When WordPress website developers start working on a new project, they ask their customers what plugins they plan to connect. Beginners ask: “Why? Is CMS basic functionality is not enough?”
Due to the fact that SEO plugins for WordPress are very many, of course, some questions may arise:
- Why are my SEO Yoast plugins in WordPress disappearing?
- How many SEO plugins do I need for WordPress?
- Which WordPress plugins hurt SEO?
- How hard is it to change SEO plugins on WordPress?
- Which WordPress plugins might interfere with SEO?
I will answer these and other questions in this article to make choosing the right WordPress SEO plugin easier.
Physically, a plugin looks like a script added either in controlling files or mounted into the website header or footer. When the resource is loaded, the script sends a command for certain performing functions to the system.
The difference is that the user would have to write or make the required on the website without the WordPress SEO plugin. The WordPress SEO plugin automatizes the routines, thus saving time and resources both for owners and specialists.
What are WordPress SEO plugins
WordPress has about 16,000 different plugins that simplify the work with resources developed with this CMS type. About 1000 of them are responsible for different functions in the sphere of SEO.
Proper SEO of a Web resource fills texts with keywords, adds meta tags, generates friendly URLs, structure optimization, and configuration of inner interlinking. Specialists and website owners have about 200 Google ranking factors for SEO.
Plugins allow optimizing all parameters for optimization. This makes the work of a SE specialist faster. Besides that, most plugins have automatic hints. So even if you are not a specialist, you can set up the website for search engines and even lead it to the top results. If the specialist sets up the website manually, he will spend much more time.
Types of WordPress SEO plugins
SEO plugins in the CMS library are divided into several groups. They will be represented in the material below.
Universal SEO plugins
Such giants represent the best WordPress SEO plugins as Yoast, All-in-one-Pack, SEO Framework. These are the most popular and full-scale plugins that allow making full SEO optimization.
Their universality determines their popularity. They can be used for optimizing a blog, online store, or multilingual portal. But their universality is their drawback. It is worth using universal plugins on a large website only where their functionality would be fully applied. WordPress plugins are rather heavy and slow down the website load if used on a small website (please note that the plugin adds its script that requires processing).
This group of plugins partially solves the problem with a load of pages and data on the website. The plugins compress and optimize CSS and JS scripts. In addition, they are integrated with technical server add-ins for speeding up the website load when the user opens it in the browser.
WordPress SEO Plugins working with text calculate the readability index. Some of them check the content for plagiarism. More powerful plugins can select keywords for publication. The publication specialist can add them into meta tags or insert the anchor links to the page, ALT, or TITLE SEO tags for images.
Some plugins can analyze the word frequency in the text. This function will help the content editor check to what extent the publication corresponds with the page topic.
A separate media optimization plays an important role in accelerating the website load. Compression of images and video allows saving the space on the hosting.
Image and video lazy load plugins are worth attention. These plugins allow the user not to wait for a load of visual content if s/he wishes to read the text on the Web page. Instead, while s/he is reading, the plugin gradually loads the images and videos showing the load indicator or divides them into pixels, loading the preview.
The list of the best WordPress SEO plugins
This part deals with the best solutions that can be used for WordPress SEO.
Universal WordPress SEO plugins
This group includes main and universal SEO tools that were actively downloaded from the WordPress library. They can be used to automate the optimization of large websites and partially control the efficiency KPI integrating the plugin work with Web-analytics tools and admin panel for Google Search Console publishers.
You can use Plerdy to understand your customers since this platform consists of several tools designed for user behavior analysis. This multi-tool automatically collects all the data that can show how to grow conversion. It enables you to analyze the traffic sources, scroll depth, understand which website elements users often click. Based on this information, Plerdy helps you to develop an action plan to increase conversion.
The main functionality includes:
- simplicity of installation;
- integration with Google Search Console and Google Analytics;
- real-time analysis;
- data transfer protected with SSL technology;
- all popular browsers;
- high load performance;
- several service plans;
- trial version.
- need to have a Plerdy account.
- Econom – $29;
- Business – $59;
- Premium – $99;
- Enterprise – Unlimited.
The main competitor of Yoast SEO. It was developed in 2008 and supported 57 languages. It duplicates the functionality of the competitor except for some publication-related functions. But such a solution appeared due to the focus on online stores. This is demonstrated by integrating with popular commercial plugins for making orders.
The main plugin functionality includes:
- work with homepage canonical
- work with schema.org.
- Google AMP support
- integrated API automatic integration with other plugins
- integration with WooCommerce and other eCommerce-plugins
- full compatibility with PHP7.
- no canonical and settings of 301 redirect for each publication
- no bread crumbs settings;
- no redirects from attachment URLs to such attachments.
