455,000,000 websites use WordPress. That’s almost 35% of the total number of websites on the web. WordPress websites make 14.7% of the Top 100 websites.
NBC, CNN, NFL, Ted, Walt Disney, and People Magazine are just a few top companies that are powered by WordPress. Blogs based on WordPress have 400 million page views each month.
Around 30% of all online stores work with WooCommerce – WordPress’ most popular eCommerce software. Now, all this data is enough to make you feel that WordPress can take your website to the top.
And one of the prominent factors that make WordPress an SEO friendly website platform is its plugins. The right plugins and you’re ready to land at the top of page 1 on search engines.
But wait. WordPress has 54,000+ plugins in their Plugin Directory. How do you choose which one is the best for SEO of your website?
You just read on and find the 5 best SEO plugins for 2021. And then select the one from the streamlined option of choices.
Let’s get started.
1. Yoast SEO
Expect to find Yoast SEO in the top 3 of every list of best SEO WordPress plugins.
Yoast SEO has been downloaded more than 202 million times. And has 5 million active installations. And while it has a premium plan, most users don’t ever feel the need to leave the free version. It is so loaded with features even on the free plan.
- Yoast adds a meta edit box on your post edit page. You can add meta title, description, and keywords for your post.
- Yoast analyzes your content and gives an SEO score with suggestions for improvement like content length, etc.
- Yoast lets you add ‘noindex’ to pages that you don’t want to be shown in search results. (Landing pages for specific ad campaigns, for example.)
- Yoast SEO automatically generates an XML sitemap and submits it to Google and Bing.
- Yoast has the Search Console integrated into the Yoast dashboard.
- Yoast makes sure content scrapers don’t use your RSS feed content for ranking higher by adding your URL in your RSS feed. This lets search engines know the original source of the content and beating scarpers in rankings.
- Yoast makes editing .htaccess or robots.txt files very easy.
- With the free version of Yoast SEO you won’t get support. However, online resources, guides, and tutorials are usually enough for query resolution and basic troubleshooting.
- Yoast SEO does not always understand the intent. Some of its suggestions can be illogical. And trying to blindly improve the SEO score can do more harm than good.
- Some users complain that Yoast SEO slowed down their websites.
is another among WordPress plugins that are making life and search engine optimization easier for developers and marketers alike. Developed by Benjamin Denis, a well-known WordPress expert, it is used by over 100,000 site owners.
- SEOPress allows setting titles and meta descriptions site-wide and even on a per-page basis.
- SEOPress generated XML (for bots only) and HTML (for bots and humans) sitemaps for your website.
- SEOPress helps ensure that Google Knowledge Graphs show information about your/your brand that you want it to. (Google Knowledge Graphs are the snippets that Google shows about a brand or person at the top right of the search result.)
- SEOPress lets you directly connect with Google Analytics.
- SEOPress’s premium plan ($39/year) comes with Google Structured Data Types, broken link analysis, and a 404 error monitoring tool as well.
- The learning curve is quite steep, especially for beginner users.
- SEOPress is less popular than some of its other counterparts. This means that the community support and experienced user guides you get are limited.
All In One SEO Pack is among the most reliable WordPress SEO plugins. And we know it because it is the original WordPress plugin for SEO and has more than 65,000,000 downloads to its credit.
- Automatically generates meta descriptions for you. You aren’t bound to use the auto-generated descriptions, though.
- A multilingual plugin (with translations in 57 languages as of now).
- Lets you submit regular and image sitemaps to Google and Bing.
- Supports Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
- Lets you set advanced canonical URLs.
- Redirects attachment pages to the parent pages.
- Allows Webmaster (now Search Console) verification, setting up, Google Analytics, and even do Schema and noindex settings.
- Lets you access robots.txt and .htaccess files directly from the plugin dashboard.
- You do not get content analysis or scoring capabilities in the All in One SEO Pack.
- The free version offers no support whatsoever.
- The navigation and importing data from the Google Search Console isn’t exactly easy.
The SEO Framework plugin is among the top SEO plugins for WordPress, with an average rating of 4.9 stars. With 20,000+ active installations, it is a great pick for beginners.
- Has an SEO bar with Red-Green indicators, which makes it easier to understand the status of on-page SEO without things getting too overwhelming.
- Lets you customize page titles and descriptions with special homepage settings.
- Helps aid SEO with social media. It supports Open Graph tags for Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
- Offers Search Console, robots.txt, and Structured Data settings as well.
- Automatically generates a sitemap for you, along with multiple customization options.
- Backlinks RSS feed contents, saving you from content scrapers.
- The paid plan comes at $35/year for a single site. The cost is a deterrent as the competitors have loaded free plans and premium plans that work for unlimited sites.
RankMath is another staple in the lists of the best WordPress plugins for SEO. With over 500,000+ active installations, it is a great pick for marketers looking for a quick SEO fix.
- Has the easiest user interface when compared to market contemporaries.
- Comes with a keyword comparison tool.
- FAQ plugin lets you add Schema Markup snippets.
- Offers site-wide audits to identify weak points and improvement options.
- Is 100% free. Even automatic redirection options are available for free. (Other plugins charge for such features.)
- RankMath is a relatively new plugin and does not always work fine with other plugins.
- Migrating to RankMath from other plugins is not easy.
- AMP functionality is not extensive.
Making the Right Choice
Still confused about which of these best SEO plugins for WordPress is right for you?
Ask yourself the following questions –
- Is the plugin compatible with my version of WordPress and the technology used on my website?
- Will I get the required level of support from the developers of the plugin or the online community?
- How popular is the plugin? Does it have a lot of downloads? (More downloads often make sure that there is a community of experienced users who can help you with troubleshooting and getting started)
- Is the plugin company known for frequent updates? Will I be able to get features at par with the market in the future as well?
Once you have answered these questions, we are sure you’ll have THE best WordPress plugin for SEO that is suitable for your website in 2021 and beyond.
I have Finalized a Plugin, What Now?
‘Ts the time to get started, buddy.
Just keep two things in mind before you hit Install → Activate.
- Do NOT activate multiple plugins at once.
- It is possible that they might not be compatible with each other.
- More plugins also mean lower page load speed, which is a factor that negatively affects your ranking.
- Do NOT think that once you have a plugin in place, you don’t need to do anything.
- Plugins just make search engine optimization easy. They do not eliminate the need for you to take conscious and considerate efforts in the right direction.
Now, don’t wait anymore and get started with installing and activating your plugin. And use it in the best way to rank higher in SERPs.