As you probably know, SEO is the talk of the decade. While the end goal of most SEO strategies is to increase organic traffic to a website, there are several other reasons to optimize your website.

This is where plugins come in.

SEO plugins help you simplify SEO and save time. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an SEO expert; plugins are necessary.

This post focuses more on plugins that are either created or compatible with WordPress websites, and this is because, when it comes to making your sites rank on the first page of Google, having a WordPress site takes you steps closer to your goal.

SEO plugins are your best bet for self-managing your website’s optimization, but how do you choose? This post selects the best WordPress SEO plugins you need for 2024.

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What are plugins?

Plugins, also called ‘add-ons‘ or ‘extensions,’ generally refer to a software component that is made to enhance or add to the functionalities of an existing computer program without altering the program’s initial function(s).

Basically, you can add functions to a computer program without affecting the program.

When it comes to SEO plugins, the main focus is to be able to assist the content management system by expanding its SEO functionalities.

SEO plugins are extensions installed in a browser, software, or content management system like WordPress that allows for an expansion of function or the performance of specific and technical optimization tasks that the program cannot perform.

How do plugins work?

Most plugins use a programming interface (API) to attach themselves to a computer program. 

This API allows the plugins to access and control functions on the existing program and carry out their specific functions.

However, plugins will not work without an existing program with which it is compatible.

What to consider when selecting a plugin

  • Compatibility: If you are downloading and installing a plugin, it is important to check its compatibility with your site or the version of your content management system. Some plugins might require you to update your CMS before it can function properly.
  • Easy installation: Most WordPress SEO plugins are easy to install and use. However, you need to consider if there is backup support for the plugin and the possibility of using that plugin without support.
  • Cost: If you are just starting out as a blogger, I will advise you to stick to free or low-cost plugins. There are several WordPress SEO plugins that are free and with enough functionality to help you scale your SEO strategies.
  • The Plugin function(s): This is very important because your active installed plugins should be relevant to your website and SEO goals. For example, you have no business with a WooCommerce plugin if you do not have an online store.
  • Technical knowledge: Stick to plugins that are on par with your technical knowledge or, at the very least, have 24/7 customer support for when you’re stuck.

Why WordPress?

Besides the tons of search engine-optimized themes available, it can load web pages faster and optimize for mobile devices. The SEO plugins in WordPress are specific to their platform. This means that you do not have to worry about the plugin being compatible with your website.

These WordPress SEO plugins help improve your SEO game without requiring you to be tech-savvy.  

Most of these plugins are easy to install, compatible with all kinds of websites (e-commerce, blog, vlogs, educational, etc.), and include paid and free versions.

Why do you need a plug-in for WordPress?

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There are several in-built features embedded in WordPress accounts that help to optimize your sites for search engines. 

However, there is a limit to their functionalities, and there might also be a need to add extra features depending on your optimization goals.

More powerful extensions can be added to your website to help carry out specific SEO functions.

It is possible to optimize your sites and rank well on search engines without plugins, but that also means that you are a step behind those who use a plugin.

The best thing to do is install a beginner-friendly free WordPress SEO plugin. This way, it doesn’t cost you capital, and you get to enjoy the benefits of an SEO plugin, albeit limited.

Aspects of SEO that you need plug-ins for

There are different reasons you’ll need WordPress SEO plugins aside from visibility and organic traffic.

You’ll also need SEO for:

  • Website crawling
  • XML Sitemaps
  • Media optimization
  • Snippet featuring
  • Broken link checking
  • Caching
  • Redirection
  • Backlinking
  • Social media SEO
  • Google AMP SEO
  • Others

These various aspects are like the SEO needs that you need to consider when selecting the plugin to use for your website.

21 Best WordPress SEO Plugins you need

Yoast SEO 

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This particular plugin is one of the most popular plugins among WordPress users, which helps with both on-page and off-page site optimization.

As effective and versatile as the Yoast plugin is, it is also beginner-friendly. This plugin is best for your websites to rank higher in search engines. 

The plugin appears on each post and reviews your content while also giving suggestions on how you can improve each blog post for search engines.

