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Best WordPress SEO Plugins For Higher Rankings in 2018

How to optimise your WordPress website for Google?

What is the best SEO plugin for WordPress?

If you have an online presence, to optimize for search engines has become a crucial part of your digital marketing strategy.

Search engine optimization helps you beat the competition by placing you at the top of organic search results. There are over 200 ranking factors. Don’t worry, help is on the way. 

Millions of users every day are looking for products, services, and information.  When they don’t have a specific website in mind, they turn to Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

So, What is the best SEO plugin for your WordPress website?

What is search engine optimization?

When a specific set of factors is used to optimize for website rankings, it is referred to as SEO.  The purpose of SEO is to raise your website or blog to the top of the organic results.

Organic results” refers to the sites listed on the page that are not at the top due to paid advertising.

Search engines are regularly used by the millions of people on a daily basis. You need to make sure they know you near the top, so you can be found.

Why SEO is critical to your website:

  • Reaching the Top 5 – most people searching don’t look past the top 5 listings.      
  • Trust – Users trust websites that rank high.
  • Social Media Shares – People who visit sites they like often share them to their Facebook pages and other Social Media channels.

How do you do SEO for WordPress sites?

With a WordPress Site, You Don’t Need to Be an Expert.

SEO can be extremely confusing for both new and old website owners as the procedures for maintaining a well optimized are almost continually being updated and improved. 

SEO today has changed dramatically from where it was even five years ago.  It’s almost unrecognizable to what it was over a decade ago.

Fortunately, through all its changes, one fundamental idea has remained intact.  That is the concept of the “keyword” or keyword topic.

The thing is, now that you’ve worked so hard to build your website, your future success shouldn’t have to depend on complicated coding, or trial and error. In fact, in the absence of real experience, poor optimization can sometimes cause more damage than it can provide benefits.

For some website owners, their only option is to outsource their digital marketing.

However, thanks to the creativity and innovation of several WordPress plugin developers, there are now a variety of SEO plugins that can assist website and blog owners. 

So, even with the ongoing challenge of creating quality content, you will be able to keep all your info and data “in-house.”

If you’ve tried to find the best WordPress SEO tool before and was overwhelmed by the number of options listed in a search, you can relax.

Which WordPress Plugin For SEO Did I Use To Rank #2? Keep reading…

ranking with use of best plugin for seo

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “What’s wrong with the SEO setting options that came with my WordPress theme?” 

Good question! 

Yes, many WordPress themes come with presets for SEO.

However, if you choose to rely on them entirely, then decide to change your theme, you might lose your settings with the change-over. The loss would force you to start all over again.  It is one of many reasons experts strongly recommend using a separate plugin instead.

Each of the following  SEO plugin reviews will assist you to improve your website’s search engine rankings.

13 Best SEO Plugins and Tools for WordPress

WordPress Yoast SEO

All in One SEO Pack

Premium SEO Pack

SEOPressor

SEO Squirrly

Broken Link Checker

W3 Total Cache

Rankie

WP SEO Meta

Remove Query Strings from Static Resources

SEO Optimized Images

SEO Internal Links

All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets

2,000,000

Yoast Installs

WordPress SEO by Yoast

Yoast SEO has continuously been at the forefront of free WordPress SEO plugins. With over 5 million active installs and a 4.7-star rating out of 5 from their 15,000+ reviewers their numbers back up their claims.

Not only will it improve your website’s online presence in every way, but it also goes that “extra mile” to take care of technical optimization as well. Since it’s equipped with a wide variety of features, this plugin defines the term “all-in-one SEO plugin.”

yoast seo plugin

Key Features of WordPress SEO By Yoast:

  • Breadcrumbs: Allows you to create simple navigation for users and spiders. Great for internal linking.
  • Title Tag and Meta Tags: Lets you determine what pages will be shown in the search results.
  • Multi-Site Compatibility: XML Sitemaps work in all setups.   Includes the option to copy settings from blog to blog. 
  • Website SEO Analysis: Checks even the smallest items length of content, meta description existence, and focused keyword usage. Simple green light, red light lets you know where you stand.
  • Snippet Preview:  Lets you to observe how your page will look in search results.
  • Social Integration: Includes SEO Friendly Facebook Open Graph to link SEO and social media together.
  • Great for blogging with a simple green and red light interface.

Pros: an extensive variety of features for one WordPress plugin. Quick and easy interface. Available as a free open-source option.  It is top free SEO plugin on the market. One of the most widely used SEO tools.

Cons: Potential decrease of Website speed. Cost of add-ons and upgrades. WordPress SEO by Yoast Premium is $80.

best SEO Plugin for wordpress
2,500,000

All in One SEO Plugin Pack Installs

All in One SEO Plugin Pack

With over 3 million active installs to date and a 4.5/5 rating from 500+ reviews, the All in One SEO Pack is easy to use “straight out of the box” for beginners while still including advanced applications for developers.

