Have you used any specific measures to ensure you’re optimizing your WordPress site for search engines like Google and Bing? If not, it’s never too late to turn things around.
And even if you’ve already laid down the groundwork to make your WordPress site search engine-friendly, there are several other SEO strategies you can implement to improve and/or protect your rankings.
How SEO-Friendly Is WordPress?
The good news is that WordPress is one of the more SEO-friendly content management systems (CMS) out there, often described as being optimizable “out of the box.” Below are a few reasons why.
- Content creation: Adding regular content to a WordPress blog is a joy. And the more high-quality content you have on your site, the better it will be for SEO.
- Standard SEO-friendly features: WordPress’s out-of-the-box SEO features include custom permalinks (more about this here), a clean site structure (e.g., adding content to categories, which in turn have a parent category), and image optimization (i.e., alt attributes) among others.
- Clean code: 5-star WordPress themes/templates made by a WordPress developer usually come with clean and SEO-friendly code. Of course, some themes are better than others, so be sure do your research before implementing one.
Aside from these standard features, you also have a variety of WordPress SEO plugins to choose from, a few of which could be all it takes to turn a vanilla WordPress site into an SEO powerhouse.
Start optimizing your WordPress site with these 10 awesome SEO plugins.
1. Yoast SEO
Any discussion of SEO plugins would probably start with the crowd favorite — Yoast SEO. Boasting thousands of 5-star reviews, Yoast is often called the ultimate SEO plugin because of its assortment of powerful features, which include:
- Internal linking suggestions
- Redirect manager (for those annoying 404 URLs)
- Focus keyword reports
- XML sitemaps
- Content and page analysis tool
Yoast’s page analysis tool is particularly useful for SEO beginners, providing a snapshot of a page’s SEO-friendliness. It evaluates its readability, content length, alt attributes, focus keywords and density, title tags, meta description, outbound links, and URLs among others, ensuring that you’re checking off all the important SEO factors.
2. All in One SEO Pack
With more than 45 million downloads and counting since 2007, All in One SEO Pack is a feature-rich plugin that’s also great for SEO beginners.
This WordPress plugin provides:
- XML sitemap support
- Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support
- Google Analytics support
- Redirect manager
- Built-in API
- SEO integration on e-commerce sites like
- Automatic meta tags
- Automatic blog title optimization
Advanced users can override the plugin’s default settings to create custom blog headlines, title tags, meta descriptions, and meta keywords according to how they see fit.
Overall, All in One SEO Pack is perhaps the perfect plugin for SEO newbies, giving you as much control as your skills require. As you gain experience, you can move up the plugin’s power-user features little by little to do your own A/B testing.
Website: All in One SEO Pack
3. Premium SEO Pack
Featuring more than 24 robust modules, Premium SEO Pack more than earns its premium branding. For a one-time payment of $44, you get:
- Focus keyword analysis (up to 10 keywords for the basic pack)
- Page analysis and SEO recommendations
- Page SEO reports and scores
- Keyword suggestions
- Custom permalinks
- W3C validator
- Facebook planner
- 404 monitoring
- Local SEO
- Video sitemap
- Mass optimization
Premium SEO Pack might not be cheap, but its comprehensive set of SEO features, such as image optimization, SERP monitoring, and social sharing among others, make it a must-have for SEO pros running WordPress sites.
You can also install the light version, which has limited modules but should be enough if you want a preview of how the plugin works.
4. SEOPressor Connect
SEOPressor takes the most critical SEO data from your website and presents them in one intuitive dashboard, giving you at-a-glance insights about your WordPress site’s search engine visibility.
The plugin’s real claim to fame, however, is how it has managed to keep up with Google’s evolution, emphasizing a focus on contextual content instead of keyword focus.
For a subscription of $9.00 a month, you get access to SEOPressor’s key features, which include:
- Automatic internal linking
- Dynamic spider/crawler control
- XML sitemap generator
- Readability scoring
- Over-optimization checking (e.g. overstuffing, irrelevant keywords)
This complete SEO plugin may not be the easiest tool to use in this list, but the learning curve is worth overcoming if you want to develop a comprehensive understanding of search engine optimization.
It also comes with a 60-day money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with your results.
WPtouch is unique for being a feature-packed mobile plugin for WordPress that automatically adds a simple, elegant, and more importantly, fast mobile theme to your WordPress site.
