WordPress is a reliable foundation for tens of millions of websites. And now, with smarter plugins, you can build your sites bigger, healthier, while employing the best practices for onsite and offsite SEO.

We’ve put together 5 of the best WordPress SEO plugins to use in 2018. These plugins provide you with insightful data and assist in optimising your site (yes, even with the free versions).

 

1. Yoast SEO

Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin Logo

Image credit: Yoast SEO.

Average rating5 stars
Version7.2
Active installations5+ million
Requires WordPress Version4.8
Tested up to4.9.5
Requires PHP Version5.2.4

With over 5 million downloads, Yoast SEO seems to be the king of WordPress SEO plugins. It uses simple functionality to let you customise and control important aspects of your site, like your meta title and description. Yoast lets you nominate a focus keyword for the page or article you’re working on, and then it provides helpful tips for optimising towards that keyword.

This plugin also identifies any potential readability issues and improvements in your content. So it’s not just one of the best WordPress SEO plugins – it’s great for quality-checking your content as well.

Key features of this WordPress SEO plugin

  • Advanced XML sitemaps
  • Customisable titles and meta descriptions
  • Automatic analysis of content readability
  • Title and description templates for Facebook and Twitter
  • SERP previews
Yoast Snippet

Image credit: Yoast SEO.

Yoast SEO Premium

With more features available, you might consider upgrading to Yoast SEO Premium. The yearly subscription, starting from $89 (for one site), will give you and your business the following:

  • 5 keywords per page (instead of 1)
  • Suggestions for internal linking
  • Further insights into your content
  • Google, Facebook and Twitter previews
  • Redirecting of old URLs to new ones (no 404 errors)
  • Prioritised one-on-one email support.

Going Premium will give you that extra insight and control, along with a reliable support system.

Limitations of Yoast SEO

Although this plugin brings many aspects of SEO management into one system, it does have its limitations. Yoast SEO is unable to identify a keyword between its singular and plural form. It also won’t recognise LSI keywords (similar words or related terms).

Overall, Yoast SEO is a great final checkpoint before you publish your content for search engines and users to see. It helps your site rank organically at its highest potential and keeps the content relevant and readable (as long as you apply its recommendations with a little common sense).

 

2. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache WordPress SEO Plugin Logo

Image credit: W3 Total Cache.

Average rating4.5 stars
Version0.9.6
Active installations1+ million
Requires WordPress version3.2
Tested up to4.9.5

It can be a tough time for web browsers to load bulky websites. That’s where W3 Total Cache comes in handy.

This is one of the best WordPress SEO plugins for caching your data, giving you clear settings to control your caching methods. This bundles up and caches certain data onto the web browsers of individuals, meaning they can interact with your content quicker.

The developers also guarantee an improvement of site performance by at least 10 times.

Key features of this WordPress SEO plugin

  • Caching: pages, posts, CSS, JavaScript, feeds, search results, and more
  • Minification: posts, pages, feeds, JavaScript and CSS (inline, embedded or 3rd party), and more
  • Integration of content delivery network (CDN)

Limitations of W3 Total Cache

This plugin can be complicated to use if you’re not well versed in the process. However, taking the time to understand the setup and management of caching will ensure you receive those valuable results.

 

3. Smush Image Compression and Optimization

Smush WordPress SEO Plugin Logo

Image credit: Smush Image Compression and Optimization.

Average rating5 stars
Version2.7.8
Active installations1+ million
Requires WordPress version4.6
Tested up to4.9.5
Requires PHP version5.2.4

Users are likely to give up on a page that takes too long to load on their browser. Large image files may look pretty, but their excessive file size may slow down the load time of your site significantly.

The bottom line: Large image files could cost you a customer.

Smush optimises and removes any unnecessary data that may be sticking to your image files. This decreases their file size to allow a smoother load time for your images. Smush also gives you the option to set a standard image size, automatically scaling previous and new images (without losing quality).

Key features of this WordPress SEO plugin

  • Compress your images
  • Compress standard images under 1MB
  • Compress singular or multiple images at a time (up to 50)
  • Set a maximum height and width of images (with automatic scaling)
  • Compatible with numerous media library plugins
Smush Example

Image credit: Smush Image Compression and Optimization.

WP Smush Pro

Upgrading to WP Smush Pro is designed to save you time on all your image compressing. These are some of the extra actions you’ll be able to take advantage of:

  • Compress images twice as much
  • Copy original files to be restored later
  • Convert PGN files to JPEG
  • Automatically compress images quicker.

The upgraded version of Smush gets your image files to their optimised sizes. And there won’t be much of a visual difference between a heavily compressed image and its original form.

 

4. Redirection

Redirection WordPress SEO Plugin Logo

Image credit: Redirection

Average rating4 stars
Version3.2
Active installations1+ million
Requires WordPress version4.5
Tested up to4.9.5
Requires PHP version5.4

As you grow and expand your website, updating and creating new pages will be commonplace. But you’ll want to ensure your users get to the new content, not the old.

Redirection is a completely free WordPress plugin that allows you to manage your 301 redirects (for pages that have been permanently moved). With its clear display, you can easily create new redirections and modify the URLs on your website.

Whether you have a couple of redirects or an endless list, Redirection is a great addition to your WordPress plugin arsenal.

Redirections Example

Image credit: Redirection.

Key features of this WordPress SEO plugin

  • Monitor each permalink
  • Create redirects to new URLs
  • Track and fix any 404 errors
  • Conditional redirects (based on browsers, login status, custom filters, and more)
  • Active permalinks that update automatically with changing pages or posts

Limitations of Redirection

The one drawback you may encounter is from the constant scanning of 404 errors. This can take up a fair bit of your server’s capability.

You can choose to turn off the logging of 404 errors in the options tab.

Redirection is one of the best WordPress SEO plugins for maintaining an adaptable website.

 

5. All in One Schema Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets WordPress SEO Plugin Logo

Image credit: All in One Schema Rich Snippets.

Average rating4.5 stars
Version1.5.2
Active installation70,000+
Requires WordPress version3.7
Tested up to4.9.5

The information that shows up in search engines needs to be clear, informative, and engaging. All in One Schema Rich Snippets gives you a platform to control these key points that will be visible to search engine algorithms and users.

With All in One, you can aesthetically display your snippet information with the ability to upload additional content into it (e.g. ratings, images and authors). This can ultimately increase your CTR.

Rich Snippets Item Review Example

Image credit: All in One Schema Rich Snippets

You can base your snippet around these types of schema:

  • Review
  • Event
  • People
  • Product
  • Recipe
  • Software Application
  • Video
  • Article.

Here’s an example that uses multiple types:

Rich Snippet Google Example

Image credit: All in One Schema Rich Snippets.

From here, it’s clear exactly what your content is – and what information the user will receive by clicking through.

Key features of this WordPress SEO plugin

  • Create a personalised search engine result snippet
  • Relevant for many types of schema (with more coming)
  • Insert images (logos), authors, ratings, prices, etc. into your snippet

Limitations

It’s compulsory to show the same information from the snippet on your actual webpage. Otherwise, Google won’t display it in the search result. This may be an unappealing aspect for some businesses looking to streamline their webpages.

All in One Schema Rich Snippets is an incredibly useful plugin to communicate quickly and effectively to users.

 

If your website is built on WordPress and you’re looking for some simple ways to optimise, these are 5 of the best WordPress SEO plugins to add to your kit.

If you’d like any advice about using these plugins to their full potential, one of our SEO experts would be more than happy to chat with you. Get in touch today.

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