If you read my previous post about the best SEO practices, I mentioned that one of the most important elements to search engine optimization is on-page (or on-site) optimization or, for the purpose of this post, the part of WordPress that deals with the “code”. WordPress is a great platform and takes care of about 80% of the mechanics of SEO according to Matt Cutts (Google Spam Chief). While this is true, it does not mean that you can’t improve it further and this is where the SEO plugins come into play. They help your site go that extra mile for added “technical optimizations”.

Note that there are many SEO plugins available out there, and you should always do some research for more information. The ones that I will be recommending here are all from credible sources (developers and on the WP repository), 100% free and tested. I use them either here, on my other websites and clients.

[note]While I was writing this post, I realized that it would be very long one, so I decided to break this post into two parts. This is Part 1[/note]

A quick reminder, WordPress plugins are great and makes our lives a lot easier, specially for the non tech savvy like me. I know it does help me a great deal, however, you should know that there is a downside to “over using” plugins, so you may want to use check your WordPress performance (recommended read) once in a while to avoid causing you some problems with speed loading issues and your web hosting account (aff – exclusive offer).

The Best SEO Plugins For WordPress 2012

WP SEO By Yoast: My new favorite. Has so many options that it will blow your mind away. An all-in-one plugin indeed. Its features include xml sitemap, webmaster tools verification, RSS Optimization, Social integration, breadcrumbs, page analysis, rich snippets, the whole shebang. My favorite features are the snippet preview, where you can see a rendering of what your post or page will look like in the search results and, the page analysis feature, which checks, if you have images in your post with an alt tag, whether your posts are long enough, if you’ve written a meta description, subheadings within your post, and more (SEO assistant). Really incredible for a free plugin and eliminates the need to install other plugins such as the Google xml sitemap, etc. More information and guides are provided on WP SEO by Yoast.

[note]UPDATE: 10/2012: Here’s an excellent tutorial on how to use WP Yoast, in case you are looking for one.[/note]

Snippet preview

SEO Plugins Yoast

Page Analysis (this is really awesome) – The primary function of WP SEO is to help you write better and optimized content. Note the results below.

SEO Plugin Yoast Page Analysis

Headspace 2: A very powerful plugin that provides many options such as writing meta titles and descriptions for all your category, tag and custom taxonomy archives, analytics, thus giving you the option to further optimize those pages. Headspace 2 requires a little of getting used to as it not very simple. However, once you get familiar with how it works, it works wonders. You can watch a video here on how to use Headspace 2.

Headspace 2

All-In-One SEO Pack (AIO): One of the most popular SEO plugins, AIO by far is the simplest, but not less powerful for that matter, to use in comparison with the other two above. For beginners, this is an excellent SEO plugin as it basically works out of the box. For advanced users, you can fine-tune a lot of options and use special parameters to further make those titles unique. 80% of my websites run using this plugin. It is good, period.

All In One SEO

[note]If you are using Thesis (aff link), you don’t really need to install any of the plugins above as the Theme has its built-in SEO functionality and a very powerful one too. Also, choose ONLY ONE from any of the above plugins.[/note]

WordPress SEO Plugins 2012 (complement)

Google Site Verification – A very helpful and easy to use plugin to assist you in verifying your site on Google’s webmaster tools without having to worry about other forms of verifying your website on Google’s Webmasters Central. Install the plugin, login to your Google account, hit verify > grant access and you are good to go. You should always have your site verified and submitted to Google’s Webmaster Tools.

Google XML Sitemap – If you decide to use any SEO plugin above other than WP SEO, you are recommended to install this plugin as it is one of those things that is virtually set and forget. The plugins main function is to create and submit a sitemap, making it easier for the search engine crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve information more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages, and automatically notifies all major search engines every time you create new content.

Redirection (404 and more) – Very useful plugin specially if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation. Several features are made available with this plugin, including 404 monitoring, redirection of any URL, and can redirect using various methods, such as, redirecting to random pages, redirecting based upon a referrer, etc.

Broken Links – Broken links are a big no, no and has a negative impact on your SEO. This plugin ensures that all your links, internal and external, are in good working order. If it detects any broken links, you are given various options to fix it. It is also highly configurable. Cool!

SEO Smart Links: Deep linking or internal linking, the process of linking to another article in your own site, is something you should be doing at least once on each post you publish. Not only do you provide users with more related and relevant content to look at, you may also get some extra SEO benefits out of it. For those of you, that may find this effort somewhat tedious, specially if you have many articles published, SEO Smartlinks can do wonders for you. After properly configured, it automatically finds keywords in your post that “matches” an article and creates a link to that post. You can also set it up with manual keywords, a simple but powerful way of creating affiliate links for example, in your whole website.  If you are creative enough, you can even use it as part of your affiliate marketing ninja training.

A great alternative to SEO Smart Links is SEO ALRP – SEO Auto Links & Related Posts, is a combination of related posts and auto smart links plugin.The auto links feature will automatically convert post title, meta keywords, and post tags found inside the blog posts into an internal link.

[note]Update June 2012: Due to the recent wave of Pandas and Penguins, please note that SEO Smart Links (free version) and SEO ALRP may cause your site to “overly” create links. Make sure that you configure them properly and avoid using “short” custom keywords. When in doubt, just do your “deep links” manually or use WordPress insights instead.[/note]

SEO Friendly Images: A WordPress image optimization plugin that automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes. If your images do not have ALT and TITLE already set, SEO Friendly Images will add them according to the options you set. The ALT attribute is an important part of search engine optimization, and done properly, can be a great source of organic traffic. Do not underestimate the power of properly optimized images.

