In this article, we discuss the best WordPress SEO Plugins for 2023 which are all free to use. A lot of these plugins come with premium packages. Although don’t worry, we outline which features are included in both the free and paid versions to help you make your decision.
Do You Need SEO Plugins for WordPress?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be overwhelming, especially for business owners transitioning online and setting up their websites. This is where SEO plugins come to your aid. Using a good SEO plugin can make ranking in organic search much simpler, whilst helping you obtain good-quality traffic.
SEO plugins are not essential, especially if you’re familiar with SEO best practices already. You can achieve the same results without the use of plugins if you already have the know-how. However, if you’re a beginner, SEO plugins are a fantastic aid to help you improve your website.
WordPress already takes care of most of the technical SEO aspects straight out of the box. You can simply focus on the design, content or any on-page aspects and anything behind closed doors is already optimised.
SEO Plugins on the other hand are designed to guide you in creating better content so that it is more search engine and user-friendly. Remember, SEO plugins offer guidance, they cannot guarantee ranking success. It is down to you to carry out all of the optimisation.
What Do SEO Plugins Do?
SEO plugins can help you with a variety of tasks. These include:
- Writing titles and meta descriptions
- Creating XML sitemaps
- Creating a robots.txt file
- Optimising content for keywords
- Improving content readability
- Auditing your website
- Applying schema markup
When used effectively, SEO plugins can give you the arsenal you need to boost your organic traffic and improve your SERP rankings.
Without further ado, let’s get started with the best free-to-use WordPress Plugins of 2023.
The Best WordPress SEO Plugins for 2023
Here is a quick list of the best WordPress SEO plugins for 2023. We recommend you read about the features included in each to help you make the best decision.
- All in One SEO (AIOSEO)
- Yoast SEO
- Rank Math SEO
- Slim SEO
- The SEO Framework
- The SEO Plugin by SEO Squirlly
AIOSEO was created by Michael Torbert and Steve Mortiboy in 2007. It has since become a widely used SEO plugin, with over 2 million active installations. It was acquired by Syed Balkhi in 2020 with a simple goal: to make SEO easy for beginners. AIOSEO is considered to be one of the best WordPress SEO plugins.
Considered to be one of the main rivals of Yoast SEO, this plugin is packed with useful features such as keyword optimisation, title optimisation, and a readability score for your content. The plugin also takes care of XML sitemaps and meta tags generation. Additionally, the plugin provides an overall site score with a rating out of 100, making it easier for users to visualise their website’s quality.
If you do decide to opt into the paid plan, you can get started for as little as $49 a year for 1 website, which is ideal for those on a budget. In fact, we use the pro package here at Comprehension Digital to take advantage of the extra features such as internal link assistant and schema markup. However, if these features aren’t necessary for you the free plugin still packs a punch.
Features of All In One SEO (AIOSEO)
- Automatically generates XML sitemaps to help search engines crawl and index the website.
- Real-time content analysis and suggestions, such as checking keyword density and readability, to help optimise content for search engines.
- Enables users to optimise meta tags, including title tags and meta descriptions, for their website. Make titles stand out to your readers.
- Allows users to optimise their website’s content for social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.
- Integration with Google Analytics to provide detailed insights into website traffic and user behaviour.
- Advanced canonical URL options to prevent duplicate content issues.
- Includes a tool to check for duplicate content issues on a website.
- Integration with the eCommerce plugin WooCommerce, allowing users to optimise their online store for search engines.
2. Yoast SEO
Yoast was founded in 2010 by Joost de Valk. It has since become one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress, with over 5 million active installations.
With Yoast SEO, you can easily optimise your pages and posts for specific keywords, and the plugin provides helpful feedback on how to improve your content to make it more search-engine friendly.
One of the best things about Yoast SEO is that it’s easy to use. The plugin provides clear feedback on how to improve your content, and it’s designed to be accessible to people who aren’t SEO experts. That said, if you are an SEO expert, Yoast SEO provides plenty of advanced settings and features that allow you to fine-tune your website’s optimisation.
Yoast SEO is also highly customisable. You can choose which features you want to use, and you can adjust settings to fit your specific needs. The plugin is also regularly updated, which means it stays up-to-date with changes to search engine algorithms and best practices.
The premium version of the plugin costs $89 a year for a single site which despite not being the cheapest, you can trust that Yoast SEO will help you achieve your SEO goals effectively. Likewise, with AIOSEO, the paid version is not essential if the features won’t benefit you.
