Now in 2020, website owners cannot afford to ignore search engine optimisation (SEO)
Nearly all internet activity starts with search: 93% of all Internet experiences start with a search engine and 39% of e-commerce traffic across the world comes from search. Most businesses have recognised this and adapted accordingly — 61% of companies named SEO as their biggest priority last year.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great SEO tools available. If you have a WordPress site, there are a number plugins you can install that will really help you out. Which ones? That’s exactly why I developed this list of the best SEO plugins for WordPress. It details my top 8 plugins and how they’ll help you improve your SEO.
What is a WordPress Plugin?
A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites.
WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. In the WordPress community, there is a saying that goes around: “there’s a plugin for that”.
Plugins make it easier for users to add features to their website without knowing a single line of code.
5 SEO WordPress Plugins (Ranked by active installs)
1) Yoast SEO - Over 5 Million Active Installs
The Yoast SEO WordPress plugin has been around for more than a decade. Over five million websites have installed it, making it one of the most popular options.
One of the best parts of Yoast SEO is the ability to create and manage your XML sitemaps. This is much easier than having to code your sitemap on your own, especially if you don’t have much of a technical background.
Yoast SEO helps you identify and avoid duplicate content, so you won’t have to worry about being penalised by Google, and it offers templates for titles and meta-descriptions, which will make your pages more appealing in SERPs.
You can install the Yoast SEO plugin for free to access all of these features and benefits. But there is also a premium version for $89 annually that gives you upgrades like:
- Page previews on different platforms
- Suggestions for internal linking
- Redirect management options
- 24/7 support
- No advertisements
2) All in One SEO Pack - Over 2 Million Active Installs
The All in One SEO Pack is well-known and popular. It has more than two million active installations on WordPress. As the name implies, it’s another “all in one” plugin for your SEO needs. One of the reasons why it’s so popular is it’s clean and easy-to-navigate dashboard.
The essential features of All in One SEO Pack are free, but you can upgrade to a premium version for $57 per year. If you own multiple websites, you may want to consider a business license, which lets you use this plugin on up to 10 sites for $97 annually. You can even purchase an agency license for $419 per year to use the plugin on an unlimited number of sites.
With that said, if you have a basic blog or startup, the free version will likely meet your needs. It’s great for beginners, but I know plenty of advanced WordPress users who use this plugin as well. It’s probably the most similar to Yoast SEO, which we talked about earlier. The biggest difference between the two plugins is the interface and pricing options for organisations of different sizes.
3) WordPress SEO Plugin - Rank Math - Over 100,000 Active Installs
Rank Math allows you to manage all of your on-page SEO needs for every type of content on your website. This WordPress plugin is so effective because it’s integrated with Google Search Console, so you’ll see all of the important information directly from your administrative dashboard in WordPress.
Rank Math also lets you manage meta tags for things like:
This WordPress plugin will tell you which keywords you’re ranking for, and also show you how many impressions you’re getting for various searches. Rank Math also identifies any errors that Google sees on your site. All of this information is easy to access, read, and digest.
Furthermore, Rank Math has features for:
- XML sitemaps
- Rich snippets
- Internal linking recommendations
- 404 monitoring
- Local SEO
- Image SEO
Rank Brain is definitely one of the best SEO plugins for WordPress. It’s great for those looking for a one-stop-shop for all of these features.
4) The SEO Framework - Over 100,000 Active Installs
The SEO Framework plugin is another great option for you to consider. I like this WordPress plugin so much because it’s built for smaller enterprises as opposed to massive corporations.
Its interface blends naturally when integrated with WordPress, so it feels as though it’s supposed to be there, as opposed to appearing obtrusive.
Here’s a look at one of my favorite features on this plugin.
The plugin offers a coloured scale, showing you exactly how to optimise each post for search engines. All you need to do is hover your cursor over the bars in the SEO column to reveal notes for how to specifically improve certain pages. As you can see from the screenshot above, this note explains how the title can be improved for SEO purposes.
The SEO Framework plugin is free and doesn’t have any ads or up-sells to pester you while you’re working. Overall, I’m happy with the way this lightweight plugin performs.
5) Squirrly SEO 2019 Strategy - Over 20,000 Active Installs
SEO Squirrly is designed specifically for people who aren’t experts in SEO.
Other plugins have different ways to access and implement SEO suggestions, but SEO Squirrly brings this to the next level. Take a look at its live SEO assistant feature.
Here’s how it works. You just have to input the desired keyword that you’re trying to rank for with the article you’re writing. As you write, green lights and popup suggestions will appear in real time explaining how you can work that keyword into your content. Imagine having an SEO expert standing over your shoulder while you’re writing — that’s what you get with SEO Squirrly.
The content reports are another great feature that’s ideal if you’re outsourcing writers or using multiple writers across your company to produce content. These reports give writers additional insight about SEO based on what they wrote.
SEO Squirrly also has a tool to analyse your competitors’ content, so you can find ways to outrank their pages. You’ll also be able to track your progress on a weekly basis.
SEO Squirrly also has a range of other tools built in including…
Strategy Assistant (the engine that powers the entire Focus Pages section). Squirrly SEO 2019 not only provides new functionality but it’s introducing a new experience of doing SEO, giving users a step-by-step Framework for ranking their business via Focus Pages.
Settings Assistant to help correct SEO settings in their site and set up everything properly.
Blogging Assistant that helps users write well-rounded, media-rich articles without leaving their WordPress dashboard.
The Keyword Research Assistant which keeps records, adds data to users’ keyword portfolio and notifies them of better keywords opportunities.