There you have it. This concludes part 1 of the best SEO plugins for 2012. These plugins work and are highly recommended. Remember that they help you improve your SEO efforts and do not work on their own. You have to first and foremost, provide good stuff for your audience and then do your SEO. These plugins will not generate quality content.

Part 2 will deal with related WordPress SEO plugins. While they may not be directly related to on-page optimization, they form an integral part of your SEO efforts, considering that social engagement, page speed, authorship markup, to name just a few, now play an important role for search engines. You don’t want to miss that one.

How about you? Do you know of any other WordPress SEO plugins that you feel should have been included here? Your opinion and feedback are appreciated.

[note]Update 04/28/2012: Please note that these SEO plugins help your site get more visibility, but don’t forget that there is always the matter of applying white hat SEO techniques (see best practices in the beginning of this post). Google, in its effort to fight webspam, is taking action to clean up the web. So keep it clean and to your success.[/note]

[note]UPDATE: The recommended SEO Plugins for 2013 is out. Click here https://www.iblogzone.com/2013/02/best-wordpress-seo-plugins-for-2013.html[/note]


DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone.com. iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Digital Marketing Services in SP Brazil.

159 thoughts on “Best WordPress SEO Plugins For 2012

  • Hi DiTesco – Great list! I’ve been using SEOPressor (paid plugin) to assess the on page analytics of my site. I need to look into WP SEO. Your screenshot shows it addresses all of the items SEOPressor does – and more.

    • Hi Michael. I have once used SEOPressor and have been satisfied with what it can do. However, once I got familiar with what I need to do, I took it down as it was only consuming resources I was no longer using. WP SEO by Yoast has the same functionality and offers a bit more actually, hence why I am boggled with the fact that it is free. Gotta hand it to the developer (Joost de Valk) for doing such a great contribution for the community 🙂

    • I moved to WP SEO some time ago, and Yoast’s increasing updates to keep his plugin current with what’s happening in the industry keeps him ahead of the game.

  • DiTesco,

    I have been using All in One for many years now and never gave it a second thought. I will definitely check WP SEO by Yoast (never heard of this one before). Good share!

    • Hi Dan. I’m with you on AIO.. I have been using it for a long time and continue to use it on sites that I already had it installed. Depending on the website I am creating I probably will still use it as I like its simplicity and effectiveness (never let me down, lol). Otherwise, and for clients for example, I found WP SEO to be slightly better, because it replaces a lot of different plugins all together. Aside from consuming less resources, clients can write their own optimized post without having to source it somewhere else 😉

  • Great discussion on the best SEO plugins For WordPress 2012. I agree with your opinion on WP SEO by Yoast. I have been using it for a couple of months and just love it.


    • Good to know that you are satisfied with WP SEO Ellie. Thanks for letting me know

  • They’re all well know plugin. however, I don’t use all of them, just necessary things: WP SEO By Yoast, Google XML Sitemap, Digi link checker…

    Thank you for you post.

    • Hi Jenni. that’s great, although if you are already using WP SEO by Yoast, it is really not necessary to be using XML separately as that is already included on WP SEO. You can save some resources by deleting XML.. thanks for stopping by

      • Oh, forgot about that!

        Thank you so much 🙂

  • Hi DiTesco, I think people are pretty confused about SEO plugins and with so many to choose from it’s easy to understand why. I’ve thought about installing the Yoast plugin before and I used it when doing a guest post on GrowMap. I love how it shows the snippet preview. Thanks for giving such great descriptions of these plugins so we’ll know which ones to try.

    • Hi Ileane. Could not agree with you more. There are so many plugins out there that can easily complicate our lives, rather than helping. I have seen the plugins that you have recommended on your recent guest post and I think that in combination with the ones I provide here, can be a great resource for users who are thinking of venturing on improving their WordPress SEO (don’t have to bother looking anywhere else, lol). WP SEO is my new favorite as among other things, it combines many plugins in-one and that is great to save resources 🙂

      thanks for topping by my friend. All the best

  • Personally I don’t think that any SEO plugin is really necessary, as soon as the content is well arranged, include quality images and links to relevant blog pages, this is more than enough.

    • SEO plugins are good for people who are not too tech savvy. It is obviously optional, but I think that it helps.

  • I have used some of them in the past for my blog but when I start using Thesis I find out that it has a lot of options for SEO as you said it has built-in SEO functionality and a very powerful one too, so I don’t use any plugin for SEO anymore, anyway thanks for sharing all these plugins, many people need them for their site…

    • That’s awesome that you decided to go for Thesis Kostas. Its built in SEO is really very good and you can do so much with it that many people don’t even know, like creating “category” SEO friendly pages :). Anyway, Thesis has a lot of features that it eliminates the need to use plugins such as AIO or WP SEO. It is still recommended to install for example, Google XML, SEO Smartlinks and others that Thesis does not have.

  • Hi DiTesco, Kevin Stacey here..

