As WordPress becomes a more powerful and multi-faceted platform with many functions and important features, plugin developers are creating a whole range of new tools that can meet the growing needs of any business. WordPress is no longer just a blog but an open-source website creation tool and content management system (CMS). Written in PHP and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database WordPress has revolutionized into a complex system that includes a plugin architecture and a template system (that are referred within WordPress as Themes). With WordPress you can:
- build an Online Store with WordPress
- creates a Job Board
- It has a network of WordPress websites from a single master WordPress installation
- create a Forum
- creates a Social Network
- create DIY Landing Page
- build a Multilingual Website
- etc. and do many other things
Essentially, you can even integrate your entire CRM solution into WordPress and (the main point of this post) improve your site’s SEO.
The latter is possible because Search Engine Optimization has already become one of the realms of WordPress. At the moment WordPress has a whole list of SEO plugins and tools that can help optimize your site for search engines, move you to a higher rank in search results, and significantly improve your site traffic. Still, remember you do not need to use all of them to make your site “SEO friendly.”
Purpose of The Review
My purpose in this post is to review the best SEO plugins that you should use. I will also try to define which of these SEO plugins can be the best choice when it comes to choosing your SEO optimization plugin. It needs to be said here that some of these tools can be used in all cases while others suit specific use-cases best.
Besides, you will learn how to build a perfect SEO setup on WordPress with those WordPress plugins that I believe to be the best fit for the SEO needs of your site. Stay tuned and let’s start our journey!
Overview of SEO Plugins for WordPress
WordPress has been known as one of the most popular CRM platforms due to its user-friendly design and loads of features that can help you build and manage important aspects of your website without a solid knowledge of programming. On a technical level, WordPress is an open-source content management system that is easy to use and can be effortlessly modified to meet the needs of its users.
WordPress CRM has the widest range of modules and plugins at its disposal. Some of them can be used for SEO optimization of your website. When picking out your “personal” SEO plugin try to pay attention to the fact that SEO plugins typically meet two objectives, or, better to say, solve two kinds of problems, and can therefore be divided into the following two categories:
Category # 1 General problem-solvers
Category #2 Particular tasks problem-solvers
Depending on the nature of your problem and on which task you want to solve, you will choose SEO plugins either from the first or from the second category .
Integrated Plugins for Sites SEO on WordPress
As the name implies, complex plugins may include several tools at once whose functionality allows you to solve a number of issues related to your site optimization. Among such multifunctional “problem-solvers” are Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack. These are classic options, but even now many users continue to opt for Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack when it comes to optimizing their WordPress sites.
Before I start discussing Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack in detail, I’d like to emphasize the point I’ve already mentioned above: there are different SEOs, including on-page, technical and off-page SEOs. And their job is to help you to achieve different things, like pasting on-page SEO tasks, for example, such as titles, Meta tags, and other content optimization related things. Also, it’s important to say that using plugins is amazing for technical SEO tasks, like page speed optimization, redirects, canonicals, and reflag to name a few. So rather than show you each plugin I am going to demonstrate to you the cream of the crop and the exact setup you can use to make Google and your visitors happy. Let’s get to it.
1. Yoast SEO Plugin
Yoast SEO is an effective weapon in the SEO competition. Created in 2008 by the Yoast development team, this SEO plugin has captivated the hearts of more than 5 million users who were able to optimize their sites with WordPress. This really very effective, multifunctional and easy-to-use plugin can be comfortably used even by a beginner. Using Yoast SEO allows you to implement most technical things that affect search engine rankings these days. The developers of this plugin regularly update the plugin to meet the constantly growing demands of modern Internet users.
Which tasks will Yoast SEO solve for you:
- Yoast SEO can be easily integrated with Google services, including Google Analytics;
- This Plugin can create Title and corresponding Description templates used in the snippet while maintaining a uniform text style;
- Yoast SEO can help you create quality optimized text content using keywords and phrases, and test it for readability and uniqueness;
- With Yoast SEO you can automatically create an XML map of the site;
- Yoast SEO will prescribe “beautiful” URLs while making sure that no duplicates appear;
- It will control the so-called “bread crumbs” on all pages;
- Yoast SEO will help search bots to get acquainted with your website faster, which promotes quality indexing of your site.
All of the above-mentioned features are available in the free version of Yoast SEO plugin. Those users who want to use more advantages need to opt for a premium version of Yoast SEO Plugin, which will offer them the following advantages:
- Advantage#1 Regular tech support;
- Advantage#2 A chance to conduct a deeper analysis of the site texts and make adjustments for better results;
- Advantage#3 Setting up effective internal re-linking;
- Advantage#4 Previewing publications on social networks;
- Advantage#5 Managing redirects automatically.
