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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.
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:
- Rank Math SEO
- Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
- Broken link checker WordPress plugin
- Rich Snippet WordPress plugin
- SEO Image Optimizer
- Easy Table of Contents Plugin
- Image Compression plugin
- 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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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:
- You can Add meta value to the homepage
- Add meta value to a single post
- You can set canonical tags
- Set custom breadcrumbs
- Optimize your article for social media sharing (image, title & description)
- Generate sitemap file
- Edit robots.txt and .htaccess
- Control indexing of your WordPress website
- Set focus keyword and optimize for on page SEO
- Let you add Q&A in Google SERP
Watch the video to understand how to use the FAQ schema feature:
Note: Meta values are meta title, meta description.
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 :
- 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.
3. Broken link checker plugin
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.
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:
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:
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)
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
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
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.
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
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.
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:
- Best Keyword Research Tools For SEO: 2021 Edition
- How To Write SEO Friendly Content (Beginner To Advanced)
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