What are the Best SEO plugins for WordPress

There’s a lot of SEO plugins out there, but exactly which ones are the best SEO plugins for WordPress?  I have personally come across about 35 WP SEO plugins over time and i’ve selected and used some of them on my websites too. 

Now, today I want to take a look at the top WordPress plugins for SEO that are available for free use by website and blog owners worldwide.  So let’s get into it.

Yoast SEO Plugin

Let’s look at this one first.  This is a very popular plugin and with over 135 million downloads worldwide Yoast might well take the cake as the most downloaded SEO plugin of all time.

To use this amazing plugin your site has to be self hosted.  This simply means you have your own domain name and hosting for your site and have full control of all your website files with have the freedom to change them.

So remember you will not be able to install Yoast SEO if you are using Blogger.com or Medium.com or any other such hosting site as your website host. 

Yoast has a comprehensive list of very powerful features that will definitely improve your websites SEO profile and improve your SERP ranking.

A look at 5 Yoast SEO features

I have chosen 5 features out of the 20 available for users of the Yoast plugin.  let’s take a look at these.

Yoast Focus Keyword Optimization – Yoast focus keyword capability allows you to optimize your content for particular keywords that you wish to rank for in Google SERP.  When you input primary keyword into the Focus keyword field this will tell Google that this keyword is the one you have optimized your content for.  

The software also checks your content to see how many times you have used this keyword and will notify you if you have not used it enough or have used it too much.  Either way it will make suggestions for you to correct for optimum keyword saturation within your content.  

This is definitely one of the features that i really love about this plugin and also one of the reasons why i have included it in this list of the 5 best SEO plugins for WordPress.

With the free version of the Yoast SEO plugin you are allowed 1 primary keyword.  While with the premium or paid version of the plugin you are allowed to optimize for secondary keywords as well.

If you’re having problems choosing the proper keyword for your article then there are 2 tools that come to mind that will help you to find that great keyword you are looking for.  The first of these is the Yoast Keyword Suggest Tool, while the second and my all time favorite is the Jaaxy SEO Keyword tool.  I suggest you check them both out.

Schema data for Google – The plugin adds schema.org data to your website which gives the benefit of allowing Google access to a more complete set of structured data.

In reality this set of data is not just important to Google only, but also to other sites like Pinterest.com which also use structured data to read your site.

Readability checks – With roughly 644 million active websites online right now it is of utmost importance that your viewers are able to read your content with relative ease because todays online readers don’t actually do much reading.  

Instead they scan, therefore your content has to be structured in such a way that it grabs their attention and holds it for as long as possible.

Yoast has you covered in this area too.  The plugin checks your content and notifies you if your sentences are too long, if you need to add titles or subtitles etc. to make your content more readable for your online readers.  Yoast makes this determination based on scientific research to guide you along the correct path and help you keep your audience engaged.

Prior keyword warnings – A record is kept of all the keywords that you have previously used.  Thereby making it impossible to use the same keyword twice.  This helps you to ensure that each of your pages or posts is optimized for a unique keyword, ensuring that you don’t end up with multiple articles vying for search engine placement  with the same keywords.

No outdated content – The plugin keeps an eye on the most important pages and will issue warnings whenever one of these is not updated for 6 months.

As i mentioned earlier these were just 5 of the many features of Yoast.  There are other great features including things such as Social sharing, Permalink cleanup, Internal linking suggestions and Content insights.

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Rank Math 

Next on our list of best SEO plugins for WordPress is this one named Rank Math.  This one is a new kid on the block of SEO plugins but there are already whispers that it may be the best plugin now available in this category.  

In truth i have not tried it as yet myself but from the research i’ve done i find the listed feature set quite intriguing and i am definitely going to give this one a test run soon.

When i do, i will definitely write on my experiences with this one.  For now let’s look at 5 of the features of Rank math.

5 Rank Math Features

Can you believe this.  I just counted the number of listed features on the site and came up with 121 different features.  If this is real, then you do the math.  This plugin looks like it outscores them all.  Here are my 5 chosen features.

Rich Snippet Support – The word snippet refers to the result that Google or other search engines present to you when you do a search.  Each result displayed on the search page is a snippet.  However have you noticed how some of these results stand out from the others.  You may see a picture displayed to the left and also rating information as well.  

These types of results are what we refer to as rich snippets.  They add some bling to how your result is displayed among the others on the search page and dramatically increase the chances that your listing on the search page gets clicked on by the person doing the Google search.  Increasing your traffic.

Rank Math gives you the ability to generate several different types of rich snippets including article rich snippets, product rich snippets, events rich snippets, video rich snippets, local business rich snippets and recipe rich snippets.

SEO Analysis Tool – On steroids.  Like many other SEO website analysis tools including those on this list of best SEO plugins for WordPress,  Rank Math can check your page as you type and will notify you of errors with ranking factors.  That’s great, but Rank Math does so much more than that.  

It is equipped to assess your website using 40 different factors and then will generate a report showing which tests have been passed and which have failed (if any)  It will also provide actionable advice for you to use to correct any failed tests and improve your website SEO profile.

Advanced Redirection Manager – Redirection refers to the technique used to move visitors to a different webpage.  Sometimes because the page requested isn’t currently available.  Having this setup properly is critical to your website user experience.  Therefore redirections have to be managed correctly.

But don’t worry, Rank Math has got you covered with its Redirection Manager.  