Installing this SEO plugin for a site on WordPress will greatly facilitate your progress with page ranking BUT! You also have to understand the following thing: if you are not particularly strong in SEO issues, do not try to optimize your site solely with Yoast SEO help. If you do not have a good understanding of how it all works, plug-ins will not be enough to take your website to the TOP in Google site ranking. In this case, apply for some program or course that will help you improve the knowledge of site ranking basics.
2. All in One SEO Pack
All in One SEO Pack allows you to have all your SEO tools collected in one box. This WordPress developer plugin has existed since 2007. All in One SEO Pack is a reliable software product containing various SEO modules that can be used to effectively promote your site on the WordPress platform. All in One SEO Pack is the leader in downloads (more than 50 million installations up till now). The popularity of All in One SEO Pack tool can be explained by its high efficiency, good convenience, and perfect multi-functionality.
All in One SEO Pack or AIOSP has the following features:
- generating Meta tags and header templates;
- integrating with Google Analytics and e-commerce;
- setting up internal linking between pages;
- detecting duplicate content;
- creating an XML map and automatically adding new pages to it;
- accelerating the loading of web pages with the AMP technology;
- improving the appearance of pages sent to social networks;
- offering an expanded toolset supporting other plugins.
All these are available in the basic free version. Extra-paid subscription features allow you to gain more access to SEO optimization tools, as well as introduce you to the AIOSP Knowledge Center and a closed tech support forum operating for more effective optimization.
Here it’s worth mentioning that the All in One SEO Pack WordPress plugin is periodically supplemented with SEO modules and tools that can be activated for free.
In a nutshell, Yoast SEO Plugin and All in One SEO Pack are classical long-term options for SEO optimization. Still, they do not rank No.1 on my list of best SEO plugins. What is my choice then? It’s Rank Math.
Rank Math is a free WordPress plugin for writing SEO-friendly content and ranking higher in search engines. With Rank Math you can optimize your content for search engines and increase your page ranking. Let’s talk more about it.
3. Rank Math
This plugin ranks number one on my list of recommended SEO optimization tools for several reasons. First, it is more operational than the two household names I’ve already introduced you to: like Yoast SEO and All-in-one SEO pack. Indeed, these are two great options, but in my opinion, a newer plugin called Rank Math outranks them.
The first time I came across this plugin, it’s the number of downloads was 20,000. After a while, its number hit 60,000. Of course, Rank Math is far from beating its major competitors, namely All in One SEO Pack (up to 2 million users) and Yoast (around 5 million), yet what we see with Rank Math is its good dynamics of growth.
Personally, I know a lot of active users of All in One SEO Pack and Yoast who have turned to Rank Math, and I understand them at this point, totally agreeing with their decision.
Huge functionality, a lot of new features, ease of use, and, on top of that, having a perfect look are the things that make Rank Math SEO plugin an ideal option for users.
Up till now, no Pro version has been released, but I am pretty much sure that it will happen soon.
Rank Math Major features
Rank Math is an all-in-one SEO plugin that can help you handle tons of on-page and technical SEO tasks. What I love about this plugin is that it basically integrates a lot of features from smaller one-trick plugins.
Let’s go through some of the features that you will use in your day-to-day SEO tasks.
Feature #1 Foundation of On-Page SEO
Rank Math creates a perfect foundation for your on-page SEO, making it fast and easy
Feature #2 Redirections
Rank Math allows setting up 301 and 302 redirects. This feature is useful for example in case of a massive change of addresses.
In the case with Yoast, they suggest installing a separate Redirections paid plugin that solves the problem but in the case, with Rank Math, the problem is solved within one plugin and for free.
Feature #3 Link Counter
Link counter counts the number of internal and external links on pages.
Feature #4 404 Monitor
Rank Math is actually monitoring pages with broken links. If the visitor for some reason gets to page 404, the plugin will record this event and then you will be able to see which link should be redirected to an existing page.
Feature #5 AMP support
AMP support. It allows you to make full customization of SEO for AMP pages.
Feature #6 BbPress support
BbPress support. Also, a useful feature. If I’m not mistaken, in Yoast this feature is paid one.
Feature #7 Rich Snippets
Rich Snippets. Extended snippet. A very useful thing that makes it look much better in the rendition. For example, I used to use the Schema plugin before. Everything is working fine now.
Feature #8 Local SEO & Google Knowledge Graph
Google Knowledge Graph allows you to work in a certain area or region. This feature is very useful if you are moving to a particular state or region.
Feature#9 100-point page analysis test
They have a 100-point page analysis test. With this test, you can go deep into the needs of each page.
Feature#10 5x target keywrods
With Rank Math you can optimize for up to 5x target keywords per page. Contrary to Yoast, where you have to pay an extra for such an option while Rank Math suggests this feature for free.
Feature#11 Site audit feature
Rank Math has 1x-click advanced SEO analysis tool that helps you perform a site-wide audit.