    First off, this post is extremely thorough! I don’t see too many bloggers going into detail like you have…that’s the mark of a blogger who knows their SEO plugins. For optimization, free plugins like Yoast, All in One SEO Pack, Headspace and even the supporting cast of others are really great as they lays down the basic SEO foundation for a WordPress site, but every blog is different and nothing works best for everyone.

    I always suggest looking at a side-by-side comparison of the best seo plugins for WordPress in order to make an informed decision of what the best plugin is for that blogger and their website’s specific needs.

    Here’s my most recent write-up on the subject:

    SEO Pressor vs Easy WP SEO vs Scribe SEO

    Check it out and let me know what you think.

    Great article btw…I’ll be referencing this post on my main blog.

    • You did a pretty good comparison of “premium” SEO plugins there and with the exception of Scribe, I have them both but only used it in the beginning until I got a handle of things. Good plugins though

  • Yoast WP SEO plugin has work real well for me and he is constantly updating it to meet the new versions of WP as they come out. Like you have shown, the added benefits it will give you as you enter your post content are very helpful.

    This type of instant annalist is usually a paid for option in other similar programs. I have not found a better SEO plugin or add-on that comes close to Yoast, paid for or free.

    Thanks for another great review DiTesco.

    • I agree Steve. After using WP SEO Yoast for the first time, I have started to use it in all my sites and as I said, is my new favorite. It offers so much that it is mind boggling why it is free. And you are right, i am not aware of any paid plugin that offers the same features.

  • Don’t forget WordPress SEO by Yoast, one of the best plugins.

    • The very first plugin I recommend is WP SEO Yoast. Are they the same 🙂

  • Thanks for this great post. I have been looking for a good link checker for some time now. I don’t trust a lot of the website analyzers out there and this one seems bang on!


    • Yep, and its free 🙂

  • Hi DiTesco,

    This is a great list with very clear description on each. I’ll check out WordPress SEO by Yoast since you and some other people who made comments on my guest post on BasicBlogTips are also recommending it.

    • You are welcome Janus. Visited your blog BTW, and left you my two cents 🙂

  • My favorite is certainly WordPress SEO by Yoast. I was previously using All In One SEO but later on heard and saw that Yoast SEO was far better and had a lot more functions than what All In One SEO had. In fact it (Yoast SEO) helped me get rid of a few more plugins like the Webmaster Verficitaion plugins, Breadcrumbs plugins, Sitemap plugin. None the less the other two plugins (Headspace and AIO SEO) are pretty good two.

    • Hi Shiva. That’s one of the reasons why my new favorite is now WP SEO by Yoast. It eliminates the need to install several other plugins that would otherwise be needed if I choose a different one. Works well and the “man” behind the plugin is 100%…

  • Hi,

    This are great SEO plugins list you have here. I’m planning to install 1 or 2 of them. Thanks for posting this. 🙂 Happy new year to you!

    • Same to you and thank you.

    • Thanks for the link of that “great” tutorial. I am sure that users who are looking to use the plugin will appreciate it. Awesome!

  • Great collection! I found some very helpful and useful plugins thanks to you. I just want to thank you for sharing it with us.

  • I’m going to have to try some of these. I wasn’t all that jazzed by the first one, when it first came out. And I’ve liked Headspace – been using it on TNG. I’m most familiar with All-in-One SEO, though.

    Any harm in running MORE than one? 🙂

    • Hi holly. Yes, there is a lot of harm in running more than one plugin with similar functions at the same time. Use one or the other or somewhere in between they will “collide”, lol. Headspace is great, but IMO requires a bit of getting used to. I use it for some clients where they need some “extra” refinement. If TNG is already setup with HS, I think there is no need to change it.

  • Hey Francisco,

    Thank you for the article on SEO plugins. It will be really useful to me. I am just using WP SEO and bunch of other stuff like Sitemap generator. I used have both Headspace and All-in-One Seo Pack, but I deleted them and switched to WP SEO when I came to know about it.

    WP SEO really has some awesome features to help us with Search engine optimization.

    The compliments section would really be useful to me, especially because I am working on a new blog.

    Thanks for the article,

    Jeevan Jacob John

    • You are welcome Jeevan. I am glad that you found the “compliments” useful for you. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

  • WordPress SEO by Yoast is definitely top of the list for me. It does all of the basics and also adds extra features, like XML sitemaps, without the need for an additional burdensome plugin. I’m not much of an SEO monkey – I believe that if you get the essentials down, you’re 95% of the way there and all the additional time you can spend on SEO is time wasted, so it’s really the only SEO plugin I rely on.

    • Hi Dave. Thanks for you thoughts. In a way, I do agree that having only some “few” SEO plugins that do the job well is more than enough to “take care” of on-page SEO. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Very good article. I have recently started using: Lazy SEO Rockstar which is a world press SEO plugin to automatically find High PR sites such as: .gov & .edu This tool has helped me to build awesome SEO back links for my SEO client’s websites. The result is much quicker keyword rankings on Google. The plug-in also has a number of other really good tools such as a ‘mass tagger’ module that tags all my posts automatically. Another tool I love is: Post LSI, which enables me to quickly establish which keywords have been used by visitors to the sites. I then use the Mass tagger function to automatically tag all posts. Saves so much time. One dynamite of a plugin does the majority of our offsite and onsite SEO

    • Hi. The plugins you mention seems to do some “stuff” that can be dangerous if done excessively. Although I am not aware of those plugins you mention, I will definitely check them out 🙂

      BTW, one Question. How does LAZY SEO help in building backlinks? Does it do it via “comments” or article/directory submission?

