8 Best WordPress SEO Plugins and Tools to Improve Your Rankings in 2021

wordpress seo plugins and tools to rank higher in SERPs

Having a website that is best optimized for SEO is more important these days than ever due to the growing number of competitors. Furthermore, to stay ahead of the game, you have to work continuously to advance your SEO techniques, improving the user experience as well as the usability of your website.

We already know that search engines are a major source of traffic for many popular websites. And, in today’s very crowded web, choosing the best WordPress SEO plugins to get your website ranked high can be a daunting challenge.

It’s important to know that SEO optimization is an iterative process and you have to keep updating the old content of your website periodically for better SEO results. If you are looking to improve the visibility of your website in search engine page rankings? We are here to help you with some great options for choosing the right SEO plugins and tools in this guide.

5 Best SEO plugins for WordPress 2020

1. WordPress SEO by Yoast

wordpress seo by yoast plugin
WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin

Today, if you consult any WordPress enthusiast or developer or an expert, their first choice among SEO plugins would be the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin. Further, it has more than 5 million active installations and 25,000+ 5-star ratings from trusted voters worldwide making it undoubtedly the most favorite WordPress SEO plugin on the market.

Yoast offers a variety of features and benefits to make your site appear SEO friendly. For instance, it helps you perform thorough SEO checks on individual site pages and optimize to drive more traffic from popular search engines. Also, one thing that worries most bloggers is how long should their blog post be? While many experts may have different opinions, the length of an individual blog post can vary anywhere from 500 to 3500 characters or even more for articles such as review posts.

With Yoast SEO, you can easily see how well your content is organized around your main keyword and its synonyms, calculate the article length in the number of words, measures the readability of your content to see how easy it is for end-users to read the text in the article, as well as check the frequency of the main keyword for which you want to rank high in the search engines.

In addition, you can also preview using the Google snippet feature of this plugin to see how your article will appear in search results even before submitting it to search engines.

Another interesting feature of this plugin is that it can automatically generate an XML sitemap for your website as well as inform popular search engines like Google or Bing to crawl pages.

Features and Benefits of Yoast SEO Plugin:

  • Allows you to calculate some important SEO metrics such as keyword density and keyword distribution
  • Helps you optimize the content well around a focus keyword
  • Analyze text of the article on all possible variations of the chosen keyword or key phrase
  • Easily check how your page will appear in search results even before submitting article to search engines
  • Optimize your SERP snippet for better click-through rate, see how your page will appear in search results before submitting articles to search engines
  • Boost website SEO by adding structured data to your web pages
  • Increase the authority of web pages by creating internal links using the related link suggestion tool
  • Identify the top 5 most used words or phrases in your article to determine if it matches your chosen keyword
  • Quickly find 404 errors and fix deleted pages by redirecting them to the appropriate pages

The Yoast SEO Premium plugin provides more functionality than its lite version. This includes redirect manager, advanced context detection, keyword distribution tips, internal link building suggestions, social media previews, and much more.

2. Broken Link Checker

Broken links not only create a bad experience for website users, but they can also affect the SEO of your site. If you have been running the website for some time, you may already have experienced this problem.

A dead link can either be a link to your internal page in your domain or a link you added to an external website page. It can happen for many reasons. Nonetheless what is important to understand is that this can negatively affect your website ranking in search engines, so you need to timely check your site for any broken links and fix them before being found by search engines.

For instance, imagine you have a very large website or a blog with hundreds of posts, going through the posts and pages to analyze and fix individual links can become a nightmare for the website owner. Luckily, a WordPress plugin is freely available that can help you analyze your website to find broken links, and fix them immediately – Broken Link Checker.

What is so great about this plugin is that it allows you to edit your broken links directly from the plugin’s dashboard page, without having to open each individual page or post with a broken link. In addition, it automatically checks for broken links on a regular basis (the frequency can be set from the plugin’s Settings page) and notifies you by email when a dead link is discovered.

broken link checker plugin
Broken Link Checker Dashboard View

It’s a highly recommended and completely free WordPress plugin. This can help save a lot of time when working with broken links on your website and is a very handy tool to edit bulk links without having to navigate away from the screen.

Features and Benefits of Broken Link Checker:

  • Automatically scans your site for broken links in your posts, pages, comments, and optionally on custom fields
  • Analyze links for missing images and redirects
  • Send alerts about missing links by email
  • Handy interface for validating broken links and fixing them on the spot without navigating away from the plugin’s dashboard page
  • Strikeout the broken links in posts and pages (optional)
  • Prevent search engines from following broken links (optional)
  • Quickly search missing links, filter them by URL, anchor text and so on

3. All in One SEO Pack

all in one seo pack plugin
WordPress.org – All in One SEO Pack plugin

All in One SEO Pack is another useful SEO plugin that can help you optimize your WordPress site for SEO – analyzing your website content, applying recommendations, and improving the ranking of website pages for your targeted keywords.