Featurer#12 Intuitive essence
When compared to Yoast and All-in-one SEO pack Rank Math is more intuitive in its essence.
Featurer#13 High Speed of your site
Rank Math keeps up a high speed of your site even after you have installed the plugin. The high speed is achieved without slowing your website down.
How Math Rank Plugin works in real life
Now let’s examine how it all works in real-life practice.
I have already written a blog post and now I am ready to edit it. In my post, I want to target the keyword “SEO tips” (you can tell this by the title and URL in the picture below)
If you will scroll down the post, you will be able to see a preview of what the page will look like in Google SERPs. You can click on either the title or description or can easily edit your customer text right on the page. The tool allows you to click either on the title or on the description itself and edit your custom post right in the place.
Another feature in the editor is that you have the option to add the rel=” no follow” tag without adding additional plugins or manually entering in yourself in the HTML editor.
This is a great way to quickly add No-Follow tags to affiliate links or others you don’t fully trust.
Math Rank Plugin‘s Common Features
Now, from the sitewide perspective, Rank Math’s plugin will do a few common tasks like:
- automatically generating sitemaps
- automatically adding the target=” blank” attribute to your links so they open in a new window
- they also have a feature for 404 monitoring
This is a cool feature because if a lot of people are hitting a dead page, it would be a good sign to redirect that page to a relevant one rather than leaving them at a dead end. There are tons of other features for controlling redirects, site architecture, and editing your robots or txt file.
By its major features, Rank Math resembles many other plugins. With Rank Math, you can do practically everything that you can do in other SEO plugins like an option of configuring your Description text. But, contrary to other SEO plugins Rank Math has features that are not accessible in other plugins or work not in a proper way. In addition, such features as redirects and full support of WooCommerce in analogs are paid ones, so Rank Math is one of the best SEO plugins at the moment, which currently outperforms competitors in many aspects.
Let’s go further and explore the other 3 plugins that can improve your page rank and download speed. I stress the need to optimize your page speed as it is the key important factor of your site success.
Also, I want to note that It is not always necessary to use a comprehensive plugin with a complete set of SEO optimization tools. In some cases, one or more individual modules may be required to address a specific task in automatic mode.
Another awesome tool is ShortPIXEL. With ShortPIXEL plugin you can improve your site’s performance by reducing the image size of all your videos.
ShortPixel is a great image optimization plugin. Moreover, in addition to its main function, it has several additional features. For example, you can zoom in and out, and delete EXIF data. The last-mentioned feature is very useful when using images taken from search engines (google images).
This plugin is “a freemium easy to use, comprehensive, stable, and frequently updated image compression plugin supported by the friendly team that created it. “
This tool compresses images, making large image files smaller and the result is going to faster load times.
To set up the plugin, just sign up for a free account at ShortPixel and then either enter your API key in the settings.
And with a free account, you will get 100 free image compression each month or you can pay for credits if you need more.
Here you will have more options for compression type. Using Glossy will give you the best compression rate while using Glossless will give you the best compression photos. As for Glossy, this is an in-between option with which you can get a nice balance in my opinion. If you already have the images just uploaded to your site, just hover over media, and select bulk ShortPixel. You can then optimize all images on your site with the click of a button.
5. W3 Total Cache
Another indispensable plugin I want to suggest is W3 Total Cache. This plugin is all about optimizing your website’s performance.
Key features of W3 Total Cache:
- CDN support
- Combining scripts
- Browser caching
Why to Use the W3 Total Cache Plugin?
There are a number of SEO plugins that can be used for Cache, but W3 Total Cache deserves special attention due to the huge number of parameters and enabling us to use it with a wide range of server configurations.
As of now the number of downloads of this plugin has exceeded three million. Indeed, the plugin is safe compared to less popular cache SEO Plugins, which do not have such good quality.
The screenshots below illustrate the results achieved after using the plugin with the aim of content optimization for more than 100 client sites:
Which Features Does the W3 Total Cache plugin provide?
Ok. There are many benefits to using this plugin. The benefits of the Plugin are known thanks to the efforts made by its developers, namely Frederick Towns, who made the list of companies that have confirmed that they trust the W3 Total Cache plugin. The list is quite encompassing:
- and thousands of other established companies
Major benefits of using W3 Total Cache plugin:
- Improves all site performance by 10x with full customization
- Increases conversion rates and site performance, which affects your site’s position on Google.com
- Subsequent page views: browser caching
- Optimized progressive rendering: pages will render faster
- Fast Page Load: visitors linger longer on the page and view more pages
- Improves web server performance
Main features of W3 Total Cache
- Compatible with virtual hosting, virtual private/dedicated servers, and dedicated servers
- Transparent Content Delivery Network (CDN) using media library, theme files, and WordPress resource
- Caching (minimized and compressed) of pages or records to memory or to disk or CDN)
6. Easy Table of Contents Plugin
And yes, I was able to achieve similar sub-one-second load times. Alright, so we got our all-in-one tool running and our page speed is lighting fast. Let’s talk about a couple of user experience tools. A super lightweight and easy-to-use plugin is Easy Table of Contents.
This plugin allows you to create a table of contents for each post or page in just a few clicks.
The plugin is “a user friendly, featured focused plugin which allows you to insert a table of contents into your posts, pages, and custom post types.
The plugin has a whole list of features like:
- Automatically generate a table of contents for your posts, pages, and custom post types by parsing its content for headers.
- Optionally enable for pages and/or posts. Custom post types are supported, as long as their content is output with the content template tag.
- Optionally auto-insert the table of content into the page, selectable by enabled post type.
Once you have installed the plugin, go to the post and scroll down to the Table of the content section. Just hit the” insert table of content” checkbox and publish or update your post. It’ll then automatically include a table of contents based on your heading tags.
Now, if you have super-long posts, like this with a bunch of headings and subheadings, you might want to clean this up a bit.
So, this time, I’ll set it only to create a table of content based on H2 tags. And I’ll update the page. And as you can see, it looks much cleaner and more user friendly for visitors to navigate around the page.
Now, since a table of content makes long pages look less daunting, it can help improve things like time on page, bounce rate, and dwell time. Plus, it can help you win jump links in the SERP, which may help increase your CRT.
Now plugins are great because they allow you to do complex things without any coding. In fact, we’re creating our own free WordPress SEO plugin, which I’m super excited about.
Now, as I have mentioned before, WordPress SEO plugins are great for on-page and technical things, not off-page SEO tasks like link building. Backlinks are almost a necessity to tank for any competitive keywords. Also, effective on-page SEO requires a solid foundation in keyword research.
Additional options for SEO optimizations on WordPress
Google XML Sitemaps
As the name implies, this plugin was created to generate XML Sitemaps on WordPress. Its distinguishing feature is that the Sitemap.xml file, which is automatically generated by Google XML Sitemaps helps to improve the search engine indexing process.
An additional benefit of Google XML Sitemaps is that it automatically creates pages to the XML map. So, you do not have to put extra effort to improve it.
This SEO optimization plugin helped users to remove one of the most burning issues of modern-day internet users – broken links matter, 404 errors, and deleted pages. As a result, the site ranking has been improved. The plugin perfectly handles the task of the one-page redirect as well as thousands of redirects tasks. It’s seamless work made Redirection a very important SEO plugin.
W3 Total Cache
A very useful tool that, by using data caching, greatly speeds up the site load process. During caching, the plugin can compress JS, HTML, and CSS codes.
Developers promise a 10x improvement in overall resource performance. This result is evidenced by reviews from satisfied users. Installation of the W3 Total Cache helps accelerate the loading of the pages of your site, which is especially important for maintaining the periods of high traffic and increasing the conversion rate and eventually leads to an upgrade in search engine ranking.
Media File Renamer (Auto Renamer)
This is a very popular SEO plugin for WordPress that greatly simplifies the lives of site optimizers and site owners. Its function is the automatic renaming of media files into SEO-optimized titles that help to promote the site effectively.
Not only does the module give new file names, but it also makes corresponding changes to the pages of the site that link to these media files. The source of data to form a new name is the original video and image names and user queries.
Lazy Load by WordPress Rocket
Lazy delayed loading works as follows: all graphics begin to load not immediately when navigating to the site, but only after the user reaches the area of the page where the image is present. This loading process allows you to speed up the overall performance of the site and increase its performance.
Nofollow for external link
This WordPress SEO plugin saves the link weight of the site by automatically assigning the Nofollow attribute to its external links. Another plus of using this module is the links are opened in new tabs, leaving the user the ability to quickly return to your site and not lose the previously opened page. If you do not want to hide links to any resources using the Nofollow attribute, simply specify the domains of those resources in the settings to block them from plugin actions.
To know more, you can check the top marketing platforms in 2020.
By opting for CMS WordPress, you get not only the full functionality of the high-quality platform but also the additional nice features available when installing custom modules and plugins. There are dozens of solutions that will help improve the efficiency of the promotion process through competent optimization. Which SEO plug-in is better to install on your site on WordPress depends on various factors: the platform version used, availability and features of media files, etc.
Choosing a module, you need to start from the goal you want to achieve. Installing a comprehensive plugin will help you solve several problems at once and free up your time for other processes aimed at increasing the profitability of the business. In our review, we introduced you to the most popular and useful WordPress plugins. They are all easy to use and do not require special skills to use them. Have you already had experience with SEO plugins on WordPress and are you satisfied with the result achieved with their help?