WordPress is one of the most commonly-used website builders in the world and for a good reason, too. It is technical, intuitive, and comes with loads of professional features that let you customize your themes, widgets, contact forms, and even modifications to the CSS. It truly is one of the best builders on the market right now.
As a bonus to using WordPress to build a website, its search engine optimization (SEO) tools are pretty compelling. While WordPress makes it enormously easy to optimize and track SEO with just its base design, you can take it a step further and add WordPress SEO plugins seamlessly.
Plugins are modules that are either made by WordPress, or the community. They are helpful tools that automate quite a bit of the busywork involved in getting your website exactly how you want it. SEO plugins are specifically designed to improve your on-page SEO and help you rank higher in search engines. There are plenty of plugins available that do tracking, analytics, suggestions, and management. Today, we’ll be looking at a few of our favorites.
1 All in One SEO Pack
All in One is a perfect starting point for learning how to tailor your content to ranking high on search engines. It has many of the same standard features of other SEO apps, but it goes a step further with some pretty useful widgets.
For instance, you can directly edit things like your robot.txt file, the directive that allows or disallows search engines from crawling areas of your site. Editing them and parsing them by hand, while not too difficult, can be time-consuming; that’s where All in One SEO Pack comes in. It’s the same story for editing your .htaccess file, which you normally would need to do so through FTP.
All in One SEO Pack also has some good security features, like blocking spam and malicious bots from accessing your site. Furthermore, it is automated and allows you to autogenerate meta descriptions without the additional busywork.
Overall, we think that this app is a great choice for helping your site rank higher through SEO on both desktop and mobile. Its support for AMP is pretty nice, and it can make life easier down the road as you learn more about how to optimize your content and web design.
2 Rank Math
Rank Math is packed choc-full of useful and essential features that are currently unmatched by other applications, and for that reason, it’s one of the most powerful plugins you can use on your WordPress site.
It is very accessible for non-technical users, such that it even comes with a setup wizard to assist in installing the plugin. Its user interface is very clean, and it shouldn’t be a difficult learning curve for new web developers.
It integrates with Google Search Console, which helps you track the health of your website. It also provides an option for redirection, something not offered by many apps. It allows you to create card previews on social media, increasing the organic traffic to your website passively. As a bonus, it detects dead links and dead pages that produce a 404 error, giving you the chance to redirect or reinstate before things get catastrophic. It even alerts you to where the initial redirect came from on your site, making internal link cleaning quick and easy. This is a critical feature, especially if you ave a mall operation that is short on time.
Rank Math, on its own, is a strong tool for SEO, and you should consider it as your main SEO management tool.
3 Yoast SEO
One of the most popular SEO management tools around, Yoast offers a comprehensive website optimization suite that helps you outrank your competitors. It is often one of the “main” SEO plugins used, so much that even Ahrefs touts it as their main plugin for search engines.
You can do quite a bit of things with Yoast SEO, namely site verification, creating XML sitemaps, specify which tags to index, and create templates. There are also good add-ons for optimizing mobile AMP pages, which you should never forget about.
Perhaps most helpful is how, once you install Yoast SEO, each post and page gets a little section that contains meta-information templates. You can plug in your SEO title, slug, and meta description while receiving real-time feedback on its rating.
Beyond that, Yoast SEO has a great analysis widget that shows how well your page is optimized for your keyword or keyphrase. While these are good pointers, they’re not make-or-break factors to worry about, too much.
We do appreciate the Readability analysis module that comes with Yoast SEO, and it assigns grades to your content based on how easy it is to read. This is similar to a Flesch Reading Ease score, the kinds that apps like Hemingway measure.
Yoast SEO is a powerful search engine optimization tool for beginners who want to learn more about how their content is being rated across multiple search engines.
4 Easy Table of Contents
While not necessarily an SEO app per se, Easy Table of Contents is the response to Google’s recommendations that your readability and format on-page be as simple as possible for navigation.
Easy Table of Contents creates a table of contents to other areas of your website to make it easier for visitors to navigate. This can be done site-wide, enabling a table of contents for your blog posts that list each subheading, allowing your visitors to jump to the sections they need. It substantially improves SEO metrics incidentally by boosting the time on page metric, bounce rate, and many others.
The Easy Table of Contents plugin also can be placed in the search engine return preview, increasing the likelihood of visitors clicking on your site, since your subheadings are clearly visible. You can choose what is included in the table of contents, as well as specify where you want the table to be on your website.
