7 WordPress SEO Plugins To Boost Your Site’s Rankings

by Chris · 19 comments

Wordpress SEO Plugins

One of the things I like most about WordPress is the sheer number of plugins available. Today, I’m going to share with you 7 of the best WordPress SEO plugins that I’ve been able to uncover.

Each of these plugins will help you improve some aspect of the on-Page SEO of your site, which will make it easier for you to rank higher for the keywords you are targeting.

I’m only including free plugins in this list, so there really is no excuse not to add them to your own WordPress sites.

1. WordPress SEO Plugin

While there are many SEO plugins out there, the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is the best one I’ve found. Like any other self respecting SEO plugin, it has built in support for custom Post Titles and Descriptions.

You can also enter in your main keyword for the post, and it will do a page analysis for that keyword. Follow its suggestions and you will be pretty much set in terms of on-page SEO.

The other feature I really like is the built in XML sitemaps so you no longer need to install a separate XML sitemaps plugin. The plugin’s implementation is very scalable, so if your blog has a lot of posts, it will split things up into separate, faster loading sitemaps.

2. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)

Having good internal linking is very important for SEO. That’s why I like using the Yet Another Related Posts plugin on many of my sites. This plugin automatically adds links to related posts on your site at the bottom of each post.

This is also really good for user engagement as it exposes your visitors to more of your great content.

3. SEO Friendly Images

If you include images in your blog posts (and you should), then it’s important to include the ALT tag for each image (which preferably includes any targeted keywords). SEO Friendly images is a handy plugin that will automatically update the ALT and TITLE attributes of any of your images if they are missing.

4. SEO Search Terms Tagging 2

This plugin does a couple useful things for SEO purposes. First it will display incoming search terms to the bottom of your posts. This will help with the On-Page SEO of your post for those keywords.

Plus, this can help you identify keywords that you didn’t know you were ranking for, which gives you more opportunities for traffic.

Second, you can choose to convert popular keywords into post tags for better internal linking and more indexed pages.

5. W3 Total Cache

Site load time has been acknowledged by Google as an SEO ranking factor, albeit a small one. One of the best ways to achieve a speed improvement is to install W3 Total Cache which is one of the best wordpress plugins I’ve tried. While the number of options may look daunting, you can pretty much accept the defaults.

6. WP Smush.it

This is a great plugin that will reduce your image file sizes and improve your site loading speed. After installing this plugin, every image you add to a post or page will automatically be compressed via the Smush.it API, often reducing it’s size substantially.

You can also process your existing images through the WordPress Media Library on your site.

7. Pingback Power

If you are doing any link building for your blog, especially with services like Unique Article Wizard or Article Ranks, then you’ll start to notice that your blog will receive lots and lots of pingbacks.

What are pingbacks? Well essentially, whenever anyone links back to your site you’ll receive a pingback, which among other things, contains the url of the site that is linking to you. One thing you’ll notice about these urls is that many of them are unindexed by Google. So that’s a lot of potential link juice sitting there doing nothing for your rankings!

Pingback Power is a simple wordpress plugin, that allows you to export all your pingbacks to a text file so you can get them indexed using your favorite backlink indexing product.

Pingback Power is free, but you will have to opt-in to get it.

Did I miss any of your own favorite WordPress SEO plugins? If so, let me know in the comments.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Mota Yelf June 20, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Really nice list of Wordpress SEO plugins Chris. There’s some plugins on there like WP Smush.it and Pingback Power that I haven’t heard of before. I’ll definitely give them a try.

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NSF to Outlook August 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Very useful list of WP seo plugins. I’m gonna have a try on all of them. But I read somewhere that SEO Search Terms Tagging 2 is having a little bit of issue after Panda updates.

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Chris August 15, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Thanks for letting me know about SEO Search Terms Tagging 2 issue. I did some further research, and I found a good article on the topic called SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2 Footprint Removal. I still think it’s a good plugin for SEO, but you do need to tweak the settings a bit.

