20 Best SEO Plugins for WordPress (Free & Must-Have)

Looking for the best SEO plugins for your WordPress website, but feel overwhelmed by the number of SEO plugins available?

Having too many WordPress plugins on your website is bad because they will slow down your website speed. Then, how to choose the right plugins for your website?

The best SEO plugins for WordPress will enhance your SEO strategy in a variety of ways. In this post, we list 20 best WordPress SEO plugins that helps in improving your page ranking. Some of plugins offer similar functionalities, so I will only pick the best one of them to avoid plugin conflict. Therefore, this list will include 20 plugins for different purposes. Also, I will only introduce the free plugins.

Check the list right now.

1.     Yoast SEO

With over 5+ million downloads, Yoast is the first SEO plugin that every WordPress user should be installing. This single plugin takes care of many aspects of your WordPress site SEO.

Key Features (For Free Version Only):

  • Create custom meta header/description
  • Show SEO problems inside of your WordPress dashboard
  • Create and submit a Google XML sitemap for better site indexing
  • Set canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content and Google penalties
  • Control site breadcrumbs for better site navigation and site indexing
  • Hide specific posts/pages from search engines
  • Schema markup

Active installations: 5+ million

WordPress Version: 5.6 or higher

Yoast SEO

There are many plugins like Yoast, including All in One SEO, SEOPress, Rank Math and more. I won’t introduce them in the following paragraphs. To avoid installing too many plugins, you should choose only one from them.

2.     Akismet Spam Protection

Spammers (human and automated) love WordPress as much as bloggers do, so to say you need a spam blocker is an understatement. 

Used by millions of websites, Akismet filters out hundreds of millions of spam comments from the Web every day. It checks comments and contact form submissions against its global database of spam and filters out any that seem like spam.

Please note that this plugin does require an API key to activate it.

Key Features:

  • Automatic monitoring and filtering of comments
  • Flag and status history for all comments
  • Dashboard for moderators to see approved comments, user wise.
  • Discard feature that blocks all the frequently reported spam, to speed up your site by using less disk space.

Active installations: 5+ million

WordPress Version: 4.6 or higher

3.     Really Simple SSL

HTTPS is a ranking factor, so it’s crucial that you have SSL in 2021. Really Simple SSL activates SSL on your WordPress without the need for coding skills. The plugin automatically detects your settings and configures your website to operate on HTTPS.

Key Features (For Free Version Only):

  • Automatically Fix SSL Issues
  • Redirect Requests to HTTPS
  • Replace Content from HTTP to HTTPS
  • Help fix mixed content (i.e., when both secure and unsecure content is loaded over SSL)

Active installations: 5+ million

WordPress Version: 4.9 or higher

4.     WooCommerce

How could e-commerce miss this list of the most popular WordPress plugins? WooCommerce is the plugin that lets you turn your WordPress site into an online shop, so you can sell your products to your clients on the web. It’s the driving force behind 30% of all online stores and offers incredible flexibility and customization.

Of course, this plugin was built for commercial purposes, so all its users must be business owners.

Key Features:

  • Hundreds of extensions and themes, making it easy for you to add new features to your WooCommerce store.
  • Supports physical products as well as digital downloads.
  • Affiliate marketers can add affiliate or external products to your site, providing users a better experience.
  • Easily manage your inventory or even assign it to a store manager.
  • Built-in support for popular payment gateways (plus, you can add many other payment options using extensions).
  • Automatically calculate taxes, shipping costs, and other expenses.
  • Excellent support including documentation, a knowledge base, help desk, and community forums.

Active installations: 5+ million

WordPress Version: 5.5 or higher

5.     Elementor Website Builder

Elementor Website Builder helps you add advanced styling, layout, and design elements to your WordPress content without requiring you to know code.

If you’re not tech savvy, the visual editor gives you the flexibility to drag any of the 90+ widgets to create content, like buttons, star ratings, and progress bars. With it, you can design sales pages, promotional pages, and even custom forms easily. 