Not only does it do an awesome job for obvious SEO needs, but it also helps you to tune in to other specific needs such as editing OG tags for social media content or adding AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) functionality to your WordPress site.

The plugin includes features such as XML sitemap for text content and images, Google AMP, Google Analytics integration, Schema.org implementation, automatic notification to search engines, SEO features for e-Commerce sites and so on.

It also offers some advanced features to its paid customers – including sitemap for video content, advanced support for WooCommerce, and pro tutorial videos and access to premium support forums.

Features and Benefits of All in One SEO Pack:

  • Helps you optimize your website content for SEO including support for ecommerce sites
  • Instantly creates an XML sitemap and submits to popular search engines such as Google, Bing, and others
  • Enables AMP for your site to help webpages load faster on mobile devices
  • Allows your web pages load faster by enabling AMP for WordPress site (optional)
  • Automatically optimizes your web page titles for search engines
  • Ability to add schema markup to your WordPress site
  • Integration with Google Analytics
  • SEO support for custom post types
  • Support for Canonical URLs

4. Rank Math

rank math wordpress seo plugin
WordPress SEO plugin – Rank Math

Rank Math is another powerful, user friendly WordPress SEO plugin that lets you optimize your site content for search engines and outrank your competitors.

This can be a good alternative to the Yoast SEO plugin when comparing two plugins. But the thing that makes this plugin a better choice is that it offers a lot of free features that would otherwise be sold with premium or paid SEO plugins.

It can perform a deep analysis of your website’s SEO and points out what is good and where improvement is needed. Furthermore, with its simple and powerful user interface, you can easily preview how your content will appear in SERPs, enable rich snippets, and how content will look when shared on social media.

We recommend that you give it a try before jumping straight to any of the premium SEO plugins in the market. And if you do like it, please do share your valuable feedback via the comment box below.

Features and Benefits of Rank Math WordPress SEO:

  • Perform a one-click SEO audit based on 40 different SEO factors and get actionable advice to improve your website SEO
  • Schema.org support for WordPress default and custom post types
  • Integration with Google Search Console
  • Get the list of keywords that your website ranks
  • Monitor your sitemap status, get alerts about any crawling or indexing issues within your WordPress site
  • Helps you improve keyword research, narrow down the keyword list by retrieving popularity data from Google Trends platform
  • Automatically optimize your images for search engines by adding important image attributes like ALT and Title
  • An XML sitemap generator will help crawl your website better by submitting your pages to Google, Bing and other popular search engines
  • Local SEO Optimization
  • Internal link builder to help you create better links between the pages of your website
  • Create and manage URL redirects with appropriate HTTP status codes, monitoring hits for every single redirect request made by the server

5. Rel Nofollow

Links are very important elements for any website and the way they are described in your content can affect search engine rankings not only for you but also for external websites.

Rel NoFollow is a very simple WordPress plugin that automatically adds a “nofollow” attribute to all external links when editing content through the WordPress post editor. This prevents the author from manually checking all external links in the blog post for the “nofollow” attribute.

How can nofollow link affect SEO?

When you’re putting in the work to build content with obvious links, you have an option to add each link with or without the rel="nofollow" attribute. The popular search engines, such as Google or Bing, use links as ranking signals. If you ignore this attribute, search engines by default treat it as “dofollow” link and count it as vote of quality for the outbound link. Meaning that links with “dofollow” count in favor of external websites to help them rank higher in SEPRs.

In fact, it’s a very common mistake that one can unintentionally add an outbound link without the “nofollow” attribute. For every outgoing link without “nofollow” attribute, you’re actually asking search engines to crawl and count it as a vote for SEO for that external link.

But, having said that you still need to maintain a healthy balance of “Do Follow” and “No Follow” links, consider adding “dofollow” backlinks to some useful and quality sites like WordPress.org that help millions of users every day. Typical examples of using the no follow attribute for external links are sponsored links and comments.

Important: Google recently announced some important changes to how they now treat the “nofollow” attribute of links and also added two new link attributes that help search engines understand the nature of links.

3 Best SEO Tools used by Experts and Digital Marketing Agencies

1. SEMrush

semrush domain overview
SEMrush Domain Overview

SEMrush is a digital marketing software suite that includes a range of useful tools to help digital marketers and SEO experts do keyword research, backlink analysis, SEO, PPC, social media and content marketing campaigns, and more.

