In this article, we will share the best WordPress SEO plugins and tools that you should use. Some of these tools offer similar functionalities, so we will also highlight which ones are the best for specific use-cases.
That’s because search engines are a major source of traffic for most websites on the internet. Optimizing your website for search engines can help you rank higher in search results and significantly grow your business.
Basics of SEO
SEO is all about making sure search engines can “understand” your website’s content. That way, they’ll know what search results to show your content in (and at what positions).
In practice, your content might not make the top results for any given search, even if you have the most well-researched and written articles. That can happen due to poor optimization.
Great SEO involves a lot of work. First of all, you’ll need to have a website that search engines can “crawl” or navigate. Second, your website needs to offer a strong User Experience (UX) and basic security, such as by having a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate installed that enables HTTPS browsing.
SEO also involves a lot of on-page work. If you want your articles to rank in a top spot for any given search, you’ll need to:
- Write great titles and meta descriptions. This is what users will see on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). If they’re not convincing, few people will click on your content.
- Use tags properly. That includes headers and alt attributes (aka alt text). Headers will help you break content into digestible sections, while alt attributes describe your media files for search engines.
- Add links (both internal and external). Links to internal pages can help increase time on-site. Links to external sites can help lead users to other content they’d like to see.
- Use supporting media. Images, videos, and other types of media can help you create more engaging content, which may determine your site’s success.
Things to know about WordPress SEO plugin and tools.
The truth is that you don’t need dozens of top SEO tools to get higher search engine result rankings.
While most blog posts (including ours) will share the top most popular SEO plugins, it is extremely important for you to understand the use-cases of each tool.
For example, you never want to use more than one WordPress SEO plugin on your website. We will mention All in One SEO (formerly All in One SEO Pack), Yoast SEO, SEOPress, and Rank Math. You need to pick only one to avoid plugin conflict.
Let’s take a look at our expert pick of the best WordPress SEO plugins and tools.
All in One SEO for WordPress (AIOSEO) is the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market. Used by over 3+ million users, it is the most comprehensive SEO toolkit that helps you improve search rankings without learning any complicated SEO jargon.
The free version of AIOSEO has all the essential features, but the pro version gives you everything you need to outrank your competitors.
It comes with the easiest setup wizard that automatically helps you choose the best SEO settings for your business. AIOSEO shows you TruSEO on-page analysis with an actionable checklist to optimize your posts and pages.
AIOSEO also comes with Rich snippet schema markup, smart XML sitemaps (with advanced controls), SEO health check, and other useful features to grow your search engine visibility.
There is a built-in social media integration to add Open Graph metadata as well. This means you can choose which image or thumbnail you want to show when your pages are shared on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
Recently AIOSEO added a Link Assistant which is a game-changer for internal linking. It helps identify link opportunities, gives you linking suggestions in real-time, and you can bulk-add internal links with just a few clicks.
SEMRush is the best overall SEO tool on the market. Used by professional SEO experts, marketers, bloggers, large and small businesses, it provides a comprehensive set of tools to grow your traffic.
You can use it to find organic keywords and search terms that you can easily rank for. It also allows you to do competitive research and see which keywords your competitors rank for, and how you can beat them.
SEMRush SEO Writing Assistant tool helps you improve your website content to beat the top 10 results for your focus keyword. It integrates with WordPress, and this will help you write more SEO-friendly content.
You can also generate SEO templates and get easy search engine optimization suggestions for your content along with advanced SEO recommendations.
SEMRush seamlessly integrates with All in One SEO (AIOSEO) to help you find additional key phrases for your focus key phrase. You can see related key phrases and their search volume right from WordPress. Then, you can add them to your content with the click of a button.
Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google to help website owners and webmasters monitor and maintain their site’s presence in Google search results.
It alerts you when Google is unable to crawl and index pages on your website. You also get helpful tips on how to fix those crawl errors.
Most importantly, it shows which keywords your website is ranking for, anchor texts, average position, impressions, and more. You can use this data to find keywords where you can easily rank higher by simply optimizing your content. You can also use this keyword data to come up with new blog post ideas.
4. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a popular WordPress SEO plugin that allows you to optimize your WordPress website for search engines.
It lets you easily add SEO titles and descriptions to all posts and pages on your website. You can also use it to add Open Graph metadata and social media images to your articles.
Yoast SEO automatically generates an XML sitemap for all your website content which makes it easier for search engines to crawl your website. It also helps you easily import your SEO data if you have been using another SEO plugin.
