SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimisation. It allows websites to reach a higher position in a search engine’s search results. This leads to more traffic reaching your website and is therefore crucial to a successful site.
Luckily WordPress offers many plugins that make SEO an easy task. Since you only need one SEO plugin, we have narrowed it down to what we believe are the three best WordPress SEO plugins.
It is no secret that Yoast SEO is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin out there however it should not be the default plugin in all situations. The other plugins up for contention are the All in One SEO Pack and The SEO Framework.
What Makes a Good SEO Plugin?
The most popular plugins are almost always beginner friendly. While SEO pros will have a use for plugins, it is the beginners that will be most reliant on them. Therefore a good SEO plugin should include a simple installation process and an easy to use interface.
However, this is not the only factor that makes a good plugin. Many SEO plugins are too similar, offering the same features with few standing out from the crowd. Although these three plugins are free initially, each can be upgraded to premium versions (for a price course). Therefore the price and value of these upgrades may be important if you really want to climb the search ladder.
What is the Best WordPress SEO Plugin?
With a 5 star average based on nearly 22,000 reviews, Yoast is considered the most popular SEO plugin out there. The main reason for this is its user friendly interface making it ideal for beginners and an easy ‘Setup Configuration Wizard’. However it can at times be too tailored to beginners as it hides some of its best (but more complicated) features under the ‘Advanced’ tab in settings.
It has a wide range of features such as the ability to edit URL titles, meta descriptions and an analysis on improving readability and ‘SEO score’.
Although many people find these recommendations helpful, they are general suggestions and should not be followed by the book otherwise your posts may come across as robotic. They pick up on unnecessary changes such as a ‘stop word’ in a URL or the misuse of a ‘passive voice’.
- A wide variety of features
- Very beginner friendly with an easy to use interface
- Easy setup thanks to the ‘Setup Configuration Wizard’
- Analysis can be too generic
- Expensive premium upgrade. WordPress SEO by Yoast Premium is $80
- Very tailored to beginners, hiding advanced features
All in One SEO Pack
This is the ‘original WordPress SEO plugin’ and was first created in 2007. Despite its age it is still the most actively used WordPress SEO plugin with around 3 million active installations and a 4.5 star average rating from 400 reviews.
It remains fairly user friendly but still includes advanced features. Some of these include a bot blocker, easy Google Analytics integration (used to view website stats) and free WooCommerce integration. This makes it ideal for online merchants. It is difficult to find many negatives with this plugin, it manages to please both advanced and beginner users.
- Free WooCommerce integration (usually a premium feature), ideal for online merchants
- Bad Bot Blocker, which blocks any harmful bots from slowing down your site
- Easy Google Analytics integration
- Can be used by just about anyone, not too difficult for beginners but not too simple for experts
- Could be more user friendly. The interface requires a lot of scrolling.
- Very slimmed down interface which may not suit all beginners.
The SEO Framework
This can be considered the underdog of the 3 plugins. Despite significantly lower active installations, it has great reviews. From under 200 reviews, 96% rated it 5 stars out of 5.
The setup has both pros and cons. It is one long list of settings but once they are finished, you are done. No notifications, no pressuring into upgrading, just a big list of potential features. However, there is little guidance throughout the setup which makes it unwelcoming to beginners. Instead it is tailored perfectly to experts who will no doubt appreciate its lack of unnecessary interference.
It also provides free support for WooCommerce which makes it ideal to online merchants.
- Free WooCommerce integration, great for online merchants
- Simple, efficient setup if you are experienced
- Little interaction after setup, everything can be managed from the settings if required
- Not suited to beginners due to a lack of guidance. Although this is the only negative we picked up on, it is likely the reason for its lack of users. However without this it would be less tailored to experienced users.
There is no generic best WordPress SEO plugin, but we believe one of these plugins will suit everyone. Here are some guidelines to help you decide which one suits you best:
- If you are an experienced SEO user who wants an efficient plugin with no unnecessary annoyances, or you are bored of the same old 2 plugins, give The SEO Framework a try.
- If you are a total beginner who is looking for an easy, user-friendly interface to add some basic SEO to your site, Yoast will not disappoint. It is the most popular plugin for that reason.
- And finally, if you are neither a beginner or an expert in SEO, you can’t go wrong with The All in One SEO Pack which we believe will suit just about anyone.
We hope this comparison helped you find the SEO plugin that best suits your site. If we left any out please to let us know in the comments.