If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to get serious about your WordPress website’s search engine optimization (SEO).
You might have a stunning website with killer content, but even the best website will struggle to succeed if it’s difficult for visitors to find.
If you’ve already put forth all the effort required to launch a website and post quality content, wouldn’t you want to reap as many benefits as you could from your hard work? SEO is a way to tap into the full power of the internet and help you connect with as many end users as possible.
Luckily for WordPress users, the CMS is already SEO friendly from the start, but there are steps you can take and tools you can utilize to make sure you get the most out of your WordPress Hosting experience.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to boost your WordPress website’s SEO is with the help of SEO plugins. The WordPress plugin marketplace is full of helpful SEO plugins with a range of advanced features that take the guesswork out of SEO best practices, but not all are built the same.
Below are the 10 best SEO plugins for WordPress in 2020 that users can install to immediately boost their chances of improving their SEO ranking.
You can’t have a conversation about the best SEO WordPress plugins without starting with Yoast SEO. With more than 5 million active installations and over 25,000 5-star reviews, Yoast SEO is hands-down the most widely-used WordPress SEO plugin.
The all-in-one SEO plugin has SEO capabilities for 47 languages and does an excellent job of optimizing content for both search engines and site visitors.
One of the top features is the consistent templating for title and meta description that improves branding and ensures consistency of snippets in search engine results.
There’s also a bulk editor that allows for large-scale edits to the titles and meta descriptions of your website.
And while WordPress 5.5 now creates XML sitemaps without the need of an additional plugin, Yoast SEO provides much more advanced XML sitemap functionality with just a click.
Yoast SEO also gives users total control over their WordPress site’s breadcrumbs. That means you control the copy in the text path that is often located at the top of a page indicating where the user is on the site.
Another useful feature is the option to automatically set canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content. Sometimes you have products or content that can be found on multiple URLs which can create problems.A canonical URL lets you tell search engines that certain similar URLs are actually the same so they don’t hurt your rankings.
Yoast is great at simplifying several steps of the SEO process. Its SEO analysis is a super easy way to make sure you’re producing SEO-friendly text and using the right keywords, while its readability analysis helps ensure content is easy to digest for search engines and readers.
Users are also able to see what their content looks like in search engine results with Yoast’s snippet preview.
A bonus for those managing a team: Yoast has an SEO roles feature that lets you control who has access to what sections of the plugin.
If you want to know the purpose of the All in One SEO Pack plugin, it’s right there in the name.
It is the original SEO plugin and has been downloaded over 65 million times since its debut in 2007, making it one of the most downloaded WordPress plugins of all time.
It’s not hard to see why. The All in One SEO pack is designed for both beginners and advanced users, with settings and tools that enable you to scale up what you control as you gain more experience.
Right out of the box, the plugin automatically generates meta tags and optimizes titles for all search engines. It also provides XML sitemap support for both Google and Bing, and does the same for image sitemaps and RSS sitemaps as well.
Don’t like some of your settings? The All in One SEO Pack gives users the option to override any setting.
This plugin is also a great choice for those with e-commerce websites, as it is the only free plugin to offer SEO Integration for e-Commerce sites, including WooCommerce.
Other useful features include advanced Canonical URLs, the ability to redirect attachment pages to their parent post, and built-in Nonce Security.
With 40% of consumers reporting abandoning a website that took more than three seconds to load, it’s hard to overstate just how much the speed of your website impacts your business.
Not only is site speed one of the things Google considers an SEO ranking factor, but it might be the difference between gaining a customer or losing one.
Caching is the process of storing copies of files or data in a cache, which then allows the data to be accessed more quickly than if the request was forced to be downloaded directly from the server each time you navigate to a webpage. In simple terms, caching makes your website much faster.
With more than 1 million active installs and a solid 4.5-star rating, W3 Total Cache is possibly the best caching plugin available and is an instant way to increase website performance and reduce load times.
If all that doesn’t convince you, it’s also the caching plugin of choice for AT&T, Mashable and Yoast.com (maker of the Yoast SEO plugin).
If you search “SEO” in the WordPress plugin marketplace, Rank Math pops up second behind only Yoast SEO in the search results, but it might not be long before it overtakes Yoast as the users’ choice when it comes to best WordPress SEO plugins.
Rank Math has only been around since 2019, but the plugin already has over 400,000 active installs and rocks a truly stellar five-star rating.
For those who want to do a lot for their SEO but don’t have time to commit to doing so, Rank Math is an excellent option.
There are a ton of useful features built into the plugin like templated configuration of Google Schema Markup (aka Schema Rich Snippets), Google Search Console Integration, and Google Keyword Rankings, but Rank Math also stands out from other SEO plugins in that it lets you optimize your posts for unlimited focus keywords per post.
That’s just scratching the surface of what all Rank Math is capable of, but despite being loaded with features, it’s still extremely fast and puts a negligible load on your server.
