Finding a great host for your WordPress site is sure to speed it up and boost your SEO rankings. However, there’s much more that goes into it, including which keywords you target for product pages and blog posts, how large your image files are, and whether or not your content is readable. That’s why you need a good SEO plugin for WordPress. Otherwise, you’re stuck trying to fight against competition that is most definitely utilizing some of these tools.
Luckily, several WordPress SEO plugins exist, and many of them are completely free. In addition, you can find some third-party SEO tools for bringing up powerful stats, keyword rankings, and backlink information.
After finding some great SEO plugins and tools from the list below, make sure you bookmark our 45 tips to increase traffic with SEO tweaks and these 77 proven tactics to drive traffic to your website.
The reason we say this is because SEO is confusing, even for experienced website owners. Finding posts and pages with high potential, fixing broken links, reorganizing site structure or conducting a complete SEO audit is not easy for most website owners. But when you’re equipped with the right tools (awesome SEO plugins) and the knowledge needed to implement those tools, you’ll be well on your way to search engine success.
The Best SEO Plugins for WordPress (2019)
To start off the list, we’ll talk about SEO plugins for WordPress. These are often easier to understand and install, and you can choose from a wide range of plugins with different features. The best plugins show you SEO projections and recommendations on your page and post editors, while others are limited in their feature-sets, but they have unique assets like options for checking broken links or minimizing the file sizes of images.
- Yoast SEO
- The SEO Framework
- Rank Math
- SEO Squirrly
- Broken Link Checker
- Rel NoFollow Checkbox
- All in One Schema Rich Snippets
The quick list of recommendations is shown above, but we highly recommend scrolling through the more thorough reviews we’ve completed on the best SEO WordPress plugin options below.
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO reigns supreme as the king WordPress SEO plugin, and is what we use here on the Kinsta blog. 👑 With an astounding 16,700 5-star ratings at the time of this article, Yoast continues to wow the WordPress world with impressive updates, a beautiful interface, and the most user-friendly option for making your blog posts and product pages stand out.
What’s more is that Yoast SEO has its own website with premium support options, a thriving community in the forum section, an informative blog to learn more about SEO, and SEO courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users alike.
You can also gain access to Yoast SEO premium from that website, which offers more advanced features like keyword optimization for five keywords on a page, previewing what your page will look like on Twitter and Facebook, and internal link suggestions for sending users to other locations on your website. Keep in mind that that’s a small portion of the premium features provided.
The premium plugin sells for $89 per site, making it a desirable deal for anyone. However, those on a budget still receive the free plugin, which beats out most other SEO WordPress plugins by a long shot.
Features That Make Yoast SEO a Great Choice:
- Type in keywords and analyze how well you have optimized for those keywords on pages and posts.
- See exactly what your Google search engine result is going to look like. With this, you can adjust the meta description and title to make it more appealing and keyword rich.
- A readability check is completed on all pages for you to understand if you need to break up paragraphs or add elements like numbered lists or headers.
- The plugin detects if you have duplicate content in your page or post.
- Yoast has some of the best resources and support we have ever seen from a plugin developer.
- They also update the plugin every two weeks.
- The premium plugin provides a redirect manager, free support, content insights, and an ad-free interface on the backend.
Yoast SEO is officially recommended by Kinsta and we even have an automatic installer for the plugin when you add a new WordPress site.
To learn more about this awesome plugin check our in-depth tutorial: How To Use Yoast SEO On WordPress: Complete Tutorial
2. The SEO Framework
The SEO Framework plugin does the trick for those who want a fast, lightweight SEO plugin for WordPress without any ads or upsells. It strips some of the bells and whistles you probably don’t need and focuses on helping out those who are more concerned about keeping site speeds high while also spending less time with confusing SEO articles. It’s often considered as the greatest alternative to Yoast and that has much to do with the visual nature of the SEO ratings–along with more flexible options for targeting keywords (like with slightly off words or synonyms).
The post SEO settings are controlled with a few tabs, one of which uses a colored scale to show exactly how close you are to making your post search engine-ready. With the scale, you can instantly tell where you need to put in some work for your SEO, unlike some of the more cluttered versions of Yoast.
