Search engine optimization is the key factor to obtain top rankings in organic results. Premium themes usually come with some default settings to make the site more engine friendly. Genesis, Thesis frame works don’t need a SEO plugin at all as they are well integrated with such services. If you are not satisfied such options, feel free to go for separate SEO plugins like any other WordPress user.
A good SEO expert or plugin will offer various types of services like on page-off page optimization, XML map creation, verification with webmaster accounts, traffic analytics etc.
We can now analyze the top SEO plugins and choose the best among them based on the features, type of functioning they are offering.
Most popular WordPress plugins in this category are,
1. All In One SEO Pack
2. WordPress SEO by Yoast
3. Premium SEO Pack
First two offer free as well as premium options, but third one is purely a paid plugin.
All In One SEO Pack is the most popular SEO option with more than 20 million downloads. It provides great ideas to skyrocket your traffic within a couple of days.
This is the first screen you will get after installing and activating the plugin.
By scrolling down to bottom, you will get options to configure home page, key words, post titles, description and tools for verifying with web masters, Google analytics etc
In Features Manager tab, you can activate some more services like XML sitemaps, social meta and file editor. It lets you create and edit robots.txt, .htaccess file by going to sub menus.
The plugin doesnot offer more than that.
WordPress SEO is another good choice. It has downloaded more than 13 million times so far.
This is the default first view of the plugin. Here you can go through a tutorial on how to do. Web master verification is another major option in this page.
You can optimize various sections of the site, by going to the appropriate menu in the left bar.
Titles & Metas: It contains options to configure home page, posts, pages, archives, search pages, 404 pages, categories, tags with no index/follow options. You can activate or deactivate meta keywords, determine what type of symbol you want as title separator etc in this part.
Social: To connect your site with common social networking sites.
Edit Files: create, manage robot.txt and edit .htaccess file.
XML Sitemaps: Create XML Sitemaps to submit to various search engines.
Also Read Best Backup Plugins for WordPress
Premium SEO is a CodeCanyon product. Compared to the both that we already discussed, it offers wide range of functions and services from configuration to backlink building, 301 redirect and pagespeed insights.
This is the default entrance page of Premium SEO.
Front panel contains links to various SEO options-Backlink builder, Google analytics, Mass optimization, W3C Validator, 404 Page checker and more.
This is the sidebar view of the plugin.
Tools are divided into 4 categories in this plugin.
Monitorize- You can configure Google Analytics, PageSpeed Insights and 404 monitor here.
On Page Optimization- It contains Mass Optimization (optimize posts in just a few clicks), Title & Meta Format (configure titles, meta description, keywords, robots and Twitter Cards), SEO Friendly images (to update all images with proper attributes), SEO Slug Optimizer (to remove common words from the slug of a post).
Off Page Optimization- Settings for building SEO links, backlinks, 301 link redirects and social media statistics for each post.
Advance Setup- Files Edit (Create, edit Robots.txt and .htaccess file), W3C Validator (to check the mark up of contents), SEO Insert Code, Facebook Planner (to post in Facebook pages and groups), Media Smushit (to smush images).
Now we can cross examine all these plugins.
|Features||All In One SEO Pack||WordPress SEO by Yoast||Premium SEO Pack|
|Optimize home page, titles and meta||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Creation of Robot.txt,.htaccess files||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Social Meta for Facebook, Twitter (incl. Twitter cards)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Social Meta for Google+||No||Yes||Yes|
|Bulk Post Editor||No||Yes||Yes|
|Customize RSS feeds||No||Yes||No|
|Webmaster Verification Tools||Yes (except Alexa)||Yes||No|
|XML Sitemap Creation||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Google PageSpeed Insights||No||No||Yes|
|Monitor 404 Error Pages||No||No||Yes|
|301 Link Redirect||No||No||Yes|
|SEO Friendly Images||No||No||Yes|
|Price||$39||$89 (Single site)||R$39|
|Support||$49 p.a||No additional charge||No additional charge|
The Best Option
Premium SEO pack has plenty of advanced options, that is very helpful to analyze competitors’ strategies, improve the site loading time and therefore traffic. You can easily rectify page errors and divert readers to the new URL in case of permalink change. Facebook Planner is another big advantage of the plugin even though I didn’t try the option yet. It requires Facebook app id and other related details. You can easily