Optimization for all files (JPG/JPEG, PNG, GIF, PDF)
- No file size limit
- Automatic and Bulk Optimization
- One-click backup and restore
- Sometimes, the images in Short Pixel load slow
- The optimization can take a little more than the required time
Ahrefs is a software company that develops online SEO tools which help you optimize your website for search engines. Dmitry Gerasimenko, the founder and CEO of Ahrefs, created his first document search engine when he was just 15 years old.
This plugin works by crawling search engines and websites for data. It gives you an interface that you can use to:
- Find out what people are looking for on search engines
- Create web content that will help you generate traffic
- Identifying link-building opportunities
- Change technical aspects of your website content to achieve a higher search ranking.
Ahrefs all-in-one SEO toolset can also help users with Competitor Research, Link Building, Keyword Research, Website Audit, Rank Tracking, and Mention Monitoring. Ahrefs' vast database enables Ahrefs to provide maximum data accuracy to its users.
- Great UI and UX
- Excellent Site Audit Feature
- Deep Dives on Specific Keywords
- Poor Rank Tracking
- Limited PPC Features
- Irrelevant Keyword Suggestions
W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is a free WordPress caching plugin built by Frederick Townes and used on over one million sites.
This tool helps you speed up your WordPress website and accelerates your SEO, UX, and Search Rankings. W3 Total Cache speeds up your WordPress website on all devices including mobile or desktop. It ensures that the visitors receive lightning speed.
Page Caching is essential to speed up your WordPress website. W3 Total Cache will do that for you quickly and easily. It also provides several options for disk and RAM-based storage such as Redis or Memcached.
While the plugin's key features are free to use, some services such as improved server and site configuration assistance are paid.
- Free plugin
- Improves website speed index
- Easy to compress site files like HTML, CSS, JS, and many more
- Not Beginner User Friendly
- No documentation or reliable support
- Could conflict with other plugins
All in One SEO
All in One SEO (AIOSEO), previously known as Semper Plugins' All in One SEO Pack. AIOSEO is part of the same team that brings you WPBeginner, the most popular WordPress resource site. OptinMonster, the best WordPress forms plugin, and WPForms, the top analytics plugin, MonsterInsights, among others.
It is a feature-rich SEO plugin for WordPress websites. You can integrate it with eCommerce websites. Moreover, it automatically optimizes titles for Google and other search engines. In fact, it can automatically generate meta tags as well. It helps avoid duplicate content and is compatible with other plugins. Besides, it is multilingual with translation available in 57 languages. This is of huge help if you need to operate in languages other than English.
- Easy to Set up
- Easily editable description and title
- Comparatively more free features
- No content analysis or SEO scoring feature
- Difficult navigation
- No support in the free version
Want to know more about SEO?
Listen in to our podcast with Kyle Sutton, Director of SEO, USA Today Network as he shares insights around news SEO and Google ranking
If you are looking for a simple, beginner-level SEO plugin to boost your ratings, then SEOPress is one you should check out. This plugin was created by Benjamin Denis and the company is based out of France. It has various SEO tools such as title, redirection, XML images, and more.
Its implementation yields better results with a higher ranking in search results. Most of the parameters are set automatically in the configuration wizard. It makes it easy for anyone to configure SEOPress without having much knowledge about SEO or coding.
Features for redirection, markup, analyzing, and monitoring your site make SEOPress more attractive. This single plugin contains all the features required in maintaining your site’s SEO.
- Optimizes content on social media
- Integrated Page builders
- Effectively manages SEO title and meta tags
- Optimizes images automatically for better SEO performance
- Not as popular as other SEO plugins
- More time and effort required
- Importing configuration from other SEO plugins can be confusing
It is an essential SEO plugin that focuses on redirecting pages that no longer exists. Redirection was created by London-based John Godley who is an employee of Automattic (founded by WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg).
In case you need to redirect a page to another URL, Redirection simplifies the task of setting up 301 redirects.
This plugin also lets you set up “conditional” redirects. This means that you can implement redirects based on the user's login status, what browser they're using, their IP address, etc.
- Logs every redirect on your website
- You can track 404 errors in WordPress
- You can change your website’s permalink structure
- Only redirects if the page type is 404
- Role management is not available for users
- Does not import data from JSON files
SEMRush is a Boston-based company founded by Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitri Melnikov. Semrush is a SaaS platform used for keyword research and online ranking data, including metrics such as search volume and cost per click (CPC). This platform also collects information about online keywords gathered from search engines such as Google and Bing.
Used by professional SEO experts, marketers, bloggers, and businesses, SEMRush provides a comprehensive set of tools to grow your website traffic. SEMRush is used to find organic keywords and search terms that you can easily rank for. It allows you to do competitive research and see which keywords your competitors rank for.
SEMRush SEO Writing Assistant tool helps you improve your website content to beat the top 10 results for your focus keyword. It can easily be integrated with WordPress.
- Keyword Research
- Site Audits
- Competitors Analysis
- Backlink Audits
- Semrush provides data only for Google
- Few competitive analysis features cost an additional $200 per month
- The site is difficult to use on mobile
Syed Balkhi is the CEO and founder of MonsterInsights. MonsterInsights is one of the best Google Analytics plugins for WordPress SEO. It allows you to install Google Analytics in WordPress and shows how human-readable reports inside your WordPress dashboard are.
It also tells you where your users are coming from, your top content, and what users do on your website. It also allows you to track your eCommerce SEO by seeing which products are popular, and where you are losing customers.
- Easy Google Analytics setup
- Advanced Tracking to understand the audience better
- Helps in increasing Website Traffic
- Limited features in the free version
- A little costly
You can install these plugins on your WordPress website and change them to make your content more accessible. You’ll be able to see a change in your site’s SEO rankings within 3 months in most cases. But, there is always a risk when you install plugins on your website. So, it is essential that you do proper research and that you install the right software.
SEO plugins are constantly improving and changing. As the needs of your website change, you can change to a plugin that aligns with your website accordingly.
If you want more information on the best WordPress plugins beyond SEO, read our listing on the Best WordPress plugins here.