Best SEO plugins for WordPress (2016) to boost your rankings in SERPs
It’s 2016 already and Google uses almost 200 ranking factors to rank your site in the SERPs. Although it has given a huge guideline for ranking in the search results, there still is more that you cannot simply do manually.
If you want to increase your search engine rankings you need to get your posts search engine optimized. For this, you have to use some of the best WordPress SEO plugins. Luckily, WordPress has a plethora of most important and popular SEO plugins to help you get higher search traffic. And here are the ones you need for your SEO-starved blog.
What is a WordPress SEO plugin?
Before going deep exploring the best ranking plugins let me tell you what SEO WordPress plugins are?
SEO plugins for WordPress are those plugins that help you to optimize the content on your site and make it search engine friendly. These plugins help your videos (multimedia posts) and blog posts rank high by telling you what you need to do in order to make them search engine friendly.
SEO plugins themselves don’t help content to rank but they teach you how to optimize your content to rank higher in SERPs. Here are some of the best SEO plugins for WordPress.
I have cherry-picked these best SEO plugins for 2016 to rank high in search engine results. With the help of SEO plugins one can write better content as it focuses on technical optimization. This forces the bloggers and website content developers to write by a specific keyword and ensures that this keyword is used adequately in the content.
Now that you know the importance of SEO Plugins, let’s learn about some of the most useful SEO Plugins that can help you get better search engine rankings and also organic and referral traffic. These plugins will also help you achieve the desirable brand presence (read more about building your brand presence here) and increase website traffic.
- 1 What is a WordPress SEO plugin?
- 2 1) WordPress SEO by Yoast
- 3 2) WP Rich Snippets:
- 4 3) SEMrush:
- 5 4) SEO Pressor
- 6 5) Ultimate Video SEO Plugin
- 7 6) All in one SEO Pack
- 8 5) WP Social SEO PRO
- 9 6) Google and Bing Sitemap Generator
- 10 7) SEO Friendly Images Plugin for WordPress
- 11 8) Broken links checker for WordPress blogs:
- 12 9) SEO Content control Plugin:
- 13 10) Plugin for Local search SEO contact page:
- 14 11) Majestic SEO dashboard widget:
- 15 12) Google XML sitemap for images:
- 16 13) SEO DATA transporter:
- 17 14) SEO smart links:
- 18 Conclusion: Is having more than one SEO plugin bad for SEO?
In case you don’t know how to install a WordPress plugin, check this WordPress plugin installation tutorial (video).
In case of WordPress, there are a plethora of plugins for every job you can imagine, same is for SEO also. I have listed the top must-have 3 WordPress plugins for SEO in the first section below. These plugins are a must for any blog if you want to rank in Google, Bing or other popular search engines..
In the second section, I’ll list more of general plugins that will help you with specific SEO goals like sitemap submission, local SEO etc. These aren’t needed for all and so you should only select the ones you need.
Section 1: Must-Have Plugins:
1) WordPress SEO by Yoast
It is the best WordPress SEO plugin till date. WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is used by almost every blogger and webmaster because of the easy settings it provides for on-page analysis, off page SEO and even proper social optimization for better ranking.
I use it and many others like WPbeginner also use it. It’s like an all in one SEO coupon that unlocks great rankings. Let’s see what makes it so popular:
- Makes your website social media friendly by integrating the most recent Facebook open-graph and Twitter meta-data.
- Ensures that your content includes Meta descriptions tags for keywords
- Analyzes the inbound links and outbound links and rates your website content
- Its Flesch Reading Ease scale can check how easy your content is in terms of reading.
- Prevents duplicate content by rel=canonical tags
- Submits sitemap of your site to Google (you don’t need a sitemap plugin if you have Yoast)
- Prevents scrappers by verifying Google authorship and optimizing RSS feed.
Watch this video for the complete guide on how to set up Yoast SEO plugin.
Don’t be afraid of the level of customization Yoast offers, you can use this handy video tutorial to set up Yoast easily.
2) WP Rich Snippets:
Have you noticed how some pages have star ratings on them when you search for some reviews on Google?
Based on your queries, Google search result also shows pages that highlight the opening hours of a local business, food and recipes markup etc.
Now it is a natural thing that these pages will stand out and catch the searchers’ attention. Results? More clicks and better rankings. Because higher click-through-rates (CTR) helps to boost rankings.