Key Features:

  • Build custom designs with some of the most detailed style options
  • Design your entire WooCommerce store with drag-and-drop
  • Choose from tons of content elements (widgets)
  • Save time with convenient editor features
  • Control the responsive design of your content
  • Import pre-made templates to save time
  • Build flexible popups using the full Elementor interface

Active installations: 5+ million

WordPress Version: 5.0 or higher

Elementor Website Builder

6.     Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan

If you’re a WordPress user, then site security should be at the top of your priority list. As the most popular CMS on the planet, it has more than its fair share of hackers, bots, and bad actors with WordPress websites in their crosshairs.

Wordfence is the most popular WordPress security plugin. The plugin will automatically scan your website for common threats, but you can also launch a full scan at any time. You will be alerted if any signs of a security breach are detected with the instructions to fix them.

Key Features:

  • Web application firewall (WAF)
  • Malware scanner
  • Security alerts and reporting
  • File repair
  • Real-time user monitoring

Active installations: 4+ million

WordPress Version: 3.9 or higher

7.     Contact Form by WPForms – Drag & Drop Form Builder for WordPress

A contact form is an essential feature of almost every type of website. Whether you’d like feedback from your visitors or inquiries from potential customers and clients, adding a contact form is one of the best ways to let people get in touch.

WPForms is the most beginner friendly WordPress contact form plugin. The free version comes with all the basic contact form features including basic form fields, captcha for spam protection, email notifications, and a thank-you page for form confirmation.

Key Features (For Free Version Only):

  • Create online forms for your site without writing any code
  • Add and remove form fields easily with a drag and drop builder
  • Collect leads with email subscription forms for your email marketing
  • Display beautiful mobile-responsive forms on your site
  • Prevent spam submissions with hCaptcha, reCAPTCHA, and anti-spam protection

Active installations: 4+ million

WordPress Version: 4.9 or higher

8.     UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin

Backing up your WordPress website is vital. UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular free WordPress backup plugins in the market today, with over 3 million active installations.

It is a complete solution for backing up and restoring the files and database of your WordPress site. The plugin also allows you to automate your backups and store them on remote spaces to preserve your data in case of failure of your host.

Key Features:

  • Backup wp-content folder, including plugins, themes, uploads
  • Separate database backup
  • Send files to remote storage
  • Restore from the backed up folders listed above
  • Auto backup when updating WordPress, plugins, or themes

Active installations: 3+ million

WordPress Version: 3.2 or higher

UpdraftPlus

9.     Redirection

Redirection is the most popular redirect manager for WordPress. With it you can easily manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This can help reduce errors and improve your site ranking.

Key Features:

  • Login Status Analysis
  • Browser, Referrer, and Cookies Redirects
  • Track 404 Errors
  • Apache and Nginx Support
  • Import and Export Systems

Active installations: 2+ million

WordPress Version: 5.1 or higher

10. Site Kit by Google – Analytics, Search Console, AdSense, Speed

Google Site Kit combines Google’s most people tools (Search Console, Analytics, AdSense, PageSpeed Insights) into 1 WordPress plugin. It gives you the option to check all these data on your WordPress dashboard without going to the actual websites one by one.

Key Features:

  • Quick setup for multiple Google tools without having to edit the source code of your site
  • Official stats from multiple Google tools, all in one dashboard
  • Simple aggregate and per-page reporting from Search Console, Analytics, and AdSense.

Active installations: 1+ million

WordPress Version: 4.7 or higher

11. Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR / CCPA

Cookie Notice provides a simple, customizable website banner that can be used to help your website comply with certain cookie consent requirements under the EU GDPR cookie law and CCPA regulations.

