21 Most Essential WordPress SEO Plugins

WordPress plugins are tools used for greater functionality of the WordPress platform. It is a free and open source blogging tool and a dynamic content management system (CMS) created on PHP and MySQL. Many features of WordPress includes a plug-in architecture and a template design. It is used by nearly 15% of Alexa Internet’s “top one million” websites and manages 22nd of all new websites as of August 2011. As per recent stats WordPress is the most preferred CMS in use on the net.

People in general confused with WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Whereas from WordPress.org you can download blog software, free themes, plugins, community mailing lists, support forums, and documentation. But they are only applicable to self-hosted blogs and websites using the WordPress.org software. However, plugins are not allowed at WordPress.com for several security reasons. Downloading a software from WordPress.org is free but it should be tested in a different server before being used in WordPress.com. Mishandling a server may lead into a disastrous results and ultimate loss of your entire blog. In this article we will discuss on some of the essential WordPress SEO plugin without mentioning any serial number. Since each plugin has its own utility and feature we are leaving it on you to do more research and check before using any of them and provide a serial number of your choice.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

WordPress SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.

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Google Analytics for WordPress

Google Analytics for WordPress is the most complete Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. Of course, you could just copy the tracking code into your theme and be done with it, but then you’d miss a whole lot of features that this plugin has to offer you. All the extra data this plugin can add to your tracking is what makes Google Analytics for WordPress into the most powerful tracking tool you’ve ever seen.

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W3 Total Cache

The ultimate swiss-army knife of caching, from the basic page caching (keeping a static copy of the page), to CSS/JS/HTML minification (making your files smaller), as well as handling uploads to a Content Delivery Network.

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Broken Link Checker

Dealing with broken links can be pain if you’re waiting for readers to report them – get ahead of the game with this plugin and automatically check all the sites you’ve linked to before they become a problem.

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HeadSpace 2

A powerful all-in-one plugin to manage meta-data and handle a wide range of SEO tasks. It allows you to tag your posts, create custom titles and descriptions, thereby improves your page ranking and relevance on search engines. You can also change the theme or load plugins on specific pages and much more. This plugin is available in multiple languages.

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Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This is particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation.

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Section Targeting is a way of embedding special tags inside HTML to give Google’s omnipresent spider a better idea of what’s important on your page. This is a really simple plugin that wraps posts and comments inside these tags, in the hope that they’ll lead to better search rankings.

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Google Site Verification Plugin

A very helpful and easy to use plugin to assist you in verifying your site on Google’s webmaster tools without having to worry about other forms of verifying your website on Google’s Webmasters Central. Install the plugin, login to your Google account, hit verify > grant access and you are good to go. You should always have your site verified and submitted to Google.

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Google XML Sitemap

If you decide to use any SEO plugin above other than WP SEO, you are recommended to install this plugin as it is one of those things that is virtually set and forget. The plugins main function is to create and submit a sitemap, making it easier for the search engine crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve information more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages, and automatically notifies all major search engines every time you create new content.

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SEO Smart Links

Deep linking or internal linking, the process of linking to another article in your own site, is something you should be doing at least once on each post you publish. Not only do you provide users with more related and relevant content to look at, you may also get some extra SEO benefits out of it. For those of you, that may find this effort somewhat tedious, specially if you have many articles published, SEO Smartlinks can do wonders for you. After properly configured, it automatically finds keywords in your post that “matches” an article and creates a link to that post. You can also set it up with manual keywords, a simple but powerful way of creating affiliate links for example, in your whole website.

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SEO Friendly Images

A WordPress image optimization plugin that automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes. If your images do not have ALT and TITLE already set, SEO Friendly Images will add them according to the options you set. The ALT attribute is an important part of search engine optimization, and done properly, can be a great source of organic traffic. Do not underestimate the power of properly optimized images.

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Adds a dynamic and fully customizable floating box to the left of your post. This contains links/buttons to popular social networking sites, making it easier for users to share your content on the social web, an increasing factor search engines are using. There are many ways you can configure the plugin and you can also add an individual button of just about any social network of your choosing. I recommend adding the Google+ 1 button, without a doubt.

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SEO Auto Links & Related Posts

This plugin does both “deep linking” automatically and displays related posts based on several filters that you can use. All settings can be bypassed manually and you can define your own settings as you see fit. For the Auto Links part, I only use the “manual definition” for specific keywords.

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RSS Footer

This plugin allows you to add an additional line of content either in the beginning or the end of your feeds. For example, you can use this plugin to create links with anchor text to point anywhere you want and it will appear on your feed. After that, submit your feed to quality RSS aggregators and voilà, instant backlinks. Although this might not be a lot, it still helps, plus you get to obtain some additional traffic from sites such as FeedAge RSS directory. See example of my feed on FeedAge below.

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SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2

Strengthen your on page SEO, by increasing the number of indexed pages, auto converting search terms into post tags, and more. Some features include: Increase the number of pages indexed by adding a special link to search results. Make sure all posts have been indexed by promoting the one that does not get traffic yet (use with care, do not overdo it). Get detailed information about what are the best keywords for your web site and blog post by tracking your most popular search terms.

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CloudFlare WordPress Plugin

If you decide to use CloudFlare’s CDN service, don’t forget to install this plugin (a must). this ensures: Correct IP Address information for comments posted to your site Better protection as spammers from your WordPress blog get reported to CloudFlare Optimization of your server database (optional).

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Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin

This plugin adds an option box to the WordPress editor section, where you can specify a redirect location and type of redirect that you want, temporary, permanent, or meta. this is very good especially if you are rewriting an old post and want to redirect that post to the new one. Has many features to be explored.

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NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster

This plugin automatically publishes posts from your blog to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+(Google Plus), Pinterest and Tumblr profiles and/or pages. The whole process is completely automated. Just write a new post and either entire post or it’s announcement with back link will be published to all your configured social networks.

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Author hReview

Add hReview and AggregateRating support based on schema.org, which help you increase search traffic by making SERP results more eye-catching. This plugin supports only the editorial ratings submission (edito/author rating), this means customers and site visitors are not involved in the rating or review process, this means rating reflects only the author’s opinion.

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SEO Tools

This plug-in combines several unique SEO tools developed for Search Commander, Inc. and enables their use from inside WordPress. Paste the corresponding short code in place on the page or post where you wish to offer the tool. Tools included are: URL Checker, Keyword List Multiplier, Bulk URL checker, Link Variance, RSS Feed Commander and Landing Page Determinator.

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Fanciest Author Box

Fanciest Author Box is a WordPress is a very feature-rich author bio plugin automatically added before or after (or both!) your posts, pages and custom post types. It has widgets for Major Social Networks: Twitter bio, latest tweet, Facebook Subscribe, Google+ Add to Circles button. This will make you instantly recognizable and easy to connect with your audience.

Go to Plugin Download Page

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Article Published by Souvik Banerjee

Web Developer & SEO Specialist with 10+ years of experience in Open Source Web Development, specialized in Joomla & WordPress development. He is also the moderator of this blog "RS Web Solutions".

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5 thoughts on “21 Most Essential WordPress SEO Plugins

  1. Thanks for the collection. They are indeed a big help to us. Especially to those working online. Glad you have them shared here.

  2. Souvik,

    Thanks for mentioning out plugin (Fanciest Author Box) in the same post as some heavyweights like WordPress SEO, All in One SEO, W3TC, XML Sitemaps etc.

    Truly an honor to be among those greats!