  • With the arrival of commentluv, seo is no longer as hard as it use to be. Many people will usually leave comments to post that has a commentluv being enabled.

    • Hi Jean. I agree. CL is an awesome plugin and helps build relationships as well as building links, depending on how the owner has it set up. While I love the plugin and totally recommend it, alone, it won’t help much on your SEO campaign. You need to compliment it with at least WP SEO, HS or AIO.

  • Wow! This is a great list! 2012’s only beginning! Plugins are the best about self-hosted sites and I’m really excited to use some of these for my blogs. I love having all the information I need in my Dashboard.

    • Hi Brenna. Let me know how it goes for you once you install some of these plugins. I always like to see how it works on other sites 🙂

  • WP SEO by Yoast sounds like what I need right now. I have way too many plugins on my blog…weighing down my load time. So this should work well for me…all in one. Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

    • Yo are welcome Vernette. That’s the beauty of WP SEO, it eliminates the need to install other plugins. The more plugins you have the more likely it will affect your sites performance.

  • Hi Ditesco
    My personal favorite is WordPress SEO which does the multitasking.
    But is it ok to use both WordPress SEO & All In SEO Pack ?

    • NO. You either use one or the other. Never use them both at the same time, period. Hope that answers your question 🙂

  • Do you find is necessary to use All-In-One if you are using WP Yoast. Just wondering what the difference is. 🙂

    • Hi Julie. No, you either use one or the other. The difference between the two of them is that AIO is much simpler to set up and normally you would need to install other plugins to further enhance your on-page optimization, e.g., Google xml sitemap. With WP SEO, you won’t need that as it is already integrated in the plugin, like many other additional features. It is the all-in-one, of all-in-ones 🙂

  • WordPress SEO is one of only two plugins that I consider essential (the other being W3 Total Cache). It makes so the task of getting your blog in the best shape possible for SEO a doddle. You can tweak it to your exact needs and it combines the functions of so many plugins into one. And it is so efficient that it doesn’t have much of an impact on page load time at all (I tested it with P3 Plugin Profiler).

    • Hi Dave. Coming from you, I am glad that I made the right recommendation. WP SEO is indeed a great plugin and the fact that it combines “others” into the bundle makes it easier and users don’t have to worry about installing any additional stuff. Good to know that it does not consume that much of resources 🙂 This is important

  • Just in case some of your readers miss the comment above – it’s important, especially for novice WordPress users, to understand how installing multiple plugins with overlapping functionality can have a negative impact on a site.

    All-In-One SEO Pack and WP SEO, for example, shouldn’t be used together. If you use WP SEO, there’s no need to also use XML Sitemaps, as Joost has built that functionality into his plugin already.

    If you don’t fully understand what the plugins do, how they work and how they work (or won’t work) together, do some research before you start installing plugins that are recommended by more advanced WordPress users.

    • Thanks for further pointing out the importance of installing multiple plugins Alysson. I hope that users would have the common sense that two plugins with the same functionality does not make sense.. then again, like you said, for novice users, this might be as straight forward as it is suppose to be. Really appreciate your valuable input. Thanks for stopping by

  • I’m using AIO before on all my blogs. But now I want to try WP SEO by Yoast. It looks promising, especially the keyword analysis features.

    • If you do, don’t forget to “import” your AIO data first. That is a function you can access from WP SEO. Let me know how it goes for you.

  • A good article. But I think the title should be: The best FREE wordpress seo plugin for 2012.

    And would you write the review for the paid WP seo plugins, please? 🙂

    • LOL, I would seriously consider your suggestion. You are right about all these plugins being free. Thinking about the “paid” ones. Quite frankly, with the exception of a few, I think that most good SEO plugins are available for free.

  • Hello DiTeso,
    Now I am using SEOPressor pulgin. And I want to know what are the extra features in Yoast SEO Plugin comparing to SEOPressor. Can you please explain me.

    • Hi. SEOPressor is a good plugin and what it does is “coach” you to write optimized content. It will tell you what tags you are missing, if your KW density is good enough, tell you to interlink, etc. Once your score is “green” you are good to go. SEOPressor works on the “content” level and is tailored to content only.

      Yoast on the other hand does a similar job, and includes all other stuff like, sitemap. Google verification, RSS optimizer, optimization of Title tags for SEO and meta descriptions, has a preview of google’s rich snippets, and more. Hope that helps..

  • I love this article. I have read a ton of articles on SEO plugins and trying to sort through all of the information on this is my favorite article. Thank you so much. Your information is very helpful and has saved me a lot of work.

  • Hi. Thanks for your up to date wordpress SEO plugins review. I’m just starting out and need all the help I can get, in an already over saturated wedding photography market. Any advice is always welcome

    • Hi Paul. Just saw your website and I think that there are some “few things” that you can do to get more exposure and visibility. Shoot me an email and we’ll take it from there 🙂

  • I have only used all in one SEO plugin. There are some other good plugins that you have mentioned. I will try them out also :-). Cheers!

  • Thank you for your plugin recommendation. I have a few favorites and am looking forward to have an excuse to try out BuddyPress.

    One of my favorite tools to find the right plugin is the search engine at searchwordpressplugins.com

    It has all the free plugins but with much better search filters so you can find what you need without trawling through endless lists.

