Running a website is comprised of lots of aspects – apart from content creation, you have so many other things to take care of.
One such thing is SEO – search engine optimization – where you optimise your website and the content for search engines.
There are various aspects involved in SEO – optimising your website, your content, your landing pages, the speed, putting the right schema mark up, optimising images – the list goes on!
You cannot do all by yourself – by hand – not only that you will lack time, but you will need some special tools/set up to do certain things.
And if you are using WordPress, you are lucky because you have plugins that help you do these.
In this post I’ve listed 10 crucial SEO plugins for WordPress. Note that you don’t have to use ALL of these plugins.
Just pick the ones that suit you and the ones you need.
#1 WordPress SEO
Of course WordPress SEO by Yoast is the number one plugin in the list and it deserves that!
This plugin does all the heavy lifting for you when it comes to optimising your website and your content. It does a lot of things!
The plugin helps you write search engine optimised content. And it helps you with sitemap generation, editing your .htaccess file, editing your robots.txt file, cleaning up and changing permalink and much more!
The plugin has a premium option – but you get the most in free.
#2 SEO by Squirrly
Squirrly helps you with writing content for search engines. For this plugin to work for you, you don’t have to be an expert in SEO or have technical knowledge.
The live assistant helps you in real time to improve your content for search engines and people. The suggestions turn green as you optimise your content based on the suggestions.
You can also do keyword research right within the post editor page on your site.
Squirrly runs audits on your content and also provides you with analytics.
This plugin operates on a freemium model. The free plan will work for you if you want the plugin for 1 website and publish less than 5 posts per month.
If your requirement is above this, you will require their paid plan – $19.99 per month.
#3 SEO Ultimate
This plugin, just like WordPress SEO, does a lot of things.
You can edit meta titles and descriptions, you can monitor broken links (404) on your site, add rich-snippets, auto linking (deep linking), open graph support and much more.
The plugin developers do not encourage support on WordPress forums. Rather you will need to upgrade to their pro plan – SEO Ultimate+ – to receive dedicated support.
SEO Ultimate+ costs $49 for use on a single site, or $89 for use up to 5 sites.
#4 All In One SEO Pack
All In One SEO Pack is the classic SEO plugin for WordPress. It used to be very popular and is still a popular plugin – though the arrival and growth of WordPress SEO has its impact on this plugin.
Nevertheless, it is still a widely used and highly useful SEO plugin.
The beauty of this plugin is that you don’t need any expertise to set it up. If you are a newbie, you just have to install the plugin and leave it.
But if you are an expert user and can set up the plugin’s features, the plugin allows complete flexibility on that too!
You can handle meta data, Sitemap, SEO integration for e-commerce sites, Canonical URLs, custom post types and much more with this free plugin!
SEOPressor is a premium SEO plugin though its pricing is quite cheap and reasonable.
It costs $9/month for unlimited domain installations – which I find quite affordable for what it does.
The plugin provides on-page analysis which you can use when creating content – if you fulfil the suggestions, you can greatly improve your content for search engines and people.
And you get semantic keyword suggestions that you can include in your content – this will boost your content’s discoverability for long tail and semantic keywords.
Schema helps you to set up schema markup on your site the right way so you can boost your visibility in search.
The plugin is not at all complicated to set up. In fact you can set it up and forget – not much settings.
If you use custom post types or custom categories, it is enough if you enable the schema mark up once for each post type.
If you are using other SEO plugins you can reuse the post meta data stored in that plugin’s database.
This is a must have plugin if you want to set up schema right!
#7 W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is obviously a caching plugin that helps speed up your site.
Since the loading speed of your website highly affects your sites’ search engine presence, this is a crucial SEO plugin for your WordPress website.
The plugin is highly recommended by big hosting companies like Synthesis, MediaTemple, Page.ly, Hostgator and many more.
When fully configured the plugin promises a 10 times improvement in speed and better scores in Y Slow and Google Page Speed.
I don’t have to say that increasing the loading speed directly affects how long people stay on your site and how many more pages they explore – this is a great way to reduce your blog’s bounce rate!
#8 SEO Image Toolbox
Optimising images is a great share of SEO that most bloggers miss.
For one, images play a very crucial role in engaging readers with your content.
Having images on your content highly increases its readability and makes your content more likely shareable in social media.
Second, images act as additional information – in cases where you have to add screenshots in tutorials and show people how to do stuff.
Third, images can give you an edge in image search, if optimised properly.
Fourth, you can easily promote your content in image focused social media platforms like Pinterest, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
With images you can get HTML validation errors and SEO Image Toolbox can help you with that by creating SEO Image tags.
Also this plugin automatically adds Alt tags to your images!
#9 Open Graph Protocol Framework
Open Graph is a protocol that makes your website rich in social graph.
And this plugin takes care of setting up Open Graph Protocol for your website without you having to worry about coding or anything.
You don’t even have to do any specific settings. Just install the plugin and activate it.
You will find that proper open graph titles are added to titles, images, urls, site name etc.
#10 WP Smush – Image Optimization
This plugin helps reduce the load on loading images on your website.
If you upload raw images (like photos, screenshots etc.) to your WordPress website (to insert in posts), not only they will be heavy in size (occupying space) but also will make your site load slow with each page load.
This is because, those heavy images have to be served to you. This also increases in bandwidth consumption (wasted bandwidth).
To avoid this, images need to be optimised (reduced in size) so as to make your site load fast and save bandwidth.
This plugin automatically does this for you.
Not only does this plugin reduces the file size but also you can specify image size so that each image can be resized without losing quality.
Choose the SEO plugins for your WordPress website!
As I said, you don’t have to use all these plugins.
But you certainly need more than one plugin from this list – because you have SEO plugins for content optimization, image optimization, speed optimization and optimising your content for social media.
Go ahead try out these plugins and find the ones that fit you!