Gain detailed insights into your website’s performance or competitive information to shed more light on the competitor’s marketing strategies. With SEMrush, you can quickly see who your top competitors are, how much traffic they get for target keywords, what their actual sources of backlinks are, and much more.

You can easily discover profitable and organic keywords to rank for, find reliable sources for backlinks, monitor competitor ranks, and most significantly: perform a complete SEO audit of the website.

Although, there are a variety of tools available in SEMrush’s toolkits but the best of them is the backlink analytics tool. SEMrush’s backlink analytics tool gives you the ability to display all incoming links to your domain and see how authoritative the referenced domains are, and quickly see URLs and titles of linked webpages.

SEMrush is a complete SEO toolkit and is used by thousands of SEO specialists working with small businesses or enterprises every day.

Top 5 Benefits of SEMrush SEO Tool:

  • In-depth competitive analysis: SEMrush helps you find out who your competitors are and what SEO strategies they are using to help you develop counter-strategies and get ahead of all the competition.
  • Track keywords ranking: Discover the best-performing keywords for your website and see their average position in SERPs.
  • Tracking your brand reputation: Monitoring the presence of your brand is vital to your business and market audience. SEMrush makes it super easy to collect public opinion and reviews by regularly mentioning your brand and/or related words on the Internet.
  • Find website’s technical errors: Site audit tool takes the guesswork out of analyzing your website and detecting technical issues looming all over your website.
  • Efficient Link building tactics: Find new opportunities through prospects and build authority backlinks to your website from the most popular domains.

2. Google Keyword Planner

The Keyword Planner tool from Google is the most efficient and widely used tool for keyword research. Unlike SEMrush, which has a full SEO toolkit, Google Keyword Planner, on the other hand, is designed primarily for use by beginner and experienced advertisers who want to do keyword analysis and create paid ad campaigns.

The Keyword Planner tool now allows you to input up to 10 different seed keywords while searching for new ideas for your business or brand, and as a result, you discover more keyword opportunities than before.

After Google introduced a new feature for group ideas, you can now pull in keywords that are already categorized into different ad groups, narrow down the search results, and focus only on a specific set of keyword ideas that are most relevant to your topic. You can take a look at monthly keyword trends, track keyword growth for a specific period, and build up search campaigns easily.

Whether you’re a developer, blogger, or content marketer, you can use this tool to find keywords with low and high search volume, forecast keyword performance, and more importantly, identify relevant keywords to outrank your competitors.

Top 5 Benefits of Google Keyword Planner Tool:

  • Discover relevant, profitable keywords and keyword phrases to build successful SEO strategies.
  • Find out the exact keyword search volume and historical data for your keywords without spending a penny.
  • Narrow search results based on geographic location to create solid PPC marketing strategies to drive successful campaigns.
  • Acquire keyword ideas from a domain or website.
  • Get forecasts for your keywords based on your budget and average bid prices.

You can sign up or login using your Google account and start using the Keyword Planner tool.

3. Ahrefs

ahref site explorer seo toolkit
Ahrefs Site Explorer of Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another powerful SEO toolkit that professionals use to gather analytics to improve rank for their brands in search engines as well as gain insights from competitors’ websites. It has a wide array of tools to easily track individual keywords and volumes in search engines, see your overall organic visibility, as well as explore potential opportunities for SEO growth.

The backlink analysis tool from Ahrefs toolkit can help you gather and analyze all the links coming to your website and even filter & remove backlinks which could greatly damage your credibility through penguin penalties. Not only this, but you also unleash the real power of backlink analysis tools by gathering a huge amount of backlink data and find more link opportunities by searching and analyzing all your competitor’s backlinks.

Another yet worth exploring tool is keyword research. It’s a “go-to” for many SEO professionals to find high-volume keyword and content ideas.

In short, Ahrefs is a popular Keyword Explorer SEO tool and is used by thousands of professional bloggers, SEO experts, and content writers, who are interested in collecting and analyzing competitive data to inform marketing decisions.

Top 5 Benefits of Ahrefs SEO Tool:

  • Quickly find gaps in your content to improve through the Content Gap Analyzer tool.
  • Periodically track your website’s ranking history for main keywords and compare ranking with competitors.
  • Prepare a detailed audit report of your website summarizing the strengths, weaknesses and even recommendations to meet your objectives.
  • Monitor the growth and decline of external and internal links to your important pages.
  • Track a keyword’s SERP history, analyze backlinks of top-ranking pages and SEO tactics for valuable clues for optimizing content.

That’s it. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Do you want to outsource your WordPress project? Read our recent article on 10 best wordpress maintenance and support service providers. These companies provide services well within budget and help you run your website 24/7 with regular maintenance.

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