Other features include readability analysis, Google and social previews, and faster load times for a better user experience.
Google Keyword Planner tool helps you generate your own keyword ideas from Google itself.
No one on the planet has more insights into what people are searching for than the search giant Google. This free tool is offered to Google’s advertisers for free and anyone can use it. Its main purpose is to show advertisers the keywords they can bid on for their advertising campaigns.
It also helps advertisers choose the right keywords by showing them an estimate of search volume, number of results, and difficulty level.
6. Rank Math
It’s one of the fastest WordPress SEO plugins that provides you with real-time insights about the content you publish within the WordPress interface.
Using Rank Math, you’ll get complete control of on-page SEO practices through an easy-to-manage WordPress plugin.
It integrates very well with Google Search Console and displays all the information you need inside your admin panel.
You can use it to quickly find out about your total search impressions, keywords, and potential errors.
It comes equipped with a 404 monitor and lets you redirect them to other useful pages on your site.
MonsterInsights is the best tool if you want to enjoy the full potential of Google Analytics on your WordPress website.
The plugin provides you with in-depth insights without adding the tracking script of Google Analytics to your website manually.
The plugin generates detailed reports that show your best-performing content, the location of your website visitors, what people do when they enter your website, and so on.
Practical reports of mobile traffic, tracking your top outbound links on your pages, and analyzing the top keywords on your website are some of the other valuable features available in this product.
Ahrefs SEO plugin is the all-including solution of this team for WordPress website owners who need a lightweight plugin to improve their Google rankings.
This tool gives you complete insights into how your pages and content perform on the web.
For example, you can see the total traffic of your product pages, the percentage of organic traffic, and the total number of backlinks.
If you require improvements in any areas, you can head over to the recommended actions by the plugin and apply them wherever necessary.
Once you install the Ahrefs plugin, you see several charts, tickers, and graphs that help you stay informed about all the details in a user-friendly approach.
This freemium product is completely white-labeled, whether you use the free version or the paid plans.
It comes in 17 languages with plenty of in-depth features for the best outcomes.
Using SEOPress, you can manage your titles, breadcrumbs, XML sitemaps, meta descriptions, redirects, and align them for the best possible results.
The simplified setup process is very handy, especially for beginner users.
Plus, you can write better articles for SEO using the content analysis feature of the free version.
If you own a large website and want to keep it at its peak performance, SEOPress would probably be a perfect choice.
You can improve your online presence with various useful options using the free version of SEOPress.
To mention a few, you can benefit from video SEO, professional Woo Commerce integration, 404 monitoring, schemas, local SEO, and broken link checker features.
10. Premium SEO Pack
Premium SEO Pack, as the name suggests, is a premium solution for website optimizations that offers several advanced features you can’t find in any other product.
Aside from the standard SEO features such as sitemaps and Google Analytics monitoring, it unlocks additional unique options for better results.
It allows you to monitor page speed, link buildings, 404 errors, and rich snippets that take your optimizations one step higher.
Analysis and recommendations of your pages, analysis of primary keywords, video sitemap, custom permalinks, and mass optimizations are some of the other features you can find in this tool.
It makes visual elements and CSS codes a priority for optimizations, helping creatives with online portfolios improve their appearance and performance at the same time.
You can start using the free version of this plugin today and boost your rankings at no cost. Else, you can buy a premium license at $44 for further options.
Q1. Why and where should I invest money in SEO?
First things first: spending on SEO is not an expense, it’s an investment that gets you 10 fold or 100 fold return if done right. That’s why so many agencies and entrepreneurs are spending millions of dollars every month on SEO experts and agencies to bring more value from search engines to their products, services and websites.
Q2. How to track my keyword positions on Google?
Keyword tracking is one of the most essential things you need to if you want to improve your SEO and search rankings. Tracking positions can be done in a lot of ways. You can do it manually by searching for your targeted keywords on Google or you can use keyword tracking tools such as SEMRush, Ahrefs, SpyFu etc. to easily track all of your keywords at one place.
Q3. Does social media impact my Google search rankings?
The short answer is YES. While social media is not a ranking factor in Google but it plays a key role in calculating the user engagement of your site (social sharing, comments etc).
If you create highly informative content and if it goes really popular on social media, you can easily get higher rankings for that page in Google search. That’s why most authority sites with thousands of social shares usually get quick rankings in the first page of Google search results.
Social media not only helps you with SEO but also increases your brand awareness, helpful for promotion, getting more target audience to your sites etc. So don’t ignore social media if you want to get better results in the long run.