There are plenty of reasons that WordPress is the most popular content management system. It’s used on millions of the top websites around the globe.
Because of its popularity, it offers users an impressive array of support. This is no truer than in the incredible variety of plugins available for this platform. There are over 50,000 of them at the latest count, and the number keeps growing.
These plugins range from ones that are fairly narrow in scope to those that are applicable to the vast majority of websites. Perhaps the most critical plugins for any website are those that are related to search engine optimization. These enable even a relative novice at SEO to enhance their ability to utilize the power of search engines to draw targeted traffic to their site.
While WordPress is already structured in a relatively SEO-friendly manner, these plugins can bring your search visibility to another level. Below is a list of 12 such plugins that you can add to WordPress today and start reaping the benefits. Some of them are comprehensive in their focus in trying to tackle multiple aspects of SEO in a single plugin while others perform specialized functions that will get you that little extra boost in a specific part of your website’s functionality.
Yoast SEO With over 5 million active installations, this is easily the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress. It is one of those comprehensive SEO packages that tackles a variety of different areas on your website to boost its ranking. Released in 2008 and constantly updated, it is staying above the competition with its range of features and ease of use.
Broken Link Checker
Broken Link Checker Visitors to your website don’t like running into broken links and neither does Google. Your time is valuable. You don’t want to be clicking through every link on your website to check them. Let Broken Link Checker do it for you. It also checks for missing images and bad redirects, and you can set it to notify you through the dashboard or by email when it finds broken links.
This comprehensive SEO plugin will help you quickly analyze and optimize the on-page and technical elements of your site to ensure there’s nothing holding you back. Billing itself as the Swiss Army Knife of WordPress SEO, Rank Math gives you an advanced SEO analysis tool and includes 40 SEO tests that will uncover anything holding back your search rankings.
Released over 10 years ago, Redirection has over a million active installations. As its name implies, it will take a comprehensive look at all of your website’s redirects and spot any errors that may be reducing your search rankings. You can set it to log all of the redirects that occur on your site, and it can import data from other popular redirect plugins.
Search engines reward websites that have fast-loading pages with higher rankings. WP Rocket will automatically help you boost your page loading times with page caching, cache preloading and static file compression. Beyond compressing images, it will further speed things up by only loading them as the visitor scrolls down a page.
Google XML Sitemaps
To rank your website, Google first has to be able to crawl it. This plugin helps streamline the process by creating special XML sitemaps that make it easier for search engines to do this. With over 2 million active installations and a nearly 5-star rating, WordPress users know the value of this plugin for getting their websites crawled and ranked quickly and efficiently.
Smush Image Compression and Optimization
This is another plugin having to do with speeding up your website, but it focuses on optimizing its images to get the job done. This free, award-winning image optimizer lets you do bulk image optimization with 50 images in a single click. It also does lossless compression, incorrect image size detection and image resizing.
W3 Total Cache
This plugin seeks to transform your website into a speed demon, and it doesn’t disappoint. It can get you up to 10 times your site’s original speed. Through browser caching, repeat page views are nearly instantaneous. In total, its advanced features deliver an 80 percent bandwidth savings, and visitors and search engines are much happier with your website.
This little gem will help you with the all-important SEO element of content. Many of Google’s algorithm updates over the years have been directed at rewarding high-quality content with higher rankings. Squirrly SEO enables you to organize and track your content marketing strategy and shows you SEO statistics on a weekly basis.
Comprehensive in its scope, SEOPress covers areas such as titles, meta descriptions, meta robots, XML sitemap creation for search engines and HTML sitemaps to help your site visitors find what they’re looking for. It will also help you with links to social media accounts and can work with Google Analytics.
Hide SEO Bloat
This is actually an add-on for Yoast SEO. While Yoast SEO offers excellent features, not all users need all of these features. The settings page in Hide SEO Bloat lets you separate what features and reports you want to see from those you don’t, so you get a more tailored experience while using Yoast SEO.
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WooCommerce – All in One SEO Pack
The All in One SEO Pack is a popular WordPress SEO plugin that has been available since 2007, and it has over two million active users. This plugin extends its capabilities into the WooCommerce shopping cart solution. It enables you to access the features of All in One SEO Pack in your WooCommerce add or edit products screen. It helps with title, descriptions and keywords.
Get Your Website Found With WordPress SEO Plugins!
With thousands of plugins to choose from, finding the best ones that you actually need can be challenging. The list above consists of many popular plugins and some that are less well known. Because SEO is continually changing, you only want to use those plugins that are being actively updated by their publishers. A large existing user base is a good sign since a company is more likely to continue supporting a product that is being used by thousands or millions of customers.
The above list will give you an excellent starting point to supercharge your website’s rank. You will need to determine how badly you want to get ahead of your competition on the major search engines. Some SEO plugins are free, some are paid and many will have free and paid versions. Don’t underestimate how good many of the free plugins are. That being said, you generally get what you pay for, and WordPress SEO plugins are no exception to this rule. There is one thing that can be stated with absolute confidence. Whatever ails your site when it comes to SEO, some WordPress plugin publisher out there will have just the solution you need.
Tyler Horvath is an SEO Expert with over 15 years of experience in search engine optimization, popular blog author and WordPress SEO expert.