    • Hi. Yeah, I am already familiar with the site you mentioned and indeed it has great potential. Makes it a lot easier to search for plugins, specially the new ones 🙂

  • Great list. I use most of what you posted and it is nice to see other people find these plugins as their preferred choice.

    I think that I should point out that using Yoast SEO, All-in one SEO and headspace is not advisable. The only combination acceptable is Yoast and All in one, although I prefer to use just headspace2.

    I wonder Ditesco, does Google Site Verification just help you to register your site with Google webmaster, and can you delete it once you do so?


    • Hi. You are spot on your suggestion about combining those plugins above, and I would go further by only using “one” of them, either Yoast or AIO, and not both. As for the Google verification, I am not sure if it is OK to delete the plugin once you got confirmation. I think it would be, and if for some reason, GWT detects lack of the verification code, then just put it back up again. I will check on this though.. Thanks.

  • The List Of Plugins Are Perfect For SEO Point Of View. And I Am Also Using These Plugins…

  • Hi can u tell me ,how to customize in best way ” all in one seo pack plugin ” not for custom post ..

    • Shoot me an email…

  • To be honest, I have not heard of most of them. I am sure they are good. The only I have used is called the ‘all in one SEO plugin’. It is simple enough as its to add meta tags and description, not to mention that’s it free. ‘Headspace’ seems like a good plugin, I will try that one.

    • Hi. If you are already using All In One, I recommend you sticking with it, unless you are thinking of a new or another site that does not have a SEO plugin yet. While they say that data can be imported, I have to admit that I have not had a good experience with that. Just a friendly advice

  • Hello Francisco, thanks for the tip.
    Sure will try them. The thing is, when I first built a blog using wordpress, I learn about SEO and then looked for a plugin and I found ‘all in one’ and ever since remained with it. But then after reading this article, realised that there are many more SEO plugins (some good and some bad of course). May I ask, will it make any difference to search engine results, if I were to change from ‘all in one’ to something else? Should I just stick to the one I am using?

  • Great list. Thesis theme is great for a lot of the SEO optimization pieces as you mentioned, can’t go wrong there. I also use XML sitemaps and I’m going to check out SEO friendly images. Thanks for the info!

  • sir i just started a blog catchthisway.com
    on the single post pages of y site there are two related post widgets displaying below the post
    one is titled as ” You might also like: ”
    other is titled as ” We recommend”

    i am unable to find ” WE RECOMMEND” plugin.
    i dont know which plugin is displaying this “we recommend ” widget.
    kindly help….

    • Hi. The “you may also like” is a widget powered by nRelate
      The other is “yet another related post by yoast”

      Hope that helps

  • I swear by Yoast and all of their plugins, the SEO one is so good for all my sites…

    • I join you there, Yoast is brilliant; plugins, info,help and pretty much everything they do.

  • Great article. I love Yoast. I have developed a program that I would love for you to try out. It provides something that Yoast, All-in-one and all other SEO plugins don’t provide and that is a EDU & GOV back link finder. Find High PR sites in less than a minute. Then you simply make some brief comments relative to the blog and you will see major results on your sites rankings. As they are high PR pages (not the site) you have major value with the search engines. Please note, Lazy SEO Rockstar also has a Long Tail Keyword research tool (finds hundreds of Long tail KW’s in seconds) which are easy to rank for. And more.

    I will gladly send you a copy so you can review our latest version (3).

    For those that want to check it out. Head over to our website.

  • Hi, great article. I have gone ahead and installed the SEO WordPress by Yoast plugin you recommended but can’t seem to find some of the features you have mentioned in your review… Mainly the snippets preview? I have looked all over in the plugin settings but can’t seem to find it… Is this perhaps from a different version of the plugin or something?

    • Hi. That feature you are looking for is not in the settings, but rather on WordPress editor. Goto > post > add new, and if you scroll below you will see it. Hope that helps.

  • Hey thanks, there it is! Really appreciate your blog after finding it via google a couple months ago. You have some really great info on here.

  • Great, that was really a detailed information. I’m using All in One SEO and it is my all time Favorite. For me what i think that is it’s better to get one premium plugin for on-page SEO for post and another plugin for Homepage ( here i consider AIO Seo)..

  • Thanks for sharing…i use SEO Smart Links plugin. it’s really great WordPress plugin.

  • If one is using All-in-one SEO and wants to install WP SEO by Yoast do you have to rewrite all the page titles, descriptions and keywords or does WP SEO read what was in All-in-one SEO?

  • Francisco thanks for the link. It’s quite helpful. WP SEO looks to be a huge step up from All-in-one SEO.

  • Hello, DiTesco

    In beginning, i was also using AIO SEO but then gave WP SEO a try. I was really impressed with it and since then it’s my primary seo plugin.

    It’s really a premium seo plugin, don’t know why Joost didn’t charged for this.

    I am also using Insights for interlinking. I know it’s not automatic but it’s lot better than others.

  • Outstanding list of SEO plugins. With the Panda update, on-page SEO is back on the front burner for marketers, bloggers, and online business owners. All-In-One SEO Pack has got to be the top plugin, as you stated. I can’t even think about not using this plugin. Google XML Sitemap and Broken Links are also must-have installs. There are many SEO plugins that can measure your pages for optimization as well. Yoast is a fine choice. Thanks once again for the list. Peace.

