9 Best SEO Plugins for WordPress in 2016

Written by: Jason Bayless | July 01, 2016

WordPress has many different SEO plugins that make it easier for you to rank your website. Many of the best plugins are free, though some offer paid upgrades. There are also plugins that focus on certain specialized aspects of SEO. Here are the nine best WordPress plugins to help you optimize your site in 2016.

1. SEO by Squirrly

SEO by Squirrly is a plugin that helps you optimize all of your content for the search engines. It’s not a stand-alone SEO plugin but is a great addition to plugins such as Yoast or All in One SEO Pack. It has features such as the Snippet Tool, which shows you exactly how your content appears to the search engines. The plugin also helps you find keywords in your niche that are trending.

2. Yoast SEO For WordPress

Yoast makes one of the most popular and effective SEO plugins. This is an all-in-one SEO plugin that covers areas such as XML sitemap, canonical links, meta descriptions, robots meta configuration and much more. If you upgrade to premium, you get additional features such as premium support, redirect manager and multiple focus keywords. Yet the free version covers all of your basic SEO needs.

3. Ultimate NoFollow

One of the areas where Google has been getting more strict is in the area of nofollow links. Ordinarily, you have to manually edit HTML code if you want to make links nofollow. Now there’s a plugin that gives you complete control over which of your posts contain the nofollow tag. You can use a checkbox whenever you insert links into a post. There are also nofollow shortcodes and options to set up your individual blogroll links as nofollow. Another capability this plugin provides is the ability to add or remove the nofollow tag from links included in comments.

4. Broken Link Checker

Broken links are a common issue that can harm your site’s SEO. Broken Link Checker is a plugin that checks all your content, including posts and comments for broken links. This is another specialized plugin that addresses a key SEO issue. You can set it up to notify you by email or from your dashboard when you have broken links. You can also choose to have the search engines stop following any broken links.

5. All in One SEO Pack

All in One SEO Pack is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin of all, with more than 30 million downloads. This plugin has a long list of helpful features, such as automatic meta tag generation, XML Sitemap support, built-in Nonce Security and advanced canonical URLs. Most users will get all of the benefits they need from the free version. The Pro version, however, adds features such as advanced WooCommerce support, SEO for custom taxonomies and access to video screencasts.

6. SEO Friendly Images

The internet is becoming more and more visually oriented, making it crucial to optimize all of your images. SEO Friendly Images is a plugin that makes it simple to do this. It automatically adds alt and title attributes to your images. This is something you can do manually, but if you’re using many images it’s much faster to have a plugin that does it for you.

7. FV Simpler SEO

This plugin is marketed as a simplified version of All in One SEO Pack. It’s a streamlined plugin that covers all of the basics of SEO such as canonical URLs, automatic META tags generation and automatic optimization of titles. This is a suitable plugin for beginners. Once it’s installed, it does everything without the need for any adjustments.

8. Google XML Sitemaps

This is a free and simple plugin that generates an XML sitemap to make it easier for Google to index your site. It’s a good choice for beginners who don’t want to bother with more advanced plugins. On the other hand, if you use an all-in-one plugins such as Yoast, you may not need a separate plugin for sitemaps.

9. WP Social SEO Booster

This plugin can quickly enhance the SEO value of your social media activity. Content you share with sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ is optimized to make it more likely that the search engines will index it. This plugin, which works with other plugins such as All in One SEO and Yoast, adds Google Rich Snippets, Twitter Card and Facebook Open Graph data to ensure your social media content is fully optimized.