As you may have already assumed, the interface is perfect for beginners. The API is also open for advanced users to get their hands dirty. The plugin began as a project within the WPMUDEV community, but it was eventually released to the masses for free. The SEO Framework plugin is all-inclusive, and it offers more advanced functionality with the help of extensions.
Some of them include:
- Local SEO
- An AMP integration
- Article enhancement
- Monitoring for SEO and uptime
- Incognito mode
- Comment caching for spammers
Features That Make The SEO Framework a Great Choice:
- The SEO framework doesn’t sell anything to you. It’s matches most of the needed features you find in Yoast, but you’re not required to pay for extensions or premium features.
- The visual, colored meter/scale provides a more user-friendly way to check whether or not your post is going to perform well on Google.
- It has a local SEO extension for companies that need to set up and display important local business information.
- The comment spamming extension removes the need for an additional plugin.
- Most of the SEO settings are preconfigured so that there’s little to set up after installing the plugin.
- While other plugins utilize a focus keyword, The SEO Framework focuses on the focus subject to encourage more natural writing, and due to the fact that Google sees synonyms in SERPs as the same thing.
SEOPress is a freemium All In One SEO plugin for WordPress with no ads. It’s completely white labeled with no footprints even in the free version. It’s simple, fast, and powerful, letting you manage all of your titles and meta descriptions for posts/pages/post types/terms.
Create XML and HTML sitemaps, track your visitors with Google Analytics (with RGPD compatibility), and optimize tags (Open Graph and Twitter Cards) for sharing your content on social networks. The free version also provides content analysis to help webmasters write better SEO optimized posts. Developers can use more than 75 hooks to set up the plugin as they wish.
The premium version extends its functionality and adds advanced features like:
- Local business SEO.
- Breadcrumbs optimized for SEO and accessibility.
- WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads optimizations.
- Video and Google News XML sitemaps.
- Google Structured Data Types (schemas.org): product, article, event, local business, recipe, review, FAQ, course and video.
- Backlinks from integration with Majestic (third-party API).
- Google Page Speed v5 integration to quickly check the quality of your pages.
- Redirections and 404 monitoring.
- Google Analytics stats in your WordPress dashboard.
Features That Make SEOPress a Great Choice:
- No ads and your editors will see a metabox with no reference to SEOPress. Same thing in the admin bar.
- It lets you add Google Analytics tracking to your site in seconds. You can exclude user roles from tracking, setup custom dimensions, enable remarketing, demographics and interest reporting, tracks PDF, DOCX, XLSX, downloads, IP Anonymization, cross-domain tracking and more.
- Quick and easy Twitter meta tags and Facebook open graph data.
4. Rank Math
Rank Math SEO is the swiss army knife of SEO tools for your WordPress website. It comes with everything you need for taking full control of your on-page SEO. Rank Math combines the power of multiple plugins you might be using on your WordPress website for SEO and brings everything into one easy-to-manage plugin that is also light-weight.
With Rank Math, you can manage the on-page SEO of your posts, pages, products or other taxonomies. You can also control noindex/nofollow/noarchive meta tags of all taxonomies in general and individual posts or pages in particular.
It tightly integrates with Google Search Console to bring you essential information right inside your WordPress admin dashboard. Information like what keywords you are ranking for, how many search impression your website is getting, what errors Google sees on your site, etc., is available in one glance.
Apart from that, Rank Math comes with an inbuilt 404 Monitor, Redirections, Rich Snippets, Local SEO, XML Sitemaps, Automated Image SEO, Internal Link Building recommendations, etc.
Features That Make Rank Math a Great Choice:
- It is a one-stop-shop for all your SEO needs.
- Each post/page/product runs through an SEO Analysis tool based on 40 factors.
- The user interface is very clean, and the options are easy to understand.
- It gives you options to automatically add alt or title tags to images that are missing them.
- Rank Math comes with a 404 monitor to tell you where users see errors.
- It also comes with a Redirection module that lets you point those 404 errors to something a little more useful on your website.
- XML Sitemap module comes bundled with Rank Math, and the plugin also pings search engines automatically once you make any changes to your posts.
- Rich Snippets support is included with an option to choose from 6 different types of snippets like Article, Product, Recipes, Events, Video, Local Business, etc.
- Breadcrumbs are also part of the plugin, so you don’t have to rely on another plugin for that.
