It is well-known fact that WordPress is the most widely-used content management system or CMS on the Internet today. According to a report, published in November 2016, 26% of all the websites in the world are running on WordPress. Given the number of websites out there, this market share is actually quite huge. Also, there are literally millions of great and not so great plugins including seo plugins.
There is nothing strange about it. WordPress is extremely robust and user-friendly and can be used by novices with little to no experience as well as by seasoned, professional web developers. Also, the community behind the WordPress platform is amazing and there are updates constantly being released in order to make sure that websites are protected as well as they can be.
But how can someone, especially a beginner to intermediate WordPress user, decide exactly what plugins they need to improve their SEO? There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of plugins out there and the availability can be overwhelming even to advanced SEO specialists and developers.
I asked 15 famous SEO experts one simple question:
“What are your top 3 favorite WordPress plugins”?
The plugins that the experts listed are in the following categories: on-page SEO, image optimization, CTR and security.
Lets get started.
15 Experts Reveal Their Favorite SEO WordPress Plugins
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“The power, flexibility and opportunity for customisation out of the box are big selling points”
We’re pretty big fans of WordPress, happily choosing it as the platform for our own site. The power, flexibility and opportunity for customisation out of the box are big selling points. There’s many useful plugins we always consider, but here’s some of the best that are strictly for SEO.
Yoast SEO: Now, I’m sure you’re going to get this from a lot of your respondents. But that isn’t going to stop me. Yoast SEO is a one-stop shop for getting some of the basics right with your SEO. It’s also very simple to use, making is helpful for those starting out. Fundamentals it covers includes title and meta description tags (including setting templates with multiple variables), controlling indexation with robots meta tags, implementing canonical tags, adding breadcrumbs, editing your htaccess file, building an XML sitemap and plenty more. The premium version adds more features for advanced users. Even better, there’s plenty of guidance from the authors, including videos, to show you how to make the most of the plugin
LinkPatrol: If you’re running a large site, one with a long history or boasting many contributors, you’ll love LinkPatrol. It pulls together your outbound link profile, letting you nofollow or even purge any you are not happy with. This helps you not only spot spam or quality issues, but also fix them immediately. Also helpful for removing old affiliate links!
All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets: Part of the future of technical SEO is making the most of semantic markup, especially Schema. Several plugins take what can be an intimidating subject and make it simple. Using them adds the code necessary to gain rich snippets in the SERPs, and you want those. This All in One Schema.org plugin hasn’t been updated in a while, so Schema App Structured Data and WP SEO Structured Data Schema are some alternatives
BONUS! W3 Cache: We all want a faster, leaner site. And this plugin gets you just that, reducing page load times through a host of performance improvements. As we move to a mobile-first world (and index), this a nice addition to any WordPress site
“My three favorite SEO plugins right now relate to structured data and speed.”
Schema App Structured Data: Hunch Manifest has created the best Schema.org plugin out there. They provide good basic options with their free plugin, but their Premium version unlocks the full power of their web app. Schema App can handle any type of Schema.org structured data and will insert it with the preferred JSON-LD format.
EWWW Image Optimizer: One of the things SEOs often forget to do is optimize their images. While there are free desktop tools for this – ImageOptim for Mac and FileOptimizer for Windows – the easiest way to compress and optimize images on WordPress is to use the EWWW Image Optimizer.
WP Rocket: My new favorite caching plugin for WordPress is WP Rocket. They’ve created what I consider to be both the best and simplest caching plugin out there. One of my favorite features is its ability to connect directly to Cloudflare (another service I highly recommend using).
Barry Adams, Polemic Digital
My favourite three WordPress plugins for SEO are:
Yoast SEO: unsurprisingly, this one is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress. In terms of features and functionality, it blows everything else out of the water. A true must-have.
Redirection: great to handle redirects on your WordPress site and very easily allows you to monitor 404 pages and implement 301-redirects for them.
Wordfence: yes, I consider security to be part of SEO. I’ve seen sites banned from Google because they got hacked and serve malware, so you need to make sure your WordPress site is secure. I’m a fan of WordFence, but there are plenty of other great security plugins out there. Don’t skimp on security!
