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6 Best WordPress Plugins for SEO To get Higher Ranking [2018]


I have previously shared 30 plugins which I use here at ShoutMeLoud. For today’s post, I have compiled a list of recommended WordPress Plugins for SEO. You do not need to use all of these SEO plugins, but each works in a different way, so I would suggest choosing and using the ones that best suit your needs.

In this list, you will find hand-picked best free SEO WordPress plugins and some premium plugins that you can use for your blog.

Do read the description mindfully to understand what the plugin does and use only if you are not using any alternate plugin for the same purpose.

I will also link to my previous review of individual SEO plugins, so you can learn more about them and decide which SEO plugins are appropriate for your blog. If you think there are any WordPress SEO plugins missing from our list, do let us know, and we would be happy to review them and possibly add them to our list.

Best SEO Plugins for WordPress Blogs:

Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin:

With over 5+ million downloads, Yoast SEO is the first SEO plugin that every WordPress user should be installing. This single plugin takes care of many aspects of your WordPress site SEO.

Infact, if you have been using seperate plugins for Sitemap, redirection and a few other features, you can stop using them once you use Yoast SEO.

Here are a few things that you could achieve by using Yoast SEO plugin:

  • Add meta value for homepage
  • Add meta value for single post
  • Social media optimization (Image, title & description)
  • Create sitemap file
  • Edit robots.txt and .htaccess
  • Google search console integration
  • Control indexing of your blog
  • Set focus keyword and optimize for on page SEO

Note: Meta values are meta title, meta description.

I have written this detailed tutorial which shows you how to setup the SEO by Yoast plugin.

You can download this plugin for free from WordPress repo over here. There is a pro version of Yoast SEO as well which adds a few extra features such as :

  • Redirection
  • Yoast Internal linking (Helps in better linking of your blog)
  • Incoming and outgoing internal links (Video)

Here at ShoutMeLoud I’m using the pro version and if you have budget and need these extra features, then opt for pro version. Else free version is pretty good for any WordPress site.

You can watch the video embedded below to learn how to set up the Yoast plugin:

Here are a few popular alternatives for Yoast SEO:

Broken link checker WordPress plugin:

A simple and powerful plugin that continuously scan your WordPress site for broken links. It offers an easy to use dashboard from where you can quickly fix those broken links.

It helps in finding & fixing all internal and external broken links (404 links). 404 links are nothing but a dead end for search engine spiders, and it’s highly advisable to remove or fix such links.

Another good similar plugin is LinkPatrol plugin which let you control link juice flow to external sites.

Download Plugin | Tutorial here

Rich Snippet WordPress plugin:

I have talked about Rich snippet a couple of times earlier and I can’t stress more on the importance of it. I have seen a lot of bloggers and marketers not taking advantage of easy to use schema markup plugins for WordPress to show rich snippets in WordPress.

Using any good rich snippet plugin for WordPress will help you get better visibility in search engine. Do you remember those star rating in the search engine, just like below screenshot:

Using rich snippets will help you get better CTR and also traffic. Here is a collection of some of the best posts from ShoutMeLoud archive to learn everything about Rich snippets in WordPress:w

SEMRUSH: (Not a direct WordPress plugin)

SEMrush site audit

When talking about SEO, how can we not include most popular WordPress SEO tool called  SEMRUSH.

This is one tool I have been using for last 5 years and this has been of immense help from the phase of Keyword research to optimization and also to track Keyword ranking.

Unlike others which are plugin, this is a web based tool.

Think of SEMRUSH as a complete SEO suite for people with or without SEO skills.

The most popular feature of SEMRUSH is, it let you do the complete site SEO audit which helps you to identify SEO issues that are preventing the organic growth of your blog.

Here are two detailed tutorials which will give you more insights on SEMRUSH:

SEO Image Optimizer:

SEo friendly image WordPress

By optimizing your images, you can drive a significant amount of traffic from image search engines. Even here at ShoutMeLoud, almost 1% of traffic is from image search engines, and that is a lot.

This plugin adds ALT attributes into your images, though you need to take care of the image name. If you upload images with names like image002.jpeg or DSC001.jpeg, I would suggest that you make it a point to start giving your images more useful names right away.

For example, in this post I have given the name “WordPress SEO” to the image I used.

Download SEO Image Optimizer  plugin

Speed Optimizer plugin for better user experience:

One of the least talked about thing when talking about WordPress SEO is user experience. Apart from a solid design, the speed of your WordPress site makes a lot of difference in overall SEO optimization. Infact, Google has been telling for years that user experience is one of an integral part of overall SEO.

They have also made it public that the site loading time is one of the search engine ranking factor. So, for you, it’s crucial now to optimize your site for speed.

If you have never taken a speed test for your WordPress site, this is a good time to do so. Visit this site and enter your domain name to take a speed test.

This is why in this section of WordPress SEO plugins, I’m sharing some of the top plugins (under various categories) to improve your blog loading time.

Image Compression plugin:

Images are an integral part of our WordPress site. On on average I use 3 images in every blog post which increases the page size by 400kb+. On desktop this may be alright, but on mobile where readers browse website on a 3G or 4G connection, it’s utmost important to offer them a page which is not same bulky as the desktop. Eventually, your goal is to page should load in less than 3 seconds on both; desktop and mobile devices.

Image compression is one technique by which you can reduce the overall size of the image without compromising the quality. This one technique alone (especially for image heavy WordPress sites) can make a noticeable impact. I have talked about some of the top Image compression plugins earlier and you can read the detailed guide here.

For quick reference, here are some of the best image compression plugins for WordPress:

  1. ShortPixels
  2. Optimus
  3. Imagify

Cache plugin:

Caching is a well-known technique to make your WordPress site load faster. There have been many well-documented case studies and research out there. Using a cache plugin also helps in lowering down the load on your server and improves the overall performance of your WordPress site.

These days, some of the popular shared hostings like SiteGround, Bluehost offers inbuilt caching and you don’t need an extra plugin that I have mentioned below. Also, a majority of managed WordPress hosting companies like Kinsta, WPEngine also offers inbuilt cache and CDN.

However, if you are using any other hosting which doesn’t offer inbuilt cache, you can pick either of the two cache plugins that I have mentioned below. Both of them are free and easy to use.

If you wish to dive deep into this topic, you can refer to my earlier guide here.

If you are just researching various SEO plugins for WordPress, you may wish to simply use the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, as it offers most of the features offered by many other individual plugins.

Here are a few examples:

  • Google XML Sitemap plugin: This plugin is widely recommended for generating a sitemap of your blog, but I suggest that you ignore this plugin as you can now use the sitemap feature of the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. Just for the info: If you are using Jetpack plugin, then it also offers sietmap feature.

If you think I have missed any essential or helpful SEO WordPress plugins, do let us know in the comments section.

Which other WordPress SEO plugins you are using on your blog?

Feel free to recommend any that I should include in this list.

Updated: June 2, 2018 — 6:16 am
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