These suggestions include keywords and readability and show how your page will appear on Google’s SERPs when uploaded on the net.

The fantastic thing about Yoast is that the free version contains all the necessary functions needed to have a fully optimized post.

Key Features of Yoast SEO plugin

  • Content analysis
  • Readability analysis
  • Schema blocks
  • Google preview
  • Automated technical SEO 
  • Automatic XML generator
  • Fast site loading speed

In addition to all these goodies, the Yoast plugin also comes with several extensions compatible with the free version, including WooCommerce SEO, Yoast video SEO, and Yoast local SEO, among a few others.

All in One SEO (AIOSEO)

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Prioritizing user experience, AIOSEO is the best plugin for higher rankings and increasing your site’s traffic. 

As the name implies, it goes beyond just optimizing your site but starts right from website set-up and into everything needed for search engine optimization. It also contains functions that help to uncover new SEO growth opportunities.

AIOSEO is an easy yet powerful SEO plugin that effortlessly integrates with other important tools and social media platforms.

It is user-friendly, beginner-friendly, and incredibly easy to install. When you install the AIOSEO, it automatically generates all the necessary features, which you can later customize in the settings.

Key Features of the AIOSEO

  • Easy installation
  • Comes with a marketing toolkit
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Optimized for several search engines
  • XML sitemaps
  • Optimized search appearance
  • Social media integration
  • Schema markup for SEO
  • Optimized SEO meta title
  • Optimized SEO meta description
  • 404 error page monitoring
  • Redirection management
  • Can integrate with other plugins, including speed and caching plugins

Rank Math

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Named the first WordPress SEO plugin to use artificial intelligence (AI) and one of the fastest-growing SEO plugins, it is also the plugin of choice to increase site traffic while saving time.

The free version of Rank Math offers more SEO features than any other plugin’s unpaid version and provides features that will otherwise be paid for in other plugins. The paid version also contains AI content analysis, which is peculiar to this plugin, alongside SEO rank tracking.

Using the Rank Math plugin, you can import data from previous plugins to avoid data loss when converting. This plugin can be used instead of AIOSEO and not together to prevent conflict plugin. 

Like the AIOSEO, it contains all the features necessary to have a fully optimized post and site on several search engines besides Google.

In a WordPress review, it was said that the features of Rank Math are so numerous that if you need any SEO function to optimize your site, Rank Math probably has it, i.e., they cover everything and anything SEO.

This is arguably one of the best WordPress SEO plugins ever!

Key Features of Rank Math

  • Easy installation
  • Simple and well-designed user interface
  • Ability to disable unwanted  modules
  • Loading speed optimization
  • Quick customer support
  • Add meta title and meta description
  • XML sitemap 
  • Schema markup
  • Google Search Console integration
  • Controlled access to features
  • Local SEO

SchemaPro

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SchemaPro is a plugin that allows you to add schema.org structured data markup automatically to WordPress sites in the recommended format. 

This optimizes your content and improves how Google presents it on its result page. This process helps sites to enhance their ranking and the way they appear on search engines. 

Although most plugins have in-built schema markups that provide the same function, you might want to consider SchemaPro if you need more variety of schema types.

The SchemaPro also simplifies adding schema markups to posts.

Key Features of SchemaPro

  • Easy to install
  • Runs in the background
  • Enable several schema types
  • Google Structured Data Testing tool
  • Recommended structured data markup by Google
  • Free plugin extensions
  • Compatible with several plugins

XML Sitemaps plugin

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When it comes to indexing your site, this plugin does it better. It creates a special XML sitemap that will help search engines index your site better.

It lets the crawlers get a complete and simplified view of your website’s structure and also retrieves this information completely and easily.

If you understand the importance of site indexing and how it makes it easy for Google to crawl and index your web pages, you will discover that this sitemap is one of the most necessary WordPress SEO plugins to have.

