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If you run the search for SEO in the WordPress plugin directory, there are 51 pages of results at the time of writing. On each page, there are 20 WordPress SEO plugins, that’s a total of 1,020 plugins.
By the time you’re reading this line, that number has increased. Yes, you must be feeling overwhelmed now.
How do you wade through 51 pages looking for the best WordPress SEO plugins?
You don’t have to do that because I’ve made the task easier. I have compiled a list of SEO plugins based on experience over the years and the ones I now use on this blog and others.
But before we dive in, there is something important you need to know.
The truth is, there is no such thing as a complete or definitive list of the best WordPress SEO plugins. These are fallacies…each author to his own experience and what works.
Therefore, use the list below as a guide to direct you to the right SEO and optimization plugins that work for your blog.
If you’re a beginner, you must be wondering if WordPress needs an SEO plugin. Let’s answer this question first.
Does WordPress Need an SEO Plugin?
The short answer is no… You don’t necessarily need an SEO plugin to run a WordPress blog. Most of the technical stuff these SEO plugins automate can be done manually.
Your core WordPress installation comes with basic SEO features that help with on-page optimization. WordPress enables you to add content headlines in the H1 tag, write custom meta descriptions, select custom permalink, insert image alt tag, and lots more.
If you’re skilled in PHP and other coding stuff. If you know your way around things such as robots.txt file, .htaccess file, XML sitemap, Schema structure markup, etc… You can do without WordPress SEO plugins.
SEO plugins are meant to provide direction or guidance on how to optimize your content and blog for better search-engine-friendly pages. You’re responsible for the implementation and optimization of your WordPress pages.
Besides using plugins, there are lots of online tools that help with on-page SEO, content audit, keyword analysis, etc. So, you can audit and optimize your content without using any WordPress SEO plugin.
What Does an SEO Plugin in WordPress do?
Okay, so if you can run a WordPress blog without installing an SEO plugin, what does a WordPress SEO plugin do?
There must be something awesome about these plugins to attract millions of downloads, right?
WordPress SEO plugins help with the optimization, audit, automation, and simplifying SEO process. These tasks can range from basic things like proper use of keywords in the content to more complex like caching.
There are WordPress SEO plugins that help with technical tasks like generating and submitting XML site maps. In general, SEO plugins help you simplify complex SEO tasks so you can follow through and complete every step of it effortlessly.
This allows you to spend more time and focus on other important tasks like content creation and marketing.
Which is the best SEO plugin for WordPress in 2022?
If you’re looking for the best WordPress SEO plugins, use the list below as a starting point or recommendation to find what works for you.
Some plugins are more user-friendly, have a better user interface, and require a little to no learning curve. Other plugins required a bit of WordPress knowledge to get the right setting for your blog.
Whatever the case, the plugin help documentation will guide you along.
13 Best WordPress SEO Plugins
The original WordPress SEO plugin.
The all-in-SEO plugin has lots of customizable features.
Since Seyd Balkhi of WPBeginner bought it over, lots of improvements and features have been added to it.
All-in-one SEO has lots more features than any other WordPress SEO plugin. Though your blog may not benefit from all the features, it is still a good thing to have everything under one tool.
For example, the plugin comes with search console integration, a Local SEO module, Google AMP SEO integration, woocommerce SEO, etc. AIO SEO also comes with smart built-in schema markup to help drive traffic through rich snippets.
You can also:
- edit robots.txt file
- optimize SEO for multiple locations
- edit .htaccess file without an FTP program
- integrates with WordPress REST API
- And lots more
The video below is a brief walk-through of the All-in-one SEO plugin features.
2. Yoast SEO
One of the most popular WordPress plugins with more than 5 million active installs. Yoast SEO plugin is no doubt a top-of-the-bar SEO plugin.
It is the SEO plugin used on this very blog.
You can do lots of on-page and sitewide technical and optimization tasks with Yoast. You can:
- Verify your site in Google, Yandex, Baidu, etc
- Create and submit an XML sitemap
- Create title and description meta tag templates
- Optimize AMP pages.
- Create a robots.txt file.
- Optimize for Google News
- Optimize for local SEO
The Yoast SEO plugins help with content optimization signals. It adds a meta-SEO box to posts/pages as you write. You can write custom content titles and meta descriptions here and set up target keywords in the content.
Also, it adds a default schema markup to posts and pages. You can also change the setting here as per the web page and content type.
One of the notable features of Yoast is the content SEO panel. This panel gives you an overview of how well your content is optimized for the target keyword.
While the information in this panel can be useful, you don’t have to pay too much attention to it. Most of the SEO analyses in this panel are not a major ranking factor. There are far too many important ranking signals to worry about than exact keyword placements in content.
