Being able to drive traffic from search engines back to your blog is invaluable. Not only is traffic from search engines free, it’s also very targeted resulting in increased earnings and subscribers for you.
But search engine optimization can feel a bit tricky to navigate at times, which is why I’ve compiled a list of the best WordPress SEO plugins to help you improve your blog’s SEO!
Features of the Best WordPress SEO Plugins
There are hundreds of plugins you can incorporate into your WordPress website. Below are the main features of the best WordPress SEO plugins so you know exactly what to look for!
Active customer support
The people behind the plugin should be available for questions and troubleshoots.
Regular research-based updates
The ranking keeps on changing, and the software needs to keep up. The plugin should be from a team of web researchers who have Google’s web ranking philosophy and metrics at their fingertips.
Simple, intuitive dashboard
Also, an SEO plugin should be easy to use. It should also be lightweight and never slow down your site.
Top 4 Best WordPress SEO Plugin Review
Using the metrics illustrated above, I’ve come up with four of the best WordPress SEO plugins that could improve your website’s position on the search engine. Have a look!
1. WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress SEO by Yoast boasts as the most popular and highest rated among the free WordPress SEO plugins- and deservedly so! As of 2019, the plugin has more than 5 million installs as well as a commanding 4.7* rating from nearly 16,000 reviews.
Yoast is a handy SEO plugin for anyone who is new (and even the savvy) to SEO. This SEO plugin is free, and they will not charge you unless you want to unlock premium features.
You can easily set Yoast up by using their Yoast installation wizard.
Yoast improves your SEO by scanning your posts and recommending actions. It analyses for article length, keyword quality, meta descriptions, and content readability among others.
In the advanced section for each post, you can also set what you’d like the text to be when people share your article to Facebook or Twitter.
And if you are syndicating your content, you can easily add a canonical URL through Yoast.
The visual green happy face, pictured above, let’s you know you’ve done a good job at optimizing your article for SEO.
Of course, you shouldn’t rely 100% on these metrics but it’s a good place for beginners to improve their blog’s readability.
When it comes to On-Page SEO practices, Yoast should be your go-to plugin.
2. All-In-One SEO Pack
Another high-rated SEO plugin for your WordPress website is the All in One SEO pack. With a 4.5 star rating for nearly 700 reviews and a staggering 3 million installs, the plugin rightfully earns its spot on my list.
The free pack is ideal for beginners, but you can still unlock more features at a fee. The functionalities you get in the free version include bot locking- which prevents malicious bots.
You can easily click on the question mark beside each heading to get more information about what it entails.
With the pack, you get to control the way search engines crawl your site. You can also edit the robot.txt and htaacess manually using this tool. If you wish to post videos and other files on your site, the plugin allows the creation of such sitemaps.
3. The SEO Framework
The two brands above are the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of SEO plugins, literally.
But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other plugins that are good enough …just less popular.
The SEO Framework is one of the finest you can get. It has more than 70,000 installs across repositories and a prime 4.9-star rating from more than 200 web-owners.
One of the striking features of this plugin is its lightweight nature. The coding is featherweight, and the design is modest. The simple dashboard lets you control social media, title, descriptions, and visibility (canonical, no-index, follow and no-follow options).
The Framework keeps structured data for your articles and performs essential schema markup such as the breadcrumbs and Google site-links.
This WordPress SEO plugin also uses visual aids (like Yoast) to give you a quick overview of how well your articles are optimized through colorful boxes.
You can hover over each box to see what each letter stands for, and how to improve it.
You also get to optimize your pages for SEO with analytical recommendations on article length, keyword density, alt texts and the like.
One of the newcomers to the best SEO plugin race is the SEOPress. It’s among the youngest and yet, in its first few months, the Word Press plugin has already become a favorite to tens of thousands of bloggers and website owners.
Nearly five hundred reviewers have rated it at 4.9 stars already.
Right when you start using SEOPress, you’ll be fascinated by the intuitive interface.
The dashboard gives you control over your sitemaps, social networking, H-tags, and analytics. One of the unique features about this plugin is that you can redirect attachment pages to the original parent post.
SEOPress analyses your site intensely beyond the general keyword and content. Unlike ordinary plugins, it grasps the configuration issues as well as recommends the image alt text and other worthwhile SEO practices.
With each post you are also able to edit the text that is displayed when visitors share your content to either Facebook or Twitter.
And if you’d like to set up a re-direct, you can easily do so right from the interface within your post.
How to Rank Higher in Google
Now that you know what the best WordPress SEO plugins are, it will be helpful to know a little bit about how you can use those SEO plugins to rank higher in the search results.
I also have a free SEO training series that would be highly beneficial if you are trying to wrap your head around SEO. Sign up below!
Free SEO Training
So, what do you do to earn a spot on the first page?
A couple of requirements for beating the competition are:
- your quality of content
- your domain authority
- the response of the visitor to your website
Quality of Content
Firstly, the quality of the content you posted on websites is the primary metric of ranking pages on Google and other search engines.
It’s crucial to learn how to make meaningful content for your audience.
Remember to answer the visitor’s question thoroughly!
Domain Authority (DA)
Secondly, the authority of a webpage determines is rank on the SERP to an extent.
That’s why Wikipedia, CNN and government websites easily win the top spot. A respected page is trusted by web users and the search engine itself.
You can calculate your website’s DA by using Moz’s Domain Authority tool. DA’s are ranked 1-100; the higher the better (normally).
Websites with a high DA are often touted as being reputable which is why the often have a better chance at appearing higher in search results but don’t get too caught up in your DA.
Good User Experience (UX)
Thirdly, a webpage will rank well within search engines if it receives a good response from its visitors. Google uses a technology called “Rankbrain” in order to determine if your content provides a good UX.
Make sure that your posts are legible, simple and exciting. Such webpages will cause users to take longer on your site, share your content and click around more.
When your audience spends more time on your content and clicks around, it tells search engines that your content is informative.
These three pillars Search Engine Optimization (SEO) may appear simple on the surface, but; just like an iceberg, the underlying work in the application is a mountain!
Search engines are learning new ways to make their algorithms more sophisticated and harder to predict.
It’s certainly challenging to keep up with algorithm changes and updates on ranking methods.
Still, you have to be in line with white-hat, professional-level SEO practices. The best WordPress SEO plugins will be able to help guide you with the above points.
So there you go, the top 4 WordPress SEO plugins. If you enjoyed this article, I’d really appreciate a social share as it helps me continue to create content to help you out!