Search engines are dumb!
After you start your blog, you need to serve it on a plate for search engines so that they understand what it is and how to consume it.
While Yoast SEO (aka WordPress SEO) is the default answer to anyone asking for a WordPress SEO plugin, it certainly isn’t the only option that you can go with.
…even if you use Yoast SEO (or alternatives like Rank Math, All In One SEO Pack) you need some other plugins that compliment these SEO plugin’s functions.
Let’s check out our options!
Recommended Reading: 21+ Best Blogging Tools – Take Your Blog From Zero to Hero in 3 Months
What Do SEO Plugins Do?
Most SEO plugins do a two fold job.
1. Make the work of search engines easier:
- SEO plugins make your content accessible to search engines, tell them what files to find where (via sitemaps).
- Direct them on how you want to present your site on the search engine ranking pages (SERPs) via titles and meta description, and schema markup settings.
2. Make the work of the website owner (you) easier:
- Help them optimize their content based on readability scores, keyword placement and internal linking strategy.
- Optimize website by fixing broken links, redirecting article pages, browser caching to speed up your website and more.
On to the list of best WordPress SEO plugins and tools in 2019… (you’ll love the free tool listed at#2!)
Top 10 Best SEO Plugins For WordPress in 2019
Here is the list of top 10 best SEO plugins For WordPress in 2019:
With over 5 million plus active installs and above 27k 5-star ratings, WordPress SEO or the Yoast SEO plugin is naturally the best WordPress SEO plugin for almost all WordPress blogs.
The ease to use and a lot of options (which we will discuss in a while) make it a favorite SEO plugin for bloggers.
If you’re a starter and want to optimize your website for SEO, get clear newbie-friendly SEO recommendations like keyword placement, presence of focus keyword in URL, title, meta descriptions etc, Yoast is what you should use.
In fact, top WordPress hosting sites like Kinsta Hosting officially recommend Yoast as the SEO plugin to their users.
Yoast can help you manage both on-page and technical SEO of your website.
With Yoast SEO plugin, you can get an SEO score of your posts and pages showing how well they are optimized. It also gives suggestions on how to improve the SEO score.
The score takes into account several metrics such as the number of words on the page, number of internal and external links, use of focus keyword on the page, use of headings, and more.
Apart from the SEO score, you also get a readability score showing how readable the content on a page is. This again helps in improving the content and make it easier for the reader to understand.
…Yoast SEO plugin can help you manage the technical SEO side of your website in a newbie-friendly way.
The plugin lets you create XML sitemaps, integrate Webmaster tools to your website, show warnings to setup redirects for pages who’s permalink has been changed, and more.
- Get an SEO analysis by just typing your target keyword on pages and posts
- Get a readability score of your pages and posts based on Flesch Reading Ease scale
- Add page title and meta description to your pages and posts and see exactly how they will look on the SERPs
- Connect various Webmaster tools easily
- Generate advanced XML sitemaps for your website
- Find and fix SEO errors on your website
- Use meta robots settings block to particularly hide a page from getting indexed on search engines
- Prevent duplicate pages by allowing you to set rel=canonical tags on a per post or page basis
Struggling to improve your Google rankings? Here’s our top tips to instantly improve your rankings that are proven to work!
Yoast SEO does come with a premium version ($89 per site) that helps you with:
- automatic internal links suggestions, support for synonym and keyword phrases,
- news SEO,
- local SEO, &
- video SEO and WooCommerce SEO to name a few.
2 SEMrush Writing Assistant (Free Plugin)
SEMrush writing assistant helps you optimize your content by analyzing the top 10 ranking pages for your keyword.
It lists down the top LSI keywords used by them, their content score, average word count, and even suggestions to get backlinks based on sites that have linked to them.
With these suggestions, you can create a winning content strategy that helps you outrank your competitors.
SEMrush writing assistant doesn’t replace Yoast, it compliments it.
While Yoast SEO is an excellent SEO plugin overall, it fails miserably as a content optimization tool.
It gives you recommendations based on the placement of a “keyword” in your article it is pretty old school and no longer helps you in ranking.
Let me explain…
When you are optimizing a page for “windows”, Yoast will show you the coveted green signal once you have the term “windows” in your URL, page title, first paragraph, in heading tags and in the last 50 words.
This is pretty old school and no longer helps you rank as SEO has evolved by leaps and bounds since then.
In fact, it can get you penalized for keyword stuffing.
How can SEMrush writing assistant help you?
With the SEMrush writing assistant you get instant suggestions of a range of LSI keywords or keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword to help search engines understand the context of your page.
