Ask any webmaster and they’ll tell you search engine optimization is important. In fact, good SEO is one of the biggest precursors of website traffic.
In case you’re new to SEO, we’ll explain what it is. Search engine optimization means designing your website and its content in a way that makes it appear higher in search results. Simply, good SEO ensures that if somebody googles the topic your page is about, your website will be more likely to pop up.
Search engines are a great driver of traffic and getting good search rankings is the best way to generate new visitors. That’s why it’s paramount to observe good SEO practices and maintain the highest search rankings possible.
It’s no wonder there’s a variety of SEO plugins for WordPress. Even if you’re a complete beginner, these make it easy to create an SEO-friendly website.
However, you should be careful when installing SEO plugins. Poorly coded plugins caused over 4,000 security breaches in 2017.
That’s why we’ve prepared this list. It will help you choose a quality SEO plugin that’s also secure, effective, and user-friendly.
Our recommendation is to also learn the basics of SEO. It always helps to know what you’re doing, even if a plugin takes care of most of the heavy lifting.
Without further ado, here are our top SEO plugins.
Yoast SEO is by far the most popular SEO plugin with over 5 million active installations.
Yoast SEO is extremely user-friendly. The language is simple, the interface is easy to navigate, and there is a help button if you don’t know what to do.
One of the biggest strengths of Yoast SEO is content analysis. It helps you analyze and optimize the content of every web page. You can even enter your focus keyword and see how the post performs.
You can also see what your pages look like in search results, manage meta tags and descriptions, and manage social media sharing. Yoast SEO tools also include:
- XML Sitemaps
- Breadcrumb Navigation
- Open Graph Meta Tags
- Importing Data from Google Webmaster Tools
- Built-in robots.txt and .htaccess editor
- Import/Export SEO data
One thing to keep in mind with Yoast SEO is that, albeit useful, its content analysis tool is not completely error-free. That’s why it’s important to learn the basic SEO practices and not take Yoast’s suggestions at face value.
Another thing users sometimes complain about is that Yoast SEO’s interface is bloated. There are too many features and this can interfere with website performance.
All in One SEO Pack
If you’re looking for a slimmer and more minimalistic interface, All in One SEO Pack is the plugin for you.
All in One SEO pack features are not enabled by default so you must activate the ones you want. The features include:
- XML Sitemap
- File Editor
- Bad Bot Blocker
- Open Graph Meta Tags
- Import and Export SEO Data
- Performance Manager
As you can probably tell, this plugin has nearly identical features as Yoast SEO. Both plugins |yield similar results so it’s merely a matter of preference.
Admittedly, the content analysis feature is a point in Yoast’s favor. However, optimizing content is something you’ll eventually have to learn as a website owner. It’s a point for Yoast, but it’s not an overwhelming advantage.
The SEO Framework
The SEO Framework is a newcomer to the SEO world. It has shown some incredible results nevertheless. It lets you manage:
- Post and title page settings
- Description and meta settings
- Social media sharing
- Schema settings
Also, it gives you a nice little SEO bar that shows the on-page optimization of each post. It has the advantage of being very unobstructive.
Its disadvantage is that it’s not designed with beginners in mind. Some options available might confuse complete beginners.
If you’re looking for a quality SEO plugin, all three are sure to deliver. We’ve listed the advantages and disadvantages, but we’d really have to nitpick to choose the best plugin.
If you’re just learning SEO and want to take things slow, Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack are both great options. If you already have SEO experience and want a plugin that doesn’t get in your way, try The SEO Framework. All in all, you can’t go wrong whichever choice you make.