  • WordPress SEO by Yoast is live saving, recourse saving, money saving and even more. 🙂 I’m just loving it. I think people should realize that and they shouldn’t stuck with AIO.
    But I wonder will it become a paid plugin in future??

    Thanks for your grate review. I’ve found 3 plugins I was searching for, including Broken Link Checker, Smartlinks and SEO Optimized Image. Now heading towards part 2 🙂

  • Hello,
    Niche article and list mentioned above 😉
    Anyone has the experience with any WP plugin out there?
    Have you met one that has a “special code” in the plugin kitchen, which I think it is having a sense or “personally” purpose for the author?
    Maybe, spying your website, peek your content, backlinks, or something else.

    I am sure it’s just understood by those of a ninja coder. But it’s never hurts to discuss it here right? 😀


  • hi ditesco,
    my url is paperwalk.in

    i am new to the yoast seo plugin, can i just download the plugin and have it installed for my site… just to also let u know that i do not have any previous seo plugin installed so i am guessing that i do not need to transfer any data?

    please advice me on above and also which would be a good plugin to go with.

    thanks for your help in advance,

    • Hi Navin. I just saw your site and it is actually very new, so basically you don’t have to worry about any SEO data. WP Yoast is an excellent plugin but it requires a bit of knowledge. Perhaps, if you are looking for a more simpler one, sort of set and forget, I would probably go for AIO. At a later stage you can always shift to Yoast. Either way, both are good.

  • Great List DiTesco… wow i am so glad i came across your site. I am going through the list right now and adding all the plugins that i do not have. Thank you so much.. i am bookmarking your site for future SEO.

  • I keep reading post after post about how it is not good to have too many plugins, but how many is too many?

    • Hi. I think that there is really no straight answer to that question. It depends on a lot of things, but more importantly, you should only install plugins that you think will benefit your site and/or its users. The best way to see if you have too many is to analyze the time your site is loading. Poor plugins or resource heavy, hamper the sites performance and running a test using P3 Profiler for example will give you an idea of how long those plugins are taking to load. If you notice a slower load time time, this could be an indication that you have too many plugins installed. I have 34 plugins installed and had I not used CloudFlare to compensate for speed, I may have to reduce it a bit..

  • nice DiTesco , i used All in one seo for my site and i think it’s the best for make my website rank in google and other seaarch engines.

  • i choose wordpress seo by yost because it includes a lot of built in tools lie google sitemaps, and others stuffs in SEO ventures. Thanks for sharing i really like your post

  • sadly seo smartt links free version is not working for me,i dont want to spend on plugins is there any other alternative to this plugin.

    • Try SEO Auto Linker. It does a pretty good job too. Let me know if that works for you..

  • I am new to WordPress (previously using Joomla! & blogger), and your article has been immeasurably helpful to me! Thank you so much for clearly explaining how each of these plugins works – I’m definitely going to try WP SEO and possibly a couple others.

  • Thanks DiTesco for mentioning all the needed information of Seo Plugins. I have done searching for the required plugins for my-site and you have described all and best for SEO purposes. Brilliant.

  • Hi there!
    Is there any way of you checking my site?
    Is only aiming for portuguese public!
    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Hi Renato. I am not sure I understand what you mean about “only aiming for Portuguese public”. Eu falo Português, Se preferir, pode explicar um pouco mais qual é a sua dúvida? De qualquer maneira, e a não ser que eu esteja enganado, me parece que o teu público alvo é Portugal. Você esta querendo outra coisa que não seja especificamente nessa localização?

  • I have just started my third blog and wondered if I could find any recommended SEO plugins. I’ve tried lots of SEO plugins esp SEO Ultimate with my older blogs. I still needed a few plugins to complete some other SEO tasks such as sitemap building, meta tag verification, etc. Of course, the work became harder and the site became slower. Honestly, I never really thought of Yoast’s WP SEO although I ever heard about it; even I doubted it.
    Fortunately, I am now here reading the best insight and recommendation about Yoast’s WP SEO and will surely use it. Thanks a lot!
    Oh, yea, what do you think of SEO Ultimate? I can hardly find any reviews about that plugin. Thanks in advance.

  • I have just used a few plugins of theme, thanks for share, I’ll check them out and find some new useful plugins for my blog.

  • Hi DiTesco,

    I am soon going to launch my latest review blog but confused about YOAST WP plugin, I have used it before on other blog but the problem is that it doesn’t let you provided priority fir post like from 1 to 9, other thing is that my latest released post were only indexed by the next day. So is there any tweek i can apply to Yoast setting to make indexing fast ( all basic optimization like sitemap submission, social media sharing already done). What else should i not index to stop duplicate content penalty.

    I hope i will get clear vision for this confusion , other tips are also welcome to make my new released post indexing fast and for better seo.

    Bye,, Jimmy

    • Hi. From what I can hear of what you did, it seems that you have properly setup Yoast. To get indexed faster, perhaps you can make use of Google+, and some social sites in additiona to adding your site on Google and Bing webmaster tools. Getting a link from a site that is crawled frequently and with good authority can also index your page faster. Try using pingomatic… those should help

  • These SEO plugins are amazing, thanks so much for sharing these great tools. The great thing about this list is there relevant too 2012. Many SEO plugins from a few years ago no longer work as effectily. I have added a few of these plugins and I can see my traffic has increased. thanks so much iBlogZone for sharing!