Features include:

  • Bad Bot Blocker: Prevents harmful bots from decreasing website speeds.
  • File Editor: Manually edit robots.txt and .htaccess.
  • Import/Export: Imports and exports your settings to share with other sites.
  • Robots.txt: Allows more control over how search spiders navigate your site.
  • Social Media Integration: Adds Open Graph to your site to deliver closer integration between your website or blog and social channels like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Video Sitemap (paid version only): Lets you create and manage a Video XML Sitemap and submit it Google and other search engines.

Pros: Free to use with the option for upgrade to the Pro Version.

Cons: Interface requires excessive scrolling. Not user-friendly for beginners.

1,000,000

Premium SEO Pack installs

Premium WordPress SEO Pack

As the name states, WordPress SEO  Premium Pack is a plugin that delivers a healthy set of tools, making it well worth what you pay for it. It provides a means to increase the SEO value of all WordPress pages on a site and control the display of pages in search engine results. Included in the plugin are tools to enhance the appearance of postings to social media accounts.

It is designed to work well with other popular plugins such as Squirrly SEOWoocommerce, and WordPress Multisite.

It includes both on and off page optimization.  This SEO friendly plugin has a current ranking of a 4/5 from over 700 reviewers.

Key Features:

  • Facebook Planner: You can post your content on Facebook with the help of this feature.
  • Monitor 404: Monitors the URLs that are referring your visitors to 404 pages.
  • Page Speed Insights: Monitors the page speed of each of your posts or pages on a desktop or mobile devices.
  • SEO Friendly Images: Automatically refreshes all images with relevant ALT tags and Title Attributes.
  • Backlink Builder: With this feature, you can find similar websites to build links to your website.
  • W3C Validator: It empowers you to check the schema markup of your posts, pages, and custom taxonomies.
  • On-Page SEO: Quickly update pages from the post-preview top bar or admin top bar.
  • Pattern SEO: Set patterns for each post type and custom post types.
  • Social Optimization: Open Graph and Twitter Card support.

Pros: Open source WordPress SEO plugin under active development with developers soliciting feedback. Video sitemap. Bulk editor for mass changes. Search engine reporter.

Cons: More reviews needed to get a consensus on user experience. Only available as a Premium version plugin.  Available through Envato Market, a Regular License will currently run you $44.

premium seo pack for wordpress
700,000

SEOPressor installs

SEOPressor

SEOPressor Connect Unlike most of the other Best Wordpress SEO plugins on our list,  is not available through WordPress.org so we can’t give you a specific count of active installs or reviewer stats. We can tell you that the majority of the independent reviews we’ve come across are highly favorable. 

Recently Google has come out with a significant number of algorithmic updates.  These updates have created a movement for Topic-based rankings versus keyword only ones. Unlike some current WordPress plugins, SEOPressor has evolved to keep up with the latest requirements.

Key Features:

  • Automatic Smart Internet Linking: Add internal links automatically to keep leads and reduce bounce rate.
  • Dynamic Crawler Control: Complete command over how spiders travel through your site.
  • XML Sitemap generator: Helps make your site SEO Friendly.
  • Keyword SEO Score Checker: Monitors the optimized rate of your primary words, up to 3.
  • LSI keywords: Calculates your site’s LSI usage with a proprietary formula.  Suggests ways to improve your LSI keyword use for to rank for more words.
  • Readability Score: Did you know that the readability of your website copy may be a ranking factor?
  • Over Optimization Check: Over-stuffing words is now something that will bring red flags from Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.  Monitors your keyword use and lets you know if overuse becomes a problem

Bottom line, this is the plugin I use, and I rank it best SEO plugin for WordPress websites.

wordpress seo plugin by connect

Pros: A complete SEO plugin that lets you focus on your site’s SEO and obtain excellent results. 60-day money back guarantee.  Plugin delivers an essential understanding optimizing. IMHO, the number one SEO tool for WordPress.

Cons: Not as user-friendly for SEO novices. Only available as a Premium WordPress plugin.  Pricing for this plugin starts at $9/month depending on the type of license you need. 

seopressor dashboard example
2,100,000

SEO Squirrly Installs

SEO by Squirrly

SEO Squirrly has been explicitly designed for non-experts. This plugin for WordPress will help you write content that is effective at ranking your website.  It will also help you write “Human-friendly” content.  Currently, SEO Squirrly is ranked 4.5/5 by its over 400 reviews and has 2,100,000+ active installations.