- Open Graph and Twitter Card support is bundled.
5. SEO Squirrly
SEO Squirrly is marketed for people who aren’t SEO experts. It lives up to that claim by offering a complete SEO suite without any complicated elements. SEO Squirrly generates SEO recommendations differently than the other plugins we’ve already outlined. You start by typing in your article topic. The desired keyword is also punched in so that when you continue writing your content, a series of green lights is activated in real-time. It’s almost like you have an expert whispering into your ear as you’re writing.
Features That Make SEO Squirrly a Great Choice:
- The keyword optimization is done as you’re writing the article. This is a little easier than Yoast where you often have to save the article to see suggestions and results.
- If you plan on replacing an old SEO plugin for WordPress with Squirrly, it still keeps all of your settings from the previous setup.
- There’s a tool that analyzes your competition to see how you can outrank it.
- Squirrly includes content reports, which you can send to other people in your organization. For example, a writer might need to learn more about SEO, so you might send it to them after they write an article.
- You receive progress monitoring on a weekly basis, along with a solid tool that shows recent tweets about your topics. This provides both inspiration and ways to improve your content.
6. Broken Link Checker
SEO isn’t only about filling your pages and posts with a significant number of keywords. It’s also not only about making your content readable. One way to make your way past the competition is to go through your site to remove any broken links. When Google sees a broken link (aka a link that leads to a 404 page,) it sees this as a less than desirable user experience. After all, your customers have no interest in landing on an empty page.
The only problem is that it might take you hours or days to sift through all your content to locate every single broken link. Enter the Broken Link Checker.
This gem does the dirty work for you by scanning through your blog posts and pages. All broken links are revealed within a few minutes. The list is populated with the links in question, so you can go and remove them completely or change them to better references. If you keep the plugin active it continues to search your site and notify you when a link breaks.
After the links have been corrected the list will be empty and Google sees that you maintain your site quite well.
Important: Due to the constant scanning functionality of this plugin, we recommend enabling it, going through and fixing your links in batches, and then disabling it again. This will ensure it doesn’t impact the performance of your site. 🚀
Features That Make Broken Link Checker a Great Choice:
- You don’t even have to go to the post or page to change the broken link. All link modifications are done through the plugin’s primary page.
- The WordPress SEO plugin has an option for searching and filtering links.
- It’s not only for finding broken links in posts and pages. The plugin monitors comments, custom fields, and more.
- Missing images and redirects are also detected–basically, anything that might confuse a reader and make Google look less favorably on your website.
- There’s an optional feature for preventing search engines from following the links that are broken on your site.
7. Rel NoFollow Checkbox
When linking to other pages and websites, it’s important to realize that those links mean something to Google. The search engine wants to know the quality of those links along with the quality of the links going back to your site. The reason for this is because if you have hundreds of links leading to spammy sites, Google sees this as manipulative and unhelpful to users. This plugin is perfect for those of you with affiliate links.
One way to make sure your links aren’t hurting your rankings is to add “rel nofollow” attributes to all external links. This way, the link doesn’t influence the ranking of the external site. In short, it scares away advertisers who value those links for rankings.
Unfortunately, it’s a pain in the butt to go in and add “rel nofollow” tags to all links in your content. However, the Rel NoFollow Checkbox plugin provides an extra checkbox to mark when creating links in WordPress.
Below the “Open a link in a new window/tab” checkbox, you’ll also find a “rel nofollow” option, which cuts down on the time you would have to spend working through the HTML.
Features That Make Rel Nofollow Checkbox a Great Choice:
- It’s lightweight so your site remains speedy.
- You have the opportunity to boost your SEO without spending an extraordinary amount of time sifting through HTML (to find your links and add a little bit of code).
- It makes the process much easier for non-coders.
- Perfect plugin for affiliate marketers
- The installation doesn’t take more than a minute or two, and there aren’t any settings that need to be configured.
- You can quickly go through guest posts, or articles written by your writers, to ensure that they aren’t trying to market certain products or companies without your permission.
If you’re an affiliate marketer, you might also want to check out a free link shortener plugin, such as Pretty Links, which can automatically add the nofollow attribute to your links.
