Best WordPress SEO plugins

If you are looking for a WordPress SEO plugin to rank your site higher in search results, this article is for you. I have reviewed and studied dozens of plugins and tested the best of them, and now I can share with you an overview of my personal ranking of SEO plugins for WordPress.

What makes the best WordPress SEO plugin?

There are many WordPress SEO plugins out there, so how do they differ from each other and what makes them the best. Unlike other WordPress plugins I’ve tested, the free versions of my top picks have enough functionality to cover all the essentials for SEO and more. You should only invest in premium versions for specialised features like advanced schema or link management.

Best WordPress SEO plugin

1. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO has an unwavering authority among WordPress users. With  Yoast SEO, you always feel in safe hands as it is a proven solution.  The setup wizard has a nice and simple process and walks you through all the basic SEO settings for your website in a few steps. Yoast SEO’s content analysis and traffic light system ensures that your pages are perfectly optimised, with a list of improvements you can make, such as making sure your meta description doesn’t exceed 156 characters, using a keyword phrase in your introduction and improving your readability score (Flesch).

The plugin integrates with other SEO applications such as Semrush and Wincher , so you can perform keyword research and track keyword phrase ranking positions without leaving WordPress. It also integrates with other WordPress plugins such as WooCommerce and Elementor. The free version covers everything you need and will help you optimise your site and content for search engines.

With Yoast Premium, you get access to additional features including things like generative artificial intelligence to help you quickly create meta titles and descriptions, automatic redirects to handle URL changes and deletions.

Yoast SEO Pros:
Traffic light system allows you to see at a glance what content is working.

Unique ability to import previous SEO plugin settings and clean up old data.

Minuses of Yoast SEO:
Not as many free features as other SEO plugins.

2. Rank Mat

Rank Math has the most extensive free feature set among WordPress SEO plugins. The wizard allows you to choose between easy or advanced mode. Easy is good for websites where you only want to change the basics and let Rank Math do most of the heavy lifting. With Advanced, you can control every aspect of SEO. But you can easily switch between the two.

During setup, you can connect to Google Search Console and Analytics to get a complete SEO picture of your site. You can also import settings from previously used SEO plugins.

Rank Math works well with Elementor and Divi page builders to get your site up and running quickly. As standard, Rank Math offers many free features that most other plugins require a fee for.

Pros of Rank Math:
Extensive free feature set
Comprehensive customisation importer

Rank Math cons:
Readability analysis is not as detailed as Yoast.

3. Squirrly SEO

Squirrly SEO is an artificial intelligence based WordPress plugin along with SaaS. It integrates with Google Search Console and Analytics. Squirrly SEO offers two modes – beginner and expert – that you choose during the initial setup. In beginner mode, you let an ‘artificial intelligence consultant’ choose the best settings for your site. In expert mode, you adjust settings based on your SEO experience. And if you’ve previously used other SEO plugins including Rank Math, Yoast SEO, you can also import those settings.

Like other SEO plugins, Squirrly SEO includes settings for each page/publication including meta tags, advanced code snippets (schema), open graph (social media sharing) and visibility (indexing and redirects).

One of the differentiators of Squirrly SEO is that it covers the entire SEO lifecycle: from keyword research and content optimisation to technical auditing and ranking tracking.

Pros of Squirrly SEO:
Covers the entire SEO lifecycle, from keyword research to ranking tracking.
Gamification of the SEO learning experience

Squirrly SEO cons:
Premium version is more expensive than other plugins.

4. SmartCrawl

SmartCrawl is one of those SEO plugins that does a lot of work in the background. Every time you add new content to your site, SmartCrawl will tell Google that it’s time to re-crawl your site – hence its name SmartCrawl. This is something I haven’t seen in other apps I’ve tested.

There is a setup wizard to get you started, to set up the SEO basics. But otherwise, working in the clear, concise interface and admin panel is great.

From the SmartCrawl dashboard, you can track your overall SEO settings and run SEO audits (powered by Google Lighthouse) to get recommendations on how to improve your SEO.

SmartCrawl Pros:
Automatically prompts Google to re-crawl your site.
Solid, but not flashy

SmartCrawl cons:
Premium version is included in the plugin bundle.

5. The SEO Framework

The SEO Framework is the fastest full-featured SEO plugin available. When you first activate the plugin, it uses artificial intelligence to read your WordPress environment and automatically adjusts the settings as it thinks best. If you’re not happy with the results you can go in and edit the settings as you see fit, you can also carry over previous SEO settings from plugins like Yoast SEO, Rank Math or SEOPress.

The SEO Framework automatically creates a sitemap, includes breadcrumbs for Google searches, and generates titles and descriptions (in any language) according to Google’s guidelines. In fact, the plugin was originally created as an ‘auto-description’ generator. Essentially, it uses the beginning of a post or page to automatically generate a perfectly sized meta description.

For each page, you also have individual SEO settings to set the meta title, description, and other parameters.

Overall, if you’re looking for an SEO plugin that does the hard work automatically and efficiently, The SEO Framework is a great option.

Pros of The SEO Framework:
Automatically generates meta descriptions
Clear and fast performance

Minuses of The SEO Framework:
Very long settings panel

Leave A Comment

Complimentary SEO Audit