Search engines are a vital source of traffic for most websites, but the race to get to the top of page one of any search engine — be it Google, Bing, Yahoo, or DuckDuckGo — remains hugely competitive. 

In a report by Smart Insights, websites that rank at the very top of SERP (search engine results pages) have a CTR (click-through rate) of nearly 30 percent. This figure falls sharply to 10 percent for sites ranked in the third position, while ninth and tenth positions only fetch a 2 percent CTR.

To help you rise to the top, we’ve compiled eight WordPress SEO plugins from the WordPress Plugin Directory. To keep the quality high, we’ve only included plugins with a minimum of 500 five star ratings, and have excluded plugins that haven’t been updated within the last three months.

1. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO has been around since 2008 and has proven to be very popular with over 20,000+ 5-star ratings. The plugin helps you optimize your page title and metadata while enabling you to see a snippet preview of how your page will look in the search results. The plugin also measures the readability of your content on both your pages and posts. The premium version comes with an internal linking suggestion tool and an extension for WooCommerce.

Requires WordPress Version: 4.8

Tested up to: 4.9.7

Requires PHP Version: 5.2.4

Price: Free/$69 for Yoast SEO Premium

Related Article: 25 Free WordPress Marketing Plugins You Should Be Using

2. Google XML Sitemaps

The Google XML Sitemaps plugin enables users to create XML sitemaps for a range of search engines including Google, Bing, Yahoo and The purpose of XML sitemaps is to index your WordPress site, this makes it easier for search engine crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve information more efficiently. The sitemap only needs to be created once, and it automatically updates itself whenever you publish new content.

Requires WordPress Version: 3.3

Tested up to: 4.9.7

Requires PHP Version: N/A

Price: Free

3. W3 Total Cache

A slow performing website can increase the bounce rate, which in turn can impact your SEO rankings. The W3 Total Cache plugin improves both SEO and user experience by enhancing the overall performance of your site. The plugin utilizes a transparent content delivery network (CDN) that integrates with your Media Library, theme files and WordPress site. The plugin has been recommended by countless web developers and hosting providers.

Requires WordPress Version: 3.2

Tested up to: 4.9.7

Requires PHP Version: N/A

Price: Free

Related Article: Top 7 User-Rated WordPress Security Plugins

4. Jetpack

Jetpack is a multi-functional plugin developed by Automattic that provides you with the tools for marketing, design and security. The SEO tools found in this plugin enables you to optimize your site title and you can also adjust the meta description for both pages and posts. The premium version lets you activate the Privacy Information feature, which bodes well with Google TrustRank.

Requires WordPress Version: 4.7

Tested up to: 4.9.7

Requires PHP Version: N/A

Learning Opportunities

Price: Free/$8 a month for Premium/$25 a month for Professional

5. Photo Gallery

Developed by 10web, Photo Gallery lets you add responsive galleries and albums to your WordPress site. Images and photos can help to improve visitor engagement and reduce the bounce rate. The plugin allows you to add the appropriate tags and metadata to your images to improve their visibility on Google. The plugin does not restrict you to just photos, you can also add videos to your galleries and albums too. Also, the plugin supports YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Flickr and Dailymotion. The premium version comes with watermarking and additional effects.

Requires WordPress Version: 3.4

Tested up to: 4.9.7

Requires PHP Version: N/A

Price: Free/$45 a year for the Business version

6. GTranslate

GTranslate utilizes Google Translate to help you translate your WordPress site to multiple languages, making it multilingual. The premium version comes with SEO features that lets you optimize and index translated pages to better your international web traffic. The plugin also adds a language bar with flags to your site to allow your visitors to change to a different language.

Requires WordPress Version: 2.8.1

Tested up to: 4.9.7

Requires PHP Version: N/A

Price: Free/$24.99 a month for Business/$34.99 for Enterprise

7. Weglot

Weglot is another translation plugin that comes with SEO features as standard. The plugin is free to use for small websites that are under 2000 words and only needs to be translated into one language. The translations occur in real-time, meaning each time you update your content, the plugin automatically detects and translates it for you. Weglot offers a range of premium pricing plans, depending on your needs.

Requires WordPress Version: 4.5

Tested up to: 4.9.7

Requires PHP Version: 5.4

Price: Free/$21 a month for premium