Key Features of XML Sitemaps

  • It supports several WordPress-generated pages.
  • Notifies search engines of new content
  • It does not affect the website
  • Custom XML site sheet
  • Add or remove posts from the sitemap

SEOPress

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This is another plugin that must be included when talking about the best WordPress SEO plugins because it is easy, efficient, and powerful. It contains features similar to other plugins, including adding meta titles, meta descriptions, redirection, and XML sitemaps.

Installation is easy, and it is suitable for beginners and advanced SEO experts. If you are looking for a simplified plugin that addresses your SEO needs, you might want to consider SEOPress, although it has limited features compared to Rank Math, Yoast, and AIOSEO.

Key Features of SEOPress

  • Installation wizard
  • XML sitemaps
  • HTML sitemaps
  • SERP preview for mobile and desktop
  • Social media previews
  • Redirections
  • Content analysis
  • Google and Bing Instant Indexing
  • Optimized titles and descriptions
  • Image SEO

MonsterInsights

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Ever thought of being able to access your site’s analytics quickly on your WordPress dashboard? The MonsterInsight plugin allows you to easily install Google Analytics on WordPress and access it on your WordPress dashboard.

It shows all the details found in Google Analytics and includes eCommerce SEO which shows the progress of your products.

Personally, this is one of the active WordPress SEO plugins that I use for my website, and it has made SEO easy for me.

Key Features of MonsterInsights

  • WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration
  • eCommerce add-on
  • Easy installation
  • Real-time stats
  • Ads and Affiliate link tracking
  • Headline analyzer
  • Google Analytics AMP
  • Performance tracking

SEO Framework

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Are you looking for the best SEO plugin without ads? SEO framework focuses on increasing site speed and optimizing content for search engines. It is fast, lightweight, and visually appealing to its users.

The user interface is flexible and organized to make navigation easy for users and gives easy access to most SEO functions compared to other plugins.

Key Features of SEO Framework

  • User-friendly interface
  • Compatible with several extensions
  • Spam comments extension
  • Preconfigured SEO settings

Slim SEO

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Compared to other WordPress SEO plugins, the unique selling point of Slim SEO is in its automation. It can automatically generate meta tags, schema markup, redirections, and sitemaps.

The downside to Slim SEO is that it cannot do an on-page SEO analysis, but you can configure how your content will appear on social media.

Key Features of Slim SEO

  • Automatic generation of several SEO functions
  • Redirects for author pages
  • Modification and sharing option for contents
  • Easy configuration
  • Addition of custom codes to headers and footers.

WP Optimize

WP Optimize is an all-in-one plugin, unlike some other WordPress SEO plugins that helps you optimize your website for search engines. It helps you with website caching, database optimization, and even image optimization as well.

The WP Optimize WordPress SEO plugin also helps with deferring CSS and Javascripts for fast loading time.

This plugin works for WordPress versions 4.5 and above.

Key Features of WP Optimize

  • Database cleanup
  • Website Caching
  • Image compression

a3 Lazy Load

The main goal of this particular plugin is to assist with site speed, which can be hugely affected by large-sized images and the time it takes to load.

a3 Lazy Load is a WordPress plugin that helps you lazy load your images. This means that images will only be loaded when they are needed, which can improve your website’s loading times.

This plugin has over 100,000+ active installations and is compatible with WordPress versions above 5.6.

Key Features of a3 Lazy Load

  • support different image format
  • Support WebP images
  • Video lazy load feature
  • customizable loading behavior
  • Mobile-focused
  • Backup support

Ahref’s SEO Plugin

Ahrefs is a well-known SEO tool that can help you track your website’s backlinks, keyword rankings, and competitors.

The Ahref’s SEO plugin for WordPress allows you to integrate Ahrefs’ data into your WordPress dashboard.

It combines your website’s data from Ahref. Google Analytics and Google’s Search Console data show you how your posts are performing based on specific keywords.

If you are looking for one of the best WordPress SEO plugins that helps you with content and build your backlink profile, then this is for you.

Key Features of Ahref’s SEO Plugin

  • Content auditing
  • Backlink tracking
  • Rank monitoring
  • Competitor research
  • Performance score
  • GA and GSC integration

Broken Link Checker

Described as the “fastest and most accurate” broken link checker on WordPress, this SEO plugin helps you find and fix broken links on your website.