This whole idea is of schema markup which tells search engines what your page is about. You can markup your pages as:
- Businesses and organizations
- Events or
This gives an idea of what your page is all about to the visitors even before they click on your link. And since the results look attractive in the SERPs, people will click on your pages rather than the ones not using it.
Now, to enable this feature you have to use a plugin like WPRichSnippets. It helps you to give star ratings to your product reviews, add great looking review widgets on your sidebar or inside the blog post using shortcodes. This is perhaps the most important plugin I use on my money sites to increase sales after Yoast SEO.
You can have a limited basic free version of the plugin from here, but the premium version at $69 is the best investment you can make for your blog.
This isn’t essentially a WordPress plugin, but still it is recommended by most probloggers. SEMrush isn’t free but here is why it is still used by hundreds of SEO professionals and bloggers. You can also use it to analyze your site’s health and the factors that is preventing your site from ranking. Then you can easily correct it and rank and bank.
SEMrush helps you track your site’s ranking. It tells you which keyword of yours is in what position and the changes of its ranking with time. But this is still okay, what is the USP of SEMrush is, it helps you spy your competitors.
With SEMrush, you can find out which keywords your competitors are ranking for and what is the possibility that you can rank for it. Now when you know so much, you can take those keywords yourself and write on them to rank.
Needless to say, how difficult it is to find low competition keywords and when you get something that is working for someone, why not easily target their visitors. Now this is nothing unethical and if you do not do it, your competitor will do it on you. You can use it free for 30 days.
These were the really important WordPress Plugins you need to install to get higher rankings. After installing them, read these links below to boost your blogging success. For other plugins, you can hop over to section 2.
- Building a successful blog from scratch? 10 top mistakes to avoid
- Essential content creation tools to bring that bring more traffic to your blog
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Section 2: Important but task-specific WordPress SEO Plugins:
In this section, the plugins are important but not needed by anyone and everyone. You can choose it based on your requirement.
4) SEO Pressor
SEO Pressor is a perfect alternative to Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO is more than enough but in case you want something that is more powerful and advanced, this is your tool. It is a very powerful tool that can manage your complete website by taking care of the pages, posts and the format of your custom posts. One of the best SEO plugins for SEO to get higher rankings. It has the following features:
- It’s intrinsic keyword research tool which allows you to drag and drop the keywords into the content.
- Get the SEO statistics related to your content with the help of its very efficient algorithm which keeps track of the posts and page.
- Get the effectiveness of the content on rated on 100 basis points.
- Allows you to assign a word or phrase to a desired link.
- WordPress tags SEO
- Facebook open-graphs and Twitter Metadata tags can be added
- Makes your reviews schema.org supporting.
5) Ultimate Video SEO Plugin
To make your Video Blog successful, this SEO Plugin is a must that makes your videos schema.org compatible and makes your video appear in search engine results. Some of its features are:
- No special settings changes necessary, one can start uploading videos straightaway.
- Provides option to add details to your uploaded videos and thumbnails
- Helps get the SEO details of the videos you use from the sites that host these videos
- Creates the sitemap for video enabling the search engines to find out your pages and new posts.
- Allows you to get high rankings on search engines
- Supports sites like YouTube, Dailymotion and other major popular video sites
6) All in one SEO Pack
This is the most famous SEO Plugin for blogs and websites for magazines and online-shopping, etc. It has more than 14 million downloads and has a good rating of 3.8/5. If you are wondering how to use all in one SEO plugin for WordPress, read this. Users can avail a free version and a pro version of this Plugin depending on their requirement. Here are the features of this all in one SEO software:
- Suitable for those with little or no knowledge of WordPress SEO or rarely do any on page optimization
- Can create meta descriptions, meta tags and keywords for the content of your blog.
- Can optimize titles and create alternate tags to pictures within any post
- Extended features for e-commerce websites, traces duplicate pages in your blog or website
5) WP Social SEO PRO
Built to make your blog or website social media friendly, the Plugin is a must as Google is planning to use the social signals as the factor to rank the pages on Search Engine Result Page (SERP). It is a much better plugin of increasing your social presence and referral traffic. This plugin can add a call to action button on your socially shared images. I think this is not to be missed if you want higher conversions and search engine ranks in 2016.
