Best Free SEO Plugins For WordPress

Whether you’ve just hit the launch button or already have an existing WordPress site, it’s never a bad time to implement a strong SEO strategy. By being SEO-friendly, you can work to establish greater rapport with search engines that rank sites based on content.

When a website is consciously built with ‘Search Engine Optimization’ in mind, you can expect to receive increased traffic, product/service/brand awareness, and therefore the potential for increased sales conversions.

Fortunately, implementing great SEO has become a whole lot easier; WordPress users can now benefit from various free, innovative, time-saving plugins, which can help to promote and grow their audience. 

But what are the best WordPress SEO plugins out there? (Note: The plugins mentioned below are initially free, but some may require paid subscriptions or other fees to activate more advanced features)

1. Yoast SEO

Developer: Team Yoast

One of the most well regarded and popular SEO plugins around, Yoast SEO continues to be a hit with WordPress users all over the world. Yoast is brimming with excellent features that make the creation of search-engine-friendly content as effortless as possible.

The frequently updated plugin adds meta boxes to posts and pages, enabling you to quickly set meta descriptions and titles, focus keywords and canonical URLs, etc. There’s also an XML sitemap creator tool, plus a clever content analyzer that suggests practical improvements to optimize copy and articles.

For user-friendliness and SEO insight, Yoast is right up there with the best. While the free version should suffice for smaller websites, the premium upgrade may be better suited to those more established.

2. All in One SEO Pack (AIOSEO)

Developer: All in One SEO Team

A fierce rival of Yoast, All in One SEO Pack is another brilliant solution for optimizing your website and boosting traffic. As with Yoast, AIOSEO does all the initial heavy lifting, configuring complex settings and generating meta tags and search engine titles, leaving you to get down to business.

With the premium version, the more experienced user can benefit from greater levels of customization, with the ability to override standard features. The upgrade allows the Robots.txt editor to be used to instruct web crawlers on specific content, and for search engines to be automatically notified about site changes.

3. Redirection

Developer: John Godley

Over time, you may find it beneficial to delete certain pages and posts as part of your website’s general ‘housekeeping’. The problem with deleting content, however – from an SEO point at least – is that it usually leads to 404 errors, meaning that users will be met with blank pages when arriving via search engines.

But worry not – you can resolve this common issue by installing Redirection, a plugin that enables you to redirect visitors (using 301 redirects) to a similar or relevant page of your choosing. The process is quick and simple, and especially useful for older websites which may contain dozens of SEO-impeding broken links.

4. W3 Total Cache

Developer: BoldGrid

It’s easy to forget that, in addition to content, search engines monitor page loading times. This is because site responsiveness is very important; so, even if your website’s content is largely SEO-friendly, bear in mind that sluggish pages can impact visitors negatively, causing them to bounce to competitors.

Remember, in the age of ‘instant everything’ – nobody likes to wait! Thankfully, the W3 Total Cache plugin can help to speed up pages by reducing their data loads, meaning you won’t have to run the risk of diminishing your search engine rankings any longer.

It must be said, however, that W3 Total Cache does require some technical knowhow to setup; if you do consider yourself to be a novice, you could always call upon the skills of a WordPress expert (which your web host may already offer for a fee).

5. Wordfence Security

Developer: Wordfence

Websites infected with viruses aren’t going to be all too well received by crawlers – in fact, should a search engine such as Google discover an infection, it may remove the site from their search results altogether. The takeaway here is rather simple, then: website breaches can drastically impact SEO!

Thankfully there are security plugins, such as Wordfence, that were developed to help solve serious issues like this. With Wordfence activated, you can bolster the security of your website, shielding it from all the latest threats lurking on the web, courtesy of an endpoint firewall and malware scanner. 

If you’re after complete protection, Wordfence offers a premium upgrade. Do bear in mind, however, that many web hosts provide their own security plugins; if your host’s is affordable, reputable, and can deliver adequate protection, it may be worth considering also.

Security should always be a priority for your site, Click Here to learn why its so vital factor for your websites success.

Other Great SEO Plugins & Tools

  • SEOPress: A fast, simple, comprehensive, all-in-one plugin with no ads, that enables you to manage your website’s SEO, from meta details to XML sitemaps.
  • Squirrly SEO: A nifty tool that, unlike other plugins on the market (such as Yoast), offers SEO improvement tips, not after you’ve saved an article – but as you’re writing it in real-time!
  • Google Search Console: An invaluable tool developed by the search engine itself, which provides administrators key insights into factors impacting search engine performance.
  • Broken Link Checker: A straightforward plugin that scans your website for any existing broken links, both new and old, plus any missing media.
  • Google XML Sitemaps: For those simply looking for a way to get their website indexed and more accessible to search engines, this handy sitemap generator tool is just the ticket.

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avatar Ellis Snell