Best WordPress SEO Plugins To Raise Your Ranking
WordPress has become one of the internet’s biggest driving forces. Starting as a humble blog platform, it has since evolved into the most popular CMS on the web. In fact, almost 30% of the entire internet uses WordPress to power their site. The platform owes its popularity partially to its flexibility, allowing site owners can adapt the platform in countless ways.
For site owners, a compelling perk of WordPress is its compatibility with search engine optimization. With over 50,000 plugins in their official directory, a good chunk of them are SEO trackers. With SEO earning non-negotiable status in digital marketing, now is the best time to see where you stand. In today’s blog, we’ll show you some of the most popular SEO plugins on WordPress.
The Yoast SEO plugin is one of the most popular and widely used SEO tools available. It offers an easy way to analyse your content and make changes that will improve your rankings. You can also use this tool to create custom sitemaps, which help search engines crawl your website more efficiently.
Yoast SEO is free but also has a premium SEO pack. With over 4.5 million downloads, Yoast is intuitive and straightforward. Here are some of its most useful SEO features:
- Content Insights: Yoast SEO is a content writer’s dream come true.The SEO plugin monitors on-page factor, such as readability and keyword density. This readability analysis delivers a succinct breakdown of the “good”, “ok” and what “needs improvement” in a simple traffic light colour-code.
- Snippet Preview: Snippet preview gives users a sneak-peek at how their page appears in search engine results before going live. Yoast SEO provides a compact look at SEO titles, meta descriptions and slugs in a simple format at the bottom of the page. Do ensure to include your focus keyword in the snippet.
- XML Sitemaps: This advanced feature creates sitemaps. Yoast SEO has optimised sitemaps which are easy for web-crawling search engine bots to navigate, which directly boosts your SEO. Do ensure to submit these XMP sitemaps’ URLs to Google Search Console to ensure efficient crawling of your webpages.
- SEO Breadcrumbs: While XML sitemaps let bots traverse your site with ease, breadcrumbs simplify navigation for people. Yoast SEO breadcrumbs are positioned at the top of a page, showing the path of clicks taken to get to the current page.
WPtouch Mobile Plugin
In recent years, the importance of mobile SEO has exploded. With mobile-first indexing released, sites without mobile optimisation get rank penalties. An easy way for WordPress site users to get around this is to use the WPtouch Mobile Plugin. This plugin boasts incredible features that deliver amazing user experiences without having to write any code!
- Create A Mobile Version of your WordPress Site: This feature instantly boosts rankings if your site isn’t yet optimised. WPtouch creates a mobile-friendly version of your website, converting your desktop theme to the optimal format for on-the-go browsing.
- Customise The Mobile Viewing Experience: WPtouch lets you create the best look and feel for your mobile site. You can edit your mobile menu, nominate browsers you wish to support and more. It also gives users a speedier browsing experience that far exceeds desktop versions.
- Multi-Site Support: Even if your business is spread across multiple sites, WPtouch has you covered. With some packages supporting a large quantity of WordPress sites, you’ll get better value if you want extensive coverage.
If the shift towards mobile SEO has you worried, don’t be! Check out our previous blog on mobile-first indexing and see what it might mean for you. You still have time to catch up!
With over 1.2 million active installs, WP Rocket is an all-in-one solution for boosting your site’s performance. Its unique approach to speeding up websites makes it a great choice for those who don’t have much technical knowledge or time to spend on optimising their sites.
WP Rocket’s main focus is on page speed optimisation, which is handled through a suite of powerful features. These include speeding up load times by improved caching, image lazy loading, script minification, compressing images and removing unused CSS and JS files, and combining similar stylesheets.
Page speed is a crucial aspect of SEO. With the help of WP Rocket, you can boost your site’s performance by up to 30%.
- Improved caching: Website caching speeds up page load times for repeated visitors as stored copies of downloaded files are stored in the cache. WP Rocket’s caching plugin function introduces a set of standard caching commands to your .htaccess file, specifying effective caching periods for various file types.
- Improving JS and CSS loading: JS and CSS make up a huge part of your website’s load times. WP Rocket assists to minify, combine, and defer these files without any technical knowledge on your part. Simply enable the settings and watch your page load times drop drastically.
- Lazy loading images: Images that are loaded below the fold might delay the initial elements of your web page from being loaded. WP Rocket’s lazy loading function assists to prevent these images from being loaded till a user scrolls to them or when more critical resources have already being loaded.
The Schema plugin allows you to add structured data markup to your pages. Structured data helps search engines understand what content is available on your site, so they can provide more relevant results. While not visible to the casual user of your website, search engine crawlers easily access and understand schema markup.
Structured data markup is added to your posts and pages using a simple short code. It adds a number of attributes to your post/page title, description, author, date, categories, tags… etc. Typically created in JSON format for easy and predictable indexing by search engine bots, schema markup is a powerful tool in the hands of a skilled marketer.
Examples of common schema markup used on websites include: organization, local business, product, review, breadcrumbs, sitelinks, and FAQs. Each of which have expected parameters and values to be used, failing which will lead to invalid data. As such, it certainly helps to have working knowledge of JSON or a helpful structured data tool such as the Schema plugin.
While there are several different plugins on WordPress for schema, this here is definitely a lightweight plugin perfect for those seeking fast deployment.
Header Footer Code Manager
Commonly referred to by its acronym – HFCM, this plugin empowers you to manage header and footer codes for each page. This includes adding custom code snippets, such as Google Analytics tracking code, social media sharing buttons, and schema codes.