- Integrates with other useful and popular SEO Plugins like Yoast.
- Adding rich snippets to your content is easy
- Facebook open-graph, Twitter meta-data optimization
- Adds itemprop tags to make your content Google Plus friendly
- Allows adding button for sharing on social media with just few clicks.
6) Google and Bing Sitemap Generator
It helps to create sitemaps easily which can be submitted to the webmaster tools of Google and Bing. It can generate the files with the extension .gzip file which is commonly used by Google and it is very simple and supports many types of formats like video, gallery, etc. These multiple formats can be included in the sitemap. This happens to be a unique feature is not available in other Plugins. Click below to get this all in one SEO sitemap plugin.
7) SEO Friendly Images Plugin for WordPress
This SEO Plugin for WordPress enables you to increase traffic to your website and blog with the help of Google image search. As image and graphic searches occupy 10 to 15 percent of the total searches, a Plugin which helps you attract traffics, leads and customers has become essential. Even a third or fourth rank in search engine can help increase the visitors by hundreds. Since, Search Engine robots can comprehend only text one needs to add tags and text to the images. But, this is a very difficult task if your website has thousands of images.
This Plugin helps you to add title tags to every image you post on your website. The title of your article is used as the keyword for the pictures and also makes the posts W3C/xHTML compatible.
This word is the most horrible nightmare for any blogger or SEO enthusiast. Broken links may appear from comments people made on your site and their site is no more. Broken links may appear with a change in URL structure of your site.
Whatever may be the reason; broken links not only degrade your site’s SEO but also may get you penalized from Search engines. In addition, they will also hamper user experiences and broken pages.
Broken link checker allows you to check for any broken links, emails you and also gives you the option to customize the links either by placing the correct link or by deleting it completely.
I have an awesome video tutorial to get the most of broken links checker. Check it out!
9) SEO Content control Plugin:
If you have been blogging for years or at least some months now, chances are you would want to edit your older posts. We all have written weak content in the beginning. SEO content control plugin helps you to edit the meta description of your older content in order to optimize the old posts for SEO in 2016 or beyond.
You also get to update two different meta description for your archives page and the category pages. So this is a plugin if you want to SEO optimize your old posts according to new search standards.
10) Plugin for Local search SEO contact page:
This is a really handy tool for non-coders like me. If you want to optimize your local business website for search engines, then this plugin will help you. It adds a custom contact page that lets you add a custom Google search map for your store location, allow users to leave a review for your local business, add other contact details etc. This is a must have local business SEO plugin.
11) Majestic SEO dashboard widget:
When it comes to SEO and backlinks, majestic SEO is the undisputed king. Majestic SEO is not a must use SEO tool but it will help you boost your site’s ranking and optimize your backlink strategy because it sits on your dashboard telling you about backlinks and which posts have what backlinks. You can then create a follow-up SEO strategy to enhance your rank.
12) Google XML sitemap for images:
Did you know your blog images also appear for search engine queries and can account to a profitable share of organic traffic? This plugin will help you to submit a sitemap of your image URLs to Google. You can do this to optimize your search engine traffic from images.
13) SEO DATA transporter:
Do you frequently change or site theme? Whether you do it or not, you may sometimes need to shift to a better theme (like this one) than your existing one. When you are shifting themes or plugins, you can definitely use SEO data importer to save your SEO settings after changing your theme. It’s fast and easy.
Read my review of Elegant themes and see how you can get premium themes for less than $1 each!
Do you want to rank for search engine queries for content you haven’t written. Yes SEO smart links automatically links to certain keywords and word phrases on your blog, comments and pages with the internal links you specify. Internal links are most useful in terms of SEO. They are like backlinks built safely to your blog. SEO smartlinks is the best internal linking plugin for WordPress.
My Verdict: Best SEO Plugin Suggestion
Yoast would help in sitemap submission, keyword optimization and social and search engine optimization. WPRichSnippets will do the needful to make your links stand out in the search results.
Conclusion: Is having more than one SEO plugin bad for SEO?
This was a huge or we can say the ultimate list of best WordPress SEO plugins for 2016. As I said, keep your cool and limit yourself with two or three SEO plugins. Having two or at most three SEO plugins is what bloggers should use. Certain tasks can be done manually too. Using too many SEO plugins can hit you hard on the face.
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