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You’ll find that there are multiple free SEO plugins that can be used with your WordPress website, and they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. I’ve used 3 of the more highly rated plugins and I’m going to rate them in order of the “best free WordPress SEO plugin”.

The 3 plugins I’m talking about are Yoast SEO, All in One SEO and The SEO Framework. Without going into too much depth, this information is to advise beginners which free SEO plugin is best to use for a new WordPress website.

Note that these SEO plugins all have a paid version, but unless you are already gaining lots of traffic, paying extra is not necessary. You can jump straight to my No.1 SEO tool by clicking here.

#3 Yoast

What is the Best Free WordPress SEO Plugin Yoast logo


Without going into all the features, because many beginners will not understand what many of these features are, I’ll touch on some aspects that can create controversy.


Enabling the Sitemap feature is always beneficial as it eliminates the need for a sitemap plugin. The less plugins the better I say.

For those beginners that don’t know what a sitemap is, it’s basically a file map of your website that you submit to search engines such as Google, to notify them of all your posts and pages. If the search engines don’t know your articles are out there, they won’t get ranked. This is a big deal if you’re building a website to make money. Find out here, what is a google sitemap and how it can help your blog.


Not one of my favourite features, but some may disagree. The readability feature, which can be switched off under General>Features, often advises me that words are mentioned too many times in a short space. This can be correct, but sometimes it makes sense to use a word this many times.

There’s also the ‘Passive Voice’ aspect which seems to shout at me if I’ve used what they consider ‘passive voice’. I just find this intrusive, when I think I know how to write, in a manner of a more gentle nature.

On page SEO

Red, orange or green indicators are the on-page features that many people like, but others don’t. It’s not that more advanced users don’t appreciate the indications, it’s more whether these indicators are correct or relevant.

If Yoast is installed, you tend to aim for as many green lights as possible, which only makes sense right! Well yes, but there are some things that Yoast advises that don’t make too much of a difference, and have you trying too hard for a perfect green light scenario.

For instance, a ‘stop’ word such as ‘a’, it’, ‘and’ etc. Yoast recommends removing these from your URL. Really!

The idea behind this is to make a shorter URL, but a slightly longer URL with stop words actually makes more sense as a keyword. So, experts suggest Google would possibly rather see this. Removing ‘stop’ words can actually hurt your SEO efforts.


From my experience with Yoast, I have 2 issues to note. The program seems to have so many features that it’s quite large in size and can slow your website loading times. It may only be a small issue, but any load time that can be reduced will help with your SEO in other ways. Quick loading websites equals Google juice.

The other issue I have with Yoast, is that it conflicts with the theme I use for most of my websites. I use Divi theme which seemed to work fine with Yoast for some time, but when updates come out, I held my breath!

After several update conflicts where I couldn’t view much of the Yoast on page interface, I moved on to a different SEO plugin. Some may say it was Divi causing the issue, I disagree.

#2 The SEO Framework

What is the Best Free WordPress SEO Plugin SEO Framework


Although you may not find as many features as Yoast or other free SEO plugins, you’ll get exactly what any beginner requires such as Social Settings, Robots and Schema Settings should you use Schema.org scripts.

What is the Best Free WordPress SEO Plugin framework settings

On-Page SEO

My first impressions of The SEO Framework are that it does have some similarities to Yoast in terms of on-page SEO. This is mainly due to the color coded indicators showing how various SEO elements stack up.

What is the Best Free WordPress SEO Plugin framework on-page

Although not as imposing as Yoast, you’ll find key identification factors offering guides to improves your SEO elements.
You’ll find that The SEO Frameworks has much more flexibility, as some of the SEO factors you may want to include, are via a plugin extension.


The benefits of this plugin are that due to the plugin extensions, the main plugin itself is not bloated full of features you’ll not use. If you intend focusing on specific keywords, download the ‘Focus’ extension.

If you want SEO for you mobile pages? Install the ‘Articles’ extension to enhance your published posts and pages. It’s that simple.

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#1 All in One SEO

What is the Best Free WordPress SEO Plugin All-in-One logo


My absolute best free WordPress SEO plugin is All-in-One SEO which offers a broad range of features that is easy to navigate for beginners and is not too heavy. This, as I’ve stated, will benefit your website load times which in turn, helps your SEO.

You’ll find all the features required as a beginner but when you progress to a more experienced level, the added features are also great before having to pay an additional fee.

What is the Best Free WordPress SEO Plugin All-in-One features

The General Settings page may seem extensive but only a few minor changes need to be made to get you up and running.

Add your Home Page settings, Google Analytics ID, tracking domain (website URL) and enable Keywords and you’re set to go. You may also want to choose whether you want just your Posts and Pages getting indexed, or alternatively, you can include your Tags and Categories.

On page SEO

The On-page SEO is extremely minor compared to the other 2 options, but it has all you’ll require.

Your ‘Main Settings’ page will include your Title, Meta Description and Keywords. Options for indexing, following or totally excluding from your Sitemap are also located here.

What is the Best Free WordPress SEO Plugin All-in-One settings

On the Social Settings tab, you’ll find multiple options that will help you when sharing the post after publishing.

You won’t find any coloured indications to show what’s missing in terms of SEO. I wouldn’t worry too much about this as they are only an indication anyway. Just make sure these things are added to each post:

  • Keyword in title
  • Keyword in first paragraph
  • Keyword in image alt tag
  • Keyword in URL
  • Add inbound and outbound links to the post
  • Keyword in meta keyword field
  • Write over 1000 words for best SEO practice (although Yoast only suggests 300 words).

Consider the above SEO aspects and you will rank well.


From my observations, and use of these plugins on multiple websites, I’ve found that the All-in-One SEO plugin is the best free WordPress SEO plugin. Not only is this the best free WordPress plugin for beginners, but more experienced users also.

You’ll benefit from not having to use extension plugins, it’s very lightweight which helps with loading times and you can include your analytics codes, Webmaster Console verification code and all your social URL’s.

There’s no need to add a Sitemap plugin, this is all taken care of also. You will  need to activate the ‘’XML Sitemaps’ feature.

Wrap Up

In conclusion to this article, I’d suggest that if you’re a beginner just starting out with a website, any of these plugins will do the job you require. They all offer an SEO solution that will help you get ranked in the major search engines.

You’ll do a lot of work searching keyword terms with a keyword tool, so don’t make these efforts go to waste by not installing an SEO plugin.

Obviously, as I’ve stated, All-in-One SEO is the WordPress plugin that I would recommend to anyone. It works well out of the box and you can easily configure a few settings to your liking.

Just be mindful that Yoast is a little more bloated than the other plugins and may slow your site loading times down. The coloured indicators can draw you in, but they are not essential, they’re only a guide.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the Google algorithm is always changing. These plugins keep up to date as much as possible, but one thing will always stay the same in SEO.

Nothing beats great content! Write informative articles that are unique, and include your keyword (in the first paragraph if possible) and you’ll achieve your ranking goals.

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Disclosure: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links will not cost you any more. More info at my disclaimer page

The opinions in this article are solely mine, are are not intended to offend or discriminate. All information in this review has been researched on the public domain of the internet.

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