In this article, we share the best SEO plugins for WordPress to optimize your website and rank better on search engines.
Search engines are a major source of traffic for most websites so optimizing your pages to rank on Google is important. With tons of SEO plugins available on WordPress, our customers often ask us what the best options are and tips to improve the SEO of their WordPress websites.
Yoast is #1 on our best SEO plugins for WordPress list because it provides comprehensive SEO solutions for WordPress sites.
In addition to gauging how well your page might rank for a particular keyword, Yoast allows you to edit the page title, meta description and target keyword for your page. It also has advanced features that allow you to add canonical URLs, breadcrumbs and a readability analyzer.
One of the things that we like about Yoast is its ability to create and integrate XML sitemaps. Most XML plugins don’t communicate with SEO plugins but Yoast has a built-in XML sitemap feature that ensures “noindex” pages are updated on your sitemap as well.
Why we use Yoast: When you’re writing a post, no one really has time to calculate keyword density or a post’s readability. Yoast does all the heavy lifting and analyzes page optimization while you’re typing.
2. Broken Link Checker
If your WordPress website has been around for a couple of years, regularly check for broken links or 404 errors. Broken links don’t just create a bad user experience, but they also affect your site’s SEO. Unfortunately, going through each page can be extremely time consuming.
Broken Link Checker is an essential WordPress plugin because it notifies us when it finds a broken link. Inside the WordPress dashboard, you can also perform bulk actions like fixing multiple links at a time; another time saver.
Why we use Broken Link Checker: We don’t have a big marketing team here and checking articles for broken links takes a lot of time we can spend elsewhere. This plugin makes it much easier for us to monitor our blog for any errors and fix any broken links.
3. EWWW Image Optimizer
EWWW is an image compression plugin that reduces the file size of any images you upload to your site. Once you install the plugin on your WordPress site, it automatically compresses any image you upload onto your page. If your site has a ton of historical images, EWWW can go back and optimize older uploads.
Why we use EWWW: Page-load speed is a big ranking factor for SEO and faster sites mean better rankings. We use EWWW to reduce the size of the images we use, while keeping its quality intact. Great visuals + faster speeds = WIN
4. Google Analytics by MonsterInsights
Google Analytics by MonsterInsights took over the plugin but its core feature remains the same. Through a few clicks, you can connect your Google Analytics account to your WordPress website. Once the plugin has been activated, you can monitor and analyze how each page performs right from the WordPress dashboard.
Note: You will need to authenticate your Google Analytics to activate the plugin.
Why we use GA by MonsterInsights: Instead of having to dig through different reports on MonsterInsights’ plugin provides a quick overview of how pages are performing. In addition to page performance, you can also quickly find where visitors to your website come from.
5. W3 Total Cache
If your website is slow, search engines will penalize you while visitors are more likely to leave your site. In fact, 75% of visitors will leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
With that in mind, W3 Total Cache was made to speed up your website by creating static versions of your page. Once caching is in play, it reduces the amount of time it takes to load a page and improves site security by preventing visitors from accessing your database and executing malicious code.
If you plan on moving a page to a different URL, using a 301 redirect eliminates any broken links and tells search engines that it has moved to a new location. It's a really useful technique to pass SEO juice from one page to another but implementing it isn't easy. In most cases, you'll need to work with a develop to implement a 301 redirect which takes time.
For non-technical users, the Redirection plugin is an amazing tool if you want to manage your site on your own.
Why we use Redirection: A few months ago, we moved our posts from HTTP to HTTPS. The process, without the plugin, would have been a tedious task since we would have to match every page one by one. Using Redirection, we were able to quickly define the rules and parameters to make our transition much easier and avoid any SEO penalties.
Another SEO ranking factor is a page's click through rate, or CTR. So why did we include YoRocket on our list of best SEO plugins? For us, YoRocket completes our page optimization plugins because by analyzing the likelihood our posts will be clicked on and ultimately drive traffic to our blog.
YoRocket actually takes a data driven approach to scoring each title. It looks at length, sentiment and the words used in a headline to determine it's impact.
Note: While sentiment score seems like a flimsy metric, it has a big effect on CTR.
Why we use YoRocket: We use YoRocket to increase the CTR of our blog posts. When all things considered equal, it's a well-known fact that pages with a higher CTR can be ranked higher by Google. This means that using the right page title is important and YoRocket helps us optimize our headlines.
Wrapping Up the Best SEO Plugins
SEO plays a large role in helping you rank better but getting to the first page on Google doesn’t happen overnight. Plugins are amazing tools but you also need to observe best practices to rank higher. This means using the right keywords, optimizing meta descriptions and page titles, and avoid stuffing pages with keywords.