WordPress SEO Plugins For Optimizing Your Site

Searching for a complete list WordPress SEO plugins?

This goes way beyond Yoast. It dives into rich snippets, redirects, alt text, SSL, and even Google’s Site Kit plugin (still in beta). The speed optimization plugins include 20 in itself.

I’ve been writing WordPress SEO + speed tutorials since 2011 – I am a complete nerd about this stuff. I only included the best SEO plugins (no duplicates) and most of which I use myself.

You can install as many WordPress SEO plugins as you like, and it can help. But that’s not what Google wants – they want you creating better content than the top results. Selecting long-tail keywords, then using a TOC and writing long (3,000+ word) organized content, is a good start.

Here’s the list…

1. Yoast SEO

Most people already have Yoast, but few use it correctly.

4 Keyword Steps For Using Yoast

  • Configure ideal settings
  • Setup Webmaster Tools
  • Research focus keywords
  • Optimize content (for keywords)

There’s More To On-Page Than Keywords – getting green lights in Yoast won’t make pages rank high. Selecting long-tail keywords with weak content in the top results, then creating better content, will. Don’t obsess over them – spend more time on keyword research, add a user-friendly table of contents, create a video/infographic, aim for 3,000 words, and add practical how-to tips. The most important place to use your keyword is your page title, SEO title, meta description, and permalink (slug). Keyword stuffing can actually get you penalized.

Don’t Use Snippet Variables – In Yoast’s settings, there’s an option to use snippet variables (templates) for SEO titles + meta descriptions. You should avoid these at all costs, since writing custom ones is always better. This makes sure you stay within Google’s character limits (the green bar) and is also your chance to entice people to click your link, resulting in more clicks.

Optimize Content For Social – in Yoast there’s a “share” link where you can upload custom graphics for Facebook (1200 x 630px) and Twitter (1024 x 512px). This makes your content format nicely when people share it, and you can also customize the title + description text.

2. Google Site Kit (Beta)

Still in beta, this combines Google’s most people website management tools (Search Console, Analytics, AdSense, PageSpeed Insights) into 1 WordPress plugin. It should be on your radar.

3. WP Review Pro

WP Review is my favorite plugin for adding rich snippets. It supports 14 data types, looks great, has 16 pre-styled templates, and is maintained by the developers at MyThemeShop. It’s reliable, lightweight, and includes user reviews.

4. Easy Table Of Contents

Why would a table of contents plugin be on my SEO plugin list?

Because adding a TOC to long pages/posts has HUGE benefits.

5. Automatic Image Alt Attributes

One day, WordPress stopped adding alt text to images automatically (not cool).

Thankfully, this plugin will do it for you. Just install it and it will use the image file name as the alt text. That means you can stop wasting your time writing alt text for every single image, like I used to. Just remember to label your image file name before uploading them to WordPress.

Still the best way to check all broken links.

Detects broken links in pages, posts, comments, images, and even redirects. Dr. Link Check is good, but Broken Link Checker lets you fix them inside WordPress with 1-click options to edit or unlink each one. Of course, not having broken links on your website can improve your SEO.

Warning: this plugin continuously runs scans and sucks up high amounts of bandwidth. That’s why you should fix all broken links then IMMEDIATELY delete the plugin when you’re done.

7. Quick Page/Post Redirect

Shame on you – changing permalinks! It’s OK, sometimes you need to.

How To Setup A Redirect: Install it and go to “Quick Redirects.” Enter the old URL + new URL.

Find Crawl Errors: Go to crawl errors in Yoast’s Google Search Console section to see broken pages, then use the plugin to redirect them to the correct page/post (not just your homepage).

8. Republish Old Posts

Resets publish dates to current date, making content look fresh…

This is an easy way to increase click-through rates. Of course, people might wonder why your content says it was updated when it actually wasn’t. It’s definitely a little cheap, but it works.

Step 1: Find the entry meta section of your blog (the section at the very top of your posts) which for me is in the Genesis Simple Edits settings. Now include the post modified date.

What it should look like on your posts:

Step 2: Enable ‘date in snippet preview’ in Yoast (SEO > Search Appearance > Content Types).

Step 3: Install the Republish Old Posts plugin and configure the settings. You can choose how often the plugin resets your publish dates under “post age before eligible for republishing.”

9. Yoast Premium Plugins

Spoiler: Yoast claims their premium plugins lift heaven and earth, when in reality you will probably not see any direct improvements just by purchasing their WordPress SEO plugins.

Yoast SEO Premium ($89/year)

  • Redirect manager – use the free Quick Page/Post Redirect plugin.
  • Internal linking suggestions – do you really need a plugin for this?
  • Multiple focus keywords – doesn’t always detect partial match keywords.
  • Content insights – shows 5 top used words (keyword density barely matters).
  • Social preview – as long as you’re uploading social media images, you’re OK.
  • Support – I have heard many stories of them just referring people to tutorials.

Yoast Video SEO Plugin ($69/year) – create a video sitemap and markup pages so video thumbnails appear in Google Videos. Of course, most people go to Google’s regular search engine, so this will likely only pay off if you’re creating lots of videos especially how-to style.

Yoast Local SEO Plugin ($69/year) – adds a KML file, schema.org, and the option to embed a Google Map and store locator. Embedding a Google Map is easy, and most information Yoast “optimizes” for is already pulled from your Google My Business page. Yoast says this plugin “tells Google everything it needs to know to put you on top in local search results” which is not true considering Google’s local ranking factors have little to do with Yoast’s local SEO plugin.

Yoast Google News Plugin ($69/year) – doesn’t actually get you in Google News but helps format content for Google News by creating an XML News Sitemap.

Yoast WooCommerce SEO Plugin ($49/year) – enables rich pins for Pinterest.

10. WP Rocket

WordPress says…

The Caching section gives you the biggest benefit for the smallest hassle.

So which cache plugin is best? WP Rocket of course.

Why WP Rocket Is #1 In Facebook Polls

  • It’s easy to configure.
  • It yields fast load times.
  • It has extensive documentation.
  • It shouldn’t break your site (like some cache plugins).
  • It has tons of features most cache plugins don’t – lazy loading photos/videos/iframes, database cleanup, integration with Cloudflare/StackPath/other CDNs, hosting Google Analytics tracking code locally, Sucuri integration, plus they’re always adding new ones.
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