Yoast SEO: this plugin helps people that aren’t specialized in SEO, to optimize their posts with little effort. It’s free and very easy to use.
Social Warfare: my favorite plugin for social sharing. I like it because I can use it to make tweetable quotes very easily, that will include my twitter handle ,and shorten the link, automatically. The free plugins that I tried for this job are very time-consuming because they require a lot of manual work.
Also, while ago, I started focusing on building an audience on Pinterest. The vertical Pinterest friendly images that I included in my posts look great for pinners, but they looked horrible when tweeted. With social warfare, I can add custom size images that will be taken when you share the post on different social media channels.
Google Analytics: I like knowing the situation of my site, without having to guess. With Google Analytics, I can see exactly what posts attract more readers, so I can write more content on those topics.
My top three favorite WordPress SEO plugins are WP Social SEO Booster, SEO Friendly Image, and Scribe SEO because these have quantitatively helped me increase my rankings in relation to social platform content, images, and video as well as provided insightful research to help shape our SEO strategy.
Yoast SEO: Whilst I’m sure this is not going to be the only time this one appears on the list, it is a must.
Everything from automated sitemap creation, easy title and description amendments with a nice snippet preview to dealing with dupe content issues caused by archive, and author page etc – Joost de Valk is the man!
Redirection: Redirecting old URL’s, moving pages etc is a normal part of running a site and from an SEO perspective dealing with this correctly in terms of adding redirects to keep users landing on something better than a404 page and retaining link equity is vital.
Not every site owner is going to be overly au fait with the ins and outs of implementing redirects using htaccess etc so this quick and easy plugin lets you put in your old and new URLs and takes care of all the techy stuff in the middle.
Tiny PNG Image Compression: Bulk optimise all your existing images using lossless compression and once it’s on it automatically optimising images as you add them. I’ve seen some really big(and quick) wins on site speed with this plugin.
I’m a big fan of the Yoast SEO plugins for WordPress. All four are awesome, but if I have to pick just three, my favs are:
Yoast SEO Premium: Along with all of the great features included in the free version, it allows me to optimize my posts for not one, but TWO focus keywords. It also makes adding related links to our posts fast and easy.
Local SEO: For businesses looking to rank higher in local search results, this plugin makes it easy to add a store locator, Google Maps, and contact info to a website. All properly formatted, and optimized for local search.
Video SEO: If you embed videos on your site, this helps make sure the search engines find them, and display them in their video search results.
My top 3 SEO plugins are:
Yoast SEO plugin: Yoast is the simplest way to set up basic on-page SEO elements like title tags, meta descriptions, sitemaps, and robots.txt files
WP Smush: A great tool for minimizing image file sizes, and thus improving your page load speed. The free version is far from perfect, but is a great tool for any website.
WP Super Cache: Browser caching has been an extremely effective way to improve page load speed for countless clients. The only downside with this plugin is that it is the first thing to break with most WordPress updates, so check out W3 Total Cache if you run into any issues downloading this plugin.
There are tons of great plugins out there but I’m going to mention my favorites in the different areas,
Wordfence: I’ve got hacked before and it ruined possibly my income for many months so I now take my security pretty seriously. I use Wordfence now and this Plugin puts a stop to that as much as it can, but it still can happen and thats why I also use Rename WP-Login.
WP Smush Image Optimizer: I do marketing mainly in the travel niche as it requires tons of visual aids and images, so images are really important for my website. For them I use WP Smush Image Optimizer.
Table Press :Sometimes words on a page just look plain boring and need some formatting. I use Table Press to break up or summarize information in my posts as it generally creates a better user experience for my users.
SEO Flow: Okay, so I’m biased as this is my plugin, but what the hey 🙂 This is the only WordPress SEO plugin that provides awesome keyword suggestions + a real-time analyser (like Yoast’s but allowing you to target multiple keywords at once) + a Google position tracker. There’s a free trial and then you can keep using it on the free plan for as long as you want – give it a whirl 🙂
Yoast: Yoast is awesome and includes some features that we currently don’t, like setting the meta description and their cool Google snippet preview. SEO Flow and Yoast work really well together and complement enough other nicely.