Harsh Agrawal January 30, 2012 at 8:15 am

@Chris
i wil never suggest SEO search term tagging 2 plugin as Matt cutts already made it clear : showing income search term is like increasing Keyword density and considered as spam. Though, there is a feature which shows posts with 0 traffic…I find it useful to identify low quality content.
Harsh Agrawal recently posted..9 Steps To Secure WordPress BlogMy Profile

Web Traffic October 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Can’t seem to leave your site, Chris. LOL

On the tagging plugin: why would you want your competition to see what you are ranking for?

Makes is easy keyword research for them…
Web Traffic recently posted..Aweber ReviewMy Profile

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Chris October 22, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Hi Ana,

I did think about that, but since it doesn’t provide any traffic numbers for the displayed keywords, I don’t think it matters that much. If someone really wants to see what keywords you are ranking for, I think SEMRush would be more effective for that.

But hey, I could be wrong too. =)

Chris November 2, 2011 at 10:14 pm

I’m familiar with other plugins especially the first one for WP SEO plugin. But with the unfamiliar plugins noted here, what I really like most is the SmushIt plugin. Sometimes, the most common problem with other sites is the loading speed so most site owners decided to trim down the number of their photos or videos in their post.

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Harsh Agrawal January 30, 2012 at 8:13 am

Chris you should also look into new feature which is added into smush.it plugin, it lets you compress all previously uploaded images. That’s something which I have been waiting for from smush.it plugin team.
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Aman Arora January 17, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Thanks thanks thanks alot for this post bro, I am gonna install these plugins now. I have been using some of these plugins, lets see what I get from these.
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aatif January 28, 2012 at 6:53 am

Nice list of plugins . Using 3 of them and i am pretty satisfied with Yoast , The way it shows us preview is good .
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Veronica from south beach condos January 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I couldn’t agree more Chris. This is the main reason why i choose WordPress over Joomla. This CMS has a lot of support and plugins that are available over the internet. My favorite SEO plugin is commentLuv. It is what encourages my followers to comment on my write up and it is the main reason why i’m getting decent traffic to my site.

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Joe M February 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Great list, thanks!

After a bit of a hiatus, I have been playing around with a lot of Wordpress plugins lately. I really have always liked the Wordpress SEO plugin except for the missing ability to automatically create hyperlinks on keywords.

YARPP is another great plugin. So many people miss this simple way of creating good, relevant cross-links.

The rest I will definitely try out as my need arises.
Joe M recently posted..Choosing Plugins – WordPress TutorialMy Profile

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Tubedownload March 10, 2012 at 2:37 am

CommentLuv is a fantastic Wordpress plugin, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to encourage his readers to actively participate by commenting to its blogs. With the proper moderation, the spammers will have no chance to penetrate the blog. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) and WordPress SEO Plugin also makes your life easier.

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Amit Shaw March 14, 2012 at 10:34 am

I am using #5 and #6 and its really help me to get good speed as well as my google page loading time is 95/100. I would like to try WordPress SEO Plugin. Can i use it with All in one SEO?
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Chris March 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Hi Amit. I would not recommend using Wordpress SEO and All in One SEO at the same time. But you can import your settings from All in One SEO into Wordpress SEO if you like.

Kate March 29, 2012 at 7:13 am

We’ve recently discovered SEO Rank Reporter, which has taken a lot of the hassle out of checking whether our SEO work is actually having any effect – would definitely recommend it.

You’re right about the scary options set on w3 total cache, I’ve used that and my page load time still isn’t what i’d like it to be (despite not being an image-heavy site) but I’m nervous of changing too much as they do look like the kind of thing that could cause trouble with the WP database etc!
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Ryan Hanley July 25, 2012 at 2:25 am

Chris,

Thanks for linking to my plugin post. This is a great list of link building plugins. I have never used Pingback Power before so I’m going to check that one out.

Thanks buddy!

Ryan H.
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Lorenzo March 28, 2013 at 11:34 am

Great suggestions! Also recommend setting up the Redirection plugin. It will log broken links on your site which can then be easily fixed with a 301 redirect. Redirection is also useful for masking referral links.

On some sites YARPP can thrash the database so if that occurs, try nRelate, Outbrain, or LinkWithin as alternatives.
Lorenzo recently posted..Why I Recommend and use WP EngineMy Profile

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Chris March 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Great suggestions Lorenzo. I’ll have to check them out myself.

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