5 SEO Press
SEOPress is very simple as a plugin, but it’s almost deceptively simple; it has plenty of desired features geared towards SEO, including standards like meta tags, meta descriptions, image alt tags, automatic redirects, and that’s just scratching the surface.
Interestingly, it comes with very accessible controls for newcomers, but it also has fairly advanced features for savvy SEO marketers. This is a testament to how versatile the plugin is, and in many ways, its advanced controls are comparable to more expensive and well-known WordPress SEO plugins available. Its ease of use makes it one of the most parsimonious options for webmasters of all levels.
For its price point, SEOPress is amazingly worthwhile; its premium service is near half the cost of more established plugins. It is very similar as far as features, and it’s also far more user-friendly than most.
Shortpixel hits the images hard on your website by smushing and optimizing them to improve site speed. Large images can be extremely exhaustive on your website’s bandwidth depending on the host capacity, and Shortpixel solves this problem as its main feature.
Images are very slow-loading, and when Shortpixel optimizes images, you’ll find your site’s speed substantially improved. We love its automated optimization for images, and it constantly updates; this means that when you upload a new photo, it will automatically optimize them without you needing to do anything.
We love the parametric variation of the images, and you have three options: Lossy, Glossy, and Lossless. They are different levels of compression that change the image quality depending on which option you choose. You can also run a bulk image optimization, which will automatically optimize all images already in your media.
It can be a very economical option, but it’s not completely free. There are other options available, but few come close to the specificity of Shortpixel.
Ahrefs is probably the king of SEO tracking and analytics, and marketers swear by it. It is a very popular choice amongst digital marketers, as it allows you to do nearly anything SEO. You can conduct keyword research, track the competition, do link building, and monitor the competition amongst your keywords. It is very detailed, and it gives you tons of tools for comparing domain authority and measuring the ranking of your site.
Ahrefs’ backlink analysis tools are probably its strongest features; you can check which websites are linking to which competitors. You can then target the websites that link most frequently to your competitors and improve your own rankings. Link building is typically a time-consuming process anyways, but Ahrefs demonstrably reduces the amount of time you spend doing that kind of research by hand.
Furthermore, its suite of SEO tools gives you the resources to design and implement campaigns effectively without wasting time. The overlap with other SEO apps for WordPress is there, but Ahrefs truly shines through its ability to identify the type of content your competitors are ranking for, and you are not.
Ahrefs enables website owners to design and enact successful content campaigns that will give massive returns with much more time efficiency.
SEMRush is often hailed as the best SEO tool around, and its reputation is well-earned. Countless SEO professionals, including digital marketers, content creators, and online business owners big and small, use SEMRush’s tools to upgrade their SEO prospects. It is very user friendly, and its customer service and billing department are very responsive to any issues.
It has a multitude of extra SEO features like those tailored to social media, content, competition, and management. It works very well with large or small teams, and integrating it into your pipeline should be a breeze, no matter how vast your operations spread.
The app is best for targeting organic traffic by doing keyword analysis and suggesting keywords that you can compete for. It tells you which keywords and key phrases have high competition, and makes it easy for you to find keywords you have a chance in ranking high in. This competitive research aspect is what makes SEMRush successful as an SEO tool. SEMRush’s writing assistant also bolsters your on-page content, suggesting improvements to SEO to make your writing more search engine friendly.
SEMRush functions as a cornerstone keyword research tool, and this can make or break your content campaigns. You can invest tons of time into the on-site SEO only to find out that you don’t have a shot at ranking high due to lack of preparation. SEMRush makes it easy to prepare and design smart campaigns to beat your competitors.
9 Broken Link Checker
The Broken Link Checker does just that: it finds broken links on your website. Even better, it will tell you where broken links are, whether or not they’re internal or external. It also runs a diagnostic on the broken link and communicates what the HTTP status code is, what anchor text it was attached to, and the source. This saves you tons of time finding and fixing the broken links that may be strewn around your website without you knowing.
What we love the most about Broken Link Checker is how it constantly runs in the background and checks for broken links all the time. It alerts the user by email where the error is located.
We also adore this plugin because it is so simple to fix the broken link by using the bulk function within the app. It also suggests related replacements for the broken link; while not perfect, it’s a great starting point for correcting issues.
However, because the app runs in the background all the time, extra care should be taken to make sure it doesn’t slow your website down. An adequate host is needed if you really want to take full advantage of the Broken Link Checker.
