If you are using WordPress.org (we are not discussing WordPress.com in this post) and you want to get better search engine ranking to boost your traffic, you may be looking for ways to optimize your site by using plugins. Did you know that some plugins work better than others in increasing your site’s credibility? Instead of loading your site with all sorts of plugins, here are the top 11 best SEO plugin for WordPress that you must have on your site right now.
- Yoast SEO
- Broken Link Checker
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer
- a3 Lazy Load
- WP Super Cache
- WP Rocket
- Easy Table of Contents
- WP Review Pro
- Really Simple SSL
Personally, it took me a while to get accustomed to plugins. At first, I did not know what plugins were. I realized the importance of plugins in getting the traffic I needed through better ranking. One of the reasons why an online business fails is due to a lack of traffic.
How many WordPress plugins are there?
If you are curious like me, you may be wondering how many WordPress plugins are there. There seems to be a lot and new plugins keep coming up all the time. That shows the demand and the market for plugins as users apply them for different functionality in the online business.
To get an accurate amount of available plugins out there, go to wordpress.org and you will instantly see the numbers on the home page. At the time of this writing, there is a total of 54,459 available plugins.
Is WordPress the best for SEO?
According to W3Techs, WordPress dominates almost 63% of the world’s market share when it comes to the content management system (CMS). Below are the Top 10 CMS platform in the world in 2020 from W3Techs.
There are many different platforms where you can set up a site or a blog. Joomla and Shopify has recently emerged as one of the platforms of choice claiming due to the eCommerce boom. Wix is another platform that many people use. Therefore, with so many choices in the market, is WordPress the best for SEO?
It is debatable if SEO works best in WordPress. However, WordPress has many features that are optimized for SEO. WordPress is very customizable and you have plenty of choices to do pretty much what you want. The plugins are the key drivers that make this platform so popular and successful.
An example would be a WordPress theme called Socrates which has been installed in over 200,000 sites! This theme was designed to help online marketers succeed. The theme is clean, very responsive and has fast loading time which are features that search engine loves. What makes it even SEO friendly is the awesome plugins that are compatible with this theme.
Are the best SEO plugin on WordPress free?
WordPress plugins come in 3 different choices. With over 50,000 plugins and more updated regularly, these are the following options:
- Completely free
- Free but has a paid upgrade to access advanced features
- Paid plugins
Here are 11 best SEO plugin for WordPress that you must have right now:
(A) Overall SEO and Content Optimization
The first of the 11 best SEO plugin for WordPress that you must have is Yoast SEO. This plugin is the #1 recommended SEO tool right now. It provides the guidance you need to optimize your site’s SEO by giving feedback and recommendation on many technical elements. You can use these recommendations to tweak it for overall ranking in terms of content quality and readability. This is truly the hottest SEO plugin for WordPress in the market right now.
Rank Math is designed to enhance your website’s effectiveness in getting better placement in search engines. It is a toolbox of plug and plays apps that give you a holistic solution. You can create better content, analyze keywords, redirection, overlaying icons on social media and many more.
Those who do not want to install separate plugins for different functionality can choose it as their go-to choice.
(B) To Check Your Broken Link
One thing that Google does not like is broken links. Broken links are ‘dead’ links because the website you’re linking to has been removed. This can also happen when other people comment on your website and leave links which eventually becomes broken. Broken links create a negative impact on your site and eventually affect your ranking.
This is one of the 11 best SEO plugins for WordPress that you must have because it checks your entire site for broken links. It lets you know which links and images are missing and needs to be cleaned up or removed. It helps to keep your site clean and SEO friendly which contributes to your overall website optimization.
(C) To Make Your Site Load Faster
ShortPixel Image Optimizer (Free with 100 image credits a month and upgrade version of $4.99 for 5000 image credits)
Site loading time is a very important factor for search engines. A slow-loading website will not be able to retain visitors. The fewer visitors you have on your site, the less optimized your site is for a good ranking. One of the biggest culprits that cause your site to load slower is the size of images that you use on your site.
ShortPixel helps to shrink your image sizes to an optimal level. Once you install ShortPixel, not only does it help to resize your current images but also your past images as well. Having the right image size will help boost your SEO and help make your site effective.
Another one of the 11 best SEO plugins for WordPress that you must have is called a3 Lazy Load. The a3 Lazy Load plugin is superb for those who want their images to load as they gradually scroll down the site. This provides a seamless experience to the user as opposed to waiting for the entire images to be loaded before it appears on the site page. Mobile users, especially those browsing with a poor internet connection may experience challenges viewing the full site page because the images take time to load even after being optimized. Therefore, having an add on like this plugin ensures that not only your site loading time is optimized for desktop users but also mobile.
(D) To Ensure Your Website Is Cached At Optimal Level
Cache is important for SEO because it gives the search engine the entire picture of what your site is all about. When a search engine like Google sees your site, it does not see the design elements, color, etc of your site. Instead, the cache provides a naked view of your sites such as the content and the keywords. This helps Google decide if the page is worth indexing. Therefore, managing your cache is very important for online enhancement purposes.
