Best WordPress SEO Plugins All Bloggers Need (And They’re Free!)

Here’s IFB’s roundup of the best WordPress SEO plugins on the market.

Best WordPress SEO Plugins

WordPress.org has a lot of great plugins to choose from that can help you enhance the features, speed, and functionality of your blog – and improve your blog's SEO.

If there is a tool available that makes life easier for you while improving your blog's search prowess – and it’s FREE – why not give it a try? Such is the case with the following handful of SEO-related plugins for WordPress that will do some work for you, while reminding you of ways to improve your site's search engine optimization.

As recommended before on IFB, check out The Beginner's Guide to SEO for some general rules of thumb to follow to boost important keywords in posts, tags, titles, and more.

All in One SEO Pack

Pretty much every blogger I know uses this. It's essentially the gold standard SEO plugin. If you don't have it yet, put it at the top of your list. FYI, I've been told that recent versions of WordPress already come with it installed as well.

What it does is deposit meta titles, meta descriptions, and keywords to search engines such as Google, to help with search and for potentially new readers out there to easily find your site.

Be sure to fill out the box toward the bottom of the post with the title, description and keywords to take the best advantage of the plugin; I found this guide helpful in explaining how to best work it to maximize the SEO benefits

WordPress SEO by Yoast

Bloggers seem to be equally devoted to this Yoast plugin, as it offers more functionality and help that can be applied to different levels of running a blog for better SEO power. It's basically a bunch of plugins combo'ed into one package.

It gives you a preview of how your content will look in search engines. It also makes sure your images have an alt tag containing the focus keyword, control which pages from your site go to Google, automatically makes XML sitemaps and notifies Google and Bing about them, Facebook integration, and more.

StatCounter

We all know about Google Analytics, but I tend to really like StatCounter. It gives you the rundown of pageloads, unique visits, first time visits, and return visits. It breaks it down by day, total count, and weekly average. StatCounter also includes an in-depth analysis of your last 500 page views.

The thing that I like best about it is that every Monday morning I get an email with all of the stats. I don't have to remember to click around and analyze them, I look at the posts that I put up on the days with the highest views, and make note of what the subject(s) were, keywords used. That way, I can learn even more about what is of most interest to my readers and perhaps further cater my content toward them in the future.

Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin creates a sitemap for your blog.

Don't know what a sitemap is? It's essentially a list of all of the pages (or posts) on a blog, and it's crucial for blogging success.

Sitemaps extract links and some text, so that a variety of search engines can index your site. This plugin does that, and automatically delivers your new content to the search engine once created. You don't have to have a Google account to use it. Just remember to register your site as your own and submit it to Google. That way, you'll be sure it's on their radar to index and rank it.

 What WordPress SEO Plugins are you using?

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on June 11th, 2013 by Julia Dinardo. It was updated on January 13th, 2018 by Laura Kell.

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56 Responses

  1. Asia Mays

    I have found that my traffic has increased because of the WordPress SEO plug-in and it is most useful! Great post. Looking into these other plugins as we speak!

    Reply
  2. Krystal Orr

    I use the second one by Yoast and it is phenomenal! It pretty much allows me to SEO my posts from top to bottom. I especially love the ‘check’ button, this gives you a green, yellow, or red button to let you know how good your SEO is for the post you’re working on. Then they tell you step by step how you can improve the post. Awesome plug in!

    Reply
  3. Erika Page

    I plan on launching my blog this summer. Is it recommended to use all 5 SEO plug-ins? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Julia Dinardo

      Hi Erika, I don’t think you need to use all five, since some of them do overlap. I would recommend starting with an all-in option, perhaps the 1st or 2nd ones I mentioned, and go from there!

      Reply
  4. Nathan Whitaker

    I find the redirection plugin is great for creating 301 redirects and tracking 404 page errors without having to mess around with any confusing and complicated files.

    Reply
  5. Catherine @ bcrueltyfree

    I’ve used all of these at some point, but currently just have All in One SEO Pack & SEO Images as I try to keep my number of plugins to the bare minimum. I actually think the Yoast is an incredibly good plugin, I just find that All in One SEO Pack is all I really need. There are definitely added benefits to Yoast’s verion though, so I would recommend it if you’re looking for more than what All in One SEO Pack does.

    Reply
  6. Karan

    I’ve used SEO by Yoast and All in One SEO and those two are really nice plugins but didn’t knew about SEO Friendly Images will definitely check it out.

    Reply
  7. essentjewels

    Extremely useful!