8. All in One Schema Rich Snippets
Rich snippets are visual search elements such as star rankings, images, and other important details that might grab user attention by having something different than the regular search results. Rich snippets are often used for eCommerce product page results and blog post reviews. Google enjoys rich snippets because they aren’t all that intrusive, yet still able to reveal valuable information to the user.
There’s no built-in method for offering up rich snippets with WordPress, but the All in One Schema Rich Snippets plugin does the work for you.
With the plugin, your search engine results are cut down to the most important elements. In addition, users see everything from photos to star ratings to author avatars.
Features That Make All in One Schema Rich Snippets a Great Choice:
- Google searches provide a more visual structure for the users. Google likes this and so do the users.
- The plugin supports several types of content including events, reviews, people, products, recipes, and videos. So, for instance, a recipe might have a star rating, the number of reviews, and a photo of the food.
- Your search results are easier to share on Facebook, since the proper information is already compiled.
If you don’t have reviews on your site and simply need a more lightweight plugin, we also recommend checking out the free Schema plugin.
WordLift is a WordPress plugin that uses AI to bring advanced SEO in the hands of content editors and marketers. This plugin helps you organize your content while automating structured data markup. On top of that, WordLift improves content findability by adding internal links, recommendation widgets, and semantic-rich metadata. Plans start at €59 per month ($65/month).
By taking advantage of this plugin, you could also start translating your articles and pages into machine-friendly content that search crawlers, chatbots, and personal digital assistants — like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa — can use and understand to increase your organic traffic.
Features That Make WordLift a Great Choice:
- First using natural language processing and knowledge graphs for automating structured linked data markup.
- Uses WooRank’s technology to help you track the performance of your content and provides relevant advice on how to optimize your website.
- Integrates with Google Analytics.
- Some users of this plugin are: Airbnb, Amazon Audible, Greenpeace, Merck Group, TheNextWeb.
Best SEO Tools for WordPress Users
If you need a quick list of the best SEO tools for WordPress users, or any user for that matter, feel free to click on the options we’ve provided in the list below.
If you’d rather go through the intensive research and really understand the features of each SEO tool, keep reading to learn about everything from keyword research features to SEO search volume rankings.
Ahrefs is an SEO juggernaut and the closest thing you can get to cover every aspect of your SEO needs. The whole point of it is to give you insights into your competition and find backlinks and keywords that might work just as well for your own business. It’s also great for locating keywords that competitors might not have taken advantage of yet. We utilize Ahrefs on a daily basis here at Kinsta. 😄
As you can see in the screenshot, the Ahrefs dashboard provides several tickers, charts, and graphs for checking things like referring domains, organic keywords, and paid keywords. Yes, it’s a little pricey (starting at $99 per month for one user,) but an eCommerce store or blog could easily make that money back since it’s considered one of the best SEO tools on the web. In fact, it helped us clean up a negative SEO attack on our site.
Ahrefs can actually work for other websites not using WordPress, since it provides a comprehensive site explorer and dashboard, separate from WordPress.
Why We Love This SEO Tool
- Ahrefs is hands down the best keyword explorer on the market.
- It has one of the largest backlink databases on the web and we rely on its data for a lot of things.
- It provides a rank tracker to see how you stack up against other comparable companies online.
- Content ideas are much easier to come by since you can search for topics based on what you sell or talk about on your site.
- You can find websites that are linking to your competition, then reach out to those same websites (or similar ones).
- Ahrefs shows people who are interacting with your brand on social media.
- You can configure several alerts to find out when a backlink is added or lost. It’s also great for seeing new keywords and web mentions.
Where Ahrefs excels at keyword research and backlink research, Accuranker takes charge with keyword tracking. In fact, the entire system is built on tracking your SEO rankings and the keywords that boost your SEO. The pricing is a little better than that of Ahrefs, but you should remember that it’s not the same type of SEO tool. We utilize Accuranker here at Kinsta to monitor how our content marketing is doing in SERPs.
Accuranker starts at $44.95 per month and that allows you to track up to 600 keywords. You can also use the tool on unlimited domains and check-in on one competitor. These numbers get bigger as you upgrade to other plans, with agency and enterprise packages available.
Both Bing and Google are tracked with Accuranker, as it delivers precise daily results based on keywords or other metrics.
