WordPress is the most widely used content management system(CMS) these days. There are several reasons for it, such as it is easy to build and customize the website in it. In addition, WordPress offers a few plugins for extra functionality.
Once the website is created, your next move should be about the SEO of the website. What is SEO, and why everyone is asking about SEO these days? These are the question that you should know before going forward.
SEO is a kind of technique that you tend to rank your website at the top of the Google ranking and gain some traffic. However, I think quality content is not enough for the ranking; now, you need good SEO.
Some SEO factors include page loading speed, mobile-friendly, user experience, high-quality images, optimized content, etc. Based on these factors, the search engine ranks your pages.
The best thing about WordPress is, it provides some SEO plugins. Few among them are free, while some are premium. These SEO plugins will fulfil all the SEO related requirements, and you will observe a significant traffic boost.
Does WordPress SEO Plugins Help in Ranking?
The main functionality of SEO is to make the users and search engine happy. WordPress provides many SEO plugins that fulfil the requirements of both user and search engine. When used properly, WordPress plugins will help you create better communication with the search engine and users.
So WordPress SEO plugins work well if they are used properly. Below are the points why SEO plugins matter:
- Create the best user experience for your site.
- Keep the engine happy by properly following their rules.
- Build an outstanding online reputation.
Multipurpose WordPress SEO Plugins
Few plugins provide all the features you require to optimize your website. These Plugins are a kind of pack with all SEO functionalities. Once you install these plugins, you will not need other SEO plugins.
These plugins provide multiple functionalities such as adding meta tags or description, generate sitemaps and help to improve the other aspects of your site.
1. Yoast SEO Plugin [Free & Premium]
Yoast SEO plugin is the most popular and used WordPress SEO plugin. It is developed by the Joost de Valk. It offers a variety of functionalities, you can use it free, but in the free version, you have limited features. You can buy a premium version to use its premium features, which will make your site more SEO optimized.
Yoast SEO plugin checks the focus keyword and then search the focus keyword in the slug, post and SEO title, meta description and content. After that plugin gives a few suggestions based on the focus keyword to improve them, to make your page SEO optimized.
In the free version, you will be able to use specific features, but those limited features are enough for beginner to optimize the page. Those features are listed below:
- Single keyword optimization
- Preview your page
- Readability check
- XML sitemap access
- No duplicate content
- Robot.txt and .htacess edition
In the Premium version, you will be able to use extra features such as five keywords optimization on a single page, a preview of your page on Facebook and Twitter, internal links suggestion, local SEO, video SEO and many more.
I will suggest this plugin just for its amazing features and outstanding result. It is easy to use, and it helps a lot from an SEO perspective.
2. All in One SEO Pack [Free & Paid]
This plugin is the second most SEO plugin used on WordPress websites. It provides the same features as the Yoast offer. The interface of this plugin is user-friendly,y and the best thing is you will get the usage guidelines with it.
All in One SEO Pack is developed by the WordPress developer. It offers both free and premium version. You do not need any kind of experience to get started with I; just you need to put the right data in the correct field.
The free version features of the All in one SEO pack is enough to optimize your page. The best thing about this plugin is that no feature is enabled; you must enable the required features. Below is the list of free features offered by the ALL in One SEO Pack plugin.
- XML Sitemap support
- Easy Google Analytics integration
- Support for custom post types
- Canonical URL support
- Free WooCommerce integration
- Automatic or manual meta information
For advanced SEO, you have to purchase unlock the premium features by purchasing their premium version. Once you have purchased the premium version, you will be able to use the below features.
- Advanced support
- SEO options for taxonomies
- A video SEO module
This plugin is better to make the website SEO friendly, and I recommend this plugin to use, especially for beginners, due to its amazing and user-friendly interface.
3. The SEO Framework [Free]
The SEO Framework is a popular WordPress SEO plugin. It offers various features related to SEO. This plugin is perfect for the beginner for site ranking. The best and unique thing is that it comes with artificial intelligence that optimizes all the pages automatically.
Another best and little surprising thing is that it is unbranded, which means you will find the name SEO Framework only on the activation page. This plugin points the search engine crawler in the right way hence avoiding the duplicated data issues.
