Here are our Top picks for the very best and most powerful SEO plugins currently available for WordPress in 2024. We have selected them based on popularity, features list and effectiveness within the SEO realm. With AI technology fast becoming a feature in all our lives, AI and SEO are starting to become inseparable. The amount of data, rules and guidelines that web designers and developers are faced with in todays world, many plugins are going to fall behind if they don’t start adopting and integrating AI into their functionality.
Yoast SEO is still up there in popularity having been around for many years and is a staple plugin with WordPress developers both professional and amateur. I’ve been using Yoast on and off my whole career as an SEO and Web Designer, and it is still being developed and added to every year.
The setup is a breeze and guides you through all the essential SEO settings for your site in a few steps. If you’ve previously used other SEO plugins you can even import all your settings once you install it.
- Traffic light system makes it very easy to see what content is working at a glance
- The ability to import previous SEO plugin settings and clean up the old data
- Not as many free features
- Older looking UX
Key features include:
- Content Analysis: Yoast analyzes the content of each page or post and provides suggestions for improving SEO, such as optimizing keywords, improving readability, and adding meta tags.
- SEO Snippet Preview: Users can see how their content will appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) and can customize the title and meta description accordingly.
- Readability Analysis: Yoast evaluates the readability of content and offers suggestions to improve the overall quality of writing, making it more accessible to readers.
- Focus Keywords: Users can set a focus keyword for their content, and Yoast provides feedback on how well the content is optimized for that particular keyword.
- XML Sitemap Functionality: Yoast automatically generates XML sitemaps, helping search engines better understand the structure of a website and index its content.
- Canonical URLs: The plugin helps prevent duplicate content issues by allowing users to set canonical URLs, indicating the preferred version of a page.
- Breadcrumbs: Yoast includes a feature to create and display breadcrumbs on a website, improving navigation and user experience.
- Social Media Integration: Users can customize how their content appears when shared on social media platforms, optimizing the display for better engagement.
- Cornerstone Content Feature: This allows users to mark specific articles as cornerstone content, indicating them as crucial pieces in their website’s structure.
- Redirect Manager: Yoast provides a tool to manage and set up redirects, helping users maintain a clean and efficient site structure.
Yoast SEO’s content analysis and traffic light system ensures your posts or pages are optimised for clean SEO, with a suggestion list of improvements you can make, like ensuring the meta description is within character limits, using your keyphrase in the introduction, and improving the readability score.
With Yoast Premium, you get access to many more features, including things like generative AI to help you quickly create meta titles and descriptions, automatic redirects to handle URL changes and deletions, and content quality and internal link suggestions as you write.
Yoast SEO also offers four specialist niche add-ons that provide more functionality:
- Yoast Local SEO—get more local customers
- Yoast Video SEO—drive search traffic to videos on your website
- Yoast News SEO—optimize your site for Google News
- Yoast WooCommerce SEO—drive more traffic to your online store
Overall, Yoast SEO is a solid all-around tool. The free version covers all the essentials and gets you well on your way to optimizing your site and content for search engines. Then you can take your SEO game higher with the enhanced premium features and extra functionality of the niche add-ons.
Yoast SEO pricing: Free version available; premium version $99/year and niche add-ons $79/year.
Rank Math is easily one of the best and newest all round SEO plugins being developed for WordPress today! It has a massive amount of settings and features which can be daunting to users on first installation. But worry not, you can select the easy setup wizard which will guide you through its initialization and importing of settings from your old SEO plugin. It can integrate seemlessly with Google Analytics and Woo-commerce plus give you immediate access to tools like redirects and your robots txt file.
- Tons of free features including Schema Markup Language integration, more than enough to get you ranking
- Ability to import settings from previous SEO plugins
- Readability analysis not as detailed as Yoast
- Can be overly complicated for beginners
Free version key features:
- Meta descriptions and titles – You can either use templates or manually change SEO titles and descriptions for each post/page.
- Social media descriptions – Manage how your content and images will be displayed on Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social media.
- Focus keyword analysis – Optimize content for multiple focus keywords.
- XML sitemap – Rank Math lets you create your own customized XML sitemap. You don’t have to use the WordPress default sitemap if it doesn’t meet your needs.
- Structured data/schema – Schema can be controlled for different content parts. You can also set a sitewide schema.
- Search console – Sitemaps can be submitted automatically after you connect the site with Google Search Console.
- Knowledge graph and local SEO – You can enhance your site so that it appears more prominently in search results for local businesses.
- Image SEO – Improve image optimization by adding alt and title tags to your images automatically.
- Internal link suggestions – Rank Math will make suggestions about other content that your website can link to when you’re using the editor function.
- Breadcrumbs – Add breadcrumbs to the site.
- Link counter – You can see post/page internal and external links.
- Redirects – 301 and 302 redirects can be set and managed.
- 404 monitor – Keep tabs on any 404 error issues.
- Google Analytics – You can see traffic information from your WordPress dashboard after the Google Analytics tracking code has been added.
- Basic WooCommerce SEO – Adding product and shop titles and descriptions are some of the primary WooCommerce SEO optimization tasks that can be performed.
Premium version features:
- Keyword rank tracking – You can see your keywords search engine rankings over the last twelve consecutive months. You’ll have more insight into your keywords’ performance.
- Google Trends integration
- Local search engine optimization can be conducted for multiple locations.
- A Google News SEO sitemap can be created.
- You can create a Google Video SEO sitemap.
- Social media images can be watermarked automatically.
- There are over twenty predetermined kinds of schema that can be used.
- View Google Adsense earnings history information.
- There are more advanced WooCommerce search engine optimization functions available.
The SEO Framework pros:
- AI generated meta descriptions
- Straightforward, easy and fast performance
The SEO Framework cons:
- Extremely long settings and complicated UX
The SEO Framework (TSF) is the fastest performing full-featured SEO plugin. It’s also free, with the option to add some premium extensions.
When you first install and activate the plugin, it uses AI to read your WordPress environment and configure the settings automatically to optimised settings. All the settings are of course editable. As with many plugins, you can import or migrate from your previous plugin to The SEO Framework easily.
TSF automatically creates a sitemap, enables the breadcrumbs for Google, and generates titles and descriptions (in any language) according to Google’s latest guidelines. In fact, the plugin began as an auto description generator. Basically, it uses the beginning of a post or page to automatically generate a perfectly-sized meta description. For beginners or people who do not know much about SEO, this is a very nifty feature that can help you start ranking much quicker.
Then, for each page/post, you also have individual on-page SEO settings to set the meta title and description, social graph, and visibility settings like canonical URL, indexing, and following or not following links.
- Focus to help you write content with focus keywords and synonyms
- Articles to automatically add structured data to your published posts
- Local to inform search engines of local business information
- Title Fix to ensure you configure your page title correctly
Overall, if you’re looking for an extensively featured SEO plugin to do the technical work for you, then The SEO Framework is an excellent option.
The SEO Framework pricing: Free version available, with the option to add free and premium extensions from $84/year.