9 Best WordPress SEO Plugins & Tools For Higher Ranking [2021]

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Best WordPress SEO Plugins
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  • Looking to make your WordPress site search friendly?
  • Wondering which are the best SEO plugin for WordPress that you should install?

We will get to that in a moment, but before that…

I had earlier shared 30 must have WordPress plugins which I use on ShoutMeLoud. I hope you read the post.

For today’s post, I have something new – a compiled a list of the best WordPress Plugins for SEO.

Why you should listen to me?

As a professional blogger, I keep an eye on new SEO techniques that are working and let go of those, which does not work.

Using the plugins listed below, I’m able to drive more than 1 million page views every month.

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In this list, you will find the best free SEO WordPress plugins and some premium plugins that you can use for your blog. We will talk about:

  1. Rank Math SEO
  2. Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
  3. Broken link checker WordPress plugin
  4. Rich Snippet WordPress plugin
  6. SEO Image Optimizer
  7. Easy Table of Contents Plugin
  8. Image Compression plugin
  9. Cache plugin

Do read the descriptions carefully to understand what the plugin does and use it if you are not using any other plugin for the same purpose.

You can learn about these WordPress SEO plugins below, but before that, lets look at some of the frequently asked questions:

Which is the best WordPress SEO plugin?

In 2021, Yoast SEO does the maximum heavy lifting when it comes to WordPress SEO. However, there are other SEO plugins that help in completing every aspect of WordPress SEO.

Can WordPress have two SEO plugins?

It is ok to have two SEO plugins from different categories. For example, one for On-site SEO and others for speed or image SEO. However, it is not recommended to have two plugins that do the same job. For example, there is no advantage of using Rankmath or All in one SEO along with Yoast SEO. In fact, it may create SEO issues for your WordPress website. When in confusion, use the comment section below to resolve your query.

Is WordPress best for SEO?

WordPress by default is quite search friendly in comparison with other platforms. However, using these WordPress SEO tools and plugins, you could aim for the first page of Google search.

Does Google favor WordPress?

This is not true, as Google is impartial to any CMS or blogging platform.

I will also link to my previous review of individual SEO plugins so you can learn more about them and decide which SEO plugins are appropriate for your blog.

If you think any WordPress SEO plugins are missing from our list, do let us know, and we would be happy to review them and possibly add them to our list.

Best SEO Plugins for WordPress (Updated for 2021)

1. RankMath SEO

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RankMath SEO is a young SEO plugin for WordPress, which has gained immense popularity for it’s features. This standalone plugin is good enough for all your WordPress SEO needs. It took me a while before I could start recommending RankMath SEO plugin to ShoutMeLoud users, as the plugin was new. Now, since this plugin has proven itself to be worthy, now it is recommended as #1 SEO plugin for WordPress.

RankMath plugin is free to use at the time of writing, and it incorporates many features which are typically offered in the paid version of SEO plugin.

The plugin is light weight, and let you enable/disable modules to ensure it doesnot add unnecessary load on your web-server.

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With a strong community-driven approach and a pro version coming out soon, this plugin should be your first SEO plugin for any WordPress based website.

2. Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin:

Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
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With over 5+ million downloads, Yoast is the first SEO plugin that every WordPress user should be installing. This single plugin takes care of many aspects of your WordPress site SEO.

In fact, if you have been using a separate WordPress sitemap plugin, redirection, and a few other features, you can stop using them with Yoast SEO.

These are the benefits of using the Yoast SEO plugin:

  1. You can Add meta value to the homepage
  2. Add meta value to a single post
  3. You can set canonical tags
  4. Set custom breadcrumbs
  5. Optimize your article for social media sharing (image, title & description)
  6. Generate sitemap file
  7. Edit robots.txt and .htaccess
  8. Control indexing of your WordPress website
  9. Set focus keyword and optimize for on page SEO
  10. Let you add Q&A in Google SERP
Add FAQ Schema
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Watch the video to understand how to use the FAQ schema feature:

Note: Meta values are meta title, meta description.

Here is a detailed tutorial on how to set up Yoast SEO plugin.

Do you know what is even better?

You can download this plugin for free from WordPress repo here.

There is a pro version of Yoast SEO as well which adds a few extra features such as :

  • Redirection
  • Yoast Internal linking (Helps in better linking of your blog)
  • Incoming and outgoing internal links (Video)

Here at ShoutMeLoud, I use Yoast Premium and if you have the budget and need these extra features, opt for the pro version. If not, the free version is pretty good too.