Broken links can negatively impact your website’s SEO, so it is important to fix them as soon as possible. The 700,000+ active installations for this plugin show how necessary this plugin is.

Key Features of Broken Link Checker

  • Automatic scanning
  • Detailed broken link reporting
  • Advanced search filtering
  • Select link-checking engines
  • Email notifications
  • Edit or unlink broken links

WPSmush

WPSmush is one of the most important WordPress SEO plugins that help you optimize your images for the web. WPSmush can automatically compress your images without sacrificing quality, convert your images to WebP format and also resize your images.

All these can help to improve your website’s loading times and SEO.

WP Smush has over 1,000,000 active installations on WordPress and has won the Plugin Madness Champion awards twice.

Key Features of WPSmush

  • Gutenberg Block Integration
  • Automatic image optimization
  • Built-in lazy loading
  • Background optimization
  • Image format conversion
  • Image size reduction
  • Incorrect Image Size Detection
  • All media optimization

Elementor

Elementor is the best WordPress page builder used by over 5 million people. It allows you to create beautiful and responsive websites without writing any code.

Key Features of Elementor

  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Wide range of widgets (40+)
  • Responsive designs
  • Template library
  • Multiple language support

Imagify

Imagify is a WordPress plugin that helps you optimize your images for search engines. Imagify is an advanced plugin that allows you to optimize your images with a single click and just like the WPSmush plugin, it does not sacrifice quality as well.

Key Features of Imagify

  • Bulk image optimization
  • Image compression
  • Image resizing
  • Image file format conversion
  • Automatic image optimization
  • WebP conversion

JetPack

Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that includes a number of features to help you improve your website’s SEO security. It also helps to grow your traffic and back-up your website.

Jetpack also has features that support quality website performance, including image optimization features, site speed, and eCommerce features.

Key Features of JetPack

  • Automatic site security
  • Automatic backup
  • Site change details
  • Examine incoming traffic
  • Anti-spam features
  • Sitemap generation and submission
  • Social sharing buttons
  • Automated-Related posts display

LuckyWP Table of Contents

LuckyWP Table of Contents plugin automatically generates optimized tables of contents for your blog posts/pages.

This can help to improve the readability of your posts, and it can also help to make them more scannable for visitors.

Key Features of LuckyWP Table of Contents

  • Automatic & optimized TOC
  • Customizable TOC
  • Color themes
  • Smooth scroll

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create an online store and customize it to fit your brand’s aesthetic and purpose. It also makes it easy to sell and buy products/services online.

Key Features of WooCommerce

  • Customizable storefront
  • Product catalog management
  • Payment processing
  • Integration with payment platforms
  • Shipping option configuration

Contact Form by WPForms

Contact Form by WPForms is a contact form builder plugin that allows you to create contact forms and other types of forms on your website.

Key Features of Contact Form by WPForms

  • Drag-and-drop form builder
  • Wide range of form fields
  • Customizable templates
  • Mobile friendly
  • Spam protection

SEO Squirrly

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SEO Squirrly is one of the few WordPress SEO plugins that are good for SEO beginners willing to optimize their content for search engines.

This plugin assists you in writing entirely optimized posts by giving suggestions as you write.

Key Features of SEO Squirrly

  • Real-time keyword optimization
  • Competitor analysis
  • Keeps data from previous plugins
  • Sharable content reports

Final Thoughts

A list that contains the best SEO plugins for WordPress can be relative because it may vary from individual perspectives and experiences. However, as earlier stated, there are some factors to consider when selecting your plugins.

It is also important to note that when using SEO plugins for your website, it is usually best to limit them as possible without compromising your SEO needs.

Why?

To avoid plugin conflict

When you have a bunch of plugins installed on your website, it can reduce your site’s loading speed. This doesn’t speak well to search engines and will make your website slip down in search results.

It will be challenging to select specific plugins as the best because your SEO needs can differ, so these explanations should help make your selection process a bit easier. 

READ ALSO: SEO writing | 10 proven tips on writing blog posts that rank on Google

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