The WP Super Cache plugin is one of the best plugins out there for caching purposes. This plugin takes a complicated technical task and makes it simple for the user. It does not take a lot of server space and it integrates seamlessly with WordPress theme.
Another powerful caching plugin to improve your site speed is WP Rocket without the need to upgrade your server or hosting. The difference with the paid version is just the number of sites that you will be allowed to use the plugin and the number of years you can use the plugin.
(E) Increase Ranking By Using This SEO Plugin To Create Great Snippets For Your Content
Table of contents allows Google to display snippets that can help generate a higher ranking. The table of content helps the search engine by summarizing key points or a long list in a more compact and structured manner. It improves the readability of your website and search engines like that. This plugin makes creating a table of contents much simpler and automated. If you need something easy that you can manage with a few clicks or you’re just beginning to get to know plugins and starting with WordPress, this is perfect for you.
Schema is a structured data that tells the search engine what your page is all about. Schema is turned into rich snippets which is an overview or summary of the core content of your site so that it appears as an organized way in the search results. These snippets garner a lot of search engine traffic because it enhances your click-through rate. This type of structured microdata attracts visitors because they can find out what they are looking directly from the search results.
WP Review Pro is an all-rounder plugin that not only manages different types of schema (14 to be exact!) but also helps to create review like snippets where you have the option to insert multiple rating displays. This is a top plugin for you to have on your site.
(F) Protect Your Site
This plugin helps to move your site to SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) mode with ease. When your site is moved to an SSL mode, it is protected through encryption and authentication. This is a fundamental factor that indicates a few things:
- Your site is safe and secure for visitors
- Login id and password cannot be easily stolen
- Loading time is faster. Sites with SSL (https) typically loads faster than non-SSL sites.
- Provides credibility to your site
For a search engine like Google, site security is extremely important and any site that is still running on Http will be viewed negatively and deemed as unsafe.
Really Simple SSL plugin is easy to use, it changes your site URL settings and your old Http URLs will be redirected to the new https ones. Additionally, this plugin will also check your site to ensure that it is set up is the most optimized way.
When it comes to your website security, you can never take chances. Another great security plugin that you can use is WordFence. This plugin can not only find security-related issues but can also fix them. It blocks malware, viruses, fake crawlers, dangerous IP crawlers and many more threats to your website. The free version is good enough but if you want more real-time advanced features, you can upgrade to the premium version. Having a reputable plugin will make the search engines love your site even more
How do plugins work on WordPress?
WordPress is created in a way that allows customization. Plugins are an app that is stored in the WordPress database. This allows the plugin to integrate with the platform and able to change any functionality of the site like content, custom fields, etc. Once you install and activate a plugin, the software is launched through the database and the user will get to experience the functionally of the plugin.
How many of these 11 best SEO plugin for WordPress that you must have is installed in your WordPress?
With literally thousands of plugins, you will not use all of them. In this case, how many are too many? Do plugins slow down WordPress?
While you may be tempted to install as many plugins as you can and play around with all the cool functionalities that it has, it may not be necessary because not all plugins perform at the same quality and quite frankly, you don’t need all of them.
You don’t want to be installing too many plugins at once as it might mess up your site especially when you start enabling all sorts of its function in the setting area. Just install one plugin at a time and see how it works with your site. If the plugin is working fine then you can install another. That way, if something wrong happens, you can trace back to the exact plugin that may be causing that problem.
The biggest factor that will affect your site’s performance is not the number of plugins that you use but the quality of it. What do I mean by quality? In the simplest clarification, a low-quality plugin is defected, not updated and simply not compatible with your theme or other plugins. This results in interference and it decreases the site performance.
How do I choose a good quality plugin?
If you’re thinking it’s going to be a challenge to get quality plugins that will not affect your site’s performance, it is not that difficult. Go to the source by downloading what you need from WordPress.org. Getting it straight from the site will give at least assure you that these apps are vetted to ensure that they are good enough to be used without causing any issue.
When it comes to buying third-party plugins or premium plugins, make sure you get it from a reputable developer. Go through the review of the product and find out the number of times it has been installed or sold.
How can I tell what plugins a WordPress site is using?
First of all, why would I even want to know what plugins a WordPress site is using? For obvious reasons that you may like something that you saw on another site and wondered how was it done. You may even want to check on your competitor’s site and explore what is installed so that you can tweak your site’s performance and keep up with the competition.
There many different ways to check this but I’m just going to keep it simple and tell you the automated way of doing it. WordPress Plugin Checker is a good tool to use where you simply enter the website address and you will be shown a list of all the plugins that are actively being used.
SEO plays a very important part in the success of your website. These 11 best SEO plugin for WordPress that you must have will help you get better traffic. A site that is SEO optimized attracts organic visitors which is the ideal traffic that you can have. At the very least, the basic elements of a good site should be covered. If you have a WordPress site, get these plugins installed and use them. You won’t regret it!