The best WordPress SEO plugins help you boost your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts and make sure that your website is visible to the all-important search engines.
In this guide, we’ll cover the most popular WordPress SEO plugins. Read on to see our 5 hand-picked, best WordPress SEO plugins so you can decide which plugin fits your site best. Let’s dive in!
What is a WordPress SEO Plugin?WordPress SEO plugins help WordPress websites meet the highest SEO standards, both on a practical and technical level.
While WordPress as a content management system is already quite SEO-friendly, a WordPress SEO plugin gives you additional tools and settings to bring your website’s content to the highest standards of SEO and overall readability.
One of the easiest, most effective, and fastest ways to boost your WordPress site’s SEO is by using a WordPress SEO plugin. There are many helpful SEO plugins available in the market with a range of advanced features and SEO best practices, but as with anything web-related, not all of them are built the same.
Why Do You Need a WordPress SEO Plugin?
The point of using a WordPress SEO plugin is to make sure you have the chance to rank higher than those using WordPress and other more optimized platforms. In a simple word, WordPress SEO plugins can give your site an SEO advantage.
An important thing to note is that SEO crawlers from search engines don’t just take content and layout into account; there are still plenty of things that you can still improve on.
Most SEO-related settings are either tough to set up or not visible with a basic WordPress install. For these reasons, you’ll need a WordPress SEO plugin.
3 Reasons to Use a WordPress SEO Plugin
Out of the box, WordPress is already highly optimized for SEO, compared to other CMS platforms. With a unique content management system, an established niche, and clientele, your WordPress website comes ready to rank significantly higher on search engines compared to other’s built on different platforms. But using a WordPress SEO plugin can help you further optimize for SEO. Here are 3 reasons why you need a WordPress SEO plugin.
1. Generate More Search Engine Traffic
As the primary source of traffic for websites, search crawls all indexable websites online and ranks them based on each of their own special secret algorithms. SEO Plugins will help you optimize your website for search engines and help you rank higher in search results, generating more traffic to your website.
Search engine algorithms are generally a well-guarded secret, but having been here a while, there are a lot of studies that confirm that having certain things and settings set on your website will definitely help you rank higher. And these plugins will help you make sure those boxes are ticked.
2. Figure Out What You’re Missing
Sure you can always go online and Google, “How do I make my website rank higher?” But without a certain level of expertise, you will most definitely end up simply being confused, or worse break your site by doing things that weren’t supposed to be done in the first place.
That’s where WordPress SEO plugins come in. You generally don’t have to know everything about SEO, and most settings don’t necessarily need to apply to your website. What most of these plugins does is to make sure that all your basic bases are covered in terms of SEO, guide you through what you need to set and how to do then, and then give you all the other extra options and information that you may want to set on your website.
So rather than guessing what to change and how, these plugins give you a convenient way for figuring those things out.
3. You Don’t Have To Be an SEO Expert
You need not be an expert on WordPress and search engines to optimize your website for SEO. Thankfully, SEO plugins are useful for beginners and users without knowledge of coding and SEO functionalities.
WordPress SEO plugins will give you the power to optimize your website’s SEO and give you useful data on how your website is ranking and how to further improve your site’s SEO.
What to Look for in a WordPress SEO Plugin
When we talk about SEO for WordPress websites, beginners often look for quick and straightforward ways to make their site stand out on Google. On the other hand, professionals and more expert developers look for more advanced settings that are normally absent in basic plugins and the out-of-the-box WordPress install. Options such as automatic formatting of meta-information, custom field variables, breadcrumbs, focus keywords, and many other things. A useful SEO plugin must be able to do both.
Make sure all the important things are covered, while giving more detailed settings available for advanced users. Wherever you are in this category, the plugin must be able to accommodate you and be easily understood by everyone else who works with you.
When choosing your SEO plugin, try going with one with an approach to SEO that is best suited for your needs. If you run WooCommerce, LearnDash, or anything else with custom post types, find a plugin that can support all of that.
You need an SEO plugin that allows you to change/set the following easily:
- Main post/page keywords that tell your page/post and would uniquely identify your page.
- Social Media Snippets and Display (Open Graph metadata) displayed by social media platforms whenever someone shares your site’s content/URL on their social media platforms.
- Mobile and Desktop Search Snippets and previews.
- Sitemaps that search engines follow when visiting your website.
- Redirection tools that help resolve DNS/URL redirections from page to page.
- Trackers and Analytics tools.
Best 5 WordPress SEO Plugin
To help you choose the best WordPress SEO plugin, we tested multiple WordPress SEO plugins to highlight the features that each plugin provides, from the simple to the complex.
We’ve included both free and premium plugin options, so you can also decide your level of investment. Each plugin includes information on features, pros, cons, pricing, and our final verdict.
1. Yoast SEO
When we talk about the best SEO WordPress plugins, Yoast SEO will always come on top of the list. Yoast SEO is the most widely-used WordPress SEO plugin with over 5 million active installations and over 25,000 5-star reviews.
Yoast SEO is an all-in-one WordPress SEO plugin that does an excellent job of optimizing content for site visitors and search engines.
