top seo plugins for wordpress

top seo plugins for wordpress

If you were to go to the WordPress plugin repository and search for “SEO” at the time of writing this, you would get 51 pages of results. It is tough to know which of these ~1,000 plugins to choose to get the best results for your website.

We have tested many of these plugins, so you don’t have to, and we believe we’ve found the best combination for almost any website. 

Whether you own an affiliate marketing website, an e-commerce store, or a personal blog, these are the plugins you want for the best chance of beating your competitors in the search results.

Below, we will show you four WordPress SEO plugins that make the best combination for an SEO-friendly website. But first, let’s briefly discuss what aspects of SEO a plugin can help you with.

On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO

When it comes to search engine optimization, we can roughly divide it into two types — on-page SEO and off-page SEO. We will not be discussing off-page SEO in this top SEO plugins list simply because these optimizations cannot be controlled on the website itself and are therefore not covered by plugins. 

Off-page SEO includes things like guest posting and backlinking, but also keynote speaking podcasting, and other aspects. These are all the things you use to build up your brand and domain authority outside of your website.

So, we will only be focusing on plugins that help with on-page SEO. 

Read Also: What Should You Watch Out for with SEO

With on-page SEO, we are looking at optimizing the following:

  • Content structure
  • Readability
  • Internal linking
  • Meta title and description

Another subset of on-page SEO is what we call technical SEO. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Redirects
  • Sitemaps
  • Data structure
  • Crawlability
  • Site speed

With that quick explanation out of the way, it’s time to move on to our list.

4 Best SEO Plugins for WordPress

It is worth pointing out that the plugins you’ll see below are not ranked in any particular order — this is simply a collection of the plugins we believe would make the best combination for your website. Let’s get started!

1. Rank Math

If you’ve done any search engine optimization on a WordPress website before, you’ve probably heard of Yoast SEO and All-in-One SEO. While both of these globally recognized plugins are undoubtedly great, in our opinion, Rank Math offers more for less.

Simply comparing the features presented by all these popular SEO plugins will show you why all the best content marketing agencies love Rank Math. Many of the things you have to pay for in other plugins are offered for free with Rank Math without losing any of the quality.

For example, Rank Math will give your content a score out of 100 based on SEO best practices. Getting the maximum score here is still no guarantee that your content will rank highly, but it gives the content the best chance of beating your competition.

Since Google’s ranking algorithm is continually updating, the folks at Rank Math do their best to keep up and edit these best practices as well.

Additionally, you can add and optimize up to five focused keywords to rank for, and similar to Google Autofill, if you type in a keyword, the plugin will show helpful keyword suggestions. The Pro version even allows you to see Google trends on your focus keyword.

Another excellent feature Rank Math has for its free users is the Content AI. It is currently the only WordPress SEO plugin that uses artificial intelligence to analyze your content. This, coupled with the on-page SEO analysis, can supercharge your content and give your articles the best chance of ranking at the top.

To use Content AI, all you need to do is select your target country (Worldwide is also an option), enter your focus keyword, and click on Research. At this point, the AI will analyze all the content on the internet based on the location you selected and the focus keyword you entered. It will then compare your article against this content to give you clever suggestions.

Rank Math offers many other cool features, including:

  • Sitemap generation
  • Redirections
  • Local SEO optimization
  • 404 monitoring

All of these features and more are included in the free version of the plugin, so you don’t need separate plugins for 404 monitoring, 301 redirects, or any of the other features that typically require their own SEO plugin.

Finally, if you’re thinking of switching to Rank Math from one of the more famous plugins mentioned above, there’s a simple way to migrate all your data. With just one click, all your schema data with be imported to Rank Math with ease — no data lost and no manual work required.

2. Akismet

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the Rank Math all-in-one solution is Akismet. This plugin sets out to do just one thing, but it does that thing very well — it automatically removes spam comments from your website.

You don’t want people writing unhelpful comments on your content, trying to promote their products or services. You also don’t want other web admins to abuse your comment section for backlinking, hurting your site’s overall SEO. 

Unfortunately, many sleazy marketers use these tactics through bots, spamming comments across millions of websites every day. So, instead of wasting your precious time filtering spam comments manually, leave it to Akismet.

The plugin’s 5+ million active installs and 4.7 ratings speak for its quality. Plus, it is owned by Automatic, the same company that owns WordPress, so you know this is a high-quality plugin that does its job very well.

We should point out that we do not generally recommend installing plugins that provide only one functionality. The more plugins you install, the higher the risk of them slowing down your website, defeating the purpose of optimizing for site speed, which is a critical aspect of technical SEO.

That said, if we do recommend single-function plugins, we first make sure that it does not hinder site-speed optimization, which is the case with Akismet.

3. Pretty Links

Pretty Links is an essential plugin that is good for both business operations and SEO.

Firstly, suppose you’re an affiliate marketer. In that case, you’ll probably come across long and messy affiliate links. Although these links don’t inherently hurt SEO, it is good to keep your links organized and easy for search engines to crawl. That’s where Pretty Links comes in.

Let’s say you’re promoting a web hosting company. Instead of using a potentially messy affiliate link, you can use the plugin to “rename” the link into something like [your.domain]/best-hosting. You can then use the same link on various content pages.

The best thing about this is that the plugin allows you to change the original affiliate link, so every anchor text with this [your.domain]/best-hosting link can direct users to an entirely different product with a single click. This means you don’t have to go through potentially hundreds of pages and change affiliate links each time you change your mind about which hosting company you wish to promote.

The plugin can also be very helpful for e-commerce stores that like to advertise through physical media like flyers, billboards, and vehicles. 

With Pretty Links, you can use the same link, such as [your.domain]/promotion, for all of your promotions, rather than changing it every time you launch a new marketing campaign. This saves you the cost and trouble of re-printing links on your advertising material. 

4. Kadence Blocks

The final WordPress SEO plugin we’ll present in this list is Kadence Blocks. If you’re familiar with this plugin, you might be a bit confused because this is not an SEO plugin as such. Instead, this plugin gives you design options in your WordPress block editor. 

So, why are we recommending Kadence Blocks as an SEO plugin? Because it provides you with a Table of Contents block.

If your blog articles are longer than a few hundred words, having a table of contents allows readers to understand what the content is about. This provides users with a better experience on the page, which means they’ll want to stick around for longer.

Keeping users on the page longer gives a positive signal to search engines that your article responds to the user intent for a given keyword, improving your SEO.

On top of all this, because Kadence Blocks is a web designing tool, it allows you to customize the design of the table of contents to fit your overall website look and visual identity. Plus, it offers a wide range of other helpful blocks to make your site look beautiful.

Also Read: How AI and Machine Learning Will Impact Future SEO?

Wrapping Up

If you do not have the right tools on your side, SEO can seem complicated and tedious. However, once you find the right WordPress SEO plugins for you, and learn how to use them properly, tackling technical and on-page SEO tasks becomes a breeze.

What we recommend in this list is, in our opinion, the best SEO plugin setup that provides not only SEO benefits but many other functionalities. Hopefully, you will find these plugins as helpful as we did, and they will help you boost your rankings quickly and effortlessly.