Search engines are one of the most important sources of traffic for any website. This is typically referred to as organic search traffic. This source of traffic is why it’s so important to optimize a website for SEO (search engine optimization). One of the best and easiest ways to improve your SEO is by installing an SEO plugin and follow some best practices.
In this article, we’ll look at a few of the best SEO plugins for WordPress and Divi. Hang around until the end for a handful of tips to take your SEO even further!
What is a WordPress SEO Plugin?
An SEO plugin adds search engine optimization features to WordPress’s built-in features, giving you more options, and digging deeper into the metadata of each page, post, category, image, and keyword. They create a sitemap structure, and ping search engines when there has been an update. They even go as far as to add features that help you improve your content. The plugins make your SEO optimizations as easy as possible with automatic settings. They also include manual settings so you can customize your SEO any way you want.
SEO and an SEO Plugin is Important for WordPress Websites
Search engines are one of the most important sources of traffic for any website and the competition for that search traffic increases every day. It’s true that WordPress is already SEO-friendly, but WordPress SEO plugins add a level of features that improve that SEO and gives you detailed control over how it works. They also provide features to help you improve your website’s structure and analyze your content for SEO. SEO plugins suggest keywords, analyze your content to improve your quality, help your website be found in local searches, and lots more.
Choosing an SEO Plugin – the 10 Best Options
Here’s a quick look at our favorite SEO plugins. You only need one for your basic SEO, so I recommend trying them out to see what works best for you.
1. Rank Math SEO
Rank Math SEO includes extensive SEO tools to give you control over every detail. Optimal settings are preselected, and it has smart automation, so you get the best possible SEO without having to handle it manually. It also includes Divi integration so you can adjust your page’s SEO from the Divi Builder. This keeps you from having to go back and forth between the builder and standard page editor to make your SEO changes. This is my current favorite SEO plugin.
- Optimal presets
- Smart automation
- Divi integration
- Google schema markup
- Google keyword ranking
- LSI keyword tool integration
- Google analysis integration
- 404 monitor
- Role manager
- SEO breadcrumbs
- Redirection manager
- Content tests
- Internal linking suggestions
- Local business SEO
- Image SEO
- Pro version adds Google Analytics and Search Console integration, structured data rich snippets, automation, WooCommerce integration, and more.
2. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO focuses on people and web spiders. It includes tools to help improve your content, making it more readable while optimizing it for search engines at the same time. It uses a traffic light to show the status of an article’s SEO, making it easy to see where improvements are needed at a glance.
- Advanced XML Sitemaps functionality
- Set canonical URLs
- Title and meta description templating
- Content & SEO analysis
- Snippet preview
- Tunes your websites’ engine
- Mark cornerstone content
- Counts internal links to improve site structure
- Integrates with Google Search Console
- Manage SEO roles
- Bulk editor
3. All in One SEO Pack
All in One SEO Pack has lots of tools from both beginners and advanced users. You can install it and let it run its default settings automatically, or you can fine-tune it to give your site an extra boost of SEO. You can also override the settings for any post or page that you want to adjust yourself.
- XML Sitemap
- Image XML Sitemap
- Google AMP support
- Google Analytics support
- SEO on Custom Post Types
- Advanced Canonical URLs
- Redirect attachment pages to the parent post
- Notifies search engines of changes to your site
- Built-in API
- SEO Integration for WooCommerce
- Nonce Security built-in
- Optimizes titles
- Generates META tags
- Avoids duplicate content
- Requires no setup but you can fine-tune if you want
- Override any title and
- Set META description
- Set META keywords
- 57 languages
4. The SEO Framework
The SEO Framework was designed for both beginners and advanced users. Beginners can install it and let it run on automatic settings. Advanced users can use the API to create extensions. It uses bar and pixel counters to show you how to improve your SEO.
- Automatically optimize your pages through AI
- Outputs Structured Data
- Optimizes metadata
- Prevents duplicate content issues
- Global options
- Optimize every public page, post, and term
- Shows you how to improve SEO
- Helps your pages get shared
- Supports all custom post types
Squirrly provides SEO for both WordPress and WooCommerce. It has lots of tools to manage the SEO settings, but also adds tools to manage your team of writers, developers, contributors, and your SEO strategy.
- On-demand audits
- Keyword rankings
- Real-time content analysis
- Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn integrations
- WooCommerce SEO
- Live assistant
- Research tools for writers
- Social media preview
SEOPress includes tools to build custom sitemaps in XML and HTML. Sitemaps include an XML image sitemap. It integrates with Google and displays previews for both desktop and mobile searches. Facebook and Twitter previews are also displayed to help you set up your posts for the best look. The plugin handles redirects and has preset parameters. It also supports data from other SEO plugins, making it easy to migrate from them to this one.
- Analyzes content
- Google desktop and mobile preview
- Social media preview
- Google Knowledge Graph
- Google Analytics
- Custom XML sitemap
- Custom HTML sitemap
- Image XML sitemaps
- Image SEO
- Supports data from other SEO plugins
- Pro version adds video XML, Google structured data types, automatic schemas, 404 monitoring, and lots more.