WPRocket: Google uses your site speed as a ranking factor so it’s important to get it fast. WPRocket works well and is simple to use.
Yoast SEO: It’s got almost everything you need for basic on-page optimization, but read through their setup and support documentation. I think one of the most overlooked aspects is the xml sitemap. If you don’t go through your sitemap and remove un-needed post types and your thank you pages, you’re going to end up including pages you don’t want the search engine to see. This is especially important if you’re using a premium theme that comes with a bunch of extra post types like team members, news feeds, faqs, portfolios, ect. If you’re not using them or can’t turn them off in the theme options, you need to exclude them from your sitemap. Also be sure to use the no-index / no follow options on the onpage advanced options of the Yoast plugin.
WP Google Analytics Events: On one page sites or long articles WP Google Analytics Events is great for sending events back to GA which prevents high bounce rates on sites or pages even though users might be engaging with your content but leaving your page after reading an article, only to have GA count it as a bounce because they didn’t click another link to one of your other pages. WP Google Analytics Events sends events to GA when a user scrolls to a section of a page so no GA won’t count that visitor as a bounce. Not only is it helpful to see how users are engaging with your content by how far they scroll down the page but also lowers bounce rates which may just improve your search rankings. (A bonus similar plugin is Reduce Bounce Rate which can send time on page events every 10 seconds.)
Google Analytics by MonsterInsights: Formerly a product of Yoast, MonsterInsights makes it a snap to setup GA on your website. Just authenticate to your Google Account after the plugin is installed and select the profile you want to use. Easily setup event tracking for outbound clicks and downloads, setup Universal Tracking and enhanced demographics without adding a single bit of additional code to your site. Just don’t forget to enable those settings in your GA profile as well.
Yoast SEO: The absolute mandatory plugin if you pay attention to your on-page SEO. I love the “Analysis” feature as it gives you a full estimation of your page’s on-page status and you can quickly see what you’re missing and to fix it for best SEO performance.
404 to 301: Every bigger website has 404 pages every now and then. One of the biggest issues is to locate them so that you can fix them accordingly. This plugin does this for you automatically. It’s simple, yet it does the job perfectly.
Guerric De Ternay; Boost Companies Yoast: Everyone knows Yoast. This is a must-have. As Google is experimenting with AMP, one of my favourite SEO plugins is Glue for Yoast SEO & AMP. It makes sure that our articles contain valid AMP code and makes it easy to add Google Analytics for AMP. This is great if you want to improve your Mobile SEO strategy.
Incoming Links: It has been super useful to monitor our backlinks. It reports all our incoming links and gives SEO Data like anchor text and the type of link: follow/nofollow. It’s a great way to improve the quality of our backlinks—when possible.
Redirection: You know how 404 errors can be annoying. I monitor them using Redirection. Then, I easily turn them into 301 redirections. So far I saved hundreds of 404 errors on BoostCompanies.
Yoast : Free and simple to use, this SEO plugin is great for newbies. It provides you with basic SEO and helps with on-page optimization. It automatically generates XML sitemaps and helps optimize your images for social media. It also helps analyze your blog post ensuring that your post includes important attributes like meta title, description, focus keywords, alt attributes to images, inbound & outbound links etc.
WP Rocket: An awesome plugin that helps speed up your WordPress site, WP Rocket is easy-to-use and configure. From page caching and files compression to loading of images on request, this plugin helps improve the page load time, ensuring that your website is optimal at all time, thereby reducing bounce rate and improving your site’s ranking on SERPs
ImageRecycle: Unoptimized images and large PDF files can slow down your website, affecting your site’s ranking. With the ImageRecycle plugin, you are able to compress and optimized images and PDF files, without compromising on quality, thus improving your site’s page load speed and making your site faster.
WOW! Huge thanks to everyone who got involved in putting together this AMAZING resource. Please, share it if you think it was useful. If you could use only 3 wordpress seo plugins which would they be and why ?