WordPress
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The Top WordPress SEO Plugins Reviewed

By Amit Diwan

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

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?

Comments
bagful_india

good one, but i would like to state here something other than ordinary. yes it has insightful features to be used to optimize your website for search engines. but in case - whether the content includes a specific focus on keyword or not - we don't need to worry about it much now, because google which is the prime focus of search engine marketers, now considers content which is not just keyword focussed. What i mean say is

if your keyword is "how to use microwave"

you can not use this exact keyword throughout the web page, it will look absurd and not user friendly, you can use words in this particular phrases no of times, but not the exact phrase. And these plugins estimate the no. of times the exact keyword has been used. So about content, we have to be thorough, fresh,keeping the reader in mind than depending upon any plugin.

chrisburgess

Yes @bagful_india -- these tools only help, useful content is still up to us smile

Registrodemarc1

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

ronsman

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

adtech2014

You're welcome @Registrodemarc1, glad you liked it.

adtech2014

Glad you liked the summary @ronsman.
Good to see you here. thumbsup

virstox

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.

thuybk

thanks for useful info. nice article!

RyanSinglehurst

Thanks for the insightful article. i do believe advanced SEO plugin can help optimize our website. i must say very nice comparison of the best SEO plugins for WordPress

adtech2014

Thanks for the appreciation @RyanSinglehurst

Diego_Fernandez

HI Adtech,

Good article and selection, congratulations.

What I like most is that you have taken the time to evaluate and point out some of the unique features of each plugin.

Do you prefer a specific combination of plugins? I'm specially concerned about compatibility among Yoast, AIO and Greg's which features overlap in many cases. I have installed them all in the past but never combined. Any suggestion about possible combinations?

Best,
Diego

bantolo

I like your post, thanks..

adtech2014

Hi @Diego_Fernandez,
Thanks for the appreciation.
I would rather prefer a single SEO plugin, instead of a combination of SEO plugins. smile

tbsnetworks

Better Article about SEO Plugin Thank your for sharing..

aioseopack

This article is incorrect.

All in One SEO Pack has 23.5+Million downloads. Not 1M.

adtech2014

Hi @aioseopack.
Thank you for informing, but I wrote this from the following link:
https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/
Here it is clearly mentioned that it has 1,000,000+ active installs i.e 1M+, so the article isn't incorrect.

Mittineague

Hmmm, that page does have

Active Installs: 1+ million

So unless it's a mighty BIG "+" this page is incorrect
https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/stats/

Downloads history
Today 1,345
Yesterday 8,758
Last Week 57,852
All Time 24,486,892

Or of course "downloads" != "active installs"

adtech2014

That's awesome @Mittineague
Thank you for informing.
I am informing the Editor. :smile:

aioseopack

Thank you for the correction.

adtech2014 - On the post, you listed Yoast having: Downloads: 14,000,000+, Then you listed us having 1,000,000+.

Where did you get the 14M+ for Yoast, when that's inaccurate as well.

All in One SEO has more downloads than Yoast as shown on the Stats page of both plugins. Please correct the record.

All in One SEO Pack is THE MOST DOWNLOADED PLUGIN FOR WORDPRESS, period. It's not Yoast.

adtech2014

@aioseopack
After reading what you've written, I checked it in on wordpress.org website

WordPress SEO by Yoast: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/stats/
-- Active Installs: 1+ million
-- All time Downloads: 22,048,297
All in One SEO Plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/stats/
-- Active Installs: 1+ million
-- All time Downloads: 24,509,935

Thank you for informing, I have also checked for rest of them.
Informing the editor!

chrisburgess

@adtech2014 @aioseopack -- I've made the update to now list Active Installs. Thanks for clarifying this.

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