A key feature of this plugin compared to its competitors is the flexibility offered. Users can easily choose whether to apply custom code snippets to all pages or single pages, and in the header or in the footer.
Additionally, you get to see and manage all custom code snippets from a single interface as opposed to individual pages’ backend. This makes the plugin the choice for novices looking to inject custom code snippets onto your web pages.
EWWW Image Optimiser
The EWWW Image Optimiser optimizes image elements by removing unnecessary metadata, compressing images, reducing their dimensions, and renaming them with an appropriate suffix. The plugin also removes duplicate images, and converts images into WebP format on the fly.
It does this by analysing the images on your website and then applies the necessary changes. You can either manually select the images to be modified, or let the plugin do it. We recommend setting the plugin to run and convert your images while you perform other activities as this can be a time consuming process.
Polylang lets you translate your entire website into multiple languages without having to touch a line of code. Simply install the plugin, activate the desired language(s), and start translating! You can use Polylang to create multilingual sites or simply translate existing ones. With over 20 languages supported out-of-the-box, there’s bound to be one that fits your needs.
Critically for SEO, Polylang automatically generates hreflang tags based on the languages selected on the backend. This is amazing for time constraint marketers who need an easy solution manage international SEO.
Monster Insights is a powerful Google Analytics plugin on WordPress with over 3 million downloads. As part of this plugin’s features, Monster Insights provides instant Google Analytics setup, including enhanced ecommerce tracking, while empowering A/B testing in Google Optimize.
Simply put, Monster Insights helps you find out how people reach your content, what they do once there, and where they go next. It provides insights into your audience’s behaviour, allowing you to improve your content strategy and drive conversions.
Google Analytics Setup: Instantly set up Google Analytics on your site with just one click.
Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking: Track purchases made on your site using Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking.
A/B Testing: Create different variations of your pages and test them against each other.
Unlimited Sites: Use Monster Insights on unlimited number of sites.
Advanced Reporting: Get detailed reports about your traffic
GD Security Headers
GD Security headers adds security headers to your WordPress website .htaccess file. These headers are added if the file extension matches any of the following extensions: gif, jpg, png, tif, bmp, svg, emf, wmf, pdf, jpeg, and jpg. Should your file extension match, then the following headers are activated:
- X-XSS Protection
- Strict Transport Security
- Content Security Policy
- Referrer Policy
- Feature Policy
While security headers do not directly impact your website’s SEO ranking, it can safeguard your website from suffering a cross script attack or hacking. This in turn prevents your website from being penalised by search engine crawlers.
Asset cleanup removes unused files from your server. It also cleans up old versions of files which have been deleted but still remain on your server. Asset cleanup is useful when you want to free up space on your server, especially after installing new plugins or themes.
A key feature of this plugin is the ability to turn on test mode and safely remove unused CSS or JS within this isolated environment. In particular, marketers can use this plugin to identify pages that do not actively require a plugin, and have the plugin deactivated for that page.
Overall, webmasters of complex sites will certainly appreciate the user friendly nature of the Asset Cleanup plugin.
WP Fastest Cache
Based on past optimisations done by WP Fastest Cache plugin, we have found this plugin to help with both caching and the overall time to first byte load.
Bonus SEO Tools To Try:
SEMrush is one of the most well-known SEO plugins. With an arsenal of features to track almost every metric you can think of, SEMrush puts you in charge. As far as features go, here are some of their best that make this platform a strong leader:
- Keep an eye on your competitors:If you’re eyeing off the competition, SEMrush gives you insight into their techniques. From keyword rankings, to cost-per-click, traffic volume and more – this SEO plugin lets you in on their secrets!
- Precisely monitor performance:Before you examine competitors, it’s a good idea to know where you stand. In SEMrush, you’re faced with a comprehensive overview screen. This gives you a look at your keyword performance, traffic growth and geographical insights.
- Reports in Real-Time:SEMrush features some of the most detailed report systems on the SEO plugin database. Its seamless integration into multiple platforms allows it to extract all the information you need to curate your strategy.
Ahrefs is a new player in the SEO plugin game. This rising star has outstanding depth to its features, which sets it apart from the rest. Because of this, it has become a favourite among technical SEO enthusiasts. Lets take a look at some of the best Ahrefs has to offer:
- Backlink Analysis: Ahrefs has a whole universe of links in their index, which they update every single day. Their total count exceeds one trillion links! The Site Explorer tool lets users keep track of all links to their site, which is essential for good link building practices.
- Create Keyword Ideas: The keyword database within Ahrefs is a hard act to follow. The platform pulls keywords in use from 170 countries, and contains over 6.1 billion keywords. This makes it all but unrivalled for depth of keyword research.
- Content Explorer: Using Ahrefs is like having a search engine within a search engine. With Content Explorer, users can search the web for content by topic. It ranks the content according to factors like social shares and backlinks. This, combined with Backlink Analysis, puts you in an advantageous position to garner even more backlinks!
Each SEO plugin we’ve nominated here has its own set of unique perks. Which one is right for you? That comes down to your goals, your current rankings, and where you’d rather be standing. Are you more worried about content, keywords, or backlinks? With so many options in the WordPress plugin directory, your research will pay off – literally. If you are looking to get a head start, then reach out to the leading SEO agency in Singapore – First Page Digital. Our SEO specialists have successfully driven huge amounts of organic traffic to WordPress websites for years. Find out first hand which are the best plugins on WordPress for SEO today!