WordPress based websites now dominate over 27% of the entire internet. However, the CMS platform is far from search engine optimised.
There’s no excuse not to invest time into your site’s SEO through using one of our hand-picked top 4 FREE SEO WordPress plugins. With over 50,000 new WordPress websites being created daily around the globe, your site’s SEO needs to reign king for it to succeed.
With hundreds of free SEO plugins to choose from, we’ve carried out the research for you and shortlisted our top 4 FREE SEO plugins you need to try. Before we jump into our results, it is important to remember that these free SEO WordPress plugins are not ‘turnkey’ solutions. Search engine optimisation is a continuous process that requires ongoing testing twinned with a deep understanding of how search engines and consumers behave online. Before you invest heavily in an SEO agency to take charge of your WordPress website’s SEO, take some time to understand basic SEO techniques through installing one of these top 4 plugins.
#1 YOAST SEO
Created by Team Yoast, Yoast SEO was founded by Joost de Valk back in 2008. With over 3+ million active WordPress installs and over 12,000 five-star rated reviews, this plugin stands definitively out from the SEO plugin crowd! Due to popular demand, Yoast SEO is now available as both a basic FREE plugin or PREMIUM upgrade plugin which costs from $69 for use on one website only. Not only has this plugin been written from the ground up by Team Yoast to improve your WordPress site’s SEO, the creators go the extra mile to support webmasters via technical support, latest research articles and publishing best practice SEO guides online. The key focus of this free SEO plugin is to help users write better content and technically optimise websites through the following ways:
- Keyword optimisation – Yoast SEO allows you to grade your page based on a selected keyword
- Snippet previews – Yoast SEO allows you to instantly see how your new page or post will look in search engines
- Readability – Yoast SEO will grade your page for user readability
- Control website breadcrumbs – Yoast SEO gives full control to set website breadcrumbs
- Setting up canonicals – Yoast SEO can set-up canonical tags to stop duplicate content
- Indexing – Yoast SEO can set FOLLOW / NO-FOLLOW tags for crawl bots to read
- Creating post titles and meta descriptions – Yoast SEO allows users to define these important on-page factors
The only true difference between the paid and free versions of this plugin is the options of 24/7 support and an Ad-free dashboard. However, if you are serious about your site’s SEO we strongly recommend upgrading to get access to Yoast SEO re-direct management tools and internal linking suggestions. On a personal note, here at Marketing Labs, we use PREMIUM Yoast SEO to help us with our ongoing search engine optimisation.
#2 ALL IN ONE SEO PACK
Developed by Michael Torbet and Steve Mortiboy, All in One SEO Pack is an out of the box SEO plugin for beginners, twinned with deeper, more advanced premium SEO features that can be fine tuned and an API for developers. First created in 2007, All in One SEO Pack has over 25+ million WordPress installs and over 400 five-star rated reviews. Although the free version of the plugin comes with no technical support, it’s recent head to head SEO plugin comparison battle with Yoast SEO saw it come out on top as the winner. Unlike any other decent free SEO plugins, All in One SEO Pack claims to offer an out-of-the-box SEO beginner-friendly tool for creating meta and technically friendly blogs and pages on WordPress that Google will admire (we’re not sure this is technically possible but worth giving a try). In addition, All in One SEO Pack offers the following SEO capabilities:
- Generates META tags automatically – you may need to check these, however, it’s a handy tool if you forget
- Automatically optimises your page titles – again awesome but you may need to add that ‘human’ touch
- WooCommerce integration – All in One SEO Pack is the only free SEO plugin to offer full eCommerce integration
- Sitemap support – All in One SEO Pack enables full XML sitemap submission
- Google AMP support – perfect additional tool for news or blogging websites that want to drive trending traffic
- Available in 57 languages – All in One SEO Pack can be used around the globe, no matter what the language
The All in One SEO premium plugin version offers 1-year professional support with advanced WooCommerce advice, social media integration and an SEO extension for video. With a single use website license starting from $97 per year, we recommend getting the most out of the free All in One SEO plugin version before upgrading.