Key Features:

  • Customizable notice message
  • Consent on click, scroll or close
  • Multiple cookie expiry options
  • Link to Privacy Policy page
  • WordPress Privacy Policy page synchronization
  • WPML and Polylang compatible

Active installations: 1+ million

WordPress Version: 4.3 or higher

12. W3 Total Cache

Adding a caching plugin to your website is one of the first things to do if you want to speed up your website. Among the best plugins for the job is W3 Total Cache.

W3 total cache plugin can improve every aspect of your WordPress site like its page cache, Minify, Database Cache, Object Cache, Browser Cache, CDN support, Varnish and Network performance etc. All these things make W3TC as the one of best caching plugin for WordPress.

However, setting up W3 Total Cache can be overwhelming. The popular and powerful caching plugin has 16 menus to contend with and offers a dizzying array of options to configure. Hopefully this won’t scare you off.

Key Features

  • GZIP compression to optimize web browser rendering
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) support
  • Minification of posts and pages and feeds
  • Browser caching
  • Import post attachments directly into the Media Library
  • Support for Content Delivery Networks (CDN) which helps in speed
  • Compatible with CloudFlare to boost your website loading times
  • Minification of HTML, CSS and JavaScript files

Active installations: 1+ million

WordPress Version: 3.8 or higher

13. Smush – Lazy Load Images, Optimize & Compress Images

Smush is a free image compression and optimization plugin for WordPress. Active on over 1 million websites, Smush is, by the numbers, one of the most popular WordPress image optimization plugins.

There’s a big reason for that – it lets you optimize unlimited images for free using Smush’s servers (not your own). 

Key Features (Only for Free Version)

  • Automatically compress images with lossless compression. No lossy compression for free.
  • Automatically resize image dimensions.
  • Choose which thumbnail sizes to optimize.
  • Strip EXIF metadata.
  • Lazy load images for faster initial page load times.
  • Optimize images in external directories.
  • Bulk optimize 50 images at the same time.

Active installations: 1+ million

WordPress Version: 5.2 or higher

14. Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets

The All In One Schema Rich Snippets plugin helps you implement schema coding such as Review, Events, Recipes, Article, Products, and Services without any coding knowledge. This tools would be very helpful for small businesses, blogs, and review sites looking to establish a greater presence on SERPs.

Key Feature:

  • Support for 8 schema types
  • No coding required
  • Easy setup and configuration

Active installations: 90,000+

WordPress Version: 3.7 or higher

15. TablePress

One of the best ways to organize a large amount of data on your WordPress site is with a simple table. TablePress is a 100% free WordPress table plugin that’s active on 800,000+ sites while maintaining an impressive 5-star rating on over 3,900 reviews at WordPress.org.

No HTML knowledge is required. TablePress provides a user-friendly interface allows you to easily manage and edit table data. With TablePress, you can not only create tables from scratch by entering in data into a WordPress table editor, but you can also import data from multiple formats such as Excel, CSV, HTML, and JSON files.

Key Features:

  • Edit table data in a spreadsheet-like interface.
  • Multiple import options for Excel, CSV, HTML, JSON, Google Sheets.
  • Option to add front-end sorting, filtering, and pagination.
  • Make tables responsive, including choosing which columns to collapse.
  • Automatically sync your table with an external source.

Active installations: 800,000+

WordPress Version: 5.6 or higher

16. Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker monitors and tests all internal links & external links on your site looking for broken links. It helps you fix bad links to improve SEO and user experience.

Key Features:

  • Monitors external links and internal links in your posts, pages, comments, the blogroll, and custom fields.
  • Detects links that don’t work, missing images and redirects.
  • Notifies you either via the Dashboard or by email.
  • Makes broken links display differently in posts.

Active installations: 700,000+

WordPress Version: 4.6 or higher

17. Polylang

Polylang is a powerful plugin that you can use to easily and quickly create a multilingual WordPress website. It features an easy to use interface where you can add translations for your posts, pages, media, categories, tags, custom post types, widgets, and navigation menus.

Key Features:

  • Supports manual and automatic translations.
  • Add an unlimited number of languages.
  • Integrates a translation management system which enables you to access a pool of professional translators and supervise their work.

