The Top WordPress SEO Plugins Reviewed

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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


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?

Frequently Asked Questions about WordPress SEO Plugins

What are the key features to look for in a WordPress SEO plugin?

When choosing a WordPress SEO plugin, there are several key features to consider. Firstly, the plugin should offer comprehensive on-page SEO analysis. This includes keyword optimization, meta description editing, and readability checks. Secondly, it should provide XML sitemap functionality, which helps search engines index your site more effectively. Thirdly, look for plugins that offer social media integration, as this can boost your site’s visibility. Lastly, consider whether the plugin offers advanced features such as schema markup and breadcrumb navigation, which can further enhance your site’s SEO.

How do WordPress SEO plugins improve website visibility?

WordPress SEO plugins improve website visibility by optimizing your site’s content and structure for search engines. They help you choose the right keywords, create SEO-friendly meta descriptions, and ensure your content is easily readable. Additionally, they generate XML sitemaps and manage your site’s robots.txt file, which guide search engines in indexing your site. Some plugins also offer advanced features like schema markup, which provides search engines with more detailed information about your site.

Are there any free WordPress SEO plugins that are effective?

Yes, there are several free WordPress SEO plugins that offer robust features. These include Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, and Rank Math. While these plugins offer free versions, they also have premium versions that provide additional features and support.

How do I install and set up a WordPress SEO plugin?

Installing a WordPress SEO plugin is straightforward. From your WordPress dashboard, go to ‘Plugins’, then ‘Add New’. Search for the plugin you want to install, then click ‘Install Now’ and ‘Activate’. Setting up the plugin involves configuring its settings according to your site’s needs. This usually includes setting your preferred keywords, creating meta descriptions, and enabling XML sitemaps.

Can I use more than one WordPress SEO plugin on my site?

While it’s technically possible to use more than one SEO plugin, it’s generally not recommended. Using multiple SEO plugins can lead to conflicts and inconsistencies, which can negatively impact your site’s SEO. Instead, choose one comprehensive SEO plugin that meets all your needs.

How often should I update my WordPress SEO plugin?

It’s important to regularly update your WordPress SEO plugin to ensure it’s functioning optimally. Updates often include new features, bug fixes, and improvements to existing features. As a general rule, check for updates at least once a month.

Do WordPress SEO plugins guarantee higher search rankings?

While WordPress SEO plugins can significantly improve your site’s SEO, they don’t guarantee higher search rankings. Search rankings are influenced by many factors, including the quality of your content, the number of inbound links to your site, and the performance of your competitors. However, using an SEO plugin can help you optimize your site and increase its chances of ranking higher.

Can WordPress SEO plugins help with local SEO?

Yes, many WordPress SEO plugins offer features that can help with local SEO. These include local schema markup, Google Maps integration, and the ability to optimize for local keywords. These features can help your site rank higher in local search results.

Do WordPress SEO plugins affect site speed?

While WordPress SEO plugins can slightly affect site speed due to the additional code they add, most well-designed plugins are optimized for performance and have minimal impact on site speed. However, it’s always a good idea to monitor your site’s speed after installing a new plugin to ensure it’s not negatively affected.

How do I choose the best WordPress SEO plugin for my needs?

Choosing the best WordPress SEO plugin depends on your site’s specific needs. Consider what features are most important to you, such as on-page SEO analysis, XML sitemap functionality, or social media integration. Also consider whether you need advanced features like schema markup or breadcrumb navigation. Finally, consider your budget, as some plugins offer more features in their premium versions.

Amit DiwanAmit Diwan
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Amit Diwan is a founder at Studyopedia, who has taught more than a million engineers and professionals on the following technologies: Python, Java, Android, WordPress, Drupal, Magento, JavaScript, jQuery, HTML5, Bootstrap 4, etc.

All in OneChrisBMarketingpluginsSEOseo pluginsWordPressWordPress SEOyoast
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