WordPress as a platform is pretty effective when it comes to SEO. And, while there are a couple of really well-known plugins to help optimize your site (I’m pointing at you and you), there are many more under-the-radar options to choose from.
Some plugins may focus on overall SEO, while others home in on just one aspect. Whatever the target, there are some legitimately useful choices worth considering. With that, here are 10 lesser-known WordPress plugins that can help fine-tune your SEO efforts.
Rich Snippets are such an overlooked part of SEO (this post convinced me of it). They provide search engines with extra bits of useful info like reviews, company details (business hours, address, etc.) and a whole lot more.
All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets provides fields within the WordPress post editor that will let you customize the rich snippets in your content. Such a simple thing, but it can make your search listings more noticeable.
The SEO Framework is focused on automating much of the process of optimizing your site. With a little initial guidance, the plugin will change titles, add descriptions (with anti-spam warnings), canonical URLS, Open Graph tags and structured data.
It will also notify Google, Bing and Yandex if you’ve enabled their sitemap feature. There’s also a color-coded “SEO Bar” that will show you what areas look good and what needs further tweaking.
SEO Squirrly takes a different approach to optimizing content. First, you start by entering the topic you plan to write about in a field provided by the plugin. It then ranks keywords in that topic with a color-coded system (green is what you’re hoping for). You’ll also receive “advice” while in the process of writing your post.
The plugin also displays a listing of related, copyright-free images you can use. This is definitely a more handheld approach for those who aren’t well-versed in SEO. One thing to note is that the free version of the plugin only supports up to 5 posts per month. Paid plans are available for sites that publish more content.
Ok, I cheated. ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO is meant for those using the ubiquitous Yoast plugin. But hear me out. If your site is publishing content via custom fields – the standard Yoast SEO plugin isn’t counting that in its assessment of your post.
Installing this plugin will ensure that you’re getting accurate SEO grades while using Yoast and Advanced Custom Fields.
WP Meta SEO enables you to edit post and image metadata in bulk – saving you the trouble of clicking into each and every item. Beyond meta, you’re also able to bulk edit image sizes and SEO link titles.
The plugin also features on-page optimization, breadcrumb navigation, social media sharing elements, XML sitemap generation and a broken link checker. This one is an up-and-coming SEO solution.
WPSSO will take your existing content and create appropriate meta tags and Schema.org markup. Descriptions for various providers such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are included. Your site’s media is also optimized in the deal.
WPSSO is also able to work alongside other SEO plugins and can fill in some functionality gaps.
Images are often forgotten when it comes to SEO – but they matter. Using SEO Image Toolbox will help to ensure that your image data is optimized by dynamically generating ALT tags as you upload them. Images can also be edited in bulk.
And, not only is this great for SEO, you’ll also improve the accessibility of your site as well.
With over 100k installs, SEO Ultimate isn’t quite as niche as some other plugins in this roundup. But that still pales in comparison to the millions of installs the two “big names” can boast.
Still, with over 20 included modules, this plugin can do some heavy lifting. The package includes title optimization, meta description editing for posts, media and more, deeplinking tools, Open Graph optimization and rich snippet creation. There’s an awful lot here, and even more in the available premium version.
WP SEO Keyword Optimizer has two main functions. The first is to connect with Google Search Console and provide you with a customizable dashboard.
You’ll be able to view GSC data right from within WordPress with some nifty bonuses like seeing up to 5,000 of your most popular keywords (as opposed to 1,000 within GSC itself). The other function is optional on-page content optimization. There’s a built-in field for finding long tail keywords via Google and you can tweak various settings to see how it affects optimization.
While many plugins try to tempt you with endless features, Sewn In Simple SEO goes the other way. They offer a very simple interface that cuts out the “cruft” and focuses on the basics instead.
It’s great for theme developers because some setup is done through filters in the
functions.php file. What’s nice for clients is an uncluttered tabbed interface that doesn’t look so intimidating.
Small Names, Big Optimization
The plugins above prove there are indeed lots of great tools when it comes to SEO beyond the big names. In some ways, they’re like searching the web in that sometimes you may have to dig a little deeper to find some gold.
Take a closer look and see which ones will help you further optimize your WordPress website.