Active installations: 600,000+

WordPress Version: 5.1 or higher

Polylang

18. Easy Google Fonts

Typography plays an important role in design. Beautiful fonts create a better user experience, increase engagement, and boost time users spend on your site. If you cannot change fonts in WordPress website directly, then the Easy Google Fonts Plugin can help you.

Easy Google Fonts is one of the best plugins for improvising your website. We can use this plugin to add custom Google fonts to any WordPress theme. It has 600+ Google fonts to insert into your site and contains an Automatic Background Updates feature for updating the latest font lists by itself. Also, this plugin contains a Customizer to preview the Google Fonts live.

This plugin is finely suitable for anyone looking to insert various font styles to their WordPress theme without coding required.

Key Features

  • Live Customizer Font Control Preview
  • Choose from over 600+ Google Fonts and preview them instantly without refreshing the page.
  • Change font color in real-time.
  • Create your own font controls for your theme.
  • Manage any CSS Selector with your custom font controls.

Active installations: 300,000+

WordPress Version: 5.53 or higher

19. CDN Enabler-WordPress CDN Plugin

A CDN-content delivery network helps distribute content via proxy servers and data centers. The CDN Enabler Plugin for WordPress helps you integrate a CDN into your WordPress site easily and quickly.

This plugin links your content to the CDN URLs. It can define exclusions. And it helps you manage HTTPS by enabling and disabling them when needed. This way, it makes your life easier and is thus one of the best WordPress SEO plugins.

Key Features:

  • Fast and efficient rewrite engine
  • Manual and WP-CLI cache purging
  • Include URLs in the rewrite by file extensions
  • Exclude URLs in the rewrite by strings
  • WordPress multisite network support

Active installations: 20,000+

WordPress Version: 5.1 or higher

20. Easy Table of Contents

Google recommends breaking long pieces of content into logical sections with associated on-page anchors. We can make use of the Easy Table of Contents Plugin to get the job done.

The Easy Table of Contents Plugin can add a TOC to the WordPress website automatically. It collects all the headings from the content you have added and creates a nice WordPress table.

Key Features:

  • Automatically generate a table of contents for your posts, pages and custom post types by parsing its contents for headers.
  • Works with the Classic Editor, Gutenberg, Divi, Elementor, WPBakery Page Builder and Visual Composer page editors.
  • Provides many easy to understand options to configure when and where to insert the table of contents.

Active installations: 200,000+

WordPress Version: 5.3 or higher

Final Thoughts

It is lucky that WordPress brings a lot of great SEO plugins designed to automate and simplify several steps of the SEO process for us.

Choosing an SEO plugin for your WordPress site depends on what kind of operation you want to perform. Some need specific features others don’t. If you’re still overwhelmed by all the information you just read, don’t worry, we will simplify it. Here are our suggestions:

  • Optimizing posts and pages: Yoast SEO
  • Accelerating your WordPress site: W3 Total Cache
  • Filter Spam Comments – Akismet Spam Protection
  • Activates SSL on your WordPress Website – Really Simple SSL
  • Turn WordPress Site Into Online Shop – WooCommerce
  • Build Custom Desingn on your Wesbite – Elementor Website Builde
  • WordPress Security – Wordfence Security
  • Create Contact Form – Contact Form by WPForms
  • Back Up WordPress Website – UpdraftPlus
  • Redirect Manager for WordPress – Redirection
  • Website Data Analisis – Google Site Kit
  • Cookie Notice – Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR / CCPA
  • Optimize Images – Smush
  • Create Content Table – Easy Table of Contents
  • Change Fonts in WordPress – Easy Google Fonts
  • Create a Multilingual WordPress Website – Polylang

Having too many plugins on your WordPress sites will result in an increased risk of security and compatibility issues as well as slower loading times. Therefore, only install the plugins you need. The fewer you have, the better.

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