Pros of Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins for on-page SEO. Having said that, the community, support, and documentation behind it is always readily available should you need it. Talking about the plugin itself, it’s one of the most feature-filled ones out there. Giving credence to its claim of being the ultimate all-in-one SEO plugin.
With features like focus keywords, ability to set meta-descriptions, link your Google Search Console and other webmaster tools, ability to set cornerstone content, and best of all it’s famous content and SEO scoring system, which gives you all the information that you need to be able to optimize your content for SEO.
Cons of Yoast SEO
One of the biggest caveats with Yoast and being the ultimate all-in-one plugin is the fact that it may be overwhelming for beginners to use. Sure you are presented with an easy set of instructions and guides to get started, but at some point, you’re going to have to check on the other options available and figure them out for yourself. As mentioned, there are plenty of guides and tutorials available from Yoast themselves to other online forums and platforms, but it does take a while to get yourself acquainted with what exactly it is you’re working with.
Add to that the somewhat limited functionalities of the free version.
Yoast SEO Pricing
Yoast is a freemium plugin with many essential features available to you from the start. And these features alone are compelling and can already help you stand-out among your competitors.
Yoast Premium version is $89/year with free updates and support, including features like multiple keywords for more optimized content, automatic internal linking suggestions, redirect manager, among others.
Our Opinion on Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO has become the face of WordPress SEO plugins. It’s simply one of the best ones out there. The set of options that is available, the amount of customization, even the community of developers and users behind this plugin is difficult to find in other SEO plugins.
That said, it’s not without its drawbacks. With the amount of settings and information available from the get-go, you might find yourself stuck on what to do next, or worse, set some settings that’re not completely appropriate for your website.
Yoast is great, it’s one of the best, but make sure to do a bit of light reading before making any significant changes, even if it’s “recommended”.
2. All in One SEO Pack
The name says it all; it’s an All in One SEO Pack plugin. It has over 2 million active installs and 1,055 five-star reviews.
The All in One SEO Pack is perfect both for beginners and the more advanced users. It comes with settings and tools that allow you to scale up your controls as you gain more experience.
This plugin optimizes titles and automatically generates meta tags for all search engines. It also provides XML, images, and RSS sitemap support for both Google and Bing.
Pros of All in One SEO Pack plugin
All in One SEO Pack is an absolute delight to use for beginners. It features the ability to easily edit page and meta titles and descriptions and advanced tools to control indexing (what you allow search engines to see), tagging, and other advanced search options.
It’s also really simple to set up and the free version comes with all the basic features that you’d need right from the start.
Cons of All in One SEO Pack plugin
Compared to Yoast, our previous one on this list, All in One SEO Pack doesn’t have the ability to analyse your content specifically and provide you an estimated score and ranking. You also have to somehow figure out your way around it’s user interface, especially when it comes to importing data from your Google Search Console.
One of the biggest drawbacks is the lack of support in the free version of the plugin.
All in One SEO Pack plugin Pricing
All in One SEO Pack has a free to download version from WordPress.org. But the more advanced Pro version can be purchased from their site for:
- Individual – $79 per year – Single Site
- Business – $139 per year – Up to 10 Sites
- Agency – $699 per year – Unlimited Sites
Our Opinion on All in One SEO Pack plugin
The overall performance of the All in One SEO Pack plugin is commendable. The free version can already give a significant boost to your site’s SEO. One key drawback is that it doesn’t allow access to some key features, from free to premium, and even on the premium version leaves things to be desired. Also, the configuration of some critical features needs expertise and experience to understand.
3. Rank Math
If you search for the best WordPress SEO plugin, Rank Math usually comes second behind Yoast SEO in the search results.
Rank Math started only in 2019 but already has over 600,000 active installs and 1,965 five-star ratings.
Rank Math is a very beginner-friendly SEO plugin. It comes with many useful features built into the plugin, such as the template configuration of Google Schema Markup, Google Search Console Integration, and Google Keyword Rankings.
Pros of Rank Math
The best part of Rank Math is the clean and straightforward user interface making it easy to use with editors and page builders. It has easy to understand settings and well-detailed documentation. Rank Math also has excellent customer support. Some of the best features of Rank Math include:
- Redirection manager
- Use of multiple Focus Keywords
- Easy to do Elementor SEO
- Multiple Schema choice
- Local SEO features
- Snippet Editor
- More logical and SEO scoring method
- Role Manager
- Search Console in Dashboard
- Canonical URL feature
- Title’s Readability Analysis
- 404 Management
- Easy One-click Data Import From Yoast
Cons of Rank Math
Given all the pros that we listed for Rank Math you might think that it’d be difficult to compete against and that we might not list some cons. However, there are a few nitty gritty things that we noticed.
The biggest of which is the reported incompatibility with certain plugins. You have to be cautious about which plugins you use with Rank Math. In addition to that, you’d need to allow a multitude of permissions to get started. And finally, there are limited, if not absent, options to import settings from previous SEO plugins that you may have used.
Rank Math Pricing
Rank Math is free to download, with the Pro version available on it’s website for $59 and $199 annually.