However, the readability score is more helpful. This tells you how easy or hard your content is to read for users. So, you can create better content that is easy to read for all users.
Images are one of the culprits of slow web pages. And since page speed is one of the SEO ranking factors, optimizing images for better performance is now a necessity.
Imagify is one of the best image optimization plugins today. There is an online solution for non-WordPress users.
This plugin compresses, resizes, and optimizes WordPress images on the fly. You can compress and optimize the most common image formats – PNGs, JPGs, PDFs, and GIFs. In addition, you can specify to optimize your WordPress theme folder.
It also has support for WebP images for supported browsers. It comes with built-in support for bulk image optimization.
Imagify optimizes your WordPress images from its server. This helps to save hosting bandwidth and storage space.
There are three image compression levels available – Normal, Aggressive, and Ultra. The normal compression level is lossless compression. There is no image quality loss at this compression level.
However, the Aggressive and Ultra compression level provides a better compression optimization level, but there could be a slight image quality reduction.
You need to test with a few images for the best compression level for image quality and optimization.
One drawback of Imagify is that there is no support for an image Lazy-load feature. But that’s never a problem if you’re a WordPress user and JetPack is installed and activated on your blog.
JetPack is one of the most-used WordPress SEO plugins.
It is an essential WordPress plugin that gives you access to many features and functionalities. It is active on over 5 million WordPress blogs.
Jetpack is a feature-rich WordPress plugin. But in this post, let’s focus on the SEO features.
- Generates XML sitemap automatically when contents are published/updated.
- Connect your site to Google Analytics
- Verify your site in the Google search console, Bing, Pinterest, Yandex, and Facebook Domain Verification.
- Customize and preview how your content looks in search engine listings.
- Activate the Lazy-load image optimization feature.
The JetPack site accelerator feature provides image optimization and CDN services. This feature compresses and serves WordPress images from the Jetpack global CDN services. It also optimizes and serves static files like HTML and CSS from its global network of servers.
Hosting images and static files from its CDN servers reduces the load on your hosting server and provides a faster website experience for users.
To activate these features, go to settings in Jetpack, and switch to the Performance tab. Then toggle the “site accelerator” and “Lazy-loading for images” gears on.
That’s it, you don’t need to do anything else.
However, the Jetpack site accelerator services only act on images in posts/pages, it does not optimize theme folders like Imagify.
If you need a plugin that lets you compress and optimize images in WordPress posts, pages, and theme folders, try Imagify today.
5. WP Rocket
Page speed is an integral part of Google SEO ranking factors – this is why you need to pay more attention to improving page loading time.
The faster a page loads, the higher its conversion rate.
According to a study, conversion rates dropped by 4.42% for each additional loading time. This means that the longer it takes for a page to load, the less it converts.
The easier and most efficient way to solve page speed issues is to use a cache plugin, especially for non-tech WordPress users.
WordPress cache plugins like WP Rocket will help you optimize and solve most page speed problems like page and browser caching. Optimizing CSS and JS delivery, reducing server response time, etc.
More than a cache plugin, WP Rocket helps with improving page speed scores, boosting website performance, and Google web vital reports. Though it is a premium WordPress cache plugin, it provides value for money.
The configuration setup is easy and requires no complex process to complete. Upon activation, the plugin automatically deploys 80% of its settings to give maximum page speed performance.
6. Broken Link Checker
Do broken links on a site affect SEO?
In one word, yes!
Broken links are bad for user experience which is a ranking factor for most search engines like Google. It leads to a high bounce rate, low time on site, poor navigation system, and causes indexation and crawling issues.
When search engine crawlers visit your site and find broken links, it will affect the crawl ability rate. Therefore, you need to ensure broken links are fixed in time and redirects are set up properly.
Google knows that broken links are natural and an inevitable occurrence in website maintenance. But you have to take responsibility to make sure their effect is not disrupting the user experience on your site.
The best way to fix dead links on your site is to install and activate the broken link checker plugin.
The plugin comes with lots of advanced settings that let you define how it works and the impact on your server load. You can define how often the plugin checks for broken links on your site.
Also, you can tell where it looks for broken links – whether it is in pages, posts, or comments. When the plugin finds any dead links, it tells you the HTTPS status error code so you know how to fix it and whether it should be ignored or not.
There are a few options to fix dead links within the plugin interface: You can edit, unlink, remove, recheck, set up a redirect, or dismiss them as not broken.
The plugin offers easy access to the link source and anchors text directly from its data page.
Another helpful feature is the link suggestion as you try to edit a dead link. The plugin suggests replacements for the dead link and you don’t need to leave the interface to do this.
With one click, you can swap the dead link for a working one without editing the post itself.
And if you are worried about its impact on your server load performance, you can specify the link checking suspension if the server load rises above a certain limit.