    Thank you for this informative information I just plugged in all you suggested hopefully it helps our blog.

    Reply
  8. Andreea Leau

    I use all in one seo and squirrly seo. All in one for settings and squirrly for writing articles. The other plugins for seo, didn’t worked for me, I mean, by learning something if I still use them. Since I use squirrly I learnt how to do on page seo 🙂

    Reply
  9. Johnny Rogers

    I have used both the “All in One SEO Pack” and the “WordPress SEO by Yoast”. I have been using Yoast more as of lately. However, I notice with one of my blogs, that it was conflicting with the theme I was using. What was odd about the situation was that it had been working fine for months and then all of a sudden I started having issues. What I especially like about Yoast is that it has Flesch–Kincaid readability scoring built into the plugin.

    BTW, thanks for sharing…

    Reply
  10. Ghyl Lebentz

    I had a blogspot for a couple of years then moved to a .com (using WordPress) last year, have been disappointed in the low number of readers as some of my posts are really interesting and we even make our own videos! I’ve been blitzing Twitter and my Facebook page trying to drum up readers (possibly to the point of irritation), hopefully the All in One SEO will greatly help. Just installed it today, did anyone notice a significant jump in their readership?

    Great post by the way!

    Reply
  11. Monique

    I’m still in the early stages of building my blog/e-shop and I have found WordPress SEO by Yoast to be absolutely the best! I’ve trouble others, and this one is the easiest to use without having knowledge of SEO.

    Reply
  12. Bossdog

    Can you use more than one SEO plugin at the same time or do they conflict?
    I currently am using the wordpress SEO plugin by Yoast but wondered about adding the ALL in One plugin.

    Reply
  13. Finland

    Hi Julia, thank you for the nice share. I am using another visitor counter plugin, the stat counter looks promising, may I know does it slows down the site a lot?

    I see that you have briefly reviewed the two SEO plugins, I recently came across another plugin which I read about here: http://wpseoplugin.net/seopressor-wordpress-seo-plugin/ As you can see, the plugin has multiple keyword analysis and over optimization check. May I know if that is important for SEO as well? Please share your opinion if you have used the seopressor plugin.

    Hope to see your response. I learned a lot from your post. Thanks!

    Reply
  14. Joe

    Great post! We’ve been using Yoast now for three months and it’s a super easy plugin that makes you think hard about content. Have also started using Disqus which has stopped all the spam comment posts. It also has a great community.

    Reply
  15. WordPress Dating

    All In One SEO Pack is my favorite. While others will boast about Yoast (LOL), I just don’t like how it works. We’ve had great success with the All In One SEO Pack and we highly recommend it for any WP site…

    Reply
  16. Abhay

    Great collection of seo plugins. We use wordpress seo by yoast in all our wordpress based sites. This is the best seo plugin.

    Reply
  17. Jon Armstrong

    I have been using yoast since it first came out. His plugins and blog articles are a must for any SEO pro. The only thing I dont like is the built in sitemap. Not the best.

    Reply
  18. Jayesh Khandoor

    Hey Julia,
    Thanks a lot for sharing such a useful post. I am pretty new to SEO & was keenly looking for some tools which would share some of my workload. You made my life easy. Surely looking forward for some more interesting blog feeds from you.
    Cheers!!!

    Reply
  19. kaizenwaymarketing

    I started with All In One SEO and while I think it’s great plug-in I switched to Yoast.
    I really like the way Yoast is layed out for a user but one catch. When entering your sitemap into Google Webmaster I constantly get errors with the Yoast Sitemap.
    I eventually turned this option off and use Google XML Sitemaps for that function. Works great.

    Reply
  20. Santechnikas Kaune

    So, what I use in my website?

    1. Yoast SEO
    2. WP Smush (for images. Smush weight)
    3. Ultimate Nofollow ( for comments)
    4. TinyMCE Advanced ( help to create great content)
    5. Redirect 404 Error Page to Homepage
    6. Simple Redirect ( when delete post, and want to redirect to another)
    7. My Custom Functions
    8. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights ( use very long time, so cant change 🙂 )

    Reply
  21. Pratibha Shetty

    Thank you so much Julia for sharing with us the knowledge of these tools. SEO is so important in today’s digital atmosphere for one to be known.

    Reply
  22. DigitalBabu

    I have been using some of these plugins for my WordPress sites and have found them useful. It is a nice list of plugin provided. especially all in one seo pack that has delivered the most.

    Reply