7. Bold Grid Easy SEO
Bold Grid Easy SEO was designed to help you create better content. This SEO plugin analyzes your page content in real-time and provides recommendations. It will suggest keywords, keyword density, content length, and more. It checks many elements within your content to make the best suggestions. The recommendations will help you build and maintain the best practices for your SEO. It provides suggestions based on your keywords and phrases.
- Improves your content quality
- Checks your content length
- Analyses your keyword density
- Checks your titles and descriptions
- Checks for follow and no follow links
- Allow or disallow search engine indexing
- Checks canonical URLs
- Confirms image alt tags
- Checks header tags
8. WP Meta SEO
WP Meta SEO is a simple plugin that gives you control over your SEO optimization options. You can adjust your SEO content in bulk. View your SEO analysis live. It also includes SEO for images, breadcrumbs, live content checks, 404 redirect checks, and sitemaps. You can expand it with premium addons.
- Bulk edit your meta SEO
- See a live SEO analysis
- Fix HTML image resize
- Redirect and broken link checker
- XML and HTML sitemaps
- Image SEO
- Customize Facebook and Twitter elements
- Canonical URL management
- Addons available include Google Search Console keyword suggestions, reports, local business SEO, sitemaps for custom post types, duplicate meta check, rules for redirects, Google Search Console sitemap submissions, and more.
9. SmartCrawl SEO
SmartCrawl SEO optimizes your SEO and boosts your Google PageRank scores. It analyses your content and keywords and makes suggestions in real-time. Optimization is done automatically. It creates sitemaps and provides reports. The social media tools use Open Graph, Twitter Cards, and Pinterest verification to connect with almost every social platform to ensure you get proper credit for your content.
- SEO checkups
- Sitemap generator
- Smart page analyzer
- Social media tools for Open Graph, Twitter, and Pinterest
- Schema types builder creates schema based on markup types
- Integrates with MOZ
- SEO crawl
- Local SEO
- Premium membership adds Smart Crawl Pro, Smush Pro, and other premium plugins that check for broken URLs, compress images, and more
10. BONUS SEO Plugin: Internal Link Juicer
Internal Link Juicer is a unique SEO plugin. Rather than providing the standard SEO tools, it improves your SEO by building internal links within your post content. It uses custom configurations for each post for its specific keywords. This points to the correct content based on the context, which builds both your SEO and user experience. It also saves you time because you don’t have to link to your content manually. This is ideal for bloggers and affiliates to show more content and highlight certain products.
- Builds internal links to related content
- You have complete control
- Customizable output
- Statistics dashboard
- Pro version adds taxonomies, custom link targets, auto keyword import, silos, etc.
Tips for Improving SEO without an SEO Plugin
There are lots of other ways to improve your SEO. Here are a few tips to help.
Divi SEO Settings
Divi includes SEO settings for the homepage, single posts, and index page. They’re disabled by default, allowing WordPress to handle the SEO for you. Divi’s SEO settings let you override the WordPress default settings with your own custom settings. For details on how to set up your Divi SEO, take a look at our article Getting Started with Divi: Theme Options – SEO Tab.
The speed of your website (how fast it loads into your visitor’s browser) also affects your SEO. You can test the speed of your website with online tools like PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix. Both provide a loading score GTmetrix includes PageSpeed Insights and YSlow. They include information about what is slowing your site down and give insights on what steps to take in order to speed up your website’s loading time.
One of the best ways to speed up your website is to optimize your images. Images are usually the largest files within your content. They can be resized and compressed without losing quality. For a comparison of the top image optimization plugins, see the Elegant Themes article The 6 Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugins Compared.
Choosing the right host is one of the most important decisions you can make about your website’s performance. For more information about choosing a host for your Divi website, see the articles What to Look for in a Divi Host and 8 Best Hosting Options for Divi + WordPress.
Lastly, I recommend optimizing the titles for your blog articles. By default, WordPress assigns a number to the post (something like ‘p=123’). A better option is to use the article’s title (which includes keywords that search engines like).
In the dashboard menu, go to Settings > Permalinks and choose one of the common settings. My favorite is Post name. You can also create a custom setting if you want. Tags are provided to help you create your own permalinks.
If you’ve already posted content with the default structure, you might need to use 301 redirects so you don’t lose any SEO benefits from those posts. The SEO plugins in this article can help you with this.
Ending Thoughts in Choosing an SEO Plugin
SEO is vitally important for any website, and WordPress and Divi sites are no different. Even though both WordPress and Divi have some excellent SEO features built-in, choosing a high-quality SEO plugin and following a few SEO best practices will make all the difference in your search engine rankings. Improving your WordPress SEO is not difficult, and it’s more than worth the effort.
We want to hear from you. What are your favorite SEO tools on this list? Let us know in the comments.
Updated 7/6/2021 to includes new SEO plugins: Rank Math SEO, SEOPress, Bold Grid Easy SEO, WP Meta SEO, SmartCrawl SEO, and Internal Link Juicer. Also, some of the content has been expanded.