Free SEO plugins for WordPress worth knowing

WordPress plugins are essential tools to complement the functionality of a CMS-based website or blog. In this article, I present 16 free solutions that will contribute to the optimisation of your site when implementing an SEO strategy. I invite you to read on.

WordPress plugins – what are they?

A WordPress plugin is software that ‘plugs into’ your WordPress-based site. Plugins can add new or extend existing features to your site, allowing you to create virtually any type of site, from e-commerce shops to portfolio and directory sites.

Plugins can also make small improvements or huge changes, depending on their function. For example, you can use a plugin to add a social media share button to your site or create a fully multilingual site. If you run an e-commerce business, you can install a plugin to implement payment gateways or allow visitors to book appointments online. There are also plugins to help you improve your contact forms, create beautiful sliders, back up your site in case of data failure and make it easier to submit to email – and much more.

Do you need SEO plugins?

SEO plugins had their heyday at a time when WordPress had many SEO issues. They solved key issues such as url control and resource indexing. Today, WordPress natively allows many settings that are sufficient from an SEO perspective. The problem only arises when we want to implement additional / custom solutions.

SEO plugins are solutions for site owners who are not proficient with the PHP programming language, cannot handle HTACCESS and robots.txt files or simply want to implement a solution. The technical side of SEO has a relatively high entry point in terms of coding. The main disadvantage that SEO plugins have is that they are overloaded with features that we will never use. On the other hand, there are also SEO plugins that are simple and quick and modular, so you can choose the SEO features you need.

As a rule of thumb, SEO plugins by default give you options such as:

  • adding custom title tags and meta description tags for all content types,
  • help to add ‘noindex’ to low-value pages,
  • adding OG tags for Facebook and other social media tags,
  • creation of a site map in xml format.

If you feel that manually adding some of these features to your site is too much of a hassle, the SEO plugin is definitely a good option.

There are three reasons not to use SEO plugins:

  • features that duplicate the native functionality of wordpress or in the theme you are using,
  • the complexity of SEO plugins can introduce numerous errors and conflicts with other plugins,
  • the simpler the problem, the less likely it is to be worth implementing a solution via a plugin.

Which SEO plugin should you choose to start with?

When reading SEO tips for WordPress, you will come across articles that include dozens of tools. This can be quite overwhelming for beginners and non-advanced users. The truth is that you won’t need all of the following SEO tools to rank higher in search results. The most important thing is to use only the features that will be of practical use to your website.

Although the article points out the most popular SEO plugins, it is extremely important that you understand the use cases for each of these tools. For example, you never want to use more than one major SEO plugin on your wordpress site (referred to below as combos). We will mention Yoast SEO and Rank Math, but also other solutions dedicated to implementing specific functions. Remember to avoid conflicting plugins by overlapping features.

List of free SEO plugins

1. SEO combos

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is a popular WordPress SEO plugin that allows you to optimise your WordPress site for search engines. It allows you to easily add SEO titles and descriptions to all posts and pages on your site. You can also use it to add Open Graph metadata and social media images to your articles.

Yoast SEO automatically generates an XML sitemap for all your site content, making it easier for search engines to index your site. It also helps you import SEO data easily if you are using another SEO plugin.

Other features include readability analysis, while in most cases this function is useless.

Rank Math, Yoast SEO’s biggest competitor

Rank Math is ranked as the second most popular wordpress SEO plugin. It has all the features offered by Yoast SEO, while its advantage is the ability to use the ‘IndexNow API’ through the instant indexing function and to add other extensions as the site administrator needs.

2. Analytics

Google Tag Manager for WordPress

This is the most powerful plug-in to implement Google Tag Manager for WordPress. With it, we will be able to configure analytics on our site for service and e-commerce sites. Most importantly, it allows us to configure the DataLayer displayed at all stages of the shopping process on shop pages: listing, product, basket and purchase.

3. Extended data

JSON-LD structured data is a script that can be placed anywhere on a website that conveys structured data.
It can be placed in the header section with all other meta data, such as the title tag and meta description. It can also be placed at the end of the code, near the closing body tag. With this data, Google is able to pass items such as ratings, FAQs, header links or the price of the product into the search results.