Features of Yoast SEO
- Provides real-time suggestions to help users optimise their content for search engines, including checking for keyword density and readability.
- Automatically generates XML sitemaps to help search engines crawl and index the site.
- Allows users to optimise their website’s meta tags, such as title tags and meta descriptions.
- Yoast SEO suggests internal links based on website content to improve the internal linking structure.
- Yoast SEO optimises website content for social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
- Includes a breadcrumb navigation feature to improve the user experience by helping users navigate the website’s hierarchy.
- Yoast SEO includes a powerful redirection manager to easily redirect URLs.
- Allows users to optimise their content for multiple focus keywords, making it easier to target a broader range of search terms.
Rank Math SEO was launched in 2018 by Bhanu Ahluwalia, Nimit Kashyap and Suraj Vibhute. Its popularity has been rising in recent years with over 1 million active installations. Rank Math is becoming a fierce competitor of both AIOSEO and Yoast.
Rank Math’s free version offers more features than AIOSEO and Yoast. Link suggestions and local SEO are among the features that are not available in the free versions of AIOSEO and Yoast. If these are features you want to use in particular then Rank Math can be an excellent free to use option.
One of the unique features of this plugin is its Google Search Console integration. You can access information such as the number of impressions your content is getting and how your keywords are performing. This can all be accessed from your WordPress dashboard.
Rank Math is a cost-effective option. At only $59 a year for unlimited websites, this is absolutely amazing value for money if you want to take advantage of their premium features.
Features of Rank Math SEO
- Easy-to-use setup wizard that helps beginners configure the plugin easily.
- Offers a keyword analysis tool to identify relevant and profitable keywords.
- Provides real-time content analysis and suggestions for search engine optimization.
- Offers features to improve website ranking in local search results, including Google Maps integration and local business schema.
- Provides link-building features, including internal linking suggestions and outbound link tracking.
- Automatically generates XML sitemaps for websites to make it easier for search engines to crawl and index the site.
- Monitors websites for 404 errors and provides suggestions on how to fix them.
- Includes a redirection manager that allows users to easily redirect URLs.
SEOPress was founded by Benjamin Denis, a web developer and SEO expert based in France. He created the plugin to provide a more affordable and user-friendly alternative to other SEO plugins in the market. Since its launch in 2016, SEOPress has gained popularity among website owners and SEO professionals for its powerful features and ease of use.
SEOPress is packed with useful features such as XML sitemaps creation, content analysis and title and meta description optimisation. It’s a simple-to-use, beginner-friendly plugin that anyone can use. Furthermore, you can keep track of how their visitors are interacting with their site through seamless integration with Google Analytics.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of this plugin is that it has no advertising, footprints, or white label, both in the backend and frontend.
SEOPress is one of the cheapest on the market. The premium version costs only $49 a year, and that is for unlimited websites. By purchasing a premium subscription you can take advantage of features such as OpenAI integration. This lets you generate titles and meta descriptions based on the content of your page, ultimately saving you a lot of time and inspiration.
Features of SEOPress
- Allows users to optimise title tags, meta descriptions, and other meta tags to make their content more search engine-friendly.
- Automatically generates XML sitemaps for websites to help search engines crawl and index the site.
- Provides real-time content analysis and suggestions to help users optimise their content for search engines.
- Allows users to optimise their website’s content for social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.
- Integration with Google Analytics to provide detailed insights into website traffic and user behaviour.
- Offers advanced canonical URL options to help prevent duplicate content issues.
- Automatically adds schema markup to website content to help search engines understand the content and display it more effectively in search results.
- Integration with the popular eCommerce plugin WooCommerce, allowing users to optimize their online store for search engines.
5. Slim SEO
Slim SEO is a product of Azura Labs released in 2017. This is a software development company that specialises in creating WordPress plugins and themes. Slim SEO was created to make SEO simple. The plugin provides a user-friendly interface that allows users to easily manage the SEO elements of their website.
A lot of the SEO plugins mentioned in this article come with an overwhelming amount of settings. This isn’t a bad thing, some users prefer this. But for a complete beginner who doesn’t want to understand complex terms, Slim SEO is a good option as the configuration of this plugin is done automatically.
Features of this plugin include the ability to automatically generate meta tags, sitemaps, breadcrumbs, schema and redirections. However, Slim SEO does lack the on-page optimisation features that other plugins offer. Unless you’re already comfortable writing search engine-friendly content, this plugin may not be right for you.
For only $39 per year, you can obtain a personal license for Slim SEO that covers a single website. In addition, by purchasing this paid package, you can gain access to more advanced schema features, including custom schema, additional schema types, and schema builder.
