What are the best SEO plugins for WordPress?

Content is the most important you can have to improve SEO and get better rankings. This has been known for years, but many people still don’t do it.
The way I look at it, if you are short of time and resources (administrative or technical), there’s only one thing left to do: improve your content through plugins.

I’ve tried several SEO plugins on WordPress over the last few months with mixed results. There are some perfect ones out there (even free!) that will help you do permanent work in improving your blog’s SEO through various actions such as getting an XML sitemap, checking your website loading speed, or inserting linkbacks from other blogs linking to yours…etc.

So after testing and leaving my comments on these plugins, I thought it would be wise to give you a list of the best SEO plugins for WordPress based on experience and user feedback.

  1. SEO by Yoast (Formerly known as WordPress SEO plugin)
    SEO by Yoast is probably the most popular and known plugin among bloggers & webmasters, though it’s not free. It has several features to help you improve your blog content, such as keyword metadata management, internal linking suggestions, XML sitemap integration that works with Google Webmaster Tools…etc.
  • Google Analytics support (with multiple accounts)
  • Automatic tag suggestion for all categories & tags (including custom taxonomies)
  • Search engine friendly permalinks
  • Video sitemap generator (compatible with the rest of Google Webmaster Tools features)
  1. WordPress SEO by Yoast Lite
    If you’re short of resources and can’t afford the regular plugin, then try this one. It’s similar to its big brother but free. It was recently updated with new features like XML Sitemap support for single post pages, faster page load time, and better integration with Google Page Speed & Yahoo! YSlow tools. If you’re using W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache plugins, there’s nothing to worry about because they come integrated with SEO by Yoast Lite.
  • Personalized title & meta tag suggestions
  • Internal linking suggestions for posts & pages
  1. Google XML Sitemaps WordPress Plugin
    Google’s first XML sitemap generator is a simple plugin that will help you get an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools as well as Bing - this would help your blog’s content stay fresh and updated search engines. The latest version includes the ability to integrate other XML plugins such as SEO by Yoast or All in One SEO Pack so you can have more options when it comes to creating your XML sitemap.

  2. WP Fastest Cache – Page Cache Rebuilder
    If you’ve ever used W3 Total Cache, you know how important page caching is to a website: it reduces the load time of your blog’s pages and increases performance, which directly impacts your SEO. Yet W3 Total Cache’s implementation was far from perfect (or even good) when I first tried it, so I started looking for other options.
    WP Fastest Cache is an excellent alternative, mainly because it comes with many extra features such as cache monitoring & purger, lazy image loading…etc. It also works well with any other plugin that uses the same principle as W3TC (such as WP Super Cache).

  3. All in One SEO Pack
    The free version of this popular plugin is perhaps one of the best you can get to help optimize your WordPress blog. It’s the only plugin in this list that doesn’t require any sort of registration to get it working. Simply download and install. Features such as internal linking suggestions, support for Google Authorship…etc. It will make your life easier.

  • RSS feed optimization (compatible with FeedBurner)
  • Customized title & meta tag support via user settings page for each post/page/archive individually
  • 17 languages supported, including Arabic, Chinese, German,…etc
  1. Google XML Sitemaps
    Another tool from Google serves a similar purpose as the previous plugin by generating an XML sitemap. While not the prettiest of plugins around, it does its job, and that’s what counts.

  2. All in One SEO Pack – WordPress SEO by xTraffic
    All in One SEO Pack is already an excellent plugin with many features under its cap, but the good thing about it is that you can get some extra plugins to add even more features to your blog with ease. Install this one, for instance. It will help you generate Google authorship & Open Graph tags for each post individually and make them appear on social networks at no charge as long as they’re published on your site (without having them copied from others).

  3. Search Friendly Images
    There are times when users search for keywords related to images instead of text since these images represent something important and can arouse their curiosity and interest. So it would be wise to help search engines better understand what the images you use on your blog represent - this plugin does that by putting image tags around your blog’s photos - so people looking for keywords or questions related to an image will find relevant posts.

  4. Popular Image Placeholders
    Another one of those plugins I wouldn’t go without once I installed it was Popular Image Placeholders. It adds some CSS styles using Javascript, which is an excellent replacement for default WordPress placeholders when writing new content on your site. This plugin is highly recommended for any blogger out there who wants his/her content edited in real-time instead of saving & uploading directly from the editor (like myself).

  5. Keyword Friendly URLs
    This plugin will add SEO-friendly permalinks to your blog by default whenever possible and at no extra cost. It’s a great tool to have if you want your articles to be easily findable via search engines (especially when they’re somewhat lengthy). Just install it, activate it, and there is nothing more left for you to do - the plugin will take care of the rest.