This plugin is ad-free, and that’s amazing. It offers a few features available in the premium version in other plugins, but you will find these features free of cost. They are listed below:
- Support custom posts from WooCommerce
- Support custom posts from bbPress
- Other custom post types
You can use this plugin to adjust SEO by the global option and optimize all pages or posts. Maybe newbies find it difficult to use, but it is perfect for a person who has a little bit of knowledge about SEO and WordPress. In addition, you can export and import settings from this plugin to another plugin and vice versa.
4. Squirrly SEO Plugin [Premium]
Squirrly SEO plugin is another best WordPress plugin for advanced WordPress and wooCommerce sites. It is a multipurpose SEO plugin; it is best for those who know SEO. It is a premium plugin developed by Squirrly SEO.
The best thing about this plugin is that it will update you about the updates in the SEO world; you can use those updates and improve your website. In addition, this WordPress plugin lets you find a spot on the search engine where you can keep pages safe from your competitors.
Squirrly contain an advanced algorithm that helps in finding keywords. In addition, there is a live SEO Assistant in this plugin that gives tips for quality content writing. It detects duplicate content, tell about the over or under optimization.
Below is the list of few basic features of the Squirrly plugin:
- Keyword Research
- Keyword Portfolio
- Focus pages
- Content optimization
- SEO Audit
- Ranking Report
5. SEO Press [Free & Premium]
SEO press is another better WordPress SEO plugin on this list. It offers different powerful SEO features for optimizing the website content to get the top ranking in the search engine and gain traffic. Additional to better optimization, it provides social sharing and builds optimized breadcrumbs.
SEO press is a multipurpose plugin that offers unique features such as 301 direction, add schemas and google structured data types. It offers both free and premium versions.
In the free version, you can enjoy many basic features to optimize your site pages. Below is the list of few basic features that are available in the free version.
- Meta descriptions
- Open Graph Data
- Google Knowledge Graph
- GDPR compatibility
- Twitter Card
- Canonical URL
- Meta robots
- Create custom XML Sitemap to enhance search indexing.
- Image XML Sitemaps to enhance the search indexing for Google Images.
- Build your custom HTML Sitemap to improve the navigation for visitors
- Link your social media accounts to your site.
- Redirections in the post, pages, custom post types
For advanced level SEO, you need to buy the premium version of the SEO press plugin. With the pro version, you will be able to use the following additional features:
- Video XML Sitemap
- Google Suggestions in Content Analysis
- Google Structured Datatypes (schema.org)
- Automatic Schemas
- Breadcrumbs optimization
- Google Analytics Stats in Dashboard
- Google Local Business
- SEOPress BOT will scan all your links in the content to find errors
- Custom Breadcrumbs for single post types
- Google Page Speed
- Google News Sitemap
- 404 Monitoring
- Redirect 404 to homepage/custom URL
- Email notifications on 404
- 301, 302 and 307 Redirections
With SEO press building, XML sitemaps to improve search indexing is easy; you can build custom HTML sitemaps to enhance the visitors. This plugin is good for everyone who wants to optimize his site.
6. Rank Math [Free]
Rank Math is another best free WordPress SEO plugin to this list. It is easy to set up as it configures itself. The unique feature of this plugin is it allows you to optimize five keywords on a single page or post, and it supports more than 14 different kinds of rich snippets.
Rank Math is considered as the swiss army knife SEO tool for your website. It offers everything that you need for your on-page SEO. As we know that the page ranking changes frequently, this plugin will update the keyword ranking, improving the content to get a much better ranking.
Rank Math is integrated with the Google
search console, which brings all the important information to your WordPress dashboard. So you did not need to visit the Google console for tracking impression, clicks on the keyword.
Another good thing about this plugin is that it integrated with the LSI tool; through it, you will get keyword variations related to the focus keyword. There are many features, but I listed below the top functionalities.
- Optimize up to five keywords
- Google Search Console Integration
- Google Keyword Ranking
- LSI Keyword Tool Integrated
- Smart Redirection Manager
- Local SEO Business
- 404 Monitor
- Internal Linking Suggestion
Image Optimization WordPress Plugins
Before listing down the free and paid SEO plugins for the image, let’s discuss what is Image SEO and how it is important?