Going by the previous example,
Words like wood, hinges, glass pane etc can help search engines relate your article to a user’s query about window (for his house) while keywords like CPU, MS Office, etc can help you rank better for a query about Windows (the OS).
Now that you know how powerful it is to optimize your content for SEO, you’ll agree this is one of the best free SEO plugins for WordPress that you can get.
- keyword recommendations and article word count based on top 10 ranking pages
- plagiarism checker
- check for overly optimized keywords.
- local SEO (or keywords based on location) support.
- free to use (WordPress plugin and Google Docs add on)
Recommended Reading: 10 Must-have Content Creation for Bloggers
Recommended Offer: Elegant Themes Discount Coupon
Rank Math claims to be the Swiss army knife of WordPress SEO and it stands up to that claim really well.
This new WordPress SEO plugin by MyThemeShop is giving other plugins a run for their money.
That’s because Rank Math has everything you would want in an SEO plugin. Yes, everything!
You can run an SEO analysis for your post and pages. But, that’s not it. Rank Math also provides rich snippets support, lets you create XML sitemaps, redirection manager, build internal links, a 404 monitor, and more. This list goes on.
In fact, almost all the functionality provided by the plugins listed in this list or any other plugin is available in Rank Math.
- Very quick and easy to set up
- Advanced redirection manager
- Connect Google Webmasters and Google Keyword trends tool
- SEO and Content analysis
- Bulk edit titles and descriptions of your posts and pages
- Find and fix Google crawl errors
- Rich snippet support
- Can create XML sitemaps
- Social media integration
Next on in our list of best SEO plugins for WordPress in 2019, is All in One SEO Pack.
All in One SEO pack, a powerful Yoast SEO alternative, provides advanced features to optimize your site’s SEO.
With this plugin, you can submit your sitemap to Google and Bing, notify search engines about changes on your site, optimize titles of your content automatically, and more.
All in one also offers Google AMP and Google Analytics support.
- Provides XML sitemap support
- Google AMP support
- Google Analytics support
- Optimize titles and meta description automatically
- Helps you edit .htaccess file or robots.txt file right from your dashboard
- You can disable certain features
There’s a premium version called All in One SEO Pack Pro that comes with:
- Video SEO module
- Specific SEO for category and tags taxonomy
- WooCommerce SEO plugin
The Pro plan will cost you $97 for single site (where as it has much cheaper plans as compared to Yoast for agencies and multiple site owners).
Right now, they have a sale going on that gives you access to all plans with a 40% discount!
Did you notice how some pages on Google search display results with star ratings?
There are others that come with product rich snippets (like in stock or out of stock), recipe information (like calories etc).
These are achieved through schema markup.
With a plugin like WP Review, you can show such information for your web pages on Google.
While, Google has denied schema markups being a ranking factor, here is how they can help you:
With rich snippets or schema markup, you can:
- help search engines understand the type of page you have (a product listing, or a review page or a recipe page etc)
- get more clicks (boost in CTR) by standing out in SERPs and giving users an idea about what to expect in the post.
The free version (change the option from “single site license” to “free”) can help you only add review schema markup and comes with 2 designs.
The premium version comes with:
- 14 types of rich snippets
- 16 layout designs
- ability for users to rate in comments
- embed Google, Yelp & Facebook reviews
- comparison tables (perfect for affiliate sites)
- WooCommerce integration and more.
Broken links can hurt your SEO & fixing broken links is a nightmare (especially when your site has been live for some years).
Luckily for you, installing the broken link checker WordPress SEO plugin will help you find and fix all the broken links on your website.
The plugin constantly monitors your website and notifies whenever a broken link is found on your website. You can get notified either via email or the WordPress dashboard.
Once you find the broken links, you can either change the URL, remove the link, dismiss it, or mark it as not broken.
The best part is that you don’t have to go to the page and find the broken link. The plugin shows all the broken links in one place where you can fix them.
- Monitors your website regularly to find broken links.
- Lists all broken links in one place.
- Custom filters available to monitor certain kind of links.
- Multiple options are available to fix the broken links.
- Get notified about broken links via email.
Redirection is a redirection manager plugin for WordPress that helps you set up redirects for your pages.
While it isn’t a contender for our best SEO plugin for WordPress race, it compliments the other SEO plugins by setting up custom redirects.
When a post is modified with changes in it’s permalink or you 301 redirect an old post to a new URL, the old URL will denote a broken page or an error 404.
That’s when you need redirect the old URLs to the new page so that users and search engines can know this new page. And you don’t lose the link juice, if any. This is a must-have WordPress SEO plugin for all bloggers.