7. Rank Math
Another helpful WordPress SEO plugin on the list.
Launched in 2018, Rank math is fast becoming a great rival to the likes of Yoast and All-in-one SEO.
With over 1 million active installations, Rank math has already gained popularity among WordPress users.
Rank math prides itself on being feature-rich and user-friendly. The setup wizard guides you through the installation and setting process. This makes it easier for beginners to use.
Like other SEO plugins on this list, you can:
- edit robots.txt file.
- Add schema markup data.
- set up the breadcrumb’s navigation separator.
- Integration with Elementor and Divi page builders.
RankMath offers more features that are not present in other SEO plugins like Yoast. For instance, you can integrate with Google trends, and get free content AI credit.
Rank math also offers support for over 840 schema markup types. You can check the full list of its features on this page.
8. JetPack Boost
The easiest way to optimize for mobile and desktop page speed and performance.
JetPack boost is a new addition to the automatic WordPress plugin gallery. It is a simple plugin that allows you to optimize page speed and user experience in one click.
It scores your page speed and site performance based on desktop and mobile devices. This score helps you understand how your web pages are optimized for both device users.
The plugin does three things;
- Optimize CSS loading.
- Lazy load images on scroll
The setup process is simple. Install and activate the plugin. Open its settings page and toggle the required switch on.
That’s all it takes to start optimizing your WordPress blog for speed and performance.
In simple terms, it helps you speed up your WordPress sites with minimal effort.
This is common practice for making important elements on a page load earlier than others.
10. Really Simple SSL
It is no longer news that HTTPS is a ranking factor.
Since the announcement by Google, most web hosts now offer free SSL certificates from LetsEncrypt which is installed on your site.
But switching from HTTP to HTTPS protocol can be tricky. You need to permanently PHP 301 redirects all HTTP request to the HTTPS URLs.
This is where the Simple SSL plugin makes the difference. The plugin makes the switch painless, effortless, and as simple as clicking on a mouse.
All you need to do is open its settings page and toggle the required boxes. And you’re done.
The plugin also helps fix mixed content issues which is a common problem when moving from HTTP to HTTPS URLs request. Again, you just need to check a box and you’re done fixing this issue.
The plugin is completely free. There’s no premium version but that does not make it short of features found in other premium plugins. The plugin has several advanced features not found in many premium plugins of its kind.
You can setup up URL redirection based on several conditions;
- Browser type.
- IP Address
- WordPress role capability
- Post Type
- HTTP Header request
- Referring web page
- Cookies set
- Custom filters
This is a powerful plugin for improving the user experience on a site and for matching the right page to the user’s intent.
You can savage SEO juice by redirecting non-existing 404 pages on your site to relevant URLs with 301 redirects. This plugin makes it easier to manage dead links and redirect them to active pages.
12. Schema and Structured Data for WP and AMP
Why is Shema markup important for SEO?
Instead of indexing the page as it is and hoping the search engine crawlers get the context right, Shema markup helps search engines understand the content of a page better.
It gives clear information about the content on a page that helps search engines display the relevant results based on the user’s intent.
Schema and Structured Data for WP and AMP add rich snippet markup data to your pages based on the Schema.org guidelines.
When added to your site, Schema markup enhances the display of your content in SERP and provides rich snippets for relevant search queries.
Without tracking and monitoring what’s happening on your site, SEO can be a guessing game.
Google Analytics tells you what’s happening and how users find your web pages, MonsterInsights brings Google Analytics data into your WordPress dashboard.
You don’t have to leave the WordPress dashboard to access your Google Analytics data with MonsterInsights.
MonsterInsight is the best Google Analytics WordPress plugin. It allows you to set up universal and G4 Analytics tracking across all devices without installing codes.
You can track visually everything on your WordPress blog.
- outbound links.
- Ecommerce tracking – downloads.
- Affiliate links.
- File downloads.
- Contact form.
- Page scroll.
- Category pages.
- Tags pages.
- APM and non-amp pages.
- Telephone and email links.
- Post SEO score.
- And lots more…
MonsterInsights is an ideal WordPress analytics plugin for business websites with many needs for on-site tracking.
SEO Plugins for WordPress simplified, automate, and help with on-page SEO signals, but that’s not all there’s to SEO. There is more to WordPress SEO than just installing a plugin and forgetting it.
If it were that easy, every WordPress blog will be getting millions of organic search engine monthly visits. Plugins will take you far, but not to the extent of eliminating individual SEO knowledge. You’re responsible for optimizing your web pages and the results you get is proportional to the amount of work you put in.
Nonetheless, the SEO plugins mentioned in this post are a good starting point for every WordPress blog.
If you have any plugin suggestions, leave your response in the comment form below. I’ll be glad to consider it for inclusion.