Here are a few popular alternatives for Yoast SEO:

Even though these alternatives are popular, Yoast SEO is still the best SEO plugin for WordPress in 2021.

Broken link checker WordPress plugin
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A simple and powerful plugin that continuously scans your WordPress site for broken links. It offers an easy to use dashboard from where you can quickly fix those broken links.

It helps in finding and fixing all internal and external broken links (404 links). 404 links are nothing but dead ends for search engine spiders. It is highly advisable to remove or fix such links.

Download Plugin | Tutorial here

4. Schema Pro WordPress plugin

I have talked about Rich Snippet a few times, and I can’t stress enough on the importance of it. I have seen a lot of bloggers and marketers not taking advantage of easy-to-use schema markup plugins for WordPress to show rich snippets in WordPress.

In fact, by adding Schema, you helping search engine to understand more about your content and its highly recommended for On page SEO.

Using an excellent rich snippet plugin for WordPress will help you get better visibility in the search engine.

Remember those star ratings in the search engine?

See screenshot below:

Rich Snippet WordPress plugin
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Using Rich Snippets will help you get better CTR and traffic.

SchemaPro is the most updated Rich snippet WordPress plugin and it is also compatible with Yoast SEO plugin. It supports the following schema type:

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It is easy to configure and can be used on any existing or a new WordPress website. It will also help you get the Knowledge graph for your website in Google search.

5. SEMRUSH: (SEO writing assistant)

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SEMRUSH is one tool I have been using for the last five years, and this has been of immense help from the phase of keyword research to optimization and also for tracking keyword ranking.

SEMRush used to be a web-based tool, however recently it launched a WordPress SEO plugin called “Writing assistant“, and this plugin alone could improve your content SEO to a great extent.

Here is how this plugin works:

The plugin lets you optimize your pages for your target keyword. It scans the existing top 10 ranking pages on Google, and suggest what you are missing on your content (Ex: Words, word limit), that could boost your ranking.

6. SEO Image Optimizer

SEO Image Optimizer
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By optimizing your images, you can drive a significant amount of traffic from image search engines. Even here, at ShoutMeLoud, almost 1% of traffic is from image search engines, and that is a LOT.

This plugin adds ALT attributes to your images, though you need to take care of the image name. If you upload images with names like image002.jpeg or DSC001.jpeg, STOP NOW!

That is a huge mistake.

I suggest you make it a point to start giving your images more useful names right away.

For example, in this post, I have given the name “WordPress SEO” to the image I used.

7. Easy Table of Contents plugin

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Example of TOC plugin

This is one WordPress SEO plugin that every content based WordPress websites and blogs should use in 2021. This plugin helps you add jumplinks in Google search

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The best thing about this plugin is, after initial configuration, it automatically adds a Table of content in all existing and in new articles. Watch the video tutorial to understand how to configure EasyTOC plugin:

Speed Optimizer plugin for better user experience:

One of the least talked about things when talking about WordPress SEO is user experience. Apart from a robust design, the speed of your WordPress site makes a lot of difference in overall SEO optimization. Google has been emphasizing for years that user experience is one of the most integral parts of overall SEO.

They have also made it public that the site loading time is now one of the search engine ranking factors. So, for you, it’s crucial now to optimize your site for speed.

If you have never taken a speed test for your WordPress site, this is an excellent time to do so. Visit this site and enter your domain name to complete a speed test.

This is why in this section of WordPress SEO plugins, I’m sharing some of the top plugins (under various categories) to improve your blog loading time.

8. Image Compression plugin

Image Compression plugin
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Images are an integral part of our WordPress site. On on average, I use three images in every blog post which increases the page size by 400kb+.

On a desktop, this may be alright, but on a 3G or 4G connection, it’s of utmost importance to offer a fast page.

Image compression is one technique that reduces the overall size of the image without compromising the quality of the image.

This technique alone (especially for image-heavy WordPress sites) can make a noticeable impact.

ShortPixel is the plugin that you should be using for this. It automatically compresses the new images and also gives you an option to compress old once.

You can find the comparison of image compression plugins here.

I have talked about some of the top image compression plugins earlier; you can read the detailed guide here.

9. Cache plugin

Caching is a well-known technique to make your WordPress site load faster.

There are many well-documented case studies and research out there.

Using a cache plugin also helps in lowering the load on your server, thereby improving the overall performance of your WordPress site.

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These days many popular hosting like SiteGround, and WPEngine offer inbuilt caching, and you may not need an extra plugin that I have mentioned below.

