The Top WordPress SEO Plugins Reviewed

WordPress provides great native SEO features, so might your theme. However, by using a dedicated SEO plugin (and knowing how to use it) we can further optimize our site. In this article we compare the top SEO plugins for WordPress side-by-side. Before we dig into the common options, let’s first look at some of the key features we’d expect to see in a good SEO plugin.

Key SEO Features

Page Analysis

Some SEO plugins can analyze the content of your pages and provide recommendations. For example, whether the content includes a specific focus keyword or not. Also, whether the ‘title’ and ‘alt’ tag have been defined for the featured image and other images, and whether meta descriptions and titles are have been included.

Poor SEO Score in Yoast

XML Sitemaps

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The easiest way to submit your website to the search engines for crawling is to create and submit XML sitemaps. Some SEO plugins let us do this with ease, as shown below.

Enabling SEO Sitemaps

Breadcrumbs link your website pages to enhance your user interface, therefore the overall user experience. For example, Home>Course>Java>Inheritance is a handy navigational aid we all recognize.

This makes breadcrumbs an important feature for tracking the location of a page, for showing the link depth and structure of website’s content.

Editing .htaccess, robots.txt Files

Sometimes it’s easier to edit and update .htaccess and robots.txt via the WordPress dashboard. Find a plugin which lets you do this.

Importing and Exporting Settings

Some plugins provide an option to install plugins on one website and then export them to another, along with all the existing settings.

So, the tedious task of building your website from scratch, or transferring the content to another blog is not an issue. Even moving from one plugin to another is possible. Not long ago, we covered moving from All in One SEO to WordPress SEO by Yoast, which may come in handy.

There are even features that let you import old titles and descriptions through built-in import functionality.

Integration with WordPress Ecommerce Sites

The plugin should offer SEO integration for WordPress ecommerce sites. The All-in-One SEO plugin has this option.

Social Media Integration

Facebook’s OpenGraph implementation and Google Knowledge Graph tags should be built into your plugin to enhance sharing on social platforms. If someone tries to share one of your posts and the only image they can share is a logo or button, it’s highly likely they’ll abandon the process.

Theme Compatibility

It’s important that our SEO plugin can work with, or override, any shortcomings that exist in our theme templates.

Built-in API

A built-in API should be available for the plugins you’re using so that other plugins and themes can easily access and extend the functionality.

WordPress Version Compatibility

Compatibility with updated versions of WordPress. There is a section in the Plugin Directory for this as shown below.

WordPress Plugin Compatibility

WordPress SEO Plugins

So let’s take a look at 5 of the most popular SEO plugins in closer detail. This is just my personal summary, your mileage may vary.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

Active Installs: 1+ million

One of the most popular WordPress plugins, WordPress SEO by Yoast was developed by Joost de Valk and his team. Just about every WordPress developer will have used it for SEO at one point or another. Some of its features include:

  • Robots.txt and .htaccess are editable using this plugin.
  • Enabling XML sitemap functionality is easier.
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Provides some options to keep the head section as clean as possible.
  • Allows additional content to be included at the front and end of the posts in RSS feeds.
  • Available in different languages.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

All in One SEO Pack

Active Installs: 1+ million

All in One SEO pack offers what you want from an SEO pack to boost your website’s search results (SERP).

Some of it’s features include:

  • Support for Google Analytics.
  • It has sitemap support, which submits your site to Google and Bing.
  • Highlights any duplicate content in your content.
  • Offers SEO Integration for WordPress ecommerce sites.
  • Generated meta tags automatically.

All in One SEO Pack

SEO By Squirrly

Active Installs: 10,000+

This plugin provides weekly SEO Audit reports and suggests great options for accurate keyword selection. Their official video gives assistance on how to use it for keyword selection and optimization.

Some of it’s features include:

  • SEO audit report.
  • Keyword research and analysis.
  • Publish your content after getting a green indicator. The green indicator itself says that the content is now completely optimized.
  • SEO settings from other plugins remain intact. There is no need to start again from scratch.
  • Tracks all the aspects of content marketing.

SEO by Squirrly

SEO Wizard

Active Installs: 9,000+

The SEO Wizard plugin provides flexibility, assists users to write better content, keep track of posts, and improve on-page optimization.

Some of it’s features include:

  • Helps in writing better content.
  • Keeps track of posts.
  • Writing optimized meta titles and descriptions.
  • Boosts social media presence.
  • Helps in on-page SEO.

SEO Wizard

Greg’s High Performance SEO

Active Installs: 20,000+

This helps with content visibility on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. It also includes a detailed 6000-word usage guide and introduction to WordPress SEO. It’s for professionals, marketers, novice users, developers, and anyone who loves to see their website on the top of the SERPs.

Some of it’s features include:

  • More than 100 on-page SEO characteristics.
  • Automatic conflict checker.
  • Provides an option for secondary descriptions and titles which is important for on-page SEO.
  • Paged comments configuration screen for removing duplicate content (such as removing post content from your comments page).

Greg's High Performance SEO

Summary

In this article I’ve covered 5 of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress. I definitely recommend WordPress SEO by Yoast and All-in-One-SEO. However, others also have some unique features as shown below.

WordPress SEO by Yoast * Enabling XML sitemap functionality is easier.
* Allows adding content to front and end of the posts in RSS feeds.
* Still considered as the best SEO plugin for WordPress.
All in One SEO pack * Support for Google Analytics.
* Only plugin to provide SEO Integration for WordPress E-Commerce sites.
* Secured with Nonce Security.
SEO By Squirrly * SEO Audit reports.
* Researches keywords for tracking content.
* Heading suggestions based on SEO keyword.
SEO Wizard * Optimized meta titles and descriptions.
* Boosts social media presence.
* It helps in on-page SEO.
Greg’s High Performance SEO * 100+ on-page SEO characteristics covered.
* Automatic conflict checker.
* Removing posts content from comments page.

What about you? What SEO plugins have you used to boost your website’s SEO performance?

Replies

  1. Thanks for this informacion. Im working on SEO and this helped to get more information about my BLOG, the links, the traffic and Pagerank. smile

  2. That's a very good summary, Amit: useful and meaningful comparisons. Thanks.

  3. Most of the plugins you have mentioned in your post are new for me.Surely I’ll use those SEO plugins in my blog.Thanks for your great post.

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