Using SEO is imperative for growing your online business. When you use WordPress, there are lots of different options for incorporating SEO into your website. Because WordPress has so many options, you may feel lost while searching for the best SEO plug-in for WordPress.
The good news is you don’t need to do trial and error to find which SEO plug-in is best in WordPress. You can instead find many of the top SEO plug-ins for WordPress by doing a bit of research and understanding the direction of your site.
Finding the best free SEO plug-in for WordPress may not seem easy, but it is worth the time. Once you find that plug-in, your site will move up the Google rankings because the tool will do the job and get you the traffic needed to boost conversions.
Top 5 SEO Plug-ins For WordPress
|Plug-in||Ease of Use||Functionality||Efficiency|
|Google XML Sitemaps||4.2||3.8||5|
|Broken Link Checker||4.8||4.3||5|
|Google Analytics by MonsterInsights||3.7||4.5||4.3|
In terms of being the biggest of all the SEO plug-ins for WordPress, it doesn’t get larger than Yoast. This SEO plug-in has nearly 30,000 5-star ratings on the WordPress site. It’s effectiveness as a plug-in is beyond reproach.
The reason you will end up loving Yoast is because the learning curve is not that steep and once you figure it out, it is actually a very easy system to use. The best part about Yoast is that everything is color-coded. You will know right away if you have a page properly set up for SEO or if you need to go back and tweak it.
There are several great features that you will love about Yoast. The first is the Page Analysis Tool. This tool gives your page a quick scan and makes sure that everything you are doing is part of a cohesive SEO strategy. From your H1s all the way to your alt-tagging of images, this plug-in provides everything you need via the Page Analysis tool to know exactly what you need to do to make your page friendlier with all the SEO algorithms.
Thanks to Yoast, you don’t need to worry about doing a lot of labor to make the pages SEO ready. It’s easy to scan for all the different parts of SEO. For example, your posts will be looked at for length along with the Flesch-Kincaid readability score. Ensuring that your meta description is not too long and not too short is also done within the purview of Yoast.
The bottom line is the Yoast SEO plug-in does a little bit of everything, and that is perhaps its greatest benefit.
In terms of drawbacks, there are several things that Yoast doesn’t quite do as well as one would like. The first is while Yoast provides a host of information regarding your site’s SEO performance, it doesn’t quite tell you how to change it. This is problematic, especially if you are new to site design and don’t understand the vagaries of SEO.
Furthermore, other issues with Yoast is that it doesn’t provide the data you need to check your site’s SEO performance. Therefore, you will need some sort of SEO analytic plug-in to tell you about your site’s performance.
The reality is though, we are quibbling about these issues with Yoast. The plug-in is ideal for those new to SEO and WordPress. It makes producing SEO friendly content quite easy for users of all skill levels.
- The SEO system within Yoast provides an easy to understand checklist that’s color coded. Thanks to this information, you can go back into the page and easily optimize the different areas to make sure everything is optimized prior to publishing.
- User-friendly design means you need to know very little about SEO to have confidence in your ability to create SEO friendly content.
- Scans all parts of the page quickly to give instantaneous feedback before you publish.
- Every area of SEO friendliness is checked – even the small areas like the alt-tag and the readability scores.
- Doesn’t have an analytics platform built in, therefore you’d need another app to see how well your page is performing.
- While you can see the SEO problems, there isn’t much in the way telling you how to fix these problems, which for neophytes make building a site difficult.
Google XML Sitemaps
One of the key ways to make sure your site is doing well with SEO is to ensure that the site index is easy to scan. This is part of the SEO algorithm, and if your site is properly indexed, then it is very easy for the scans of the search engine to get right to the key elements in the site index.
In turn, this ensures that your site is at the top of the search rankings. The higher your rank, the more conversions occur. Google XML Sitemaps is a tool that works with your site map. It makes sure that you don’t have any issues with getting the index done correctly and that the keywords are properly displayed.
There are several advantages to having a site map tool like Google XML Sitemaps. One of the first is the ease of use. Like all things created by Google, there is not much of a learning curve for using it. Instead, the plug-in works to make the site map as automated as possible.
Ease of use is perhaps the most important feature in this particular plug-in. Even if you have to use other plug-ins for SEO, this plug-in is always worth having around so that you don’t need to worry about the index.
The automatic generation of the site map is where the rubber meets the road. Once you have the site map created and have the settings where you want, just set the plug-in and forget it. Everything you do will be cataloged properly in the site map. The basic options may take some time to get through, but once you finish your work there, everything becomes automated.
But, unfortunately, where the plug-in succeeds – site maps – it fails with other SEO tasks. So, if you need to check your meta description or your alt-tags, this plug-in won’t do the job.
The other issue for newer users is getting through the basic options can be a bit cumbersome, especially when spending time on a single element of SEO.
- The process of creating a site map is made extremely efficient with this plug-in. Everything is automated once you complete the basic settings.
- Instead of developing your own site map, one is created for you and automatically updated as you make changes.
- A site map that’s indexed correctly and gets ranked higher in the SEO algorithms.
- Plug-in only works for site maps, there are no other SEO elements are addressed.
- The basic options can be cumbersome for new users to work through.
Broken Link Checker
The old idiom that the “devil is in the details” is best exemplified by the work done by the Broken Link Checker. This plug-in does the work that takes an individual way too much time to do – specifically checking to see if there are broken links on the site.
