SEO is a key component in the success of a website. Creating pretty pages and articles is not enough, you need your website to be fast and easily read by bots. This means optimizing your keywords and meta descriptions, properly utilizing header tags to highlight important information, and making use of newer technologies such as Schema.
This could be quite daunting to those of you less experienced, but it doesn’t have to be. WordPress by itself is nicely configured for SEO, but we can (and should) take it further with plugins. There are so many to choose from so we’ve narrowed it down and picked our Top 5 Free WordPress SEO Plugins!
Benefits of Optimizing SEO
By making use of these plugins to optimize SEO, your website can stand out among the crowd, rank higher on Google and other search engines, bring in more social media traffic, and potentially be used in Google featured snippets.
Avoid These Common SEO Mistakes
When optimizing your website, there are many things to take into consideration and lots of common mistakes you should avoid. Here are a handful of those mistakes:
Now you know the common mistakes to avoid, let’s jump into what you shouldn’t avoid… these amazing WordPress SEO Plugins!
1. Rank Math
Kicking off this list is a plugin that has been dubbed the “Yoast SEO Killer” which should give you an idea of how impressive it is. Rank Math, much like Yoast SEO, is a do-it-all SEO plugin and then some. The list of features is endless with none of them locked behind any sort of pro version. There are some official extensions available as well which we found extremely useful, more on that a little below. Rank Math scores an impressive 4.9 out of 5 stars on WordPress.org and it’s thoroughly deserved.
Rank Math’s user interface and modern and very well designed. Plenty of options are colored codes, switching between tabs doesn’t require a page reload, and everything is easy to understand. It’s these small things that make a plugin that much nicer to use.
Rank Math Top Features
With such an impressive list of features, we were able to remove 5 plugins from our websites. Usually, we wouldn’t rely on just one plugin for so many things but the Rank Math team have been so consistent with updates, bug fixes, and support that it just made sense. Rank Math is essentially Yoast SEO but more optimized, more features, and a prettier interface!
Rank Math has some extensions, too! We’ve been making use of their Google Indexing API extension which allows us to ping Google, letting them know of changes made to articles so the search result can be updated. Results have been updated in just a few hours to display new descriptions, updated schema information (such as ratings), and more. Truly a wonderful feature!
Rank Math Ratings
2. All in One SEO Pack
All in One SEO Pack is one of the original WordPress SEO plugins which has been extremely well supported and updated with features as SEO strategies have changed. This plugin is tried and true for over 2 million WordPress websites and scores an average of 4.4 stars out of 5 on WordPress.org. The downside compared to Rank Math is that some potentially key features are only available in the Pro version. This includes WooCommerce support and SEO for categories, tags, and custom taxonomies.
We feel that the user interface is the weakest point of this plugin. Whilst it is functional, it sure isn’t pretty. It just looks very dated. This could deter some people from installing the plugin but we’d still encourage them to try it.
All in One SEO Pack Top Features
Features are plentiful in the free version but, as we mentioned earlier, some are locked away in the Pro version. We’d recommend All in One SEO Pack to those of you who want an SEO plugin that is mature, highly rated, well supported, and beginner-friendly.
All in One SEO Pack Ratings
3. The SEO Framework
The SEO Framework is yet another all-in-one SEO solution for your WordPress website. It includes most of the features you’d expect and some additional features as a nice bonus. This great plugin is unbranded and has absolutely no nagging messages telling you to upgrade or unlock more features, something that lots of plugins do. It’s also AI-driven meaning it can fill in metadata automatically based on how you’ve configured your website, a great feature indeed. The SEO Framework scores 4.9 out of 5 stars on WordPress.org and has over 100,000 active installations! Let’s see what it looks like.
As you can see, The SEO Framework is very nicely designed. It is modern, non-obtrusive, and color codes your scores on the posts page. This plugin is suitable for beginner and advanced users alike. Big thumbs up to the team!
The SEO Framework Top Features
The SEO Framework has most of the essentials you would need with some extra features available to purchase as extensions. If you are wanting to optimize local SEO specifically, you’ll have to get a premium subscription at $99/year which is a hard sell as Rank Math has this feature for free. The other paid extensions are also available for free in other plugins.
The SEO Framework Ratings
4. Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP
Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP is by far the best plugin to manage Schema markup on your WordPress website. It has an amazing amount of features for free with paid extensions available to fill in any gaps. Whilst the above plugins include Schema markup, we’d suggest disabling that functionality and using this instead, it really is an important part of SEO and should be handled with a dedicated plugin. This plugin scores an impressive 4.7 out of 5 stars on WordPress.org and it definitely deserves it!
Note that this is not an all-in-one SEO solution like the 3 plugins above, it is only for managing Schema markup. You should use this in combination with other plugins such as Rank Math, The SEO Framework, and All in One SEO Pack. Many other SEO plugins are supported as well.
The user interface is awesome, very modern and intuitive. We had no issues at all navigating through the options or adding new Schema markup.
Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP Top Features
Almost everything you would ever need for Schema markup is included here, with WooCommerce compatibility and recipe markup costing extra in the form of extensions. It really is a no-brainer, you should be using this plugin!
Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP Ratings
5. SEO Booster
Finally, we have SEO Booster! This plugin is not supposed to replace Rank Math, Yoast, or any other SEO plugin. It is a companion used for keyword purposes, mainly discovering keywords that you should use. SEO Booster scores 4.6 out of 5 stars on WordPress.org and rightfully so, it’s a great plugin!
The interface is a standard WordPress UI with an upgrade nag and a notice asking you to opt into some kind of email list which annoyingly cannot be hidden. Other than that, it’s fine.
SEO Booster Top Features
As you can tell, this is not a full-fledged SEO plugin but for those of you who want to discover valuable keywords, autolink words, find out which sites are linking to yours, see what search engines are sending traffic and for what keywords, monitor 404 errors, and track keyword performance. If you know how to make use of the data SEO Booster gives, you can really improve your rankings on search engines!
There are other nice features locked away in the Pro version to really unlock the power of this plugin. It is priced quite modestly at $47.88/year.
SEO Booster Ratings
That concludes our list! Did we miss any plugins out? Which are you using? Leave a comment below and tell us your favorites!