Properly indexing and optimizing your website’s content is the key to better rankings in search results and generating organic traffic. Improving your WordPress website through search engine optimization will ensure you’re not missing out on this valuable traffic. The WordPress platform contains built-in features that help search engines crawl and gather information about your site. In addition, you can install third-party plugins to help take your WordPress site to the next level.
In this blog post, we’ll be taking a look at:
- The 10 best SEO plugins for WordPress in 2021
- Notable features of each plugin
Best SEO Plugins for WordPress
1. Yoast SEO
Our first pick is Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO will help make your WordPress website and content search engine friendly by allowing you to control elements like title tags, meta descriptions, XML sitemaps, etc. There is currently a free and a premium version of the plugin, but the important functions are included in the free version. Another plus is that they provide free online SEO training courses on their website to help you learn the basics of SEO and their plugin.
- Automated Technical Improvements
- Advanced XML Sitemaps
- SEO Analysis
- Access to free Yoast SEO academy courses
The All in One SEO plugin and toolkit is another great option to help you get your website ranking higher in search engines. This plugin consists of removable modules making it simple and efficient for the average website owner to use. All in One SEO allows you to set up advanced WordPress SEO features such as XML Sitemaps, meta descriptions, meta titles, search appearance, and more in less than 10 minutes. This plugin also provides a substantial list of social settings to configure your website with.
- Advanced SEO Modules
- Local SEO
- SEO Optimizer
- WooCommerce SEO
- Social Settings
Another plugin packed with helpful SEO tools is Rank Math SEO. Similar to Yoast SEO, this plugin gives you full control over your on-page SEO and allows you to customize how you want your website to be structured and indexed. Within the sitemap settings, you’ll have the ability to define the number of links, ping search engines, and include or exclude images, featured images, posts, and terms. Free 24 hour support and an SEO Suite Knowledge Base make this one of our favorite WordPress Plugins of 2021.
- Simple User Interface
- Auto Canonical URLs
- Customize website structure
- Google Search Console Integration
- Google Keyword Ranking
Want to see if your website is well-optimized? Download our 187 Point Self Audit Checklist!
W3 Total Cache allows you to leverage best practices and content delivery network integrations to increase your website’s performance. This plugin is the most popular performance framework for WordPress and helps you increase your website’s speed by reducing load times through caching, content delivery network integrations, and best practices. Best of all, no theme modifications are required to install!
- Compatible with shared hosting
- Transparent integrations with most CDNs
- Mobile support
The Broken Link Catcher plugin checks your website for broken links and will notify you of issues so you can make changes. This plugin removes the hassle of manually checking every link, especially after a website migration. You’re also able to define what types of links you’d like to check and have the option to be notified via email!
- Check HTML, Image, Video, and plain text links
- Identifies link issues
- Broken link email notifications
The free SEO Framework plugin is designed for users with no SEO knowledge to create a stable environment for their website. This plugin was developed for WordPress and comes preconfigured to automatically optimize your website’s pages for SEO and social networks. This AI-driven plugin looks at your website’s pages, posts, and archives to backfill metadata. SEO Framework offers superior support and the ability to easily migrate your existing SEO data from other plugins as well.
- Automatically generate critical SEO metatags
- Indexes only the best version of your pages
- SEO bar that checks pages for issues
- Real-time caching
- Helpful setup guide
- Active support forum
Redirection allows you to easily create and manage redirects on your WordPress website. If your website supports permalinks, this plugin will help you identify 404 errors and 301 redirects. Redirects are also automatically created when a page or post URL is altered, so you never have to worry about having broken pages from a URL change. If you want to consolidate plugins, you may want to consider upgrading to Yoast Premium as they allow for redirects in the paid version. If you want to stick with free plugins, Redirection is a great option!
- Redirect manager
- Full logging
- Add HTTP headers
- Track 404 errors
The Google XML Sitemap plugin will allow you to create special sitemaps to help you create a map of your content to make it easier for search engines to find and crawl your pages. While other plugins such as Yoast also offer sitemap creation, Google XML Sitemap provides month-based separation which lowers the server load by allowing the sitemap to be measured in kilobytes. This time-saving plugin comes with default configurations that work with most websites.
- XML Sitemap index tool
- Month-based sitemap separation
- Plugin translations available
Autoptimize is another one of our favorite WordPress SEO plugins in 2021. This helpful plugin allows you to improve your website by increasing speed and optimizing your content and images. While the free version will get you pretty far, activating the paid CSS minification portion can really help you when trying to improve your site for Core Web Vitals. You’ll be able to resolve any questions you have and get up to speed within their support forum.
- Lazy-load images
- Optimize Google Fonts
- Remove WordPress core emoji cruft
The Schema WordPress plugin allows you to add structured data markup to your WordPress website. Adding this code to your website allows you to provide additional details about your content to help search engines display the most valuable content in search results. This is one of our favorite plugins for eCommerce sites because it helps searchers by displaying relevant information about the product or service they’re actively looking for like price, reviews, and images.
- Valid markup
- Output JSON-LD format
- Reuse data saved in post meta
Where Should I Start?
These SEO plugins are great tools that can help you update your WordPress website but won’t be effective unless you’re tracking these changes against key performance indicators that align with your SEO goals. To make sure you’re focusing your efforts on areas of your website that will have a noticeable impact on performance, consider an SEO audit from a reputable company like Pepperland Marketing.
Here at Pepperland Marketing, we offer an SEO Audit Service that uncovers what’s holding your WordPress website back from higher rankings in search results. Talk to us about our SEO audits and learn how we’ll analyze each page of your website and provide an individualized plan to help your organization reach its business goals.