Image SEO is a factor of on-page SEO; image SEO aims to improve the website’s ranking in Google images search. It is also important to optimize the images to increase the page’s loading speed, and loading is the key factor of SEO.
Image optimization is reducing the file size so that the quality of the image did not affect. However, a page with a large image file size will take more time to load and display content, which is not good for Google ranking.
You can optimize images through plugins; a few of them are briefly described below:
1. ReSmush.it [Free]
Remus is the best WordPress SEO plugin that can be used to optimize the website’s images. It automatically compresses the images while uploading, and it offers a bulk optimization option for the older images.
This plugin is integrated with the reSmush API to optimize the images. It allows you to select the optimisation level before uploading images. The amazing thing about this plugin is that it has 90k + active installations, still is free of cost.
This plugin can be used on other CMS platforms such as Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and Prestashop. The uploaded image must be less than 5 MB for optimization.
2. EWWW Image Optimizer [Paid]
EWWW Image Optimizer is another best WordPress SEO plugin for image optimization purpose. It is not free; you need to pay per image optimization. But, it is easy to manage; it automatically optimizes the images with great speed. You can compress the old images in bulk through it.
The best thing about this plugin is that it compresses your server’s images; you do not need an account to get the API key. In addition, it can optimize the images that are optimized by the other plugins and can save them outside media library folders.
3. Compress JPEG & PNG [Free]
Compress JPEG & PNG are developed by the TinyPng Team. It reduces the size of the images and compresses them without losing the quality of the images. To use this plugin, you need to first create an account, and after that, you can use it.
It is a free plugin because there is a monthly limit of images that you can compress. You can optimize 100 images in a month with the free account. It automatically compresses the image while uploading; in it, you can optimize the bulk images.
Below are a few basic features of this plugin:
- Automatically optimize new images on upload.
- Advanced background optimization
- Easy bulk optimization of your existing media library.
- Display JPEG images fastly with progressive JPEG encoding.
- Supports compression of animated PNG.
- Multisite support with a single API key.
- WPML compatible.
- WooCommerce compatible
- WP Retina 2x compatible and WP Offload S3 compatible.
- Colour profiles transformed to standard RGB colour automatically.
- Convert CMYK to RGB
- No file size limits.
4. WP Smush [Free & Paid]
WP Smush is one of the most popular plugins; it is the award-winning image optimizer. There are 1 million + active installations of this plugin. It automatically compresses the images on uploading; it offers to optimize the previous images.
Wp Smush has two versions. One is free, while the other is Pro. You do not need an account to use the API key with the free version, but you need to create the account first in the pro version.
5. PB SEO Friendly Images [Free]
SEO friendly images is another best image optimizer WordPress plugin in this list. Title and ALt attribute of the image is considered one of the most important SEO factors, so it is important to cover this factor to get the Google ranking.
SEO Friendly Images plugin focuses on the alt and title attribute of the images; it optimizes these two factors according to the focus keyword and helps improve the pages’ SEO. This plugin is developed by Pascal Bajorat. This plugin is totally free.
WordPress Plugins For Internal Linking
Internal links are quite an important SEO factor; internal links help website indexing on search engines. So by using internal links in a website, you can improve the website ranking as well.
The big benefit of internal linking is that the bounce rate of the site will be decreased. That will help in the Google ranking. Internal linking is a part of the On-page SEO. Below is the list of few WordPress plugins that help in internal linking.
1. SEO Smart Link Plugin [Paid]
SEO Smart Link Plugin is one of the best WordPress plugins for internal linking. The best thing is that it automatically links the tags and categories of post or page; you can change and add the links manually.
This plugin figures out which keyword or phrase it can use to link the relative post, categories, and pages; this all happens automatically. This plugin can interlink your content to key posts or pages deeply, improving search engine ranking.
This plugin is not free; you need to purchase it. Below is the list of some key features of this plugin:
- Better navigation
- Automatically internal linking
- Affiliate marketing
2. WordPress Insights Plugin [Free]
WordPress insight is a great plugin for internal linking. The best thing about this plugin is that it has an amazing interface that is easy to use. In addition, this plugin is compatible with all the version of WordPress.