#3 SEO SQUIRRLY™
Created by the clever humans at Squirrly SEO, SEO Squirrly™ is described as a WordPress SEO tool for the non-SEO experts out there! First launched in February 2013, SEO Squirrly™ aims to help you write content that is both SEO and human-friendly. Highly recommended by leading SEO guru Neil Patel, this plugin has over 30,000 active WordPress installs and 400+ five-star star rated reviews – since 2013, this plugin has been downloaded over 2 million times! Considering the very strong SEO WordPress plugin competition, SEO Squirrly™ has managed to capture a small piece of the SEO plugin industry with a promise that the plugin tool is the closest example of having an actual SEO expert sat next to you in the office. As with most WordPress plugins, SEO Squirrly is available as both a FREE version with limited features alongside a PRO and AGENCY version, costing a very reasonable $20 to $50 per month. In addition to basic plugin functionality such as content optimisation and keyword research, SEO Squirrly™ can help your site reach its SEO potential through the following ways:
- Real time SEO advice – SEO Squirrly prompts you with optimisation tips as you write new content
- Traffic light tracking – SEO Squirrly grades your posts and pages to ensure you continue to strive for SEO greatness
- Week by week progress reports – SEO Squirrly keeps you up-to-date about how your SEO is performing
- Optimisation for humans – SEO Squirrly believes content should be written for humans as well as spider bots
- XML Sitemap creation – SEO Squirrly generates in-depth, technically sound XML sitemaps for search engines
- Seamless integration with other SEO plugins and WordPress widgets – says it all really!
SEO Squirrly™ has a very simple and affordable pricing plan for both single and multi-website users. We recommend that if you are only a small online business or create up to 5 new blogs per month, the free, LITE plugin version should offer enough helpful SEO features. However, if you run multiple websites and invest heavily in posting new content regularly, SEO Squirrly PRO with unlimited posts, up to 100 keywords research requests per month and upgraded support may be the right option for your business.
#4 SMARTCRAWL (WPMUDEV)
Developed by the WordPress experts WPMUDEV, SmartCrawl is a powerful WordPress SEO plugin that is available for FREE as part of a WPMUDEV Membership ($49 per month). Although not technically a FREE SEO WordPress plugin, we’ve included SmartCrawl in this post for two reasons. The first is that many WPMUDEV users don’t know that this fantastic plugin exists and two; when you divide the costs between all the brilliant WMPUDEV plugins (140+) such as Hummingbird and WP Defender, that you get access too, SmartCrawl is an extremely affordable and powerful WordPress SEO plugin. Supercharged to optimise your SEO, SmartCrawl ensures high impact SEO results with little effort (remember, little SEO effort only gets you so far online, to succeed you should heavily invest your time in deeper SEO activities). Please note that this plugin is only available to download via WPMUDEV directly with a subscription plugin membership. With over 150,000+ active downloads and plenty of highly-recommended reviews online, Smartcrawl offers a depth of technical and content SEO tools such as;
- Sitemap creation – SmartCrawl creates and updates XML sitemaps for search engines
- Custom descriptions and titles – SmartCrawl allows full control over editing these important SEO attributes
- No index options to limit crawl – SmartCrawl can easily enable no-index attributes
- MOZ 3rd party integration – SmartCrawl integrates seamlessly with MOZ for cross-platform functionality
- Clean and easy to use interface for non-techies – WPMUDEV takes pride in creating user-friendly plugins
- Dedicated SEO support & guidelines – WPMUDEV offer a wealth of SEO support and advice.
Before you jump in and buy a WMPUDEV membership, take advantage of the special 30-day free trail. Here at Marketing Labs HQ, we use WPMUDEV Hummingbird and WP Defender plugins for speed optimisation and essential WordPress site security and thoroughly recommended a WPMUDEV Membership for its great value and brilliant plugin results.
As a leading SEO agency, we are always recommending the best SEO plugins for our WordPress clients. From our experience, we highly recommend Yoast SEO with its easily usable interface, quick no indexing features and rich snippet preview view – if you are serious about your SEO, upgrading to the premium version is a must to get access to re-direct management tools. However, if you are looking for great value for money, we would strongly recommend signing up for a full WPMUDEV Membership to get access to their fantastic range of WordPress plugins such as WP Defender, SmartCrawl and Hummingbird – with unlimited site usage, their pricing plan is a no-quibble deal worth having.
From all the team here at Marketing Labs, we hope you find your perfect WordPress SEO plugin that enhances your website’s SEO results. If you have any questions or would like help setting up your WordPress SEO plugins, please contact our expert digital marketing team who will be more than willing to help!