Why We Love This SEO Tool
- The keyword tracking is done on a daily basis. But you can also manually refresh your keyword rankings at any time. This is one of the best features! Most keyword tracking tools limit the ability to do this.
- You can track by city, state, and zip code for the local businesses out there.
- You can jump back in history to see how you have reached your goals and how certain keywords have performed over the years.
- The keyword tracking is strengthened by additional analytics data for each keyword, such as traffic potential, traffic per keyword, and search volume.
- The SEO tool provides an automated reporting area where you can drag and drop items on a report template for the future. That way, when you need to download a specific report it’s always there for you.
- You get rankings for mobile, desktop, and local keywords and searches.
SEMRush has a rather simple interface for those who are getting started with their SEO and don’t want to feel too intimidated. The pricing is still high (starting at $99.95 per month,) but you do receive a few domain overview metrics for free. That said, you need to sign up for an account first, and the upsells start coming fast.
Overall, SEMRush focuses on SEO, paid traffic, social media, and content. The technical SEO audit is where you find most of the information. The position tracking works similar to Accuranker, and the competitive intelligence is easy to understand.
One of the main reasons you would go with SEMRush is because of the analytic section. It does an awesome job of providing a comparison of paid traffic vs organic traffic. We also enjoy the ad strategy analysis, since this is bound to push more people to your website once you start learning how to post Google Ads in a more strategic way.
Why We Love This SEO Tool
- The interface is simple enough for an average user to understand.
- SEMRush covers most SEO tools you would need for a small to mid-sized business. The competitor analysis is rather strong, and the keyword research uses both your own website and the competitions.
- It’s a great program if you’re running reports and analytics for multiple clients. The professional-looking reports are some of the best in the business, and you can send them to other people regardless of location.
Check out these six different ways you can use SEMRush to dominate SERPs.
KWFinder offers more affordable pricing for those on a budget. The pricing starts at $29.08 per month. That includes support for keyword research, SERP analysis, rank tracking, and backlink analysis. The highest price point is $79.08 per month and this increases the number of lookups and keyword trackings. You also have the option to sign up for a free account, but you’re limited to five lookups per 24 hours. This might be okay for a small blog but not much else.
The KWFinder user interface is colorful and intuitive, with rankings displayed clearly for beginners to understand. The primary features suggest keywords for your website and also compares those keywords to what other competitors are doing.
Why We Love This SEO Tool
- You can’t find a cleaner user interface.
- The search volumes seem to be more accurate than other keyword planning and searching tools on the market.
- The pricing is hard to beat, and you have the option to play around with a free plan.
- The keyword difficulty score not only makes more logical sense than the competition, but it’s perfect for those who aren’t going to be analyzing hundreds of keywords per day.
5. Google Keyword Planner
If you have no intention of spending money on a keyword research tool, but would like some power behind your SEO planning, check out the Google Keyword Planner. This is what many online marketers use when they’re looking to sift through the best keywords to pay for. Google Keyword Planner has a hyper-local search volume tool, which makes it essential for those running small, local businesses. You can also target people based on their demographics, so eCommerce companies should have this in their arsenal.
The main problem is that it bases its results on averages instead of hard trends. However, you can typically pair this with Google Trends to find the right keywords then test to see how they are performing. However, if you are needing more accurate data, we recommend going with a premium tool.
Why We Love This SEO Tool
- Companies looking to rank for local businesses and products should have a fun time with the geographic tools.
- It’s one of the best SEO plugins for WordPress since you don’t have to integrate anything and it’s easy to cross-reference the data with other tools.
- Google Keyword Planner is from the folks at Google, so you’re utilizing a system that’s directly involved with the most prevalent search engine.
- You don’t have to pay a dime to use the Google Keyword Planner.
- If you plan on posting Google Ads with your keywords, the Google Keyword Planner lets you upload a list of keywords to get forecasts for your campaigns.
6. Moz Open Site Explorer and Pro
Moz is most famous for its use of what they call the domain authority metric. Since Google has stopped updating PageRank, many SEOs utilize other metrics such as domain authority from Moz and domain rating from Ahrefs to quickly judge how powerful a site might be as it pertains to SEO.