If you have a site with just a few pages, then it’s not a big deal and you can see if the links are broken. As a site or blog grows, the pages become larger in number and that means it’s harder to check links. Broken Link Checker makes sure that your site does not suffer the consequences of having search engines downgrade your site because of the presence of these problematic links.
One of the best things about Broken Link Checker is that you need to do nothing in order for it to work. The plug-in constantly scans your site to ensure that all the links are working properly, and if a link isn’t, then your attention is brought to it. The other service provided by this plug-in is making sure the link does not appear on the site for SEO purposes. This is an easy way to avoid SEO demerits.
The bottom line – you get to work on your site while not having to worry about all the technical stuff. Broken Link Checker also monitors not just links on your site, but links found in the posts, pages, comments, and the custom fields you may have. This plug-in is comprehensive in solving the broken link problem.
The big drawback to this plug-in is that it’s another that focuses on a single entity that can affect your SEO. You will need other SEO tools to make sure things like H1s are properly working for your SEO to be effective.
The other issue found with this plug-in is that the more complex your site is, the more time you will spend fixing the broken links. It’s great that it is brought to your attention, but if your site is performing strongly despite the links, this could be tedious.
- Plug-in makes detecting and resolving broken link problems easy.
- Lots of different areas in which broken links are scanned and resolved.
- Keeps your SEO score high by preventing broken links from being detected.
- Only works for one SEO element, so you need more SEO tools for other SEO elements.
- If you have a large site, this tool can get tedious if you don’t automate it.
Google Analytics By MonsterInsights
When you are building a site and trying to see a relationship with conversions, you need analytics. Having analytics at the ready is a critical way to make the proper adjustments quickly so you don’t lose money diagnosing and solving the problem. Having the data right where you need it is critical, and many WordPress developers loathe having to switch screens to see how the site is performing.
The good news is Google Analytics by MonsterInsights solves this problem comprehensively. Finally, you will have all the information you need in order to determine the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
The biggest benefit of this plug-in is having immediate knowledge at your fingertips. The data is easily configured and right away you get the information straight from the WordPress dashboard. This set up makes it very easy to see what works and what needs improving. The dashboard also helps you decide which groups are not being targeted effectively, so you can alter your strategy with ease.
When it comes to data, this plug-in gives you a large set of data points just like the typical Google Analytics platform. There are several items that you can review with ease. They are demographics, inbound and outbound links, interest reports, and performance over time. All of this knowledge will help you build a site responsive to your target market.
There are some drawbacks to this plug-in – specifically that while you get all the data, you need to use other tools to correct the SEO problems. This plug-in just points out where deficiencies and successes are.
Another issue with the plug-in is something problematic to any type of analytical support – you need to wait for it to bear fruit. Essentially, you can’t just install the plug-in and get a ton of data right away. You need to wait for the plug-in to work and from there, tweak your strategy.
- Plug-in eliminates the screen switching nightmare that comes with using Google Analytics.
- Uses several data points that help determine the effectiveness of messaging to specific parts of target market.
- General settings are easy to navigate and help you get the data immediately.
- This plug-in only handles analytics, so you need another plug-in to do the actual SEO work that this plug-in will analyze.
- Need to wait for the plug-in to get reports over a period of time.
Smart phones have changed the world and now accessing the internet via a mobile device is a part of daily life. It is estimated that nearly half of the world’s population uses a mobile device to access the internet, and to that end, mobile sites are now a big part of the search engine game.
Developing a mobile site may seem extremely difficult if you are just barely able to develop a desktop site; that’s why it is important to have a tool that helps you develop a mobile site with great ease. The best part is with WPtouch Mobile, you can basically ensure that your mobile site is just as responsive and effective with conversions as the desktop site.
The reason that WordPress developers use WPtouch Mobile is because it is cheaper than hiring a developer and there is also a lot of stuff the plug-in can do that will make sure your site’s branding doesn’t get lost in the move to being mobile friendly.
Having themes is great, but there’s more to it. You can use the admin panels to change around the appearance of the site and there’s no need to know any code as you make these changes. In a lot of ways, the plug-in takes the guesswork out of site building.
Some folks may worry that incorporating the mobile site elements will disturb the desktop site. This couldn’t be further from the truth. All your mobile site will do is basically take everything on the desktop and create a partner site automatically popping up on mobile devices.
The drawback to this plug-in is that it works to help with creating a mobile site, but if you have SEO issues, you need another plug-in to resolve those or just your general knowledge.
Another issue that some find is that there’s no analytic platform in the plug-in. You won’t know how many people are accessing via mobile and this doesn’t help when planning your site build.
- Easily creates mobile sites that help your SEO ranking inch up the charts.
- Themes are very easy to apply and look spectacular on mobile devices.
- Information that’s on desktop is seamlessly carried over to the mobile site.
- Does not do more than help with create a mobile site, so you need additional SEO tools to make it a truly immersive plug-in.
- No analytic platform for you to see how many folks are accessing the site via mobile or desktop.
There are many different reasons you should invest the time in learning about SEO. A key to making sure your WordPress site is ready to meet the SEO challenge is having the right plug-ins. Whether you use one exclusively or combine a few, the plug-ins on this list will help your site move up the SEO rankings, and as your site moves up, it also becomes a hub for conversions.