You may have just started a website using WordPress or been a while. Soon after starting, it probably had made sense about the need for visitors. We need them to generate revenue through monetization techniques like affiliate marketing, advertisements, or selling goods/services; the more visitors, the more chances for conversions. It can also be our innate desire to serve others through the information we impart on our website.
Also, what better can happen than having your website as the first search result for a keyword often sought after? That privilege demands to provide a value for which the searcher is there but would also bring in the vast potential to create a financial fortune.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the ultimate answer for all this, a craft to make a website search engine friendly. The more the website appears in the search results, the more the audience will find your website.
Today through this blog, you will find answers to questions regarding Free WordPress plugins for SEO. We would do so by introducing different aspects which need optimization in your WordPress website, Free WordPress plugins for SEO, how they work, and how they can help your website rank higher in search results.
WordPress, Website Development And SEO
WordPress has remained a powerful content management system and has helped many publish websites on the internet; Statistically, WordPress powers 37% of all the websites on the internet. One prominent feature of WordPress is that you can drag and drop every website component in a go. It saves a lot of time required for website development.
But we have some advantages in building a website from scratch with programming languages. It is the flexibility to customize every aspect of the website, including SEO, on our own. Luckily in WordPress, there are plugins for SEO that try to fill that gap for non-technical people.
Now, let's know about the aspects that need SEO optimization on the WordPress website.
What is on-page SEO Optimization?
Our website communicates with search engines through various means to inform about the content and overall website. It can be through Robots.txt files, URL structure, heading tags, tags used in images and image descriptions, schema markup, internal linking, keywords used in the content, and many more. As all these factors have an enormous impact on SEO, let us first briefly know what they are:
Different heading tags are defined in HTML (hypertext markup language), from Heading one, denoted by H1, to Heading 6, denoted by H6. Here running one is used for the most critical topic and continues up to heading 6 for the least essential topic in the order. Your content must use these heading tags to impart the focus of the topic by placing important keywords in heading one, least important down the line in heading two, and so on.
Image tags and description
We may use images on our websites often. But we may only be a little mindful of the impact of how we describe our image on the website's SEO.
We should use the main keyword of the page or its various spins as the file name for images we upload to our website. For example, we may write a blog about "Best Android devices this year." Every image we use in the blog should have a filename nearby our topic, which in this scenario should be like the best Android devices this year or the best Android device.
Next, alt tags for images describe content when the main content is not rendered. As screen readers use the content of alt tags to describe the information in images for blind people, we should use alt tags to describe the content of the image and infuse the main keyword of the webpage at the same time.
When we place hyperlinks on our website, it commonly leads to external websites. Whereas Internal linking refers to linking to other pages in the same domain name, the source and destination of the links are the same.
With internal links for relevant content, the audience finds more ways to stay on the site. This, too, is a dominant factor in improving SEO.
Search engines have bots crawl over the internet to find content relevant to particular search phrases. But you may or may not want some pages to be crawled by those bots. Here's where Robots.txt files come into play. It provides instructions for which page to crawl and which not. You can generate robots.txt files online.
Why don't you Generate Robots.txt file right now?
URL structure and optimization
Suppose you have a website named kitchen items and a page conveying information about kitchen pans. A URL would lead to that specific page about kitchen pans. An ideal URL in this scenario would be https://www.kitchenitems.com/kitchen-pans
It accurately describes what we would find on that page. These keyword-rich URLs would also help the search engine bots make sense of the content even more and boost the SEO.
Rather if the URL was https://www.kitchenitems.com/p=1234, it imparts no meaning and makes the users wonder what the page would lead into.
XML (eXtensible Markup Language) sitemaps provide navigation for search engine bots about pages on the website. This means they can easily crawl the entire website and index them in the database. Without it, search engines would depend on the website's internal linking to crawl and index content. If we do not link a webpage through other known pages, it won't be visible to search engines and doesn't appear in search results.
Let's try to generate a sitemap online.
Despite sophisticated technology, search engine giants like Google, Yahoo, and Bing still struggle to conclude what the content about it is. In 2011, these companies agreed to form schema markup to address this. This provides a search engine with relevant information about what the content is about as metadata. Google even forced an update in 2017 to the algorithm intending to penalize websites without schema markup.
Keyword optimization in the content
We can simplify keywords as the phrases users use to search for their queries. For example, if the searcher needs a headphone for one plus mobile phones, he may search for "best headphones for one plus phones." The phrase "best headphones for one plus" is the keyword here. As a website owner, you put blogs out providing suggestions for those headphones or directly showcase products to purchase as an eCommerce.
