2018’s Best SEO Plugin for WordPress

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Search Engine Optimization or SEO is boosted by a number of factors. Each of the SEO plugin for WordPress helps you get a better hold on Permalink, Title, Meta description, Alt text, Featured image for each page. Let’s see which one is the best SEO plugin for WordPress.

But before we move to the plugins, you should remember that SEO is not only about the page level optimization. Few important factors also affect the ranks. When you optimize your content with a notion of ranking on search engines like Google‎(91.25%), Bing(3.07%), Yahoo!(2.13%), YANDEX RU‎(‎0.68%) [In bracket: percentage of search volume] you should consider these factors in the first place.

Question Time!

Why Do You Need SEO Plugin for WordPress?

I mean, you know that Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is a collection of efforts you put to get your page to the top of search results. You can use plugins for SEO, but you cannot ask for the best SEO Plugin. An SEO plugin is nothing but a checklist. It’s a checklist of putting the keyword in the right places, ensuring its density, fixing readability, etc. What else an SEO plugin does for you?

Before we discuss what an SEO Plugin does for you, let’s see what are the things you do to optimize your contents.

Factors Deciding Google Rank

Domain Authority

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MOZ Domain Authority of LearnWoo

This is not a necessary condition in the case of Search Engine Optimization. A higher Domain Authority(DA) paves a way to the top ranking in Google. Also, if your website has acceptance on the internet, this will help your SEO efforts. In other words, your website’s presence in a particular niche boosts your Domain Authority. For example, if you type SEO Plugin for WordPress, the Search Engine Results Page(SERP) will be:

Best SEO plugin for WordPress
SERP Analysis: DA denotes the Domain Authority.

Take a close look at the links section in the last column. The top result has 4.3k external backlinks followed by 311 backlinks to the second domain. Now, look at the 3.4k Facebook shares of seoexpertbrad.com’s page. Mass sharing of pages can take you to top too. This is because a lot of people have shared it and are recommending it. But, before jumping to any conclusion take a look at this.

Best SEO Plugin for WordPress
SERP Results

In this case, our article with Domain Authority of 12.96 appears on number 4. Citation Flow can be a reason for this. Citation flow is the basically the future potential of the page. It shows how influential the page can be, based on the sites which link to it. So building a network of links within the website and with any other website a quite necessary. But this is not going to increase in a short time. You need to be careful while choosing which sites you can add links to.

How to increase Domain Authority?

Receiving Editorial Links: When your content is good, and a lot of people are mentioning your domain and specific pages, your domain authority will rise considerably.

Asking for Backlinks: You can ask other editors, authors for backlinks to your website. You should be careful before asking for such favour. You should stick to a website similar to your niche and target for a website with relatively higher Domain Authority.

Social Sharing: Sharing your domain and page links to the community at large will also be very helpful. You can use different types of social media for the purpose.

Read the Link Scheme of Google and Check your Domain Authority.

Finding a Niche

Google pushes such content which is an in-depth detailing of the subject related to the keyword. So either you can write on a particular topic or hire an expert on the specific topic. This will ensure you are coming up with a complete article. You write what you know. And if you are an expert in that particular niche you’ll come up with a really informative article.

Writing an In-Depth Article

Come up with a descriptive article. With an in-depth article, you can expect a high deal of visitors spending an extra time on your website. And if they find it enough engaging, you can witness your content being shared and quoted. Trends show that visitors look for an extensive content and they don’t like to visit a lot of pages on one topic. Still, you can add internal links to related and important pages. This will help you reduce the bounce rate and increase time spent on the site.

The most important thing is the relevance of the content with the keyword.

Keyword Research

Keyword Research has become an industry on its own. Google ‘Adword Cost Per Click’ shows the cost you need to pay for one click for that particular keyword. Finding the perfect keyword require information regarding Keyword Volume, Difficulty, Organic CTR(Click Through Rate) and Priority scores. For instance, you can go a for a keyword which has:

  • High Volume
  • Less Difficulty
  • Higher Organic CTR
  • High Priority Score
Best SEO plugin for WordPress
Typical Keyword Research Page

Keywords are generally classified into three broad categories. Consider them calling:

  • Head Keyword: These are single word keywords and have the maximum demands. With people and organizations spending a lot of money and workforce for SEO, there is a very high competition. Raking among these words are quite difficult for unless you spend a lot of money. Further, “Adword Cost Per Click” is generally high for this due to a lot of competition.
  • Body Keyword: These keyword consists of two words and is having the maximum volume with a slightly lesser competition than head keywords. You’ll have a lesser competition compared to head keywords.
  • Long Tailed Keyword: These keyword has more than 2 words and has the least competition and a considerable amount of volume. These keywords are having considerable volume and least competition. Organic CTR(Click Through Rate) is really high as these keywords are dynamic and depend on recent trends around the world. These also have a high priority score.