Alternatively, you can choose to purchase the lifetime package, which costs only $129 and is valid forever. This is beneficial for saving money in the long run if you decide to stick with Slim SEO.
Features of Slim SEO
- Creates an XML sitemap to help search engines crawl and index websites more efficiently.
- Allows you to customise the title, description, and other meta tags for each page and post on your website to make them more appealing to search engines.
- Provides breadcrumb trail features to make it easier for users and search engines to navigate your website.
- Integrating with social media platforms, allowing you to add social sharing buttons to your website’s pages and posts.
- Allowing you to add your Google Analytics tracking code to your website to track website traffic and user behaviour.
- Supporting Open Graph integration to control how your website appears on social media platforms.
- Enabling you to set up 301 redirects to redirect users from old URLs to new ones, preserving your website’s SEO value.
- Allowing you to add Schema Markup to your website to enhance its visibility in search results and improve click-through rates.
The SEO Framework plugin was created by Sybre Waaijer, a software developer and SEO consultant from the Netherlands. The plugin was initially launched in May 2016 with the aim of providing an automated, fast, and streamlined approach to enhance search engine optimisation. Despite the plugin being preconfigured, you can naturally tweak it however you like.
The SEO Framework is completely free to use, which means that you can take advantage of all critical SEO features without having to spend a penny. What I appreciate about The SEO Framework is that they don’t try and sell you anything extra. Both beginners and experts can start using it right out of the box with a wide range of features at their disposal.
Moreover, if your website starts generating revenue, you may want to consider upgrading to one of their paid packages. This will provide you with extra extensions, including content spam protection and Google Analytics integration.
The pro package can be purchased for $84 per year. However, if you find that these extensions are not useful to you, there is no need to worry. The SEO Framework has more than enough to offer in its free version.
Features of The SEO Framework
- The plugin automatically generates and optimises essential meta tags, titles, and descriptions for your web pages.
- Analyses your content for keyword density, readability, and other factors that can impact your search engine ranking.
- Generates a sitemap that helps search engines crawl and index your website more efficiently.
- Creates a breadcrumb trail that helps users navigate your website and improves your site’s structure.
- The plugin adds Open Graph and Twitter Cards metadata to your pages, making it easier for your content to be shared on social media.
- Supports Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to improve your site’s mobile performance and visibility in search results.
- The plugin includes features to help improve your visibility in local search results, such as schema markup for business information and Google Maps integration.
The SEO plugin by Squirrly SEO was founded by Florin Muresan and his team. Florin Muresan is the CEO and founder of Squirrly, a company that provides digital marketing tools and solutions to businesses.
The plugin is designed to be user-friendly and provides guidance on various aspects of SEO, including keyword research, content optimisation, and monitoring of search engine rankings.
Also, it provides competitor analysis as you are writing to give you suggestions on how to improve your content to outrank competitors. Furthermore, if you are a beginner you get an AI consultant that provides step-by-step guidance on how to achieve better rankings.
The premium version of Squirlly SEO starts at $20.99 for the first month and then $29.99 per month after.
Features of The SEO Plugin by Squirlly SEO
- Provides real-time feedback on your content as you create it. By highlighting areas where you can improve your SEO, the plugin ensures that your content is optimised for search engines.
- The plugin includes a keyword research tool that helps you find relevant and valuable keywords to target for your website’s content.
- Includes SEO performance analytics, search engine rankings, traffic, and click-through rates.
- The plugin allows you to share your content on social media, helping to increase your website’s visibility and drive traffic.
- Automatically generates an XML sitemap for your website, which helps search engines to crawl and index your website’s content more easily.
- Includes support for schema markup, which can help improve your website’s visibility in search results by providing more detailed information about your content.
SEO can be confusing, especially if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal. In this article, we have discussed the best SEO plugins for WordPress that are free to use. It’s important you weigh up the features of each, and find one that is the best fit for your goals.
To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list where we have categorised the plugins:
- The best for on-page optimisation – AIOSEO, Yoast, The SEO Framework
- Budget-friendly options – SEO Press, Rank Math
- Most lightweight plugin – Slim SEO
- Beginner friendly option – SEO Squirlly
It’s best not to use multiple plugins consecutively as this can lead to conflicting issues. Instead, we suggest using the import/export features to transfer previous settings when trying out different plugins. This ensures that you can switch between plugins without losing any previous optimisation efforts.
After selecting a plugin, you can visit this article to learn how to utilise it to apply SEO to your website.