While you are writing about "best headphones for one plus phones," use the keywords more often in the content to let the search engine know about the focus of your writing.
What is user experience optimization for SEO?
Search engines value user experience very much. It all boils down to how a user feels when surfing the webpage. The determining factors here could be the speed of the website, whether there are any broken links in the website, content readability, duplicate content, and how the website's Preview appear on social media, Let's look briefly into each of these factors:
There's a common saying that WordPress websites are slower than coded websites. WordPress has extra codes and information that the website may or may not need. We can easily strip out these unnecessary aspects while writing a website from scratch.
When the website loads slower, the chances of the audience closing the webpage increase significantly. Statistics even show that when the website doesn't load for 10 seconds, the bounce rate increases by 123%.
But website speed depends mostly on web hosting services in use. When a user enters the domain name, we get the website's files from the web hosting services. So faster the hosting server faster the website.
Sometimes, we move a webpage to a different URL within the same domain name. But if we don't handle the URL that has become empty now, it can stay as a broken link on our website. It means whenever the user clicks that link, it leads to a 404 redirection, a dead end. This would hamper your SEO efforts hugely, as users get an unpleasant experience when they don't get the content for which they clicked on it. Click here to check the broken links on your website.
Social media preview
We can boost traffic and improve SEO by having a great web page preview on social media. Even before an audience clicks on the link and views the content, they encounter the Preview of the content inside the website.
Preview of a softbenz.com post on Facebook
If you share the content directly without optimizing it for social media, it can appear weird. Even though your content is exceptional, no one may even click on the link because of a poorly optimized preview.
We can take care of this using an open graph originally developed by Facebook. Facebook, to emphasize the need for open graphs, says that.
"The Open Graph protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. While many technologies and schemas exist and could be combined, there isn't a single technology which provides enough information to richly represent any web page within the social graph."
Readability is about how much content is easily understandable for the human user or the search engine bots. This can make or break your website because if users don't understand your message, they will likely never visit your web page again. Gdoc SEO is one of the tools which also gives us information about content readability.
Best Free WordPress SEO Plugin [NewUpdates]
The creators of WordPress have optimized it for SEO. But to gain a competitive edge, we need the external help of a Free WordPress SEO Plugin. Using these plugins, we dig deeper into aspects that affect our SEO and improve wherever possible.
SEO plugins in WordPress act as our virtual assistant and guide us through every step that needs to be taken to improve SEO. Even if you know very little about SEO, thanks to the sane defaults in these plugins, you will improve your SEO by following what these plugins suggest.
You can use many SEO plugins simultaneously on our WordPress website, but we do not recommend it. The reason being one plugin can overwrite the SEO effort of the other plugin.
Let us look into the best Free WordPress SEO plugins, their features, pricing, and what they do to boost SEO. These deeper truths would help you make an informed choice on which Free WordPress SEO Plugin to use depending on your needs.
[Note: We have tried to mention every major feature of these plugins, but still, it is not the complete list.]
1. Yoast SEO Plugin: Free Wordpress SEO Plugin
Questions like, what is Yoast SEO? What does Yoast SEO do? It may bubble up for you. Let us find the answers:
Starting in 2008, Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin. It's proven through the most active user base for any WordPress plugin, i.e., 5 million active websites with the Yoast SEO plugin installed.
Yoast SEO makes sure that your website is SEO-friendly through all means possible. There is a free and paid edition of Yoast SEO with distinct features.
Features in the free plan of the Yoast SEO
Some of the features in the freemium plan of Yoast SEO are:
By using SEO and readability analysis, it helps us write content that ranks higher on the search results. It first checks how well we are using keywords and the actual readability of the content. After that, it suggests ways to improve it.
Also, every new page provides options to add meta titles and descriptions, which are later used in search engine result pages.
Create structured website data.
Adding structured website data like XML sitemaps would help search engines notice and navigate the website easily. Yoast SEO does so automatically.
Yoast SEO provides a preview of how the webpage would appear in search engines and social media. It also allows various tweaks to make the Preview more appealing and sensible.
Optimization for Related keywords
There may be many topics you may cover in your content. That may answer many more questions for the audience, apart from the dominant theme of the content. Yoast SEO provides features to see which keywords can rank higher and allows you to add more information to that keyword.