This Google-recommended plugin automatically creates a mobile-optimized version of your site that not only ensures your site passes Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test but also does this without changing a single line of code.
Key features include:
- Comprehensive settings: The plugin’s administration panel and WordPress Customizer lets you pick mobile themes and deliver unique landing pages to mobile users among others
- Speed: WPtouch claims its themes are “up to 5x faster than desktops or responsive themes.”
- Smooth integration: WPtouch supports WordPress’s top 30 plugins
- Optimized footprint: The plugin uses low server memory and comes in an installation packaging of 1.9MB.
In today’s age of mobile-first websites, this WordPress plugin should be a no-brainer.
6. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is another specialized WordPress SEO plugin, this time focusing on website speed. This open-source plugin helps your WordPress site scale and accommodate an increase in visitor traffic without crashing, all while enhancing its SEO-friendliness and user experience.
Key features include:
- Content delivery network (CDN) integration of theme files, Media Library, and WordPress
- Support for dedicated servers, virtual private servers, dedicated servers, and shared hosting
- Google AMP support
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) support
With Google reiterating that site speed is one of its critical ranking factors, this plugin is a great solution for delivering a lightning-fast experience to your users.
For even more plugins that will increase your WordPress site’s speed, check out this post: 6 WordPress Plugins That Will Speed up Your Site
Website: W3 Total Cache
7. Broken Link Checker
If there’s one thing all SEO pros know, it’s that the more content you create and share, the harder managing your WordPress blog will be, especially when broken backlinks are concerned.
This is where Broken Link Checker comes in, taking the pain out of identifying, fixing, and disavowing bad links.
As the name suggests, Broken Link Checker is a free WordPress SEO plugin that sniffs out broken links on your site, allowing you to repair or disavow these links without touching your content. Key features include:
- Automatic link monitoring on posts, comments, and the blogroll
- Detection of links, redirects, and missing images
- Email and dashboard notifications
- Search and filter function for URLs and anchor text
- Repair broken links in one dashboard instead of going to each post
Broken Link Checker is a useful WordPress plugin if all you want is a simple tool that does one thing well.
Website: Broken Link Checker
8. SEO Squirrly
With over 30,000 installs and a 4.5-star rating, Squirrly’s over 200 tools and features will surely help your content optimization efforts.
Here’s a video that outlines how you can use some of the more than 200 tools and features of the plugin:
Website: SEO Squirrly
9. Media File Renamer
One of the most time-sensitive components of SEO is going back through large sites and optimizing images: file names, alt attributes, and image titles if you’re so inclined. Combined they can be an incredible time suck. Not to mention, file renaming can be a dangerous process.
Luckily, Rename Media Files can help.
The Media File Renamer plugin automatically renames media filenames depending on their image titles. Thankfully, when the image files are renamed, the references to it throughout the site are also updated (posts, pages, custom types and their metadata).
While the free version is an automatic renamer, there is also a Pro version which allows for manual renaming and a few other options.
Note: Before renaming all images automatically, it is recommended to try renaming a few files first to ensure all of its associated references have been properly updated on your website.
Website: Media File Renamer
10. SEO Auto Image Tags
Are you already naming your images with SEO in mind? Or do you need to update your image titles before using the Media File Renamer?
Then, let me introduce you to one of the first plugins I install on every site.
SEO Auto Image Tags will auto-generate clean alt attributes and image titles based on the file name. The screenshot from my personal site above shows how the image file name automatically populates both fields.
Best of all, hyphens, periods and other characters are automatically removed leaving you with clean SEO-friendy tags.
Website: SEO Auto Image Tags
As you give the WordPress plugins featured in this list a closer look, you’ll realize just how useful having a tool that automatically does the dirty work of checking your site’s SEO-friendliness can be.
But don’t let an SEO plugin’s usefulness trick you into thinking that the more plugins you have, the easier optimization will be. On the contrary, too many plugins just might slow down your site.
Plugins are all about quality over quantity, so try to limit your choices to the tools that are most relevant to your needs.
More WordPress SEO Resources:
- How to Make Your WordPress URLs SEO Friendly
- Top 10 WordPress SEO Mistakes to Avoid
- 5 Common WordPress Duplicate Content Issues & How to Fix Them
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