If you’re having URL redirection issues, such as redirects happening that you did not configure or your redirects not working at all etc.  Then you can use the debugger feature of Redirection manager to find the issue and help you to sort it out.

Advanced Options Importer – If you are currently using Yoast SEO or All In One and would like to migrate to Rank Math SEO.  Then doing that is easy with this Options Importer.  All your SEO settings will be imported to Rank Math with just the push of a button.

Social Previews – Your social media posts can be a big source of traffic to your websites.  This feature of Rank Math enables you to see a preview of what your post is going to look like on social media.  You are able to adjust the image and meta information for your post before posting it.  All from Rank Math.

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All In One SEO 

This one is said to be the original WordPress SEO plugin having had 50 million downloads over time since 2007.  Search Engine Optimization is key to getting good places in search engine results pages and SEO plugins like All In One and the others in this list of the best SEO plugins for WordPress are important to power on page SEO optimization.

A look at 5 All In One SEO features

All In One SEO when initially installed has some features disabled by default.  To use these features you will have to enable them.

XML Sitemaps – This is one of those features that comes disabled out of the box so to speak.   To enable this feature first install the All In One SEO plugin and activate it.  Then once activated find All In One SEO from the WordPress dashboard.  Then click on XML Sitemap and check the boxes for Notify Google and Notify Bing.  

Then scroll down and click on Update Options.

Having your XML Sitemap activated on All In One SEO will allow search engines to crawl and index your website for inclusion in the SERPs thereby enhancing the websites chance of ranking highly on the search pages.

Social Meta Feature – Social metas control how a post or page appears on socila media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.

You can use the Social Meta feature to configure your home page settings including title and description,  You can also set your site name and home image too among other things.

Post & Page Optimizer – As with other plugins mentioned on this page you can use All In One SEO to optimize your posts and pages for best SEO ranking.

Woocommerce Optimization – All in One SEO plugin provides support for Woocommerce that is designed to help you to optimize your online store and it’s products for the search engines.

Video Sitemap – This is a different sitemap from the regular SEO plugin sitemap that allows for indexing of your webpages by the search engines.  Video sitemaps carry additional information about the videos that you have placed on your web pages or posts.

This allows your videos to be indexed as well.  Making it possible for them to be ranked by the search engines.

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SEO Framework plugin

The SEO Framework is a simple, fast and lightweight SEO plugin which makes it quite easy to SEO optimize your website.  Some people are even saying that it is better than the Yoast plugin.  I can’t agree or disagree with this idea as i am yet to try the SEO Framework.  

This plugin is said to be devoid of advertisements and unnecessary functionalities.  Also very easy to use with explanations of what each of the features does.  It is also said to be very fast as it comes with just 7 features out of the box.  

However, those represent just what is needed for SEO optimization. That’s the reason I’ve included this one in my list of Best SEO plugins for WordPress.

If you need to have additional features to provide increased functionality then these can be added easily to the basic plugin.

Here is a listing of 5 of the features of this plugin

 Social Sharing Control – Facebook and other social media platforms are looking for information on titles, descriptions, image and other metadata from your posts and pages.  The social sharing feature helps to present that metadata in a fashion that is acceptable to these platforms.

SEO Score Card – The SEO Scorecard tells you how well your page or post is optimized for the search engines, and which areas need to be improved to better your SEO optimization.

Title & Meta Descriptions – This feature allows you to set titles and meta descriptions that work best for your SEO efforts.

XML Sitemaps – Just like in the other plugins this feature facilitates the creation of a sitemap for use by the search engines to index the posts and pages on your website.

Breadcrumbs – These are links that allow your users to track their path back to the homepage of your website.  It also helps web bots to understand the heirarchy of your website.

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JetPack

The Jetpack plugin brings a ton of very powerful features to self hosted wordpress websites.  Features that were previously only available to websites hosted on WordPress.com  This thing is actually more like a whole container load of plugins instead of a single plugin.

Here’s a couple of the Jetpack features that are dedicated towards SEO optimization.     

Custom Title Formats – Custom Title Formats allow you to change the way your content titles appear in SEO.  This helps you to improve your sites SERP rankings.

Front Page Meta Descriptions – This feature generates a meta description for the front page of your website and can help to give an idea of the sites relevance for certain web searches.

Search and Social Previews – As with some of the other SEO plugins this feature allows you to see how your post or page will look on the search engines or when posted to the search engines.

Site Verification Tool – This tool allows you to verify you website ownership.  Doing this allows you to check for things like crawl errors that may be found by the web bots who crawl your site for indexing.  You can also get notification of any malware attacks on your site etc.

Verification options are available for Google Webmaster, Bing Webmaster, Pinterest, Yandex & Baidu.

Site Stats – The Jetpack Site Stats feature provides you with important statistics on your website comments and website traffic.   Similarly to Google Analytics you can see visitors you have received whether today or over a specific time frame.

Viewing detailed site stats will give you more detailed statistics on things like top pages and posts, webpage views by country etc.

This feature is really cool and provides great insight about what’s going on with your website traffic etc.  In my opinion just this one feature alone is enough to qualify the plugin for my list of best SEO plugins for WordPress.

That’s it

That’s my list of 5 SEO plugins that are tops as far as SEO plugins go.  These are all great SEO tools for you to use on your WordPress websites.

If you have used any of these plugins, please tell me about your experiences with it.  Also if you have another SEO plugin that you think deserves mention.  Please mention it in the comments below.

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