Key features:

  • Green Light Means “Good Job!”: Display turns green when you implement an item correctly.
  • Keyword Headline Suggestions: Give suggestions for headlines based on your primary keywords.
  • Content Strategy Tracking: Tracks all areas content strategies.
  • No Automatic Overwrite: Your current SEO settings stay intact during setup.
  • Social SEO AI:  Updated artificial intelligence aids you in developing high-quality content.
  • Weekly Monitoring: Oversees your progress on a weekly basis.

Pros: Slideshow tutorials.  Extremely user-friendly for SEO novices. Endorsed by Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics. Give visual incentives as you go to reassure you.

Cons: Some advanced features are not included in the free version.

squirrly settings assistant

“Cool Feature: Squirrly comes packed with a nice keyword research tool that works within the WordPress editor. In addition to the usual metrics (like search volume), it also shows you if that keyword is a hot topic of conversion online. The tool also shows you the stability of that keyword’s search volume over time.”
Brian Dean
Founder
Backlinko.com

500,000

Broken Link Checker Installs

Broken Link Checker

Although you may not consider them, broken links can cause significant issues as they provide a negative user experience. Bounce rate and time on page are ranking factors.

Checking every link on your site regularly to find them is a poor use of your valuable time. That’s why we’ve included this plugin on our list.

The Broken Link Checker plugin will monitor your site and look for broken links, letting you know when they are detected. With the current version 1.11.5, its still in its relative infancy. Even so,  it’s already showing over 500,000 active installations.   The plugin’s over 300 reviewers have awarded it a 4/5 star rating. 

Features include:

  • Automatic Monitoring: Plugin supports monitoring of links in your posts, pages, comments and more.
  • Direct Editing:  Allows direct editing of website links from the plugin page.
  • Email Notification: Notifies you of broken links via your email or the Dashboard.
  • Search and Filter: Gives the user the ability to find and filter their links.

Pros: Open source program that’s free to download and use.

Cons: Doesn’t include an option to check links inserted in widgets.

All in One SEO Pack | SEO by Yoast Plugins Compared

If you have taken the time to research any of these plugins on your own, you have probably noticed that the 2 that come up most often are the first one and the last one. 

We listed the WordPress plugins and tools in alphabetical order.

They each offer practically identical tools and features. However, All in One SEO does not include breadcrumbs navigation or importing data from Google searches.

Overall, All in One and Yoast SEO are both excellent WordPress plugins, and most reviewers will tell you that.

If you find yourself favoring one of these 2, you may need to take into account that many experts seem to prefer the Yoast plugin overall for its more advanced features. 

These include importing data from webmaster tools and breadcrumb navigation and are not available on the All in One SEO Pack.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache improves website performance by caching static copies of content and compression of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and feeds. The plugin also reduces download times utilizing features such as content delivery network (CDN) integration.

It provides up to a ten-fold improvement in overall performance of WordPress sites and is designed to work with any web hosting service.

W3 Total Cache is presently ranked 4.5/5 with 3,900 reviews and over a million downloads.

w3 total cache to increasing website performance

Key features:

  • Progressive Rendering: Pages start rendering quickly and can provide interaction sooner.
  • Bandwidth Reduction: Up to 80% reduction in bandwidth usage through minify and compression,
  • Mobile Applications: Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support.
  • Extended Site Caching: Caching of feeds and search result pages.
  • Local Caching: Built-in browser caching controls.

Pros: Provides a quick means of improving search rank through increased page speed.

Cons: Converts dynamic pages to static pages with possible update delays and site conflicts.

Rankie

As the plugin name implies, Rankie tracks WordPress site rankings on Google and updates positions daily.  It also has a research tool that utilizes Google search metrics to provide lists of related search terms.

Any new Google search terms that lead to a site visit can be automatically added to the plugin dashboard. Rankie is a premium-only plugin and has been purchased 2,352 times, with a rating of 4.55/5 from 139 reviews.

Wordpress Rankie Track your wordpress rankings on Google.

Example of the Rankie dashboard tracking keywords.

Features include:

  • Keyword Tracking: Keyword rankings on Google updated daily.
  • Ranking Reports: Monthly, yearly, or all time reports showing keyword ranking trends.
  • Keyword Research: Research tool returns Google’s suggested searches by submitting variations on a keyword.

Pros: Convenient visibility into Google SEO performance from the WordPress dashboard.

Cons: Plugin is not open source and must be purchased, with pricing starting at $21.

WP Meta SEO

This plugin is really a bundle of WordPress tools to save time on SEO and bulk editing tasks. With over 20,000 installations and a 4.5/5 rating from 48 reviews, WP Meta SEO can probably replace a host of plugins.

The core functionality of this plugin centers on the bulk edit of website metadata in a single view. Changes are accompanied by live SEO analysis for real-time feedback on the impact of changes. The paid version adds Google integration and several automated monitoring tools for website errors.