Moz Open Site Explorer is free for the most part but is limited by the amount of data you can see without upgrading. For example, when searching your own website it brings up a list and analysis of inbound links, top pages, linking domains, and more. You can run a spam analysis to protect your site and look at link opportunities based on what you and your competitors are doing. Moz also has an area for anchor text, where you learn which keywords the site might be ranking for.
If you are wanting additional data and tools, you can upgrade to Moz Pro, which starts out at $149 per month. That’s obviously on the expensive side, but the suite is quite impressive and great for beginners that are just starting out with SEO. They have similar tools in the premium version, such as their keyword explorer tool.
You could definitely argue that Moz has most important features you would expect out of an SEO tool. From domain analysis to offsite SEO, and competitor analysis to keyword tracking, it’s hard to find anything wrong with it.
Why We Love This SEO Tool
- Moz Local is also an option if you own a locally-based business.
- The free Moz tool offers a wide range of SEO tools.
- You can also utilize their free MozBar extension to quickly see domain authority in your toolbar when browsing a site.
- Although many argue that the interface is clunky, it excels at providing a sophisticated look at competitor data and technical SEO analysis.
SEOquake takes a completely different approach to SEO in that the majority of the work is done through a Chrome extension. This way, you can navigate to a page and conduct an on-page SEO audit without any complicated dashboard. You can also check out external and internal links, while comparing URLs and domains, all in real-time.
What’s more is that SEOquake exports all of this valuable data into a file for you to place into a different program or send off to coworkers. You might initially think that a simple Chrome extension isn’t enough for your SEO needs, but the amount of information contained in the tiny SEO plugin is pretty impressive. For instance, you can see information on URLs, titles, servers, and meta descriptions. It’s also nice to view social activity and Alexa Pagerank.
Why We Love This SEO Tool
- The SEOquake tool comes as a simple Chrome extension and is completely free. Although you might want a SEMRush account if you want some of the additional data.
- It’s one of the easiest ways to grab quick SEO information without a clunky dashboard.
- You also have the option to use SEOquake in Firefox.
- Printing and exporting SEO data is available.
Unfortunately, we live in a day and age where if you produce high-quality content, there will always be someone out there trying to copy it for their own gain. This happens to us a lot here at Kinsta. In fact, at the time of writing this, we have 4 DMCA complaints and cases open. Not sure whether or not someone has copied your content? Well, that is where the Copyscape tool comes in.
Copyscape essentially scans the web and checks to see if there are any other similar pages floating around. It bases everything on a percentage match, such as someone copying 80% of your content word for word, or 50% with partial matches, etc. While Google is pretty smart about duplicate content issues and ranking the original, you also shouldn’t let someone else take the credit for your hard work.
The free version works great for periodical checks, but you can also pay for the premium version and monitor more of your sites on a regular basis.
Why We Love This SEO Tool
- If you really want to protect your site, you can have Copyscape scan your sitemap file and automatically notify you if it finds copies of your content on the web.
- Copyscape has been around since 2007 and is by far the best tool on the web when it comes to detecting online plagiarism.
- Easy to use, even for beginners. Copy and paste your content or URL and it will check it against the entire web in seconds.
Other SEO Tools
Here are some additional SEO tools (or those that relate closely to content marketing) we recommend checking out:
Which is the Best WordPress SEO Plugin for You?
SEO seems so tedious and complicated when you don’t have the right tools on your side. However, when you find the best WordPress SEO plugin and spend some time learning how to use it, tasks like keyword planning, competitor analysis, and reporting are a breeze.
This list covers quite a bit, but some companies have different SEO needs. So, here are our final recommendations based on our research of the best SEO plugins for WordPress:
- The best SEO plugin for optimizing pages and posts individually – Yoast SEO.
- The best all-in-one SEO tool – Ahrefs.
- The best white labeled SEO plugin with no ads – SEOPress
- The best lightweight SEO plugin – The SEO Framework
- The best all-in-one SEO plugin – Rank Math
- The best SEO tools for those on a budget – KWFinder or Google Keyword Planner.
- The best misc. SEO plugins and tools – Broken Link Checker and Copyscape.
We utilize Yoast SEO, Ahrefs, and Accuranker on daily basis here at Kinsta. If you have any questions on finding the best SEO plugins for WordPress, or SEO tools, feel free to drop a comment in the section below!