With the use of the Insight plugin, you can use improve the user experience of your website. Over time, it helps in improving your ranking in search engine through internal links.
3. Mentionable [Free]
Mentionable is another great WordPress plugin that can be used for internal linking in pages or blog posts. This plugin works the same as people use the mentioning features on Facebook. It will start suggesting the related posts while you are typing the keywords.
Whenever you want to link other posts or pages, you need to type that keyword; this plugin will show the list of posts related to that keyword and select from that list.
Schema Rich Snippets WordPress Plugins
The last few updates by the Google search algorithm becomes necessary to use the structured data markups. Using this on a website will produce rich snippets in SERPs. A rich snippet is basically the short summary of your page in the search results.
The other benefit of the rich snippets is that this is a great way to improve the click-through rate that makes you of the competition. Below is the list of plugins that can help to set up the structured data.
1. All in one schema rich snippets [Free]
All in one rich snippet is one of the best WordPress plugins that help add schema markups of various content types. This plugin is free, and you can use it to show the rich snippets in the search results.
Once you have installed and activated the plugin, you need to go to any page or post to add the schema markup. Then, you will find the content area that you need to fill to get the rich snippets in search results.
Below is the list of types of schemas that this plugin supports:
- Software Application
2. Schema [Free & Paid]
Another amazing WordPress plugin to this list can help the rich achieve the rich snippets preview in search results. Finally, the schema is the fastest and lightweight plugin for adding structured data markup, recommended by the JSON-LD.
This plugin has two versions, free and pro. The free users can use the basic features of this plugin. This plugin automatically adds schema, but you can add schema markups manually according to the post or page content.
Below is the list of supported Schema types:
- Article enabled on Pages
- About Page
- Contact Page
- Video Object
3. WP SEO Structured Data Schema [Free & Paid]
WP SEO structured data schema is a great plugin that will improve your site pages search snippets on Google. The developer of this plugin claims that this is a user-friendly and easier plugin for the markups of content.
This plugin follows the JSON-LD format to structure data; this format is new and recommended by Google for ranking. This plugin offers basic features in the free version, while for advanced setting, you need to buy the premium version.
Below is the list of supported Schema types:
- Local Businesses
- News Articles
- Blog Postings
- Aggregate Ratings
WordPress Caching Plugins
The website’s loading speed is one of the main ranking factors, but most people ignore this. However, when you tend to optimize the speed, you have to compromise the website’s functionality, it is true, but you need to keep the balance in both.
Below is the list of plugins that can help in increasing the speed of the website. Although sometimes these cache plugins cause website loading problems, you can configure those issues manually.
1. WP Super Cache [Free]
Wp Super Cache is a top WordPress plugin that deals with the speed of the website. The interface of this plugin is quite user-friendly; anyone can use it. Furthermore, this plugin is provided with documentation; you will find much material about configuring this plugin onGoogle.
You can utilize this plugin for the best results, but you need a developer who will handle it.
Below is the list of recommended setting:
- Simple caching.
- Compress pages.
- Don’t cache pages for known users.
- Cache rebuild.
- CDN support.
- Extra homepage checks.
2. WP Fastest Cache [Free]
I will recommend this plugin because it is very easy to use and affects WordPress site speed. You can improve your website speed through this WP fastest cache with a few buttons. This plugin is free.
WP fastest cache comes with a simple interface; you need to just check the few boxes to speed up the website.
3. WP Rocket [Paid]
WP Rocket is the best speed optimization WordPress plugin that helps you implement different speed-boosting functionality on your WordPress website. In addition, it is considered the only cache plugin that improves 80% of web performance without any activated features.
This plugin is not free; you need to purchase it; once installed and activated, it will automatically start caching the website pages without configuring or code. Setup of this plugin is easy; it does not require modifying the .htacces file.
Plugins For URL Redirection
URL redirection is important for Google ranking as it is the SEO factor. A redirect is a way to send the users and search engine to different URLs. There are three kinds of redirects 301, 302 and meta refresh.
URL redirection is simple in WordPress; you need to edit the .htaccess file to redirect the pages or posts manually. You can use the plugins to do this; below is the list of plugins that will help redirect new pages without losing the ranking.