As far as free tools go, KeywordTool.io is hard not to love. It is possibly the best free keyword research app around, and it is remarkably easy to use. All you need to do is type in your keyword, and variations are populated onto your screen. It basically surveys and rips suggestions from Google’s autosuggest, but it also allows options for Youtube, Bin, Amazon, eBay, and even social media.
You can also do basic keyword analytics. The tool will also show you each keyword’s search volume, as well as other data granted you upgrade to their premium plan.
Getting more traffic to your website is a matter of mastering your keywords, and KeywordTool.io offers a great middle-ground that balances ease of use and breadth of keywords you have access to. Since each keyword query is live, the results are expressions of what users are searching for the most often. You can then tailor your campaigns and content to target these keywords and their variations.
11 Google Search Console
Google Search Console is provided by Google, and it’s a free tool that tracks your website’s authority through its search engine.
We like its alert system. If Google is unable to access and index certain pages on your website, Google Search Console will tell you specifically. It will also offer tips on remedying the issue, which could mean altering your robot.txt file, among other possible things.
It also reveals which keywords your particular website is ranking high for, as well as the average reach. While WordPress has its own system for tracking visitors and clicks, rarely do you get a clear picture of the number of impressions you get. You can then extrapolate solutions from this data by reorganizing and optimizing your site’s content. It’s also a great way to brainstorm blog and copy ideas, quickly.
12 a3 Lazy Load
Another image-focused SEO tool, a3 Lazy Load, is an easily-integrated SEO tool that will enable lazy-loading for your images. When it’s brought online, the images that your users are not seeing will not be loaded until they scroll down to it. This improves your site speed and loading times for your individual pages.
It is not a hard app to install, and it pretty much works immediately. You can enable and disable which pages lazy-loading works on. This is what makes the tool so versatile since you may be enabling and disabling for different reasons.
Images factor heavily into your ranking since they determine loading speed; large, clunky images that all load despite not appearing on the screen can be detrimental to your rank. It may seem like a small thing but trust us, these factors matter.
13 Google Keyword Planner
Google is one of the best, if not THE best metric for measuring keyword search authority. If you want to know what things people are searching for, Google is your stop.
Google is also a great way to get your own keyword ideas if you do not opt for a specific keyword research tool from a third party. Google Keyword Planner is a free module offered to advertisers, and it shows advertisers the keywords they can purchase for campaigns. It shows search volume, how many results are returned for your keyword, and how difficult it would be to compete in them.
You can use this data to find keywords to compete in, especially ones where you can outrank others.
14 HREFLANG Tags Lite
Your alt tags and meta tags are tiny details that make big waves in SEO. It helps specify variations, even small ones in pieces of content — for example, if you have multiple languages on your website but on different pages, you can use this tool to specify to Google that these variations are separate. It helps Google call the correct version of the page for your visitors.
It really shows its strengths for multilanguage content on separate pages, but it can be a somewhat grating process plugging in all of your tags. This works fine on smaller websites or websites that do not have a lot of translated topics. There are options for larger sites, though.
All in all, HREFLANG Tags Lite can be a great reason for tapping into bilingual markets, as they are often a neglected resource.
SEOQuake is a great tool for web developers looking to work up to a better SEO strategy. It is integrated with your browser and is supported by Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari web browsers. Its power lies in its data analytics since it provides SEO information on nearly any website. It spits out the domain authority, how old the page is, when it was last updated, Alexa rank, as well as other great metrics that help inform campaign decisions.
It is highly adaptable, and you can configure your SEOQuake to suit your needs. As a browser extension, it is free and user friendly. The bar and dashboard format makes finding the answer to your SEO question simple and easy, and you can choose either design depending on if you prefer another search bar or a separate interface for pure analytics.
Beyond that, it’s a helpful tool for conducting keyword research. SEOQuake comes with a search engine that produces the same data for keywords, which allow web developers to gauge how competitive their keywords are. The export function lets you prepare excel sheets in CSV format.
WordPress remains one of the kings of website builders, and for a good reason, its comprehensive database of plugins, as well as powerful customer and plugin support, make it an excellent choice for SEO. Whether you’re an experienced web developer or looking to start your first website, WordPress SEO plugins are going to be one of your most vital best friends.
Are you looking to upgrade your digital marketing strategy? Contact Twiz’s team with your query today!