Plus, with a Setup Wizard that is extremely easy to use, Rank Math basically configures itself.
Broken links can do some serious damage to your WordPress website. While it might not seem like a big deal having a link or two on your site that doesn’t work anymore, those broken links may be harming your search engine rankings.
But no matter the size of your website, checking individual links manually is an ineffective and time-consuming task.
That’s what makes the Broken Link Checker plugin one of the most valuable SEO tools available. It will check your website for broken external and internal links, and notify you of any issues so you can make needed changes.
It gives users the ability to monitor links in posts, pages, comments and even custom fields,and automatically detects any link that doesn’t work.
The Broken Link Checker plugin also provides options to give broken links a different appearance in posts, as well as prevent search engines from following broken links, which is an easy way to protect your page SEO ranking.
Offering several of the same perks as Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack, SEO Press has earned a 5-star rating as a powerful WordPress SEO plugin that can boost traffic and optimize your site’s SEO.
Dynamic variables for both meta descriptions and titles, canonical URLs, custom XML, image XML and HTML sitemaps, and an easy installation wizard for quick setup are just some of the features SEO Press has in common with the more popular plugins, but it stands out in its social media optimization.
SEO Press provides Open Graph and Twitter Cards to enhance social media sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Pinterest, and the previews make it easy to optimize content for each channel.
It may only have a little more than 100,000 active installs at the moment, but it’s also only been around since 2017 and is constantly growing.
Plus, if you want to migrate to SEO Press from one of the bigger name plugins, importing post and term metadata can be done with a single click.
The SEO Framework claims to be the only feature-complete SEO plugin that follows the white-hat guidelines and rules imposed by WordPress and search engines, and it has a 5-star rating to back it up.
It is the only plugin that can intelligently generate critical SEO meta tags in any language by reading a user’s WordPress environment, which is a huge time-saver and eliminates the need for advanced SEO knowledge.
The SEO Framework also saves users time by installing preconfigured. Your WordPress site will be instantly protected and your meta tags prefilled as soon as you activate the plugin.
The post overview pages offer color-coded guidelines, which suggest how to improve pages as you hover over them with your mouse. And because it follows Google’s webmaster guidelines to the letter, users are free to optimize pages without the concern of making critical mistakes.
Another advantage of The SEO Framework is its support network. It has great support forums, and over the past five years, its in-house support team has personally answered more than 1,400 inquiries, typically within a 48-hour window.
With more than 1 million active installs and over 10 years of experience under its belt on the WordPress plugin marketplace, Redirection is the most popular redirect manager plugin.
Whether a site only has a few redirects or thousands of redirects, Redirection makes it easy to manage all 301 redirections, track 404 errors, and add HTTP headers, which improves your site’s ranking. And you don’t need any Apache or Nginx knowledge to use it.
Redirection can also be configured to monitor for changes in page or post permalinks and automatically create a redirect for the new URL.
The plugin also offers conditional redirects, so you can control redirects based on things like login status, browsers, cookies, WordPress capabilities and more, as well as fine-grained permissions so you can customise Redirection for different users.
Designed specifically for non SEO experts, Squirrly SEO is an A.I.-based SEO consultant with more than 300 SEO functionalities built in, including paid features from plugins such as Yoast, RankMath, SEOpress, all for free.
Not only does it have many if not all the features of other SEO plugins, Squirrly SEO includes several different assistants to make things like strategy, settings, blog posts and keyword research all easier. And it’s all user-friendly.
To get started, simply fill in your desired keyword that you’d like to rank for with your current article, and Squirrly will notify you as you write via green lights and popup suggestions as you write while explaining how that keyword fits into your content.
Another cool feature of Squirrly SEO is the competitor analysis tool, which analyzes your competitors’ content and shows you ways you can outrank their pages.
Built for users of all experience levels and created by the makers of
W3 Total Cache, BoldGrid Easy SEO is a user-friendly plugin that provides simple, yet powerful tools for website search engine optimization.
This easy-to-use plugin automatically optimizes keyword density, page titles and descriptions, header content and tags, image alt tags and content length.
It also has options for allowing or disallowing search engine indexing, setting follow/no follow links, and indicating canonical URLs.
Using all these tools, BoldGrid Easy SEO analyzes your page content in real-time and makes recommendations that will help you maintain best SEO practices and rank higher in search engine results.
There’s no two ways about it, SEO is an essential practice for anyone who is serious about their website’s success.
Fortunately, WordPress is brimming with great SEO plugins designed to automate and simplify several steps of the SEO process for you.
The above list is by no means exhaustive, and there are plenty of useful plugins available that weren’t mentioned, but the ones that were covered are proven resources to help you along your SEO journey.
Most of the plugins here offer premium versions with enhanced features and advanced capabilities, but all reviews here are of the free version of each plugin.
For more helpful tips and tricks to improve your website’s search engine results, check out the WordPress SEO: Complete Beginner Guide.