WordPress is a super user-friendly (and free!) open-source blogging tool as well as a content management system, giving users the flexibility to amend websites without incurring developer costs. As of December 2012, over 70 million sites were powered by WordPress.
What is a WordPress Plugin?
A WordPress plugin is essentially an add-on for any WordPress site. Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything – from contact forms and spam prevention to widgets and SEO. Plugins are quick and easy to install and are often free.
At the time of writing WordPress had over 23,000 plugins, totaling 420million downloads.
Why Use WordPress Plugins for SEO?
Although WordPress out of the box sites are typically user and search engine-friendly, to complete an SEO project effectively, sites will usually require a number of development changes. Plugins provide a quick and easy (and free!) way to make the development changes necessary to optimise your site for search engines.
Whether you are using WordPress for your business website or for your blog, you should consider using plugins to manage the SEO aspect of your site. With that in mind, we’ve scoured the web and racked the experts brains to find the best wordpress SEO plugins.
Best WordPress SEO Plugin: WordPress SEO By Yoast
WordPress SEO By Yoast is by far the most comprehensive WordPress SEO plugin that we have come across, and not surprisingly it is also the most popular with 3.6million downloads and an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5. This might end up being your only WordPress SEO plugin as it is a great all-rounder for standard SEO tasks, such as updating metadata, editing your robots.txt file, integrating social sharing and XML sitemaps.
It’s not just us at Loom that love Yoast’s SEO Plugin, web development studio, BigSpring(@bigspringweb)are also fans:
“Our favourite SEO plugin by far for WordPress is WordPress SEO by Yoast. It’s packed with great features, but being able to automate titles and descriptions based on a template whilst also offering page by page (or post by post) overrides gives a huge amount of flexibility and usability for all levels of content administrators. If you’re not already using it, you should!”
WordPress SEO By Yoast Key Facts:
Author: Joost de Valk Downloads: 3,687,477 Star Rating: 4.7/5 Cost: free! What Users are Saying:
“AWESOME! MUST HAVE! Really struggled with SEO in the past, but this made it super easy and VERY EFFECTIVE! I’m getting MUCH more hits and visitors on my sites since using this plugin. A MUST HAVE for all WordPress Website Owners! Thanks and keep up the good work!”
“It does everything. I’ve used all of the SEO plugins but nothing beats Yoast’s. It does everything”
Best WordPress SEO Plugin for Image Optimisation: SEO Friendly Images
After Google released its new streamlined image search, it became even more important for websites to add the correct metadata to each image on the site. Having descriptive image meta data now not only helps your images to rank well, but it also makes the site look well organised and improves the click through rate.
This SEO plugin automatically adds image alt and image title tags to all the images on your site, saving you from manually uploading the data. Just install the plugin and adjust your settings to feed the plugin the information you want to associate with each image. Great for large, image-heavy sites.
SEO Friendly Images Key Facts:
Author: Vladimir Prelovac Downloads: 903,705 Star Rating: 4/5 Cost: Free! What Users are Saying:
“Essential for Images. Better to use than WordPress’ default image settings.”
“Plug-in Works. Plug-in did just as it said it would. Thanks!”
Best WordPress SEO Plugin for Content Marketing: Scribe SEO
Scribe SEO is a plugin designed for online content creators. It is an all in one package enabling content marketers to conduct in-depth research on potential article topics. From topic research to content optimisation to connecting with bloggers and social media users, this plugin guides you through the whole content marketing process.
After using the research tool to discover content opportunities, Scribe then enables you to quickly and easily check the alignment of your writing to the content on your site. So you can be sure that your content marketing stays in line with the rest of your site.
Finally, once the article is on your site Scribe’s Site Connector tool provides a simple way to connect with bloggers and social media users that might be interested in featuring your content.
The only downside is the cost. It will cost you a minimum of $97 per month to use this plugin.
Scribe SEO Key Facts:
Author: Copyblogger Media Downloads: 68,622 Star Rating: 3.1/5 Cost: From $97 – $247 per month What Users are Saying:
“My business depends on getting found for the right terms in social media and search engines. Scribe makes it easy to optimize my web content quickly, so I can get back to doing what matters – growing my business.”
“Scribe works wonders! It automates content marketing processes that otherwise take my time.”
Best WordPress SEO Plugin for Local Search: Local Search SEO Contact Page
This is a great WordPress SEO Plugin for ensuring that your contact page is fully populated with everything you need. Populating this page with as much information as possible is thought to help improve your local rankings in the search engine results pages.
Simply populate your business contact details in the plugin settings and this information will be pulled through to your content page and presented professionally.
Local Search SEO Contact Page enables users to quickly and easily populate contact pages with address, opening hours, telephone number, social media buttons, QR codes, payment methods Google Map and much more.
Local Search SEO Contact Page SEO Key Facts:
Author: ExpertBusinessSearch Downloads: 9,586 Star Rating: 4.4/5 Cost: Free! What Users are Saying:
“What Else Could You Want? This works exactly the way one would anticipate a “Local Search” plugin to work. Its simple, easy to use, and leaves very little to the imagination.”
Best WordPress SEO Plugin for Traffic & Conversion Analysis: Google Analyticator
This tool embeds your Google analytics dashboard into your WordPress CMS, enabling you to update your site and monitor your traffic on the same platform.
The dashboard shows WordPress users key facts about the traffic to their site over the last 30 days, including a summary of site usage, top pages, top referrers and the top searches.
Google Analyticator Key Facts:
Author: Video User Manuals Downloads: 2,309,863 Star Rating: 3.6/5 Cost: Free! What Users are Saying:
“Easy and painless! Easy and painless, you don’t need to be a genious to install it. 2 minutes you have working on your website”
“Good but can’t customize widget. This is a good plug-in, unfortunately it doesn’t shows today, yesterday, etc statistics. Instead of that it shows a chart, we can’t check that chart statistics. Moreover we can’t customize the dashboard widget, it shows, top referral, top posts etc we can’t remove them”