    Take care, king regards.

  • can we use more than one seo plugin in wordpress website ?

    • Simple answer is NO. You either use AIO or WP SEO Yoast

  • Hello DiTesco, Great list bro. I almost use all the plugins which you have listed except WP SEO By Yoast. Recently Started using a Paid Plugin SEOPressor which is helping me a lot for on page analytics. Thanks for the great list bro…

    • Hi. SEOPressor is a good tool and does give you some sort of “checklist” to ensure that you have all the on-page elements present to optimize a post. WP SEO yoasts does basically the same thing but not as detailed, specially the part about H tags. Other stuff like keyword density, keyword being on the first and least sentence is still good but not as important as they used to be.

  • Hi DiTesco,

    This is a great list of Onpage SEO plugin. I have been using All in one seo and SEO Pressor plugins for all my WP blogs and I am pretty happy with them. But I will definitely give a try to WP SEO By Yoast plugin on my next blog.

    Thanks brother,

  • WOW what an awesome list of great plug-ins for word press SEO, I use some of the above and they work wonders and have in-fact helped me rank on the first page for many highly competitive keyphrases and rake me in a lot of FREE organic search traffic and FREE leads.

    Awesome Post

  • Hi DiTesco
    From this list, my blog has All in One SEO pack , According to your review shall i go with WP SEO By Yoast plugin or SEO processor.

    • Hi. If you are already using All In One, then I don’t think it is necessary for you to change to WP SEO Yoast. SEOPressor is a bit different because it helps you write optimized articles. If you can afford it, I think it may be an interesting tool to use.

  • A powerful SEO plugin is indefinitely important for your website. Using the best SEO methods, you can make sure that your blogs and website have the best page ranking.

  • Great list of some very useful Seo Plugins you must chose right plugin to use which gives you maximum results currently i am using All in Seo pack and it’s work fine for me.

  • It is good to see collections of all best wp seo plugin together. Seo by Yoast is no doubt great but Seo All in One also works fine. Though I use Seo Yoast for my blog but it is difficult for me to say which one is the best.Both of plugins provides amazing features that really helps to do better seo.

  • Thanks for all los plugins. Specially for ”WP SEO by Yoast”. I hadn’ t used it another time and I spent sometime to understand it exaclty, but finally I really like it, because now I do not have to use other plugins that are making the sames ”jobs”. So in the end the time was more or less the same for the first time and now it is a lot easier. Thanks.
    I would like to ask for your opinion for W3 Total Cache. You think it is good and better than the others(that are for the same purpose)??

    Thanks a lot,

  • Which is a better plugin for SEO !
    WordPress SEO by Yoast or
    HeadSpace2 SEO
    Right now i am using all in one seo pack. I have heard that these two plugins are even better. So any advice on which plugin to install from these two.

  • I personally use yoast because it is a good seo plugin and it help me a lot, you have done a great work dude thats nice

  • Following up on comment #114 – that was exactly my question! I’ll go with Yoast. Can I now deactivate all of the other plugins that appeared without my installing them? I like to keep my plugin page tidy and only have what I need. Thoughts? Thank you!

  • I have been using Yoast for over 6 months and completely agree it has everything to offer and it is amazing how it is free 🙂

  • Hi, I have read your post and i come from Warrior Forum.
    However, I am using All In One SEO from my all blog. After read your post thinks WP SEO by Yoast will fine and it can give best performance. What do you think about All In One SEO and WP SEO by Yoast? Which is the better for best SEO?
    If I use both of then then will it affect my Blogs?
    Waiting for your Reply plz.
    Thanking you.

    • HI Sumon. If you don’t have that much articles yet, I recommend using Yoast over AIO. AIO is good if you already know what needs to be done to optimize a post, otherwise Yoast is btter because it guides you in optimizing them. You can use the import function of Yoast so that you don’t loose your SEO data from AIO. BTW, use only one. Never use them together or it will create a mess.

  • I loved this post because i was searching arround the search engine for the best seo plugins but didn’t found any of the correct plugins but this post makes me happy therefore i appreciate your time for writing and making this post. also tell a littlebit more about seo pressor.


  • Awesome choices, I have always been a big fan of SEO by yoast, it contains triple the amount of features then the more popular all in one seo. Page analysis also seems to be a good choice.

  • DiTesco,
    Can you please help with this all in one SEO problem?
    i installed my blog on a page within the website this way…

    In wordpress,
    Front page displays
    A static page
    Front page= HOME (static)
    Posts page= blog

    SO the blog page itself is an empty page, and all my posts show up on this “blog” page …

    Then I set up my keywords on the Al in one SEO section on that blog page along with title and description. The description works fine But the keywords don’t show up.

    Instead the title bar shows no keywords and in page source all i see are about 50 tags from all my posts!

    why is it bypassing all keywords I set in “all in one seo”?

    Have I set up the website blog incorrectly?

    • Please check and ensure that you have created two pages (only the title is required) – Home and Blog..

      This should work, but if you still have problems, shoot me an email with your websites link and I’ll take a look at it.

  • WordrePres Plugins work as the super charger for a blog. With the help of some plugins your website flies. In fact choosing best WordPress plugins gives you an edge over others.