Key features:

  • Bulk Editing: Make site-wide changes to metadata including posts, pages, custom post types, image information and size, and SEO links.
  • Broken Link Checker: 404 error redirect and broken link auditing.
  • Sitemap Generator: Create and update XML and HTML sitemaps.
  • Breadcrumb Generator: Create and control the display of rich snippet breadcrumbs.

Pros: WP Meta SEO can save a significant amount of time making site-wide changes to enhance SEO.

Cons: Paid version is required for integration with Google functions and metrics, with pricing starting at $39.

Remove Query Strings from Static Resources

Designed to help improve speed scores, Remove Query Strings from Static Resources will remove links containing a “?” or “&”  inside the HTML element. Examples of resources that will be optimized include CSS and JS files. The plugin page on WordPress.org provides reference tests from Pingdom and GTMetrix using the latest version of WordPress. It has 100,000+ installations and is rated 4.5/5 with 77 reviews.

remove query strings from static resources like CSS & JS

Looking to Improve your website speed scores on Pingdom, GTmetrix, PageSpeed, or YSlow?

Main feature:

  • Query String Removal: Items containing a “?” or “&” are removed from static resources, and the parameters are encoded into the URL.

Pros: Website performance improves as resources are downloaded from a nearby proxy server rather than from a remote origin server.

Cons: Plugin only removes query strings from resources located inside the HTML element.

SEO Optimized Images

SEO Optimized Images allows for the insertion of SEO-friendly alt and title attributes into images. Once a pattern is provided, the plugin dynamically updates the alt and title tags without making changes to the database. Options for this data include image name, post title and post category.

Pricing for the premium version of SEO Optimized Images starts at $59 and adds functions such as support for featured images and support for custom rules to selectively add tags to images.

The plugin has 10,000+ downloads and is rated 4/5 with 21 reviews. Most positive reviews indicate a “light and effective” tool working as designed.

Key features:

  • Bulk Image SEO: Dynamically add SEO-friendly tags to images based on a pattern.
  • No Database Changes: If the plugin is deactivated, all image attributes return to their original state.

Pros: A quick way to increase the SEO value of site images. The plugin has a light footprint and does not alter the WordPress database.

Cons: Premium version must be purchased for more comprehensive coverage of images and custom rules for applying image attribute tags.

SEO Internal Links

As the name indicates, SEO Internal Links provides automatic SEO benefits by linking keywords and phrases in posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories, and tags within the site. It only links the first instance of a keyword or phrase in a post to avoid the appearance of black SEO and a negative user experience. When blogging, linking is important for UX.

The plugin is rated 3.5/5 with 7 reviews and has 5,000+ installations.

Notable features:

  • Site Keyword Lists: Enter desired keywords in the administration panel, and internal links are automatically generated.
  • Nofollow Attribute: Options to set nofollow attribute and to open links in a new tab.

Pros: SEO Internal Links provides a quick means to capitalize on internal site SEO.

Cons: Plugin has only 7 reviews, and ratings are not stellar. Development also appears to be inactive.

All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets

Designed to make WordPress pages stand out in search results, All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets capitalizes on all the available display options that Google, Yahoo, and Bing allow. Rich Snippets increase click-through rates by incorporating such elements as photos, star ratings, price and author into search listings.

The plugin page on WordPress.org indicates recent updates and the total installations currently stand at over 70,000. The plugin is rated 4.5/5 with 126 reviews.

Key features:

  • Supports Most Content Types: Plugin supports almost all content types released by Schema.org, with additional types scheduled for future release.
  • Facebook Support: Shared links on Facebook display proper site information with correct formatting.

Pros: Increases CTR and search ranking by capitalizing on all available search engine options for displaying a listing.

Cons: Reviewers note lack of support for custom post types and bulk generation of rich snippet data.

Bonus WordPress SEO tips

  1. Plugins are not a substitute for learning the basics good SEO.
  2. SEO for WordPress sites is no different than any other platform. Stick the basics and optimize naturally.
  3. Read the knowledge bases of the tool you choose. For example, Yoast SEO tutorial is excellent.
  4. Install Google analytics plugin for WordPress to track and analyze your traffic.
  5. Can’t decide? Start with a free option.

Conclusion, The Best SEO WordPress Plugin is….

By now you’ve probably come to realize there is quite a bit to learn, understand, and implement when working toward high-rankings.

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the ever-changing information.

Hopefully, my article on SEO WordPress plugins helps you make the right choice for your website.

Fortunately, help is readily available to ease the way to quality digital marketing, most of which is available as open source software that will cost you nothing to get started.

These WordPress plugins vary to meet every user’s level of expertise. 

They let any website owner or blogger perform search engine optimization with more confidence and make a high-quality WordPress SEO plugin an essential requirement for every site. 

Don’t make the mistake of going overboard with too many plugins,  pick one SEO plugin per site to avoid mass chaos.

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