Features in Yoast SEO premium
Unlike the freemium version, you will need to pay some amount of money to get access to the premium version of the Yoast. In this version of this SEO plugin, you will get better services than the freemium version. Some of these services are:
Writing SEO-friendly content
Unique and natural-sounding articles are a great fit for search engines. Yoast SEO Premium recognizes the word forms and provides suggestions for synonyms/acronyms afterwards. It makes the content more elegant because of the lack of repetition of the same words.
Internal linking opportunities
The website can have many forms of internal links. From the links in your homepage, navigation bar, and post feed, there can also be links pointing out other relevant and interesting content in your content itself. The more we link a specific page internally, the more important it seems for the search engine. It also helps to form the structure of the website.
Yoast SEO suggests where to use internal linking within your website by analyzing your website content. Most of the time, Yoast SEO finds those internal linking opportunities, and your only job is to follow the guidance. c. Broken link prevention
Broken link prevention
The 404 errors are not pleasant for the end-users. Yoast SEO automatically redirects those broken links when you move the content to the new page.
Yoast SEO also has plugins for local SEO, News SEO, video SEO, and Woocommerce SEO. You can inherit the features of these additional plugins to the Yoast SEO Premium plugin upon need.
Pricing for Yoast SEO premium plugin
The Yoast SEO premium costs $89 a year. We can view its pricing as reasonable considering the benefits it offers.
All-in-one SEO Plugin for WordPress
As the name suggests, the all-in-one SEO plugin for WordPress covers all aspects of SEO, including creation/updating of schema markup and XML sitemaps, social media integration, optimization of meta titles and descriptions, Robots.txt editor, keyword and readability optimization in the content, and many more. We can use the plugin for free or pay for additional features as an all-in-one SEO premium plugin.
Features in a freemium edition of AIOSEO
Some of the primary features in the freemium version of AIOSEO are:
Page meta title and description optimization
The meta title and description of the page have no direct impact on SEO. But they still appear as website previews on search engines or other mediums when the link gets posted.
Toggle on/off the nofollow and noindex
Nofollow tags ask the search engine not to consider the links as a basis for calculating the rankings. On the other hand, no-index tags direct the search engines to not crawl some pages and ultimately avoid showing them in the search results.
Features in AIOSEO premium plugin
Here are some of the key features that you get in AIOSEO premium. As you can expect, the features you get in the premium version are more flexible and advanced than those in the freemium version.
XML sitemaps creation
AIO SEO creates the XML sitemaps for your WordPress websites and also updates them with the changes you make to the website.
SEO user roles
It can be daunting for an SEO agency to share access to the SEO functions with everyone. Because of incompetence or malicious intent, anyone can make years of SEO efforts on the website meaningless with a single error.
AIO SEO provides options to provide specific SEO functions to a specific user, which they can handle.
The product and services you offer through the websites can be of immense value for local searchers. AIO SEO offers local SEO optimization, so your website can appear in the search result when anyone in your nation or locality lookout for similar niche services
Social media integration
AIOSEO previews how your webpage appears on social media when we share the link there. This allows you to make the necessary adjustment before posting it on social media
Smart XML sitemaps
AIOSEO automatically creates the XML sitemaps and communicates any changes to the search engine.
AIO SEO ensures that your website has schema snippets in place so the search engine better understands the content and ultimately helps you rank keywords you truly crafted your content for.
Woocommerce SEO involves optimizing SEO for your eCommerce website, which is built upon the content management system of WordPress.
In woocommerce SEO, there are facets like product SEO titles, product SEO descriptions, breadcrumbs, product categories, tags, etc.
AIO SEO offers seamless optimization of these aspects to help your eCommerce get those extra visitors and sales.
Pricing for All one SEO premium plugin
There are four paid plans: basic, plus, pro and elite. Each of these costs $49.50, $99.50, $199.50, and $299.50, respectively, for a year.
Pricing for All one SEO premium plugin
There are 4 paid plans: basic, plus, pro and elite. Each of these costs $49.50, $99.50, $199.50, and $299.50, respectively, for a year.
Rank math: Free Wordpress SEO Plugin
It is another great WordPress SEO plugin on our list. Its features include seamless auto-configuration of WordPress SEO with the easy-to-follow setup wizard, google schema markup integration, optimization for unlimited keywords in the content, LSI keyword tool, overlay icons on social images, local SEO, SEO optimized breadcrumbs, 404 dead ends monitor, content analysis for SEO and many more.
It has also integrated a Google search console to help you gain important insights about the website's performance in Google search results right into WordPress itself.