  • I’m a big fan of the Yoast SEO plug-in and have used it successfully for a while. The one thing I’d add is don’t worry about being perfect on every measure. Hit the majority of them till you get an overall “green”, and you’ll see still see positive results.

  • Thanks for the review of SEO plugins for WordPress. I use Yoast, and find the advice in the checkboxes intuitive and helpful. Gradually, I am starting to fold more of the SEO points into my articles as I write, rather than amending them on completion.

  • Just wanted to leave a not to express my gratitude for this post. Very, very comprehensive and absurdly useful. Thank you for postin!

  • Thank you Francesco. Just googled “best plugins 2012” and was happy to find your article. Have just installed the WP Seo Plugin you recommended on my parents’ B and B site and love it! I think it’s going to be a favorite of mine too. Thanks again. Great site by the way, will be back for sure. Rich

  • I guess All in one seo plugin is the best plugin i have used so far but yes seo by yoast is another brilliant plugin but i prefer all in one seo! no wonder if there’s another good plugin out there!

  • I love Seo by Yoast! way too good 😀 WordrePres Plugins work as the super charger for a blog. With the help of some plugins your website flies. In fact choosing best WordPress plugins gives you an edge over others.

  • Hi bro, thanks for the great list. Also thanks for the redirection plugin. I was searching for a such plugin for redirection.

    Rather than using any external SEO plugin, I love and feel comfortable with Thesis where it has a fully functional built-in SEO, which is really good for ranking any site faster.

  • Hey ditesco,
    WP SEO By Yoast really cought my attention. I’ve got to try it out. The Snippet preview is impressive.

  • Awesome collection of plugins! Thank you for sharing
    I’ll try some of them on my own blog 🙂

  • Hi Ditesco – Awesome informative article! Thanks a lot for putting it all down so clearly – It’s great for novices 🙂 I wanted to ask if you had the chance to check out the Lazy SEO Rockstar plugin and if it really helps?
    Also which plugin do you recommend for deep links – I don’t want to end up having too many links so is SEO Smart Links better or SEO ALRP? (WordPress insights doesn’t seem to be updated for the latest wordpress version) Finally I also would like to know what plugin you use to add those social media icons at the end of the post? (the g+1, like etc)
    Thanks a lot! Really learned a lot from your post.

  • Right now i use wordpress SEO by yoast. I love that plugin and have many feature for free better than other. For redirection plugin i have try it but i see the plugin use many database memory if many page 404.

  • I’m presently using Thesis. Should I go ahead and Yoast SEO plugin or use the default options provided by the framework. Is there any better plugin FREE which tells me how to get good backlinks ?

  • No doubt you have mentioned very important plugins for SEO. My Favorite SEO plugins are:

    WordPress SEO by Yoast
    All in One SEO plugin
    Easy WP SEO plugin
    Google XML Sitemaps
    Broken Link Checker
    Nrelate plugin

  • Just a question, I would like to utilize some of the more advanced tools in Yoast’s SEO plugin but am currently using AIO. I have a significant amount of posts already online using AIO, is the switch seamless by disabling AIO and enabling Yoast’s? Or would I have to run both plugins to keep the SEO settings on AIO?

    • Hi Daniel. If you are satisfied with AIO, I really don’t think you need to migrate to Yoast. However, if you do want to, read this http://yoast.com/all-in-one-seo-pack-migration/ from Yoast and it should get you through the process. The one thing is for sure, you don’t want to use both at the same time. Use one or the other.

  • I use all-in-one SEO for my website Vantaggio.co.uk this seems like the best option because you don’t need any other plug-ins to run along side and also for people who aren’t skilled in SEO it is very easy to use. I think this is probably a good compromise for most bloggers.

  • I’m still having problems with my SEO plugins. I use Yoast SEO’s plugin, and I used to use the All in One SEO Pack, but both are a little buggy on my site for the META tags. Also – Smart Links has a few problems, such as not showing up in the RSS feed. I used to use it, but it has had to many problems for me.

    Now i choose all in one seo.


  • Hi Di Tesco,

    Nice article on the subject of SEO for WordPress. I have personally used all the various options available and can still not settle on one plugin.

    I do like the WP SEO plugin in that it cuts the need to install so many plugins.

    I used to install a rather high number of the best plugins to cover every eventuality, however I was forever having issues with one or more of these
    plugins resulting in my websites crashing.

    Keep up the great work

  • Thanks of sharing this list of plugins, I used the Yoast SEO plugin, but now I’m using the Ultimate SEO plugin, personally I’ve had some meta tag issues from the Yoast plugin so I discarded it.

    One other thought is the Google XML plugin, honestly great plugin, a real time saver.
    I’m just kinda starting out with blogging, so every piece of information is really helpful for me.

    • Hi Philip. Thanks for sharing your experience with Yoast. I know that it caused some minor hiccups in the past but if I not mistaken, that was one of the issues that was addressed in the last update. Google XML is really good and if you also embed videos, you should also try video xml.

  • Thanks for sharing the top best wordpress seo plugins of 2012. As I thing All in one seo pack and Yost seo plugin is the best for wordpress SEO. Nice written.

  • I love this article. I have read a ton of articles on SEO plugins and trying to sort through all of the information on this is my favorite article. Thank you so much. Your information is very helpful and has saved me a lot of work.

  • So should i not use SEO smart link ? i did not understand with “Short link” ?
    I use minimum two words within anchor text, is it O.K ?

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