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Optimizing your WordPress website for search engines is a daunting task. As if the basics of providing valuable content and generating backlinks weren’t hard enough, crawlers expect much more — like organized code, fast page load speeds, optimized alt text and file names (to name a few).
That’s where WordPress SEO plugins come in. These are CMS extensions that help WordPress users optimize and automate all those little things that add up to a lot of time spent on SEO. From our own experience, top marketers, and other business blogs, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of SEO plugins for WordPress in 2021.
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With over 7 million downloads, Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins for WordPress. You can choose from a free version or a Yoast premium version that costs $89/yr.
Users love the Yoast SEO plugin because its meta box feature makes it really easy to establish focus keywords and create meta descriptions and titles. Premium users also get access to Yoast SEO training courses and 24/7 support. It’s great for building XML sitemaps, as well. Other popular features include open graph meta tags, a duplicate content checker, and local SEO services.
2. All-in-One SEO Pack
The All-in-One SEO Pack is another popular option that optimizes your page, post, and category titles. It also allows you to configure robots.txt and .htaccess files.
What’s great about this plugin is that it auto-generates suggestions for meta tags and creates an XML sitemap for you. Features include on-page SEO markup, automatic meta title and description generator, local SEO modules, robots.txt editing, and more.
3. Google XML Sitemap
This plugin helps you improve your indexing performance by giving search engines a blueprint of your site. The Google XML Sitemap plugin automatically generates a sitemap for you, saving valuable time. It goes a step further by automatically updating your sitemap as you add content.
4. Bing XML Sitemap
This plugin will create an XML sitemap that you can upload to the Bing Webmaster Tools dashboard. As part of the Bing Webmaster Tools kit, the Bing XML Sitemap plugin lets you customize what gets added to your sitemap. It also comes with helpful features like canonical url handling and it works over multiple servers.
5. Squirrly SEO
The WordPress plugin Squirrly SEO tracks and understands important audience engagement metrics like click-through and bounce rates. Its features include social media monitoring, suggestions on how to increase site traffic, long-tail keyword research, and more. Overall, its functionality extends to both beginners and SEO experts.
SEOPress provides a substantial SEO framework for developing content that ranks well. With SEOPress,you can create customized canonical urls, optimize breadcrumbs, build XML sitemaps, and much more. Plus, SEOPress will give you personalized writing tips and is integrated with Google Analytics so you can see your site’s performance.
7. Rank Math
Rank Math is considered one of the more versatile and robust WordPress SEO plugins available. One of the best things about Rank Math is that it links with Google Search Console, providing important updates on topics like indexing issues and spam straight to your WordPress dashboard. Other features include a 404 auditor, instant image tagging, Google Trends analysis, breadcrumbs, and an internal/external link counter.
8. Broken Link Checker
As crawlers search your content for relevant information, broken links can really damage your SEO performance. The last thing you want to do is send crawlers through a broken link, but finding them is time-consuming.
The WordPress Broken Link Checker plugin oversees all of your external and internal links and updates you on any issues via the WordPress dashboard. This plugin will save you a lot of time by auditing all of your links for you, improving site readability for both users and crawlers.
9. Rel Nofollow Checkbox
There are many reasons for adding a nofollow tag to a backlink, including the use of affiliate/sponsored links or simply linking to pages you don’t want to upvote. When doing external or internal linking, adding a nofollow tag in your HTML code is fairly simple. With the Rel Nofollow Checkbox plugin, though, it’s even simpler. This plugin gives you an easy-to-use backlink editor that allows you to add a nofollow tag by simply checking a box.
10. All-in-One WP Security and Firewall
Building a great website means that you have to provide security to your users. You don’t want to lose your credibility by compromising user data. WordPress already has impressive protections, but the All-in-One WP Security and Firewall plugin takes it up a notch.
This free plugin guards your site by checking it for security weaknesses and by updating it with WordPress’ best practices for website safety. It also offers helpful tools like password protection and a timed logout feature.
11. SEOPressor (Paid)
For data-driven creators, the SEOPressor plugin gives great visual reports on your SEO success. From analyzing your writing (readability, word count, etc) to scoring your meta tags and meta descriptions, this plugin has a clean dashboard that displays these reports in an easy-to-read way. It also gives you SEO tips like LSI keyword suggestions and allows you to optimize up to three keywords per webpage.
12. WP Meta SEO
Like its name says, this plugin is focused on optimizing SEO elements like meta descriptions, alt tags, and meta titles. One of the best features of the WP Meta SEO plugin is that it will analyze your meta descriptions and meta titles and give you suggestions on how to strengthen elements like titles, urls, and tags.
13. SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant
SEO experts still categorize SEMrush as one of the most powerful SEO tools available, and its SEMRush Writing Assistant plugin lives up to the brand’s reputation. It analyzes your writing and tells you if it’s SEO-friendly or not. Some factors it considers are: readability, word count, and keyword usage. You enter in your target keyword and then it helps you with keyword research by offering other suggestions. The free version of this plugin only has one template, which means the premium version is much more useful if you want options.
14. WordLift (Paid)
WordLift is an AI-powered plugin that analyzes your website content and translates it into powerful meta descriptions, meta titles, and more. It optimizes your content through schema markup and suggestions for things like images, links, and relevant data. WordLift offers premium plugin options. Prices start at $65 and there are three plans to choose from: starter, professional, and business.
