Featured SE Optimization WordPress

Your Complete Checklist of Must-Have SEO Plugins to Optimize your Website

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In today’s online environment, it is getting increasingly difficult for sites to be found online. Millions of blogs and businesses are competing for user attention, but only a fraction of pages get any traffic from search engines.

This is confirmed by Ahref’s recent search traffic study, which found that more than 90.63 percent of online pages in their database (over a billion pages) got zero traffic from Google.

Why is it that the vast majority of web pages drive no organic traffic from Google, and what can you do to be in the remaining 9.63 percent? The reasons are varied and many, but one reason that particularly stands out is Search Engine Optimization, also called SEO.

Many people often overlook this necessary step after they have built their site and created some content. They wait in the hope that their website will get the audience without them taking the appropriate actions that will ensure organic traffic.

The current competitive marketplace requires bloggers and site owners to make SEO a necessary part of the equation to drive organic traffic. 

Fortunately, many tools can facilitate you in your search engine optimization efforts. If you use WordPress or any other CMS for your website, you can add plugins to your site to optimize it for search engine algorithms.

The WordPress repository contains more than 55,000 plugins, but you need to choose among them based on your needs. It is also possible to install more than one SEO plugin to your site.

Below, we present a list of seven must-have SEO plugins that you can use to optimize your website. These WordPress SEO plugins help improve the website’s functionality, user experience, and overall look.

1. WordPress SEO by Yoast

WordPress SEO by Yoast is a widely used SEO plugin that has been around for over a decade. It is one of the most installed plugins with more than 5 million installations. The Yoast SEO plugin helps you analyze your pages and identify duplicate content to avoid a Google penalty.

It also offers unique templates for title tags and meta descriptions which makes your website more appealing to an audience.

These features can be accessed for free; however, Yoast also offers a premium version for $89/year with additional features, including:

  • No ads
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Suggestions for linking in your pages
  • Redirect options

If you are a beginner, we recommend that you install the free Yoast SEO plugin and then move to the premium version as your site grows.

2. WP Super Cache

Caching is a technique that makes your website load faster on the web. Google considers site loading speed as a major ranking factor since it ensures optimal user experience. The WP super cache plugin is a must-have for improving the speed and overall performance of your site.

There are cases when you may not need a cache plugin since most shared hosting services offer inbuilt caching these days. However, if you use hosting that doesn’t provide an inbuilt cache, the WP super cache should be your go-to option.

3. SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant

The SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant is an on-page SEO plugin that provides instantaneous recommendations for content optimization. The recommendations are based on the quality of the top 10 ranking pages on Google for a given keyword.

The plugin assists writers to come up with original content as it constantly monitors plagiarism. The plugin is free to use and offers additional features such as:

  • Recommended keywords
  • Readability score and tips for improving it
  • A score that gives an idea about the tone of voice in the writing
  • Checking links for errors

4. Google XML Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemaps is a free plugin that generates an XML sitemap for search engines. An XML sitemap helps search engines identify the areas on the website that you want to index and crawl them when a relevant search query is made.

The plugin automatically updates the XML sitemap every time new content is published. All you need to do is install the plugin on your site and adjust the settings.

5. All in One Schema Rich Snippets

A rich snippet is a summary of a page on top of the SERPs, also called Position 0. It attractively presents page information with ratings, bullet points, and an image to boost the page’s click-through rate. 

A study revealed that the CTR of the first organic search result drops from 26% to 19.6% in the presence of a featured snippet. It means that the snippet gets significant traffic that would’ve otherwise gone to the first URL.

Therefore, placing your page as a featured snippet is important as it makes the page stand out from the competition. The all-in-one Schema Rich Snippets plugin helps you earn a placement in snippets with schema coding. It is a simple plugin and does not require any web development or coding expertise.

6. SEO Image Optimizer

With the popularity of image searches, images now drive a considerable amount of traffic from search engines. The SEO Image Optimizer plugin helps you optimize your images. The plugin also improves the overall look and performance of the website.

The SEO Image Optimizer plugin offers a free plan and pro plan for $24.99 per month with some upgrades.

7. Premium SEO Pack

While the Premium SEO Pack has some of the basic features available in other analytics plugins, it includes an advanced set of features that are unique to it. The plugin monitors page speed, broken pages, rich snippets, SERP tracking, and link building, among other things. It also helps you get an idea of image optimization and internal linking.

Final thoughts

There are numerous SEO plugins at your disposal, but the key is to choose those that will fit the needs of your website and business. The plugins mentioned in this blog provide all the features that you need to optimize your site.

Moreover, try to avoid using more than one plugin for a single purpose because too many plugins will adversely affect your website.

About the author


Alma Causey

Alma is a mother, wife, logophile and a professional blogger by choice. She completed her masters in English literature from the University of Groningen. Oh, and Alma is incomplete without her cats! Find her on Twitter or check out some of her past work at Muckrack.