1. Redirection [Free]
The redirection plugin is best for URL redirection; it is easy to use. You need to provide the source and destination URL, click on the redirect button, that’s it. It will automatically redirect to your new pages whenever someone visits old pages. You can customize the redirection according to your requirement.
Redirection is one of the most popular redirect plugins for WordPress. It can easily manage the 301 redirections and can track the 404 errors. As a result, this plugin can reduce errors and improve site ranking.
2. Simple 301 Redirects [Free]
Simple 301 Redirects is a great plugin that helps in redirecting the old URLs to new pages. It is specially used when you migrate a website and can not preserve the URL structure. By configuring 301 redirects from your old pages to new pages, any incoming links will be seamlessly passed to the new pages URL.
Simple 301 Redirects is open-source software; you can customize it according to your requirements. It is totally free.
3. RW Quick Page and Post Redirects [Free]
This plugin is good to manage the redirection matter in the WordPress website. It has two redirect features, the first is a quick redirect, the second is an individual redirect.
Quick redirects are simple and quick; you need to put the new pages and old pages URLs, this plugin will automatically redirect them. While in individuals redirects, the pages or posts already exist, this plugin can edit the redirect location and type such as 301,302 and meta refresh.
More SEO WordPress Plugins
Many other WordPress plugins are useful and can optimize the various aspects of your website. However, a few of them are listed below with a brief description.
1. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics [Free]
Google Analytics is one of the most important tools, through that you can track the deep report of pages, keywords progress, and track the ranking against the keywords. Now with the help of this plugin, you can access these reports in the WordPress dashboard.
Google Analytics plugin enables you to track your site and view the Google Analytics stats on your WordPress dashboard. This plugin code is customizable through options, allowing you to advance data collection such as custom dimension or events.
2. Broken Link Checker
A broken link checker is another amazing WordPress plugin used to check the broken links in the website. It is better for the old sites as with the constant theme updation, posts, and pages may lead to broken links. This plugin is recommended in such conditions.
Once you have installed this plugin, it will start scanning your posts and other content. Depending on the size of the website, this may take some time. Once the scanning is done, the plugin will start checking the links, and if found any broken link, it will notify you.
3. WPtouch [Free & Paid]
Wptouch is a plugin that is used to make your site visible for mobile visitors. Basically, it enables a mobile-friendly version of your WordPress website. As we know, for Google ranking, you need to have a mobile-friendly website, So this plugin helps make it mobile-friendly.
The WPtouch panel and WordPress allow you to change the appearance and deliver the fast, stylish and user-friendly version of your website. Furthermore, it offers its WPtouch pro version with extra features such as enhance themes for blogs, businesses, and WooCommerce. In addition, it offers an extension that adds rich advertising options, advanced web font controls, caching, etc.
4. Google XML Sitemaps [Free]
Google XML sitemaps is an amazing plugin that creates the XML sitemap of the website to help the search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo for indexing your site; it improves the SEO of the website.
It will be easy for the crawler to scan the complete structure of the website and retrieve it more efficiently. The other best thing about this plugin is that it notifies the search engine whenever you create a new post. This plugin works on all kind of WordPress generated pages and custom URLs. This plugin is highly recommended for you.
5. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin [Free]
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin(YARPP) displays those pages and posts related to the current entry; this helps visitors check the other relevant data on your website. It is the most popular plugin that engages visitors.
YARPP is highly recommended for you; it has many other features, few of them are listed below:
- Thumbnail or list view
- Related posts, pages, and custom post types
- Related posts in feeds
WordPress is a CMS that is quite popular and can be used by any person, whether he knows web development or not. Anyone can build a website in WordPress easily with basic knowledge of WordPress theme customization.
For extra functionality, you need to install plugins on WordPress. The plugin is a software component that adds specific functionality to WordPress. For example, WordPress provides many plugins for different functions, such as SEO.
SEO is very important for a website to get the top ranking in the search engine. There are many SEO factors based on which search engine rank your site. For SEO, WordPress offers different plugins; through that, you can achieve a better ranking.
With the help of these plugins, you can easily rank your pages in the search engine. Most of the plugins are free, while few are premium. Few plugins offer the basic features for free, so you can use these plugins.