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15. Clearscope SEO Plugin
The Clearscope SEO plugin provides on-page SEO assistance. Through keyword research of top-ranking pages, it generates useful keyword guides for your writing. It’s especially valuable for bloggers. Powered by AI technology, Clearscope provides real-time updates on the strength of your content.
Its goal is twofold: create content that users are searching for and utilize keywords that top-ranking posts are integrating. For Google Docs users, Clearscope is a worthwhile add-on to use during both the blogging and editing processes.
16. Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin
The Google Analytics Dashboard plugin brings optimization metrics straight to your WordPress dashboard. It’s simple to set up and makes it easier to understand your SEO without doing lots of research. It gives you performance stats like your conversion rate and revenue totals. You can also see reports about your site’s audience, including everything from which country they’re located in to all the things they clicked on while they were on your site.
17. WPML (Paid)
The WordPress Multilingual (WPML) plugin is a must-have for any websites that are marketed to a global customer base. With this tool, you can translate your site’s content into multiple languages, allowing you to accommodate a broader audience. This is a premium SEO plugin with three services levels.
19. All-in-One Schema Rich Snippets
Rich snippets are a more robust version of traditional search engine listings. More than just text, they can feature images, reviews, contact information, and more.
With the All-in-One Schema Rich Snippets plugin you can add these user-friendly features to your rich snippets. This has many benefits, including:
- Makes content better for sharing on social media
- Invites users to click on web pages
- Improves accessibility for all types of users
20. W3 Total Cache
An effective way to improve your site speed is to compress your scripting data. This process, referred to as caching, makes websites easier for crawlers to sift through. The W3 Total Cache program automatically does this for you and claims to improve site speeds by up to ten times. If you have a lot of content or are experiencing slow loading times, this is a great tool to consider.
When you’ve decided to permanently move a web page to a new url, you want to redirect users to the right webpage. You’ll want to set up your WordPress site to do this automatically in case a user searches for the old address. Redirection is a free redirect manager plugin that tells browsers to send users to the new url you’ve chosen. It handles 301 redirects, 404 errors, permalink changes, etc. This is helpful when you need to convert your site from http to https encryption.
22. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
YARPP analyzes other pages from your WordPress site to compile a series of related posts. The plugin allows you to display them as either a list or thumbnails. YARPP’s algorithm factors in things like tags, titles, and keywords to determine which posts are relevant.
The main benefit of this plugin is that it improves your site’s bounce rate. There’s some debate about whether the bounce rate is an actual ranking factor on Google, but it improves your audience engagement and overall user experience. And ultimately, what’s good for the user is good for SEO.
TinyPNG helps users with image optimization. It takes PNG files and compresses them so that they look the same but take up a fraction of the space. When your image files are smaller, this improves your site’s loading time. It also eliminates unnecessary SEO data, making it easier for crawlers to search your site.
24. EWWW Image Optimizer
The EWWW Image Optimizer is a resource for compressing and optimizing the existing images on your site. Unlike many other image optimizers, EWWW Image Optimizer has no limit on the file sizes it will compress. It also does work over your own server, which helps you maintain privacy. For users with a lot of images to compress, the paid version allows you to use multiple servers so you don’t overwhelm your own.
25. Easy Table of Contents
Designed to improve the user experience, the Easy Table of Contents WordPress plugin automatically creates a table of contents so your webpage is organized for the reader. This feature helps create jump links that make information easier to find while helping crawlers index relevant content more efficiently. Overall, this plugin is designed for improving on-page SEO.
26. a3 Lazy Load
Arguably one of the best-named plugins, a3 Lazy Load loads off-screen images slowly so that on-screen images load quickly. This plugin prioritizes fast loading speeds for images that users can see on their device, while devoting less energy to off-screen content.
This improves your site speed, an important user experience metric that search engines use to rank pages. You won’t have to do much work once you install this plugin. Just switch it on and off per web page to only load images when they’re visible on the user’s screen.
27. Hreflang Tags Lite
A hreflang is an HTML meta tag that tells Google what geographic region a page is relevant to and what language it’s written in. The Hreflang Tags Lite plugin makes it easy for you to tag your posts according to the right audience. It will help your SEO by ensuring that the most relevant version of your page shows up in the SERP.
29. WP Super Cache
Browsers typically calculate each element of your website separately, loading what’s called dynamic content. WP Super Cache simplifies this tedious process by creating a basic HTML version of your dynamic content. The HTML version looks exactly the same but loads much faster. This helps your SEO by decreasing load times and making sure that users don’t navigate away from your site before pages load.
30. Really Simple SSL
Google highly values https encryption as a ranking factor, which means installing an SSL certificate is an important SEO step. The Really Simple SSL plugin analyzes your website settings and then adjusts them so that your website will run using an https encryption setup. This simplifies the conversion process, saving you time. There’s a premium version of this plugin if you want extra security features.
Anti-spam plugins help you monitor your comments sections for potential issues. Spam impacts your SEO by downgrading the credibility of your website to search engine crawlers. Anti-spam plugins have an algorithm that cross-checks your page comments against a variety of criteria, including well-known spam bot accounts.
Get a complimentary WordPress SEO audit
SEO for WordPress can be overwhelming, so plugins help simplify the process. They improve user experience, help crawlers index websites, and make coding tasks simpler for webmasters. Overall, plugins can help you find areas of improvement and will allow you to level-up your website rankings in 2021.
Want to see how you’re doing with WordPress SEO? Get an instant SEO audit below. Or, schedule a free consultation to see how intent SEO can boost search traffic revenue by 700%.