Straight to the point, there are over 49 pages of WordPress SEO plugins.
That’s nearly a thousand SEO plugins to choose from. However, you don’t need that many to make your website “SEO friendly”
In this post, we’re going to understand how to build the perfect SEO set up on WordPress with 6 free plugins.
Let’s break them down! 👇
There are numerous categories in SEO such as on-page, technical or off-page.
✅ WordPress plugins can help a ton to master on-page SEO tasks like titles, meta tags, and other content-optimization things.
✅ Plugins are also amazing for technical SEO tasks like page speed optimization, redirects, canonicals, and so on.
Instead of listing off 101 plugins, we’re going to show you only the cream of the crop and the exact set up you can use to make Google and your visitors satisfied.
1️⃣ Rank Math
These are two great options, but in our opinion, a newer plugin called Rank Math beats both of them hands down.
Rank Math is an all-in-one SEO plugin that can help you with a ton of on-page and technical SEO tasks.
It integrates the power of multiple plugins you could use on your WordPress website for SEO and makes everything into one easy-to-manage plugin.
You can manage the on-page SEO of your posts, pages, products or other taxonomies.
Additionally, you can control noindex/nofollow/noarchive meta tags of all taxonomies in general and single posts or pages in particular.
It tightly connects to Google Search Console to give you essential information right inside your WordPress admin dashboard.
Stats like what keywords you are ranking for, how many search impressions your website is getting, what errors Google sees on your site, etc., is available in one glance.
Apart from that, Rank Math comes with an inbuilt 404 Monitor, Redirections, Rich Snippets, Local SEO, XML Sitemaps, Automated Image SEO, Internal Link Building recommendations, etc.
The next 3 plugins that we’re going to focus on are all about improving page speed because
✅ Page Speed is a ranking factor
✅ It improves user experience.
2️⃣ A3 Lazy Load
This plugin adds lazy load to images and other media like videos.
This basically means that an image or media item won’t load until users scroll to it, allowing the page to load much faster.
It’s literally plug-play as long as you don’t have any other conflicting scripts or plugins.
You’ll notice that the page size and the number of requests have decreased considerably
The page size has shrunk a lot and the load time has gone down by around a full second.
ShortPixel is able to shrink the size of images by 70-80% without a noticeable drop in image quality. Hence, the result is going to be faster load times.
ShortPixel has no file size restrictions and works with PNG, JPG, GIF, and PDF.
To set it up, you simply sign up for a free account at ShortPixel and then enter your API key in the settings.
With a free account, you’ll get 100 free image compressions each month. However, depending on how many images you need to optimize monthly, you might not even need to pay anything to use ShortPixel.
There are two main kinds of compressions:
✅ Lossless: Offer the best compression rate.
✅ Lossy: Give you the best quality photos
Nevertheless, if you’re displaying posts where quality is essential like a photography blog, you could choose one of less aggressive Glossy or Lossless option.
If you already have images uploaded on your site, just hover over media and select bulk ShortPixel.
You can optimize all images on your size with the click of a button.
Images should be handled with these two plugins. Now we need to get into an important matter, caching.
4️⃣ W3 Total Cache
The WordPress SEO plugin is all about optimizing your website’s performance.
It serves static pages and can be used to hook in a CDN. This may make your site faster to load and cheaper to host.
A few of the features it contains are
✅ Optimize Web Browser Rendering with GZIP Compression
✅ Content Delivery Networks (CDN)
Although the setting of W3 Total Cache is divided into 16 pages, which leads to being overwhelming, the important thing to remember is that you don’t have to manually configure the settings to make the plugin work.
W3 Total Cache has a dedicated Settings page for every type of caching – page caching, object caching, database caching, browser caching, etc. The level of customizability that you get with W3 Total Cache is difficult to find elsewhere.
Now, let’s talk about a couple of user experience tools
This plugin allows you to create a table of contents for each post or page in just a few clicks.
Once you’ve installed the plugin, go to your post and scroll down to the Table of Contents section.
Just hit the “Insert table of contents” checkbox and publish or update your post.
It’ll then automatically include a table of contents based on your heading tags.
Table of Contents makes long pages look less daunting and also help improve on-page, bounce rate and dwell time.
Furthermore, it can help you win jump links in the SERP, which may contribute to your CTR.
Plugins are great because they allow you to do complex things without any coding.
They can work well for on-page, technical things, and off-page SEO tasks like link building.
If you find this article helpful, please share it with your friends and leave any comments below it when you have other useful plugins for WordPress!