So if you wish to rank on search engines go for long-tailed keywords. With an optimized website, relevant content, and suitable indexing of your website you can expect a high ranking in Google. Here is how you can optimize your WordPress website?

Once you start ranking better on Google, you can use these pages and link them to your new pages. Google seems to give priority to pages which are already on the top. So linking the high ranking pages of your domain will boost a new page too.

Google Search Results
Google search showing what people also searched for. Take a look at the longer keywords.

Competitor Research

SERP(Search Engine Result Page) shows the already ranking pages for the keyword. You can study these pages come up with a better content. As we have discussed its easier to rank for long-tailed keywords. A better content is half the race won.

The Best Sites for Keyword Research

The best options for new users carrying out keyword research are:

Google Keyword Planner

Anyone having a website can register for a Google Adwords, which gives you access to a whole lot of keywords and their demand in terms of money.

Ahref

Ahref is one of the most widely used keyword research tools today. It does a complete keyword research for its subscribers. It provides tools that can boost your website traffic, there are tools to study your competitors and get a better hold of your niche.

KWFinder

This allows you to do 5 free keyword searches for logged-in users. It also shows keyword suggestions, their volume and their cost per click for Google Adwords. You can also analyze SERP for each keyword.

MOZ

MOZ is an SEO service and specializes in fields of Keyword Research. Once you register for their 30-day free trial you get access to services like SEO Audit and crawl on the entire website. You can also do a backlink research an get a customized SEO toolbar.

SemRush

There is no denying the fact that Semrush provides a complete marketing solution. It supports Brands like eBay, Quora, bookings.com, hp and BNP Paribas in their marketing campaigns.

Search for any Domain, Keyword or URL in the box to check SemRush

SwissMade Marketing

SwissMade Marketing is a vast marketing service. It includes services in SEO, Marketing, Backlink Analysis, Traffic and Rank Analysis. Try them for yourself and ensure the quality of services. (Bear with the introduction video)

Ensuring On-page SEO using Plugins

The plugin can be really helpful in case of Post Optimization.

Title & Meta description

The title is the name of the post or the page. Below the title, you can see the URL in green. URL is followed by the meta description. Each of the listed SEO Plugin lets you customize the Title, the permalink, and the meta description.

Most search engines direct you to write a meta description for the readers and not for the algorithms. Not only the meta description, but the entire content should be based on the keyword and should be helpful for the reader.

Update: The maximum character limit for meta descriptions has been increased to 320. But writing a meta description in the plugin is not sure to appear in the search. There can be instances when the first 320 characters of the first paragraph may appear in the search.

Tags: Adding Tags to the entire page or the product will affect the optimization of the page or the product.

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Adding Tag

The Best SEO Plugin for WordPress

We’ll discuss on-page optimization and the free SEO plugins that do it the best. Let’s roll.

Yoast SEO

This is for someone who is familiar with Search Engine Optimization from before and understand its requirements. You can see the Option available in Yoast SEO 7.1. One of the features setting Yoast SEO apart is the keyword research tool.

Explore features of Yoast SEO 7.1

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Keyword Research Tool in Yoast

In Yoast SEO, you need to ensure that most of these lights turn green. More green lights will mean more optimized content. And the instruction that follows, guides on how you can fix the issues. It means the post is optimized enough and has the standard for Google.

Best SEO Plugin for WordPress
Yoast SEO Text Optimization Features

Starting with Readability Analysis, Yoast SEO guides you on factors mentioned here:

  • If you have 3 or more sentences more starting with the same word. This can be a factor if the sentences are in the same paragraph. But if this warning is shown in case of points, you can ignore this warning.
  • If any heading or subheading has more than 300 words, you’ll be shown an orange colour. Since long paragraphs can be distracting, you should have shorter paragraphs.
  • The plugin also checks for passive voice, long sentences and enough use of transition words.
BEST SEO PLUGIN FOR WORDPRESS
Yoast SEO on page SEO Features

Moving to the Keyword Analysis Section, the plugins check if you have a focus keyword set or not. Further, it checks the keyword density, its presence in URL, meta description, alt attributes. It has a count of all links on the page and shows the total word count of the content.

