Now we’re in 2020, websites can no longer afford to ignore search engine optimisation! Back in 2019, it was found that 93% of ALL internet experiences start with a search engine and around 39% of eCommerce traffic comes from search which is why you need to be prioritising SEO.
But if you’re not an SEO expert, where do you even begin?
Luckily, WordPress actually has many plugins that are designed to help you improve your SEO performance and many of them are 100% free! Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the BEST plugins for SEO performance which you can find below.
Broken Link Checker
One way to speed past your competition is to go through your entire site to remove any broken links. When Google sees a broken link (404 error), they see this as a less desirable user experience which means they will penalise you.
The only problem with this is that it’s more than likely to take your hours, maybe even days, to go through all of your content to locate every single broken link. This is where the Broken Link Checker comes into play.
The Broken Link Checker does all of the work for you by scanning through all of your pages to reveal any broken links in a matter of minutes. This then allows you to go through and remove these links completely or change them to better references. Additionally, keeping the plugin active on your website allows it to continue to search your site and send you a notification whenever a link breaks in the future.
Once you have corrected all of the links, the list will then be empty which shows Google that you are maintaining your site.
Let’s have a look at some features of the Broken Link Checker:
- Missing images and redirects are also detected, alongside broken links, which means that anything that may confuse a read and make you less favourable in Google’s eyes will be detected with this tool.
- The plugin also monitors comments, custom fields and much more.
- You don’t need to spend time going to each and every post or page to change the broken link as ti can all be done in the plugins primary page.
- It has an option for searching and filtering all of the links.
- It also includes a feature for preventing search engines from following the links that are broken on your website.
Also known as the “King WordPress SEO plugin”, Yoast SEO has over 25,000 5-star ratings at this current time and also has its own website with premium options and a forum for any additional help.
One of the best parts about Yoast SEO is the ability to create and manage your XML sitemaps which is much easier than having to code your sitemap by yourself. It also helps you to identify and avoid duplicate content which also would avoid you being penalised by Google.
Although the plugin is free, there is a premium version which is charged at $89 per site/year and this gives you upgraded features such as suggestions for internal linking, redirect management options, 24/7 supports, no advertisements and page previews on different platforms.
However, here are some features that make Yoast SEO a great choice:
- It sees exactly what your Google search engine result will look like and, with this, you can adjust your meta description and title to make it more appealing and “keyword rich”.
- You can type in keywords and analyse how well you have optimised for those specific terms on pages and blog posts.
- The plugin is updated every 2 weeks to avoid bugs and keep user experience positive.
- It has some of the best resources and support options when compared to other plugins as reviewed by many companies.
- All pages have a readability check completed so you can understand if you need to break up paragraphs or add any elements like headers or numbered lists/bullet points.
The SEO Framework
For those who want a fast and “lightweight” SEO plugin without any ads, The SEO Framework is the one for you. It’s built for smaller enterprises as opposed to massive corporations as it focuses on helping out those who are more concerned about keeping site speeds high whilst also spending less time with confusing SEO articles. Its interface blends naturally when integrated with WordPress so it feels as though it should be there.
It’s actually considered as the greatest alternative to Yoast SEO.
Their interface is perfect for beginners but also allows advanced users to “get their hands dirty”. Their plugin is all-inclusive but offers more advanced functionality with the help of extensions such as incognito mode, redirect, local SEO, article enhancing and monitoring for SEO and uptime.
Let’s take a look at some of its features:
- The comment spamming extension removes the need for an additional plugin.
- It doesn’t sell anything to you and matches most of the needed features that you’ll find in Yoast SEO but without the need to pay for these premium features.
- It has a coloured scale which provides a more user-friendly way to check whether or not your post is going to perform well on Google.
- Most of the SEO settings are preconfigured so that there’s little to set up once the plugin is installed.
- It focuses on the focus subject rather than the keyword to encourage more natural writing as Google sees synonyms in SERPs as the same thing.
This plugin comes with everything you need to take full control of your on-page SEO. It combines the power of multiple plugins that you may already be using on your WordPress website for SEO and brings it all together into one easy to manage plugin. It’s also integrated with Google Search Console so you’ll see all of the important information directly from your admin dashboard in WordPress.
You can manage the on-[age SEO of your posts, pages, products and more alongside controlling noindex/nofollow/noarchive meta tags. It also has an inbuilt 404 monitor, redirections, rich snippets, XML sitemaps, automated image SEO, local SEO and internal link building recommendations.
Here are some features of Rank Math:
- The user interface is very clean, and the options are easy to understand.
- XML Sitemap module comes bundled in and the plugin also pings search engines automatically once a change is made to your posts.
- Each post/page runs through an SEO Analysis tool based on 40 factors.
- It gives you the option to automatically add alt or title tags to images that are missing them.
- Rich Snippers support is included and you have the option to choose from different from 6 different types of snippets.
- It comes with a 404 monitor to tell you where users see errors.
- It also comes with a Redirection module that lets you point those 4040 errors to something a little more useful on your site.
This plugin is marketed specifically for people who aren’t SEO experts as it offers a complete SEO suite without any complicated elements. All you have to do is input the desired keyword that you’re looking to rank for with the article that you’re writing and, as you write, green lights and popup suggestions appear explaining how you can work that keyword into your content. Basically like having an SEO expert over your shoulder as you write!
Their content reports are also another fantastic feature if you’re outsourcing writers or using multiple writers to product content. These reports give writers additional insight into SEO based on what has been written.
Here are some features of SEO Squirrly:
- You will get progress monitoring on a weekly basis along with a tool that shows recent tweets about your topics.
- There’s a tool that analyses your competition to see how you can outrank it.
- It includes content reports which you can then send to other people within your organisation.
- If you are looking to replace an old SEO plugin for WordPress with Squirrly then it will keep all of your settings from the previous setup.
So which one is the best option for you?
It’s vital to choose the right SEO plugins for your requirements and also spend some time using them so that you can get to grips with how they work.
As many companies have different needs, here are some recommendations based on our research of SEO plugins for WordPress:
- The best all-in-one SEO plugin – Rank Math.
- The best SEO plugin for optimising pages and posts individually – Yoast SEO.
- The best lightweight SEO plugin – The SEO Framework.
If you have a WordPress website, there are countless plugins at your disposal but we’ve found the above 5 to be some of the best ones available for your SEO performance.
However, we know that you can only go so far with SEO plugins so get in touch with our team of SEO experts to discover how we can help you.
You can reach the team on 0115 727 0038!