Easy Table of Contents

This free plugin automatically generates a table of contents for your posts, pages and custom post types by analysing the content from the headings. You can choose where and when to insert the table of contents into your articles. You also get several options to configure the table of contents and control how it is displayed, including fluid controls and multiple counterpoint formats. You can even hide the table of contents of individual posts.

kk Star Ratings

The plugin, according to the official WordPress repository, currently has 70,000 active installations, requires WP versions 4.5 and upwards and is translated into 2 languages: English and Spanish. Although the plugin in the panel is not translated into Polish its configuration is very simple. The plugin is completely free and has no paid add-ons. The kk Star Ratings contain structured data that is pulled into the search engines. This is what it looks like in practice:

Structured Content (JSON-LD)

With this plugin, you can repeatedly insert structured data elements in any post or page.

For example, you can insert FAQs in simple dialogue boxes. Since the plugin renders the provided information as JSON-LD according to, search engine bots such as Google recognise this schema and can present it in search results as follows:

4. Speed and security

WP Super Cache

The WP Super Cache plugin is one such plugin that helps to optimise a website by generating static HTML files that are used to handle the request sent to the server. In this way, static pages will be displayed instead of processing all PHP scripts.

Options worth enabling to start with:

  • Cache hits to this website for quick access. (Recommended)
  • Use Mod_rewrite to save cache files. (Recommended)
  • Compress pages so they’re served more quickly to visitors. (Recommended)
  • Cache rebuild. Serve a supercache file to anonymous users while a new file is being generated. (Recommended)
  • Mobile device support.


A number of tools have appeared on the market to help improve Page Speed Insight results. One of the more effective ones is NitroPack. Does this tool solve all page loading speed problems? Well, NO. Keep in mind that the first step must always be to focus on the real causes of page loading speed, and only then can you become interested in NitroPack. Why? Because this tool will allow us to improve our results in laboratory tests, whereas if we do not take care of the real loading speed of the page, the data collected will only improve slightly (or not at all). The free version is limited to 5,000 page views per month and 1GB of data – which is perfectly adequate for small businesses.

Importantly, from the above plug-ins, you should choose one that you will ultimately use.

TinyPNG – Compress JPEG & PNG images

TinyPNG uses intelligent lossless compression techniques to reduce the size of PNG files. By selectively reducing the number of colours in the image, fewer bytes are needed to store the data. The effect is almost invisible, but makes a very big difference in file size!

All you have to do is upload your images as usual, while the optimisation takes place automatically in the background. JPEG and PNG image compression also allows you to collectively optimise your site’s media library, and even supports animated PNG files. This plugin is compatible with WooCommerce, WP Retina 2x and includes support for multiple sites with just one API key.

In the free version, we can optimise 100 images / mc.

Sucuri Security

It is worth noting that there are a great many plugins that try to secure our wordpresses. These include Wordfence or All In One WP Security & Firewall. It is worth noting that many basic and important security measures can be implemented without the use of plug-ins (e.g. by editing the .htaccess file or adding code to the functions.php file).

However, for less experienced users, manual security by entering code can be somewhat difficult. For this reason, we have selected a plug-in that allows these basic security measures to be implemented easily.

5. Other

Media File Renamer

Media File Renamer is a wordpress plugin that renames media files. It can be in automatic mode (depending on certain conditions) or in manual mode. This is a great solution for SEO to keep your WordPress site tidy and avoid file issues. References to these file names on your site will also be updated. It has a lot of features and if you are a developer, you can automate the whole process and how to rename.


HREFLANG Tags Lite is a very simple plugin that focuses solely on adding hreflang tags to your wordpress site. It supports all languages supported by WordPress and provides all the necessary tools to keep your tags up to date and as accurate as possible. This plugin is definitely worth a try when you have a site with multiple languages.

Broken link checker

We do not recommend using this plugin to check for broken links, as they can be a big drag on your site’s performance. From a performance perspective, it is much better to transfer these responsibilities to a separate tool using any of the methods above.

If you absolutely must use the wordpress plugin to check for broken links, do not leave it active. Instead, run the plugin once and then remove it from your site once the broken links have been fixed.

Really Simple SSL

The Really Simple SSL plugin allows you to easily launch an SSL certificate (https) and sets up automatic internal redirects on your site (from http n https). This is one plugin whose function we can replace with one small modification to the htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
RewriteRule ^ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]


Redirection is the most popular redirection manager for wordpress. You can easily manage 301 redirects, track 404 errors and logs. This will help to reduce errors caused by, for example, cannibalisation or thin content.

Internal Links Manager

Internal Links Manager is a simple and beginner-friendly wordpress plugin that helps you automatically add internal links based on defined keywords.

The plugin focuses on adding internal links only when specific words and phrases appear in the content. All you need to do is enter the URL and keyword of the link. The user interface is easy to use. However, you will not receive suggestions for internal links or a report showing how many internal and external links are on your site.

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