And the last but not the least the Snippet Editor. It allows you to Edit the SEO Title, Slug, and the meta description. To open the snippet editor, you need to click on the Edit Snippet Button as shown. Additionally, you can preview the snippet on both mobile and desktop screen sizes.

Best SEO Plugin for WordPress
Snippet Editor Yoast SEO

All in One SEO Pack

All in one SEO Pack is not as diverse as Yoast  SEO plugin in case of on-page SEO. But it lets you customize title and description of a post. Since the plugin is free you can download it and test the latest version and explore its settings and controls. Or you can watch their official video about the plugin. The plugin allows you to:

  • Submit XML sitemap to search engines
  • Create Accelerated Mobile Pages(AMPs)
  • Connect Google Analytics
  • Auto-notification to search engines about changes in the site
  • Connect SEO services with WooCommerce products
  • Compatible with most plugins
  • Translated into 57 languages and is compatible with PHP 7.0

The plugin is best suited for beginners, who need not worry a lot about the setting. Once installed lot of SEO activities gets automated with the plugin. Indexing and nofollow tags can be added from the visual editor itself. You can also choose to disable SEO from the post. All of these features are available on each post.

Best SEO for WordPress
Features of All in One SEO

SEO Framework

While editing a post and optimising it with SEO Framework, you get three sections. Again if you are interested to see the settings and controls available, download the free plugin and see it for yourself. So the On-page SEO Settings Options contain:

General | Social | Visibility

In the general section title and meta description can be customized. Next is the social tab that helps you customize posts for social media.

In the visibility section, you will find the custom URL. The plugin allows you to have robot.txt enabled for each post. You can index, add a nofollow tag to the post and add a noarchieve tag just by checking the boxes in the visibility section. You can also remove the post from local searches and remove it from all achieve listings. And the last but not the least you can add a custom 301 Redirect URL for the page in case you have one for the particular post.

To start with Features of SEO Framework, you can go with the default setting for quite some time. Or you can make changes in them if you are aware of what you are doing. Other features of the plugins that will be helpful for you are:

  • Global Settings
  • Per-page Settings
  • Supports WooCommerce and bbPress
  • Easy plugin switch tool
  • Canonical Mapping to prevent errors
  • Disable indexing of 404 pages and empty categories
  • Structured data for search engines with Breadcrumbs
  • Pagination, and auto excerpts and backlinks

WP Meta SEO

WP Meta SEO is a strong plugin and is quite helpful for bloggers, who don’t want a point to point check on every page. It offers a character counter for Title and the Meta description. I am skipping the settings section as the plugin is available for free and you can check for them on your own too. The on-page optimization of WP Meta SEO provides a checklist similar to Yoast SEO Plugin, and a tick mark appears with each correction you make. You’ll get a tick in each of these cases:

  • Title and Meta Description and the Content should have the “Page Title Word”.
  • URL should be same as the Title.
  • Put meta alt to the Images.

The plugin resizes the images and checks their meta alt.  Don’t publish until you reach 100% as these are the points that you need to have in the content.

Best SEO Plugin For WordPress
On-page Features of WP Meta SEO

Main Features of WP Meta SEO are:

  • Global bulk edits of title and meta and links for posts and media
  • Auto image resizing
  • 404 errors redirect
  • Broken Link Checker
  • Google Analytics
  • Breadcrumb
  • Compatible with Gutenberg

Closing Comments

As SEO considers a lot of factors, an SEO plugin will help you ensure you check the Site Index, connect to Google Analytics and Optimize contents. The above-listed plugins are the easiest to use and are available for free downloads. If you want help with detailed on-page optimization Yoast SEO is a great choice. You can also go for the rest plugins based on the different features available when editing each content.

SEO plugin for WordPress can be a  handy tool for optimizing your contents. But you can’t expect any magic with these plugins. Ranking with Google can be achieved even without a great DA. Content is still the king and an content that helps and is relevant to what people search for will go a long way. Apart from this, you can look for current trends followed by Google and other search engines. I hope you’ll follow the steps and benefit a lot. You can also read a comprehensive guide on WooCommerce SEO and Plugins.

Get Ready! Gutenberg is Coming.