Besides its usability and functionality, a big part of WordPress’s appeal is its wide variety of plugins. These run the gamut and can improve your site in numerous ways, including SEO – one of the main concerns for website owners these days.
According to a 2017 HubSpot report, “61 percent of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.”
However, SEO can be fairly complex– especially to the uninitiated. That’s where WordPress SEO plugins come in. You can choose from thousands of plugins that will help improve your rankings in search engine results without requiring a lot of technical know-how.
In particular, take a look at these 15 WordPress plugins that are musts for supercharging your SEO.
You can think of Yoast as the Maserati of SEO plugins. It’s usually the first thing that comes to an experienced marketer’s mind.
Yoast is incredibly easy to use and can help you optimize multiple aspects of your WordPress site including:
- Your URL
- Meta description
- Keyword density
- Internal and external links
- The readability of your content
It works by first selecting a focus keyword.
From there, it will analyze your SEO and provide recommendations on what could use improvement. Green means good, orange means your page needs some work and red means there’s a problem. Yoast will then offer specific actions you can take to move from red or orange to green.
Even with minimal technical knowledge, you’ll have your SEO firing on all cylinders with this plugin.
Although it’s not quite at the same level as Yoast, this is arguably the second best overall SEO plugin (and one that boasts 3+ million installs to date). The plugin was first developed in 2007 and has evolved over the past decade to meet the demands of today’s SEO marketers.
The All in One SEO Pack includes robust features such as:
- Automatic meta tag generation
- Title optimization
- XML sitemap support to make your site more readable to search engines
- Prevents duplicate content from being created
Essentially, it addresses all of the major elements of effective SEO.
This plugin works under the same premise as Yoast and the All in One SEO Pack, providing comprehensive on-page SEO analysis, as well as suggestions for improvements.
SEOPressor is ideal for helping you make the small tweaks and adjustments that will boost your overall SEO health. Even if you have limited technical knowledge, this plugin will help you gain a deeper understanding of the nuts and bolts of SEO.
4. SEO SQUIRRLY
This is a plugin that’s been endorsed by top SEO experts like Neil Patel of Kissmetrics and Brian Dean of Backlinko, in part because it’s been explicitly designed for non-SEO experts.
SEO SQUIRRLY places an emphasis on helping you create content that’s designed for both search engines and for human readers. This is important because Google places a strong emphasis on a great user experience.
Here are some of the main features of SEO SQUIRRLY:
- Helps you find great keywords
- Analyzes your articles
- Offers advice on how to resolve issues
- Helps you optimize your content for human readers
- Generates an XML sitemap for Google and Bing
Image optimization is a small, yet critical aspect of SEO – and it’s one that’s often overlooked. You always want to ensure that search engines are able to understand the content within your images.
SEO Optimized Images is a WordPress plugin that “lets you dynamically insert SEO friendly alt attributes and title attributes to your images.” It’s easy to use and streamlines the often-arduous process of optimizing your website’s content.
Ask any serious SEO marketer, and they’ll tell you that internal linking is critical for creating a great “link profile.” Not only does this lead to better indexing in search engines, it points visitors to other helpful content they may be interested in, which can increase the average amount of time spent on your site.
This is a plugin that takes the guesswork out of internal link building and streamlines the process dramatically. Even better, SEO Post Content Links also helps you create proper anchor text in accordance with current best practices.
Here’s another plugin that’s designed to optimize your site’s internal link structure. According to its WordPress description, “SEO Internal Links can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories, and tags on your blog.”
Basically, it’s a convenient way to create internal links, while at the same time avoiding black hat SEO practices that could potentially result in penalties.
301 redirects and 404 errors may not seem like a big deal, but they can be detrimental to your SEO while also disrupting the user experience. The problem is that these errors can be difficult to catch if you’re monitoring them manually – especially if you have a big site.
Redirection is the perfect tool for automating your monitoring of 301s and 404s. And with over 700,000 installs, it’s clear that website owners trust this plugin.
Any time you include a link in your content, you want to be sure that it’s working correctly whenever someone clicks on it. In other words, you don’t want any broken links, as this can adversely affects SEO by making it more difficult for search engine spiders to properly crawl your site and index your content. It’s not a good situation.
Broken Link Checker does exactly what its name suggests. The plugin monitors your site and notifies you anytime a broken link is found so that no manual checks are required on your end. As a bonus tip, set it to prevent search engines from following broken links to further enhance your SEO.
10. WP Video SEO
Video has become an incredibly popular medium in recent years; currently, “87 percent of marketers use video content,” according to Outbrain. And if you’re investing in video content, it only makes sense that you’d want to fully optimize the videos you produce and ensure that they’re poised to be seamlessly indexed by search engines.
WP Video SEO is just the ticket, thanks to its valuable features:
- Generating a sitemap for YouTube videos
- Optimizing the SEO for YouTube videos
- Helping search engines index video content more quickly
If video is a core component of your site, this plugin is a must.
It’s no secret that offering a mobile-friendly experience is a top priority. In fact, the number of mobile users now exceeds desktop users.
Mobile-friendliness is also a ranking factor that Google takes into account when determining your site’s positioning within search results. If you aren’t already using a responsive design, the WPTouch Mobile Plugin creates a mobile-friendly version of your site to ensure a great user experience and that your rankings aren’t negatively impacted by mobile issues.
Here’s a plugin that’s useful for SEO beginners as well as experts. The SEO Framework plugin places an emphasis on automation for maximum time-saving capabilities by:
- Automatically generating optimized titles for your posts
- Generating canonical URLs to avoid duplicates
- Establishing content relationship links to point visitors to relevant content on your site
- Deploying important anti-spam techniques
AddToAny Share Buttons isn’t a WordPress SEO plugin in the conventional sense. But it can still be advantageous to your site’s SEO, as it enables users to quickly and conveniently share your content on popular networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more.
Although social shares aren’t a major ranking factor, many experts, including Brian Dean and Moz, consider them to influence rankings. AddToAny Share Buttons is a simple way to create a customizable share bar to your site and position it to your specifications.
Page loading speed is yet another factor that Google takes into account. It will also impact how long visitors spend on your site, bounce rate, etc.
The bottom line is that you want your site to load as quickly as possible. Autoptimize “can aggregate, minify and cache scripts and styles, inject CSS in the page head by default and can move and defer scripts to the footer. It also minifies the HTML code itself, making your page really lightweight.”
Essentially, it does the heavy lifting for you so you don’t to have to deal with the more technical aspects of speeding up your site.
Local search doesn’t necessarily get the attention that it should. It’s especially vital for brick-and-mortar businesses trying to increase exposure to their local demographic and bring in more foot traffic.
Local Search SEO Contact Page is a plugin that’s geared towards helping you optimize your local SEO in order to appear in local search results, making it a must for brick-and-mortar businesses. As an added, sales-related bonus, it can generate QR codes that let you provide information, discount codes, and other instructions for your customers to use.
Optimizing Your Site’s SEO with WordPress Plugins
SEO is arguably more important than ever. Achieving solid rankings in search results is one of the most effective ways to drive targeted traffic to your site. Using the most cutting-edge techniques and following best practices is essential.
Unfortunately, learning SEO can be difficult and time consuming – not to mention that it’s constantly evolving, making it difficult for marketers to stay on top of the latest trends.
These 15 SEO WordPress plugins are perfect for those who want results without having to understand all of the technical aspects. Even better? Most of them are free, easy to set up, and effortless to launch.