Pricing for Rank Math premium plugin
It offers pro and business plans, which cost $59 and $199 a year.
SEO Press: Free WordPress SEO Plugin
SEO Press claims to be the complete SEO plugin for WordPress. Looking at its functionalities, it is rightly so. It offers the plugin for free and has paid plans for added functionalities.
Features in the free edition of the SEO Press plugin
- Quickly set up your website for SEO using the installation wizard.
- Content analysis to get the most out of our content.
- Social media post preview.
- Title and meta-description optimization
- Open Graph and Twitter card for the rich social graph.
- Toggles to activate or deactivate meta tags like no-index, no-follow, no-image index, no-snippet, and no-archive.
- Image optimization for SEO
Features in the paid edition of the SEO press plugin
- Import metadata as CSV files
- Video XML sitemap to improve rankings for videos.
- Google's top 10 keyword suggestions in the content analysis feature of SEO Press
- Broken links checker
- Google page speed insights to know about website speed.
- Automatic redirection of 404 pages into the home page of the website.
Pricing for SEO Press Premium plugin
It offers SEO Press Pro and Insights plans which cost $39 and $99 per year.
The SEO framework: Free WordPress Plugin
The SEO Framework plugin has great feature sets even in its free editions, probably more than most others discussed here. It also has 277 five-star ratings on the WordPress plugin page among 288 reviews, which is an exceptionally good user response.
It offers plugins in two parts; one is with the core features, and the other is the extension manager, which allows us to install additional extensions. This way, it significantly improves the website's speed by providing only the core features and the opportunity to add additional features upon need.
One standout feature of this plugin is that it generates meta descriptions automatically.
Let's look into a few other features of these plugins:
- Overall SEO optimization of the website
- Control how the website appears in the social feed.
- Insert schema.org markup data.
- Control crawling and indexing of websites.
- Automatically creates a sitemap that includes all parts of your website.
This plugin respects users' privacy and doesn't collect any data from them. Also, the colour scheme it uses makes it accessible for anyone with colour-vision
Pricing for The SEO framework premium
It has three premium plans: pro, business, and agency. It costs $84, $204, and $324 per year.
XML Sitemaps: Free Wordpress SEO Plugin
This plugin creates XML sitemaps that help search engines better index your website. This plugin is 100% free to use.
Broken link checker: Free WordPress SEO Tools
The plugin offers broken link checking as its sole feature. It checks both; the links leading to within the website and outside the website for any page that is empty of content. This plugin is free to use for everybody.
W3 Total Cache: Free WordPress SEO Plugin
It is a web performance optimization plugin for WordPress. It particularly specialized in making the website fast and responsive. The creators of the W3 total cache claim it makes the website faster by 10 folds. It does so by taking the help of a content delivery system (CDN) which delivers the content through the servers closest to the user and also through other best practices.
This added performance boost helps the Website SEO significantly as search engines consider a website speed a powerful SEO indicator.
All in one WP Security and Firewall: SEO Plugin
It can be a relatively new domain for many of you out there. But hackers and breachers have been prevalent on the internet for a long time. Without proper security in place, these malicious actors can get into your website and perform actions that may harm the website's visitors or destroy your SEO efforts to date in a second.
They can harm website visitors by installing cryptocurrency miners and viruses into their devices. Also, they can damage your SEO efforts by placing haphazard backlinks for their website through yours to improve their SEO.
All-in wp security plugins ultimately help to prevent this. The features it offers range from checking if there is a default username and password in use, checking if files on the website have inappropriate permission, suggesting strong passwords, preventing brute-force attacks on the WordPress login page, stopping username enumeration using author permalink, list of all active users, manual permission for every sign in into WordPress and many more.
All-in-one WP security and firewall are 100% free and won't slow down your site.
For more information: All a one WP security and firewall plugin
Which is the best Free WordPress SEO Plugin after our analysis?
According to our analysis, you can use YoasSEt SEO premium for an overall SEO boost and add an all-in-one security and firewall plugin to have top-notch security on the website. If you don't want to opt for Yoast SEO premium and want to stick to the free plugins, the SEO framework plugin's free edition is the way to go. So use these free WordPress SEO plugins to improve and analyze the SEO performance of your website.
- LINK BUILDING IN SEO: TIPS AND TRICKS
- Link Building in SEO: Tips and Tricks
- A GUIDE TO CONTENT OPTIMIZATION FOR FOUR DIFFERENT CONTENT