However, if you use any other hosting which doesn’t offer inbuilt cache, you can pick either of the two cache plugins that I have mentioned below. Both of them are easy to use.

If you are looking for more recommendations, here is the list of best WordPress cache plugins.

I hope the information in this article helps you improve. If you think we have missed any essential or helpful SEO WordPress plugins, do let us know in the comments section.

Which other WordPress SEO plugins do you use? Feel free to recommend that should be added to this exclusive list.

A few other articles that you might be interested in:

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Best WordPress SEO Plugins
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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

86 thoughts on “9 Best WordPress SEO Plugins & Tools For Higher Ranking [2021]”

  1. Hi Harsh
    I m using Yoast Plugin, unable to see any Keyword in page source, what should i do now, replace with ALL IN ONE SEO?

    1. @Raksha

      Can you let me know if this feature is enabled or disabled:

      Yoast Seo >> Title & Metas >>Other

      Use meta keywords tag? (Is this enabled or disabled?)

  2. I was following your guidelines from the video – Configuring Yoast.
    While doing so i found that the XML sitemap is different in Yoast that what my Jetpack is giving me.

    How to do it right?

  3. I don’t understand I’ve set all article to SEO friendly using Yoast SEO, but when I was searching on my google results from the page description, it’s all messed up and it’s not the same as the one I have entered using Yoast SEO.

  4. Sandeep Jangid

    Sir can tell me which is batter for me between yoast seo and seo Ultimate plus I want know about premium version of these plguins.

  5. Farcas Gelu Danut

    For images, i use ShortPixel (images optimization plugin), free version.
    Is … wow! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Hi,

    My blog is 6 months old and I’m using Google XML Sitemaps but now I want to switch to Yoast XML Sitemap. So, what should I do now?

    1. @Saud Khan, you can just login to your google webmaster tools and submit the new sitemap generated by Yoast. (Personally, i’d compare the two sitemaps to make sure there aren’t any discrepancies you weren’t expecting, before submitting.)

  7. Hi there Harsh,

    This a nice collection of best wordpress SEO plugins. Right now I’m using Yoast SEO, but I’ll give a chance other plugins here too.


    Clay Smith.

  8. Yoast wrecked my indexing in google, the sitemap installs categories which I can’t edit, and it just isn’t working at all. Going back to All In One SEO Pack which has been around for over 10 years and it works beautifully, the free version. Nothing tops what really works without losing ground in the search engines.

    1. @Sam, I’ve considered All in One SEO Pack, I think I might try it on one of my sites personally. Any tips/suggestions?

  9. Hi, I am using a free Yoast Plugin, it really helps a lot and I am planning to buy a premium but I don’t know what kind of extra benefits rather than the free one. Can you advise me?

  10. Thanks for the information :+1: Yoast SEO with SEMrush I am getting good results ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Good article Harsh,

    Here are some of my tips on this matter:
    You could use the free version of Yoast, just make sure to install another plugin that gets rid of all the yoast bloatware (all the banners and advertising and unnecessary warnings). Plus the premium version won’t give you any amazing advantages or features anyway.

    By removing the yoast bloatware, you will make your wordpress much faster, and not get worried about getting penalized by google (because of pagespeed).

    If yoast is not your thing, and you’re a more advanced SEO, then you should check out The SEO Framework, a very lightweight SEO plugin that is amazing. (Yeah it’s free).
    No idea about All In One SEO, never actually used it.
    The only premium SEO plugin that’s worth buying is SEOpressor.

    Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Mohit Awasthi

    Thanks, harsh! It is a handy post for a beginner as well as the experienced professionals. I would like to emphasise the page speed part. As you did it is an essential factor in SEO. Beginners overlook mostly page speed. When they start losing the visitors, they realise the importance Of page speed. Hummingbird page speed optimisation is a handy plugin to get the insight of the issues which slows down the website speed. GZIP Compression allows the compression of hefty JavaScript and CSS files.

  13. Thereโ€™s two very simple ways:
    1. Fetch As Google Tool.
    2. Submit an updated sitemap.
    Thank you.

  14. As mentioned, RankMath is a new player in the SEO market, but that does not mean that RankMath is necessarily worse or less developed.

    It is true that in the past, there were a few bugs when optimizing your content, but they had free 24/7 support for that, unlike Yoast SEO. You can chat with them via Facebook or by mail. You will receive support immediately via Facebook, and it will take a maximum of 2 hours via email.

    All bugs have now been fixed for a while, and RankMath continues to develop by adding more and more functions. But Iโ€™m going to talk about the differences that matter.

    Rank Math is better than Yoast SEO.

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