You're better off with the
English (intl, with AltGr dead keys) layout. How you install/select it will vary with your distro and desktop environment. For example, I explained how to do so with Lubuntu with this answer.
Using this layout means you don't have to press the quote button twice, but you still have access to the characters you're (probably) looking for.
In this case, the 'AltGr' means your right Alt key. Pressing and holding the right Alt key outputs this:
äåéëþúíóö (small example)
There's also the SHIFT key modifier.Pressing both the right Alt and SHIFT keys together outputs this:
ÄÅÉËÞÜÚÍÓÖ (small example)
And, more importantly, just pressing the ' once will output the
' as the expected behavior. This English keyboard layout is suitable for most characters that one will need in day-to-day operations.
Because it will depend on your desktop environment and distro, I can only show you how it looks on my system. This is where I went to configure this: