Missing out on potential traffic and conversions is a certainty if your WordPress or any website is not SEO-friendly. Organic search traffic was identified by marketers in 2020 as the primary metric for measuring content success (76%). Additionally, the majority (67%) recognized SEO as the most effective means of enhancing content performance.
For beginners to SEO, optimizing your WordPress site for search engines can be a daunting task. However, fear not! The WordPress plugins directory offers a variety of SEO plugins that can help take your site to the next level, regardless of your SEO ability.
What are WordPress plugins?
WordPress plugins are add-ons that can enhance the appearance, functionality, and performance of your WordPress site. These plugins can be used without any coding knowledge, and multiple plugins can be installed on a single site.
However, with over 55,000 plugins available on the official WordPress repository, the quality of each plugin may vary. While some plugins can significantly improve the user experience, others may slow down your site or may not suit your individual needs. Moreover, not all plugins are free, and some may be premium products that require payment. Freemium plugins are also available, which offer additional features for a fee while still offering free basic features.
The Best Free SEO Plugins for WordPress
1. WordPress SEO by Yoast (Free/Paid from $89)
Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin is available at free and paid subscription levels. It’s often recommended because it provides you with an extensive range of features, including:
- Powerful integration with Semrush to target highly relevant keywords
- Readability analysis to help you optimize your content more naturally
- Helpful page analysis features
- Automatic creation of XML sitemap
- Excellent redirect feature
- Internal linking features
- Automatic structured data features
- Seamlessly connects your site to Google Search Console
One of the best on-page SEO plugins for WordPress is our SEO Writing Assistant. It provides instantaneous SEO recommendations for optimizing content based on the qualities of Google’s top 10 ranking pages for your given keywords in a given location. It also offers:
- A readability score and recommendations for improvement.
- Target keywords and recommended keywords.
- A tone of voice score to ensure writing is consistent with the desired level of formality.
- Plagiarism help to make sure the writer has submitted original content.
- Linking recommendations to check your links for possible errors and problems.
3. Google XML Sitemaps (Free)
This is a handy free auto SEO WordPress plugin created to generate a sitemap for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. An XML sitemap will help search engines see the areas you want to index and help them crawl these areas of your website. It is considered one of the best SEO plugins because of the following:
- It automatically updates the sitemap whenever you publish new content.
- It is easy to understand and use.
- Once installed and settings have been adjusted, you will not need to do anything else.
4. SEO Ultimate (Free/Paid from $49)
This fantastic all-in-one SEO plugin is known for its data flexibility, and other stand-out features of SEO Ultimate include that it:
- Can automatically set up keywords.
- Generates internal links on your site.
- Automatically creates open-graph for posts and pages.
- Has a file editor which means you can modify robots.txt in the dashboard.
5. Squirrly SEO (Free/Paid from $29.99)
SEO Squirrly has been designed with SEO beginners in mind, making it one of the best on-page SEO plugins for WordPress if you want to create a successful SEO strategy. There is also a Squirrly SEO Premium WordPress plugin with additional features for more advanced users.
- Ability to optimize site content using the Live assistant.
- Easy-to-follow method when it comes to navigating Google’s ranking factors.
6. Rank Math (Free)
Rank Math helps WordPress users efficiently optimize their sites for both search engines and social media. It is widely considered one of the best SEO plugins available.
- Super easy to follow, set up, and configuration wizard.
- Integration of Google Schema markup included (support for 13+ types).
- Option of optimizing unlimited keywords.
- Time saver thanks to Google Search Console Integration.
7. The SEO Framework (Free)
The SEO Framework is a plugin that optimizes your site following white-hat SEO guidelines, as well as adhering to those implemented by WordPress and search engines.
- Highly organized on post overview pages through color-coded guidelines.
- Can generate critical SEO meta tags in any language, saving a lot of time.
8. Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin (Free/Paid from $199)
This SEO plugin for WordPress is highly-rated thanks to its ease of use by enabling users to seamlessly check their Google Analytics whilst on WordPress.
- Google Analytics WordPress plugin can be viewed from the WordPress dashboard.
- Provides link tracking (outbound and internal).
- Easy to track traffic and user engagement.
- Interest reports and demographics access.
This is one of the most popular schema markup plugins available for WordPress. Rich snippets are an important part of SEO, providing a more interactive summary of your post or page in the search engine results. This has been shown to positively impact organic click-through rates.
- Easy to implement a range of schema types, including Products, Articles, Recipes, Evens, and Reviews.
- Particularly useful for e-commerce sites.
10. Broken Link Checker by ManageWP (Free)
The Broken Link Checker plugin is one of the best SEO plugins on WordPress as it helps with the management of broken links or missing images on your site. Lots of broken links or missing images can signal that your website is low quality to search engines, impacting your ranking. This WordPress SEO checker plugin has a number of great features:
- Notifies you when your WordPress site has broken links or missing images.
- Plugin recognizes all links that aren’t working.
- It can prevent search engines from following broken links.
11. All in One SEO Pack (Free/Paid from $79)
The All In One SEO plugin for WordPress is known for being easy to use while offering users a wide range of tools to help boost their website. Top features of this WordPress Plugin include:
- Easy integration with WooCommerce.
- Can efficiently add SEO titles and meta descriptions, open-graph tags.
- Generates XML and image sitemaps.
- Allows you to have control access to different settings through a feature manager.
12. SEOPress (Free/Paid from $39)
SEOPress is a popular yet simple WordPress SEO plugin tool amongst users thanks to:
- Being a low-cost yet high-quality SEO plugin with a comprehensive set of features.
- The powerful all-in-one plugin allows you to quickly optimize all of your WordPress sites (meta descriptions, sitemaps, broken link checker, etc.).
- Good for both beginners and more advanced users thanks to easy setup and option of advanced controls
Choosing the right WordPress SEO plugin depends on your specific requirements. It is important to evaluate the on-page and technical SEO features provided by each plugin and determine which ones are most relevant to your site. Before making a decision, it is essential to read reviews to identify any common issues such as site speed problems. Keep in mind that having too many plugins can affect site performance, so choose a plugin that offers the necessary features without adding unnecessary bloat.
Did we overlook any plugins that deserve a mention? Share your opinions in the comments section below.