- Helps manage all redirects in one place
- Constantly checks for 404 errors and lets you fix them
- Provides Apache and Nginx support
- Can create conditional redirects
If you want your Google Analytics details right on your WordPress dashboard. This plugin is for you.
With over 2 million active installs, this is the most popular Google Analytics plugin in the WordPress repo and rightfully deserves to be in our list of best SEO plugins for WordPress.
Apart from helping you integrate Google Analytics code to your website, Monster Insights shows customized reports about your visitors.
It includes where your visitors are coming from, their age, gender, which device they are using, and more. You can also get a behavior report showing where your visitors are coming from, which keyword they searched for, who referred them, and more.
Other reports include e-commerce report (like average order value, conversions etc), content report, form report, search console report, and custom dimensions report.
- Can easily connect your Google Analytics account to the plugin and start getting stats.
- View different types of reports like top landing pages, top outbound links etc.
- Includes Google AdSense tracking and affiliate link tracking.
- 1-click Google Analytics integration with Facebook instant articles.
- Powerful e-commerce tracking.
The free version comes with limited options, premium plan is what helps you get the most out of it. Try it now.
Why is a speed optimization plugin listed on the top WordPress SEO plugins list?
Well, website speed is a ranking factor. Both for mobile & desktop.
Speed is very important not only for rankings but also for better user experience. Google and other search engines always favor websites that load quickly.
Given all other factors remain same, a simple delay of 1 second in loading time might help a competitor outrank you in the SERPs.
That’s when you need WP Rocket, the hands-down the best speed optimization plugin for WordPress.
This caching plugin will help you optimize your website and improve its site speed. The plugin has features such as page caching, browser caching, GZIP compression, database optimization, Google Fonts optimization, and more. It also offers support for CDN.
The plugin is not free which can be a deal-breaker for some.
And I am not going to sell you a paid plugin (which is very well worth the price, I use it on some of my site!)
While WP Rocket beats all other cache and site speed enhancing WordPress plugins by huge margins, you can use free alternatives like W3 Total Cache to get decent results.
- The best speed optimization plugin for WordPress
- Lazy load, DNS prefetching, defer JS loading etc
- Easy and quick setup
- CDN support
- Cloudflare compatibility
Optimizing for visual search is often the most overlooked on page SEO technique by bloggers.
Even Google’s Gary Illyes, is of the same opinion.
Adding proper title tags, alt tags, captions can do a lot for your visibility in image search engines and help you drive more traffic to your blog.
SEO Friendly Images for WordPress helps you to automatically optimize your blog post images for SEO which is why I have listed it amongst the best SEO WordPress plugins.
It has WooCommerce support to optimize product images too.
Conclusion: Best WordPress SEO Plugins in 2019
Now that you know a good deal about the best SEO plugins for WordPress, I hope it helps you choose the best for you.
At DigitalGYD, we use Yoast SEO (I know Rank Math has a lot of functions but I simply don’t want to switch).
But if you’re starting out make sure to check out Rank Math SEO plugin because it gives Yoast a tough competition.
Another of our top recommendations is the writing assistant tool by SEMrush which is free and helps you write blog posts with LSI keywords and recommendations based on top 10 ranking websites.
Newbie or not, this gives you a competitive edge over others.
Other than that, use image SEO plugin only if you are too busy to optimize your images or use a image heavy website.
You can also try to optimize your images manually.
What SEO plugins to you use to power your WordPress blogs?
Do you use any of these top 10 Best WordPress SEO Plugin?
Related Articles Hand-picked For You:
- SEO in 2019: 5 ways you aren’t optimizing your blog for changing SEO landscape.
- 11 On page SEO techniques to boost your Google rankings.
- How to drive more traffic to your blog (tips that work!)
FAQs About Best WordPress SEO Plugin 2019
1) Which SEO plugin Is Best in WordPress?
Here is the answer to which SEO plugin is the best:
It is hard to rate SEO plugins based on what they can do because they do different things and results can change based on what you want to accomplish.
However, going by ratings and total active installs Yoast SEO is the best SEO plugin in WordPress currently. It does most of what you’d want an SEO plugin to do.
2) Is Yoast SEO Plugin Free?
Yes. Yoast SEO plugin is completely free to use. They have a premium version that you don’t really need for most of the time.
3) Can I Use Two SEO Plugins?
Yes, of course! You can use two SEO plugins in case you want to accomplish something your SEO tool doesn’t do. Just make sure you don’t use more than one SEO plugins that have the same functionality which can cause conflict and eat up your database space unnecessarily.
For example Yoast SEO, or Rank Math or All in One SEO pack do not help you in caching. That’s when you need a caching plugin to optimize for site speed.