Ah, WordPress. We love it. You love it. Everybody loves it. In fact, almost a third of all websites out there are using it. The company’s own website features a list of notable Big Names who use it, from The New York Times to UPS to eBay. Heck, even Lollapalooza is on that list.
We love WordPress because it’s easy to use, adaptable, has built-in blog functionality, and sites made with WordPress generally rank pretty highly, relatively speaking.
However, the reason we really, really love it is because WordPress features the ability to use plugins. More specifically, SEO plugins. And SEO is what we live and breathe over here at DOM.
So, while this whole thing could just be a love letter to WordPress, we thought it would be beneficial if we, the CEOs of SEO, shared our favorite SEO plugins for our favorite site-building tool.
(This list is in no particular order. Simply saying that one of these plugins is more crucial than another could lead to bedlam within the DOM office.)
SEMRush SEO Writing Assistant
One of the most popular tools with SEO professionals, SEMRush is filled to the brim with useful features that are all designed to aid you in your quest to reach the top of the search engine rankings.
The Writing Assistant plugin takes many of those features and brings them over to your WordPress to provide on-page SEO assistance with features like an overall SEO score, readability score, link-checking, target and recommended keywords, and more.
The plugin will even check your content for plagiarism to avoid any snafus down the road.
To get it to work, you’ll have to have an existing SEMRush account to connect with the plugin. After that, it’s all gravy.
A venerable name in the SEO game, Yoast has been a part of SEO for a very long time. The plugin takes all that experience and expertise and puts it right there in the WordPress ecosystem for your convenience.
The magic of Yoast is how it balances content optimization to please both human audiences and search engine crawlers. Features like a content and SEO analysis that scans your pages and posts for readability ensure that your site is as engaging to real people as it is to Google’s algorithm.
Yoast also features a redirection tool for 301 redirects, internal link tracking, Google Search Console integration, automatically generated XML sitemaps, and much, much more.
All in One SEO (AIOSEO)
Perhaps the most popular SEO plugin, AIOSEO really tries to live up to its name by packing in a nearly exhaustive list of features that covers rich snippets schema, built-in social media integration, robots.txt file editing, an SEO health checker, and most of the features contained in the two entries above.
However, some may argue that it doesn’t do some things as well as Yoast or SEMRush in terms of SEO analysis, but that’s a subjective thing for another time.
AIOSEO even allows for user roles for varying levels of content access and WooCommerce SEO tools for eCommerce sites and online stores.
There’s a pretty robust free version available on their site, so feel free to head over and try it yourself.
If this blog were about the best Google Analytics plugins for WordPress, MonsterInsights would definitely be at the top of the list, and that list would be in a particular order (unlike this one, please don’t fight).
However, not only does MonsterInsights completely rule the Google Analytics game, but it’s also a powerful SEO tool in its own right that can keep you on top of what’s happening on your site.
The plugin shows you your top-performing content, where your users are coming from, where they visit most on your site, and much more. It also gives you easy access to your eCommerce SEO performance by showing how all your products are performing on an individual basis.
Google Search Console
It’s no secret that Google is the largest and most popular search engine on the planet. So when they offer a plugin for WordPress, you can bet everybody’s ears perk up. Better yet? It’s totally free.
Google Search Console is an essential tool for tracking your content’s performance across the mega giant’s titular search engine. It allows users to submit sitemaps and new content for indexing, find and fix malware and spam issues, discover what your page is ranking for, check inbound links, and even helps with brainstorming new blog ideas.
When integrated with MonsterInsights, Google Search Console lets you see your site’s average position on SERPs, along with clicks, impressions, and click-through rates.
Like we said before, Google Search Console is completely 100% free, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t already be on the page and downloading it.
This is our preferred plugin solution for addressing issues related to optimizing for Core Web Vitals areas like Largest Contentful Paint and Total Byte Time.
- URL: https://wp-rocket.me/
- Alternative (and free) options: Autoptimize, Hummingbird, WP Optimize
An awesome plugin for image file compression from the team at WPMU Dev.
Smush works retroactively on media files that already exist on your site, but can also be set up to work proactively on media files as you continue to create content to scale your website.
There’s a premium version of this plugin that automates some things. If you are going to use the free version, be prepared to watch and wait for it as you do your initial file compressions. It will only compress 50 files at a time in the free version.
- URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/
- Alternative: Imagify
We currently use this on our own website for schema markups. While we have the experience and expertise with schema markup to deploy it manually, part of the reason we use Schema App so much is because Schema App allows someone who doesn’t code for a living to deploy accurate schema with ease.
Why do something the hard way if you don’t have to?
- URL: https://www.schemaapp.com/
- Alternative (and free) option: All In One Schema Rich Snippets
Quick Page/Post Redirect
There are a ton of redirect plugins for WordPress, and they all perform the exact same function. So why do we work with Quick Page/Post? Well, it’s simple. We don’t mean that the reason why we use the plugin is simple, we mean that the plugin itself is simple.
For quick redirects, you don’t even have to have an existing page or post to add a redirect. You simply enter the Request URL and the Destination URL and QuickPage/Post does the rest. There is also the option to perform individual redirects for existing pages and content.
The feature list is huge, especially considering how easy the plugin itself is to use.
- URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/quick-pagepost-redirect-plugin/
- Alternative: Redirection
Your potential customers are using mobile devices to research their issues and educate themselves on the topics you blog about on your WordPress site.
AMP markup is a must-have for any business using WordPress as their blogging platform to generate a high volume of traffic from mobile searches.
While there are a few alternative plugin options for AMP, this one is available for free and is developed specifically for WordPress by the collective that started AMP development in the first place.
When in doubt, go to the original source!
Really Simple SSL
While we usually prefer that websites have their SSL setup with their domain name provider or their hosting provider, Really Simple SSL is a great alternative option.
Streamlined minimal options keep things light and breezy, and the plugin does a spectacular job of doing what it says: Enabling simple SSL.
But Wait, There’s More!
The above list is certainly not exhaustive, and there are plenty of other plugins, hundreds even, that businesses and site-owners use on a daily basis.
Some have a lot of overlapping features with the keyword-focused tools we mentioned above. For instance, Ahrefs is an incredibly popular SEO tool, especially amongst small businesses, that deserves to be looked at.
Countless other SEO plugins can be found at the official WordPress site, so feel free to browse for yourself and find some that fit your particular needs.
Of course, having the tools is just a small part of SEO. You also need to know how, when, where, and why to use them as part of your overall strategy. That’s where we come in.
At DOM, we’ve made it our mission to use smart, efficient, and well-studied SEO strategy to create ROI for our clients. If you or your company are looking for help with optimizing your site and your content for maximum results, be sure to contact us for a free consultation to find out how we can be of help.