Free Must Have WordPress SEO Plugins for 2016

Today’s post features a list of WordPress SEO plugins to help you boost your blog or website. Using WordPress makes the tedious process of optimizing your site very easy. The WordPress core is already SEO friendly — in fact, it is considered to be one of the most accessible SEO content management systems out there.

Optimizing your website for search engines is crucial for any website. Search engines like Google can direct people toward your website, giving you tons of traffic if you optimize your website successfully. The good news is that there are many tools for WordPress that can help you improve your search engine ranking. This article introduces 10 of the best SEO plugins for WordPress in 2016. 

A quality SEO plugin for is essential for every WordPress website. Although lots of WordPress Themes come with SEO settings of their own, it’s best practice to use a plugin. In the event that you change themes you will be glad you did. Otherwise you will lose all of the SEO settings.

There is a wide variety of awesome SEO plugins to use on your WordPress site. Before you begin, you should understand some of the basics of SEO. For some quick tips to get you started checkout our post on SEO Stategies for WordPress.

While the SEO plugin pool isn’t quite as saturated as other types of plugins, it’s still crowded. That’s why we sifted through all the noise to help you to find the best WordPress SEO plugins of 2016. You can use these plugins to increase search engine traffic, get more exposure and optimize performance.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

WordPress SEO by YoastThis SEO plugin is one of the most celebrated plugins in the WordPress plugin directory. It is the brainchild of Joost de Valk, a true WordPress superstar and the founder of Yoast. Additionally, we use this plugin on this blog as well.

It works well and it’s very easy to use. WordPress SEO provides you with lots of settings to help you optimize for search engines. You can optimize your site for global traffic and local traffic. Some of the most notable features allow you to:

  • Edit SEO titles, slugs and meta descriptions
  • Keyword recommendations from Google
  • Automate the creation of XML maps
  • Optimize content for social networks
  • Analyze ways to improve the SEO value of your content

There are so many things that this plugin can help you do. This plugin is free, but there are some additional addons you can purchase to extend the functionality.

Download Screenshots

 Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker PluginThis is a handy tool for letting you know when you have a broken link on your site. Broken links are bad for SEO, but they are hard to keep track of. Lets not forget how frustrating broken links can be for your visitors.

The Broken Link Checker plugin searches your entire website for broken links. You can find all the broken links and edit them directly from the plugin’s settings panel. This can save you valuable time.

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WP Smush

WP-SmushPerformance is a part of SEO too. With WP Smush you can optimize your images so they load as fast as possible. This can speed up page loading time, which is good for your page rank status. Search engines put stock into page loading time.

This plugin can help you cut your image down to size without any loss in quality. WP Smush is simple to use. Just install it and that’s it. Every time you upload an image WP Smush will smush it properly. There is a premium version of available that offers more compression and advanced options.

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Media File Renamer

Media File RenamerAnother important part of SEO is naming files. The names of your image files are analyzed by search engines, so think twice about naming an image “adjfa;idi39.jpg” just because you enjoy slapping away at random keys.

Sound SEO for naming images dictates that you use relevant names. This seems easy enough, but it can be a chore to rename media files in WordPress. Especially if you have a lot of images to rename. You have to download your image, rename it, then re-upload it. Doing this over and over is not something that the human brain enjoys, or is even good at. I’ve wasted too many Sundays doing this type of thing.

Media File Renamer is a blessing for people like me. You can change the nmes of your files directly from the backend. The plugin will also update all the file links automatically to prevent broken file links.

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Ewww Image Optimizer

Ewww Image OptimizerThis plugin does the exact same thing WP Smush does. It helps you reduce the size of your files and increase page performance Whenever you upload a file to your media gallery it will optimize it. How is it different from WP Smush?

Ewww uses different software to do the same thing. One thing this plugin does have over WP Smush is the ability to use lossy compression, which is the opposite of lossless. This means that some of the image data will be erased to make it even smaller. It should be noted that compressing an image to a lossy format will lower its quality.

Download Screenshots

Squirrly SEO

seo-by-squirrlySquirrly SEO is designed to help you write content that search engines will pick up. It also helps you write content that human beings will enjoy, which after all is the true goal of SEO. Squirrly provides you with SEO statistics, a weekly report and help finding keywords.

You can keep all of your previous SEO settings when you install Squirrly. This plugin is a great addition to WordPress websites that use Yoast or other all-in-one SEO plugins.

This plugin is like having an expert SEO wizard right by your side, ready to let you know specific areas where you need to improve. Squirrly is kind of like my mom, except it doesn’t patronize me quite as much when I do a good job.

Download Screenshot

All in One SEO Pack

All in One SEO Pack WordPress PluginThis plugin is a lot like Yoast’s WordPress SEO. The functionality is very similar, yet working with it is much different. This plugin is more for beginners. Less advanced users may just want to cover the basics. This doesn’t mean that power users can’t get what they need from All in One SEO Pack. There are settings and features to help you:

  • Optimize post and page data (title, slug, meta description etc.)
  • Verify webmaster status with the biggest search engines
  • Optimize your eCommerce website

This plugin works right out of the box. You can also upgrade to the pro version to get more advanced options.

Download Screenshots

WP Social SEO Booster

wp-social-seo-boosterPopularity on social networks can give your blog or website some serious SEO juice. This plugin allows developers to add Facebook Open Graph, Twitter Card and Google Rich Snippets to WordPress. This can help you get more traffic from search engines. Features include:

Works with other SEO plugins like All in One SEO or Yoast

  • Integrates Google rich snippets
  • Twitter Meta Tags
  • Supports all Facebook Open Graph Content Types

You can also purchase a premium version of this plugin to get more advanced options.

Download Screenshots

W3 Total Cache

w3-total-cacheWe all love W3 Total Cache. This is evident by the fact that this plugin has over 1 million active installs and some great user feedback. This plugin can help your pages load faster and make your visitors happy. It works great for people who get web hosting from DreamHost, Go Daddy, Host Gator, Bluehost, WP Engine and many more.

W3 Total Cache helps you provide a better user experience by optimizing your server performance. Reduce download time and increase conversion rates by speeding up your page by up to 10 times!

Download FAQ

Final Words

WordPress users have the luxury of choosing from many different quality SEO tools. This list has some of my favorite plugins for SEO. It featured plugins for analytics, keyword research, all-in-one packages and site performance.

While some of the plugins on this list will cost you or include premium services, most of them are free. In all honesty the price for the paid plugins is totally worth it in my eyes based on what they can do. Try to keep things simple by finding an SEO plugin that works for you. Keeping only one or two per site is a good rule thumb. WordPress SEO by Yoast is an obvious choice. Let us know what you think of the list in the comments section. Feel free to share any of your favorite SEO plugins for WordPress in the comments section.

Disclosure: This page may contain external affiliate links that may result in us receiving a comission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own. We do not receive payment for positive reviews.
5 replies
  1. Ana
    Ana says:


    Thanks so much for including Squirrly in this awesome list!

    By the way, I really liked this phrase: Squirrly is kind of like my mom, except it doesn’t patronize me quite as much when I do a good job.

    Ana Darstaru from Squirrly


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