- 1 website (Individual) – $57/year
- Unlimited (Agency) – $419/year.
The third popular and lighter plugin is among the best universal WordPress solutions for SEO. It is used for small resources that do not require a powerful Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO functionality. Due to comparative lightness, the plugin has been installed by 100,000 active users. In addition, the plugin has been translated into 16 languages, including Russian.
- creation of XML maps
- Open Graph layout (a layout that sets anchors on the Web-page for attracting visitors from social media)
- canonical autogeneration.
- disabling of the indexation of empty categories
- limited website connections and access to API plugins.
- $49-299/year – 2-8 websites
This plugin is an additional tool for analytics collection than for internal SEO of a Web resource. Therefore, it is often used together with Yoast SEO, All-in-One SEO, or SEO Framework.
The main MonsterInsights Google Analytics function integrates Google Analytics and shows it on the WordPress dashboard without redirecting to the website. It is suitable for managing resources with high traffic – a forum, blog, or informational website with integration with social media. The plugin functionality includes tracking the sources referring to the website.
- use of asynchronous or universal code for tracking
- extended work with “Demography” and “Interests” reports.
- there is no free version, a fee-based subscription only.
- no SEO parameter settings, analytics only. So firstly you need to work with Google Analytics and Google Search Console thoroughly for proper work of all indicators.
Content analysis and SEO in WordPress
Plugins that can elaborate on the content SEO properties on the website. Such plugins allow checking how the snippet will look in the search results, social media (Facebook, Twitter) before publishing a new record.
Plugins analyze every publication and recommend improving the grammar, readability, relevance of keywords, etc.
This plugin allows working with Title and Description meta tags, microlayout for every publication, and viewing the search results’ snippet. In addition, integration with Google Search Console can be set up and receive recommendations for publishers in the dashboard.
Another important feature is that the plugin offers keyword recommendations that are suitable for publication. This allows:
- collecting ideas for keywords for meta tags
- compare the content optimization relevance – the potential relevance of the page to the keywords according to the previously developed content plan.
- context cues and online help
- automated image SEO
- extended snippet optimization
- automation of the microlayout on the flypages.
- migrating to this plugin from others requires manual reconfiguring of the dashboard of the WordPress admin panel and integration with Google Search Console.
Caching in WordPress
A cache is a temporary storage of data that has been used recently. When a user visits a resource again, they are loaded from this temporary storage. This accelerates the work with the website. However, a lot of static content on the website does not change, so you spend time and traffic if you load it again. Caching plugins in WordPress save static data.
The plugin automatically generates the website static version that will load when the user opens the website for the first time. During the interaction, the plugin will clear the cache when updating the publication or the page.
The free version has limitations for cache statistics, image optimization, caching on mobile devices, CSS, and HTML supercompression.
- automatic pre-generation of the cache of the whole website
- cache clearing when publishing
- caching in the database
- compatible with popular AdSense, CloudFlare, WooCommerce plugins for online stores, etc.
- reducing the load time for users who opened the website again.
- is not compatible with Windows Server (IIS).
Unlike its main competitor WP Fastest Cache, the plugin allows caching data into the database in the free version.
- page caching on server level by integration with Varnish
- HTTP/2 support (advanced HTTP-protocol)
- many caching parameters; this allows selecting the settings for any resource
- WPML support (WordPress Multilanguage is a plugin for translating the resource into different languages)(пfee-based version).
A medium resource uploads up to 100 images per month. Usability requires using sharp images that load quickly. This requirement is in direct contrast with the first requirement.
This dilemma can be solved by manual compression using special services or specific plugins for automating this procedure on the website.
The above-mentioned simple solution for image optimization. It is used with Cache Enabler and Autoptimize. These plugins are enough for accelerating the work of a small website.
- JPEG image optimization without losing quality
- reduction of weight of images to 70%.
- an easy and simple solution for a small website
A more sophisticated plugin that allows optimizing both new images for publishing and old ones that have been previously uploaded. The key peculiarities are mass optimization of images by applying the lossless/lossy method (without losing quality).
If it is required to save EXIF data (date, camera model, file editing history), this should be set up as these data are deleted during the optimization by default.
- flexible function settings
- The code of the scripts should be corrected.
Conclusion WordPress SEO plugins
Our material includes the list of popular SEO plugins for different needs – a large multilingual website, small blog, or landing. Universal plugins have powerful functionality.
The additional advantage of small plugins is that they are free. This allows testing them and becoming experienced in optimizing the website using such plugins. Then, when it is time to extend, connect a multilanguage or online store, it will be easier to switch to a universal plugin with wide functionality.