Our Opinion on Rank Math
Rank Math’s edge over its competitor is that it offers some advanced features on the free version itself out-of-the-box compared to other plugins that offer them on their paid versions. The premium versions are also cheaper than most and will give you additional options to track keywords and use it on additional websites.
But for those just starting out and on a budget, Rank Math might be a great solution.
4. Schema Pro
Schema Pro is, as the name suggests, a schema plugin. Compared to other plugins on this list, it’s not an all-in-one solution, but rather a specific use case one.
This plugin adds schema markup to enable rich snippets of your website on search engine results. In addition to making your site look more professional straight from Google search, studies have shown that having schema markup on your website increases your Click Through Rate (CTR) significantly.
Schema Pro supports all kinds of schema markup, from reviews, to recipes, etc. In addition to automating most of the work for you. You just need to set a few basic settings and you’re good to go.
Pros of Schema Pro
Schema Pro is one of the best plugins when it comes to adding the all-important schema markup to your website. Not only does it do this job incredibly well, but it also makes it easier for you to do it yourself.
You just need to set a couple of basic settings and then you have the option to make sure that all of these apply to your whole site, wherever they’re applicable.
In addition, Schema Pro also supports a wide range of schema types, from reviews to recipes, to plain videos and corporate information. It’s hard to find a website or schema type that Schema Pro doesn’t support. It’s also widely compatible with most other plugins that you may already have on your sites.
Cons of Schema Pro
Undeniably, one of the biggest cons about Schema Pro is the lack of other features. Although it does it’s job incredibly well, that’s one of the only things it does, add schema. Compared to all other plugins on this list, the feature list, and the title of “SEO plugin” can barely be attributed to Schema Pro.
It is an SEO plugin in the sense that adding schema does significantly improve your SEO, but you’ll most likely end up still having to use one other, or several other, plugins to complement what Schema Pro lacks.
Schema Pro Pricing
Schema Pro essentially offers two different pricing options. You can either purchase it for one year or get it for life.
Annual Subscription Plan
- Plugin Alone – $79 per year
- Agency Bundle – $249 per year
Lifetime Subscription Plan
- Plugin Alone – $249
- Agency Bundle – $699 includes all of Brainstorm Force premium products such as Schema Pro, Astra Pro, Convert Pro, and so much more.
Our Opinion on Schema Pro
Schema Pro is definitely a good investment if your use case fits it. If you’re an online store, a company, or a personality who would like to get those sweet sweet rich snippets on Google Search results, then Schema Pro is definitely the best way to get that.
But of course, in terms of making sure that other aspects of your website is covered, you still have to complement it with other SEO plugins.
5. The SEO Framework
SEO Framework is one of the most feature-filled SEO plugins out there. This plugin is more lightweight than others, making it a worthy option for those who are concerned about affecting their site performance or watching out for bloat.
This plugin has an easy to use user interface and gives you the ability to easily add the all important meta tags to your website content.
Pros of The SEO Framework
The biggest pro of The SEO Framework is that you can easily set it up in minutes. No need to spend hours upon hours fiddling around with settings and whatnot. This plugin is very beginner friendly.
In addition to that, this plugin also gives you absolute control over your settings, making sure that you are aware of where you stand with regards to your on-page SEO. Never leaving you in the dark.
Cons of The SEO Framework
Despite it’s excellent and beginner-friendly user interface and approach, it does lack the more advanced options for more advanced users. It lacks both basic settings on the free version, and still lacks certain more advanced features on the pro version.
The SEO Framework Pricing
The SEO Framework’s free version has limited features, just like all the other freemium plugins but you are free to try it. For more advanced features however, a premium version is available for you to purchase.
- Pro – $84/year
- Business – $204/year
- Agency – $324/year
Our Opinion on The SEO Framework
The SEO Framework provides a refreshing and very clean approach to doing SEO in WordPress. If you don’t need the guidance necessary while writing content due to its lack of a content analysis system, the SEO Framework is a viable alternative to the established SEO plugins. Although if you’re a more advanced user, you might want to look elsewhere.
Wrapping Up: The Best WordPress SEO Plugins
SEO is one of those terms online that you may think is just basic is easy to use, understand, and optimize. It’s actually much more than that.
Not only is there so much more to SEO if you dive deeper, but given search engines’ complicated and mostly secretive algorithms, it’s difficult to be sure that your website is and will be truly visible to those who search for it.
That’s where WordPress SEO plugins come in. Not only does it help you better optimize your website for search engines, but most of them also guide you through the process. Helping you figure out what you need, and making sure that you have covered all your bases with regards to SEO.
Although not all of them are built the same way, each of the best WordPress SEO plugins offers their own unique advantages over each other depending on your level of expertise, budget, and of-course, your use case.
Kristen has been writing tutorials to help WordPress users since 2011. You can usually find her working on new articles for the iThemes blog or developing resources for #WPprosper. Outside of work, Kristen enjoys journaling (she’s written two books!), hiking and camping, cooking, and daily adventures with her family, hoping to live a more present life.