So you’ve taken the first step and set up a new WordPress site or blog. What next? How do you get your blog/site indexed by the search engine bots crawling the Internet, onto the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), and eventually, in front of your final consumers?
While your WordPress website code would generally follow SEO best practices, there’s still a lot more that can be done to improve your rankings and increase your traffic.
If you’re an SEO professional, you might already have set up your site using SEO best practices and might be well on your way to the top of the SERPs. But if SEO is not your forte, WordPress has the solution.
WordPress has literally thousands of SEO plugins that can help you set up your website right so that it gets into the organic search results. These plugins assist you in writing better content and optimizing your site for search engines as well as your users. But how do you choose the one that’s best for you?
Here’s a list of 7 tried-and-tested free* SEO WordPress plugins that we regularly use for our websites and for those we create for our clients.
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast is undoubtedly one of the most popular plugins for the overall SEO analysis of WordPress sites.
It is easy to set up and use, and therefore finds a huge fan following among beginners.
Yoast has an all-inclusive set of features covering most on-site optimization elements. It has a powerful content analysis tool that helps you optimize your content and displays an SEO score for each post and page. The focus keyword feature also helps you to create unique content for each page or post. Additionally, it allows you to import data from webmaster tools, add breadcrumb navigation, social features, and so on.
This website uses Yoast SEO’s free version for 4 years without any hiccups whatsoever. And happily would do so in the future.
On our other personal website renjini.com we are using Rankmath – the plugin that we are going to see next.
RankMath is a relatively newer WordPress SEO plugin, but it has rapidly grown in popularity. Termed the “Swiss knife” of SEO plugins, it does the work of 9 separate plugins.
It is easy to set up and can be integrated with your existing social platforms and analytics setup. RankMath allows you to import settings from other plugins like Yoast and All in One SEO.
It has tons of free SEO features, including 15 customizable modules with which you can measure and track keyword rankings and conduct a detailed SEO analysis of your site. RankMath also supports multiple Schema types for rich snippets.
Yoast and RankMath are WordPress plugins that work specifically to improve the SEO of your website. While the next few are not technically SEO plugins, they do improve the look and feel, accessibility, and security aspects of your website. This, in turn, affects your website ranking and how much traffic you garner.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the basic WordPress webpage editor, Elementor is your plugin. It allows you to visually create complex layouts and design your website live without going back and forth between the editor and the preview mode.
Elementor is one of the best WordPress website design plugins and features an intuitive drag and drop editor and industry-specific templates, widgets, and themes to help you create attractive lead-generating landing pages, design a blog, or customize your online store.
4. NinjaForms – The Ultimate Contact Form Builder
As the saying goes: The money is in the list. Build your email list with NinjaForms. It is FREE, it is simple, and … It saves all the entries that come into your contact form.
For example, you want to build a general contact form and capture email IDs with small messages from your website visitors. NinjaForms stores all the entries that are ever registered and stores them in a database. All the entries in this database are downloadable as an excel sheet for your perusal. How cool is that?
This one feature of NinjaForms puts it ahead of other plugins like WPForms or ContactForm 7 who have been there for a very long time.
NinjaForms is a user-friendly WordPress form builder with pre-built templates for contact forms, registration forms, quote request forms, and many more. It has an easy drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create beautiful, complex forms without any coding skills. With the paid version of NinjaForms, you can accept payments and submissions and grow your mailing lists seamlessly. It has complete integration with MailChimp, SalesForce, and other email marketing and CRM tools.
With the Free version, however you can use the basic functions and build a contact form and start collecting email IDs to build your email list.
You’ve built a beautiful website and started attracting traffic and leads. But how do you protect your website and your customer data from potential malware and security threats? Enter WordFence. It is one of the most comprehensive WordPress security plugins available. WordFence includes a firewall and malware scanner that is safer than cloud-based options because it sits on your server. It comes armed with the latest firewall rules, malware signatures, and malicious IP addresses to ensure that your website is safe from attack.
6. Google Site Kit
Your WordPress plugin arsenal is not complete without a Site Kit by Google. It is the search engine giant’s official WordPress plugin, which allows you to get insights about how people find and use your site, how to improve and monetize your content, and so on, right in your dashboard. With Site Kit, you can easily set up and configure Google products like Search Console, Analytics, AdSense, and others, and get stats and metrics from the various tools. The plugin also allows you to manage your tags and set up A/B tests without editing your code.
7. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is the ultimate plugin that you can install to speed up your page. This one plugin can optimize your pages and the whole back-end scripts of your website and increase performance. Page load speed is one measure of performance that WP Rocket does the best.
These are just a few of the many WordPress plugins you can use to better optimize your site and make it more user-friendly. Every website and blog is different in what it aims to achieve, and WordPress has various options for each objective.
Wondering How to Optimize Your Website?
If you have a website and would like to optimize it for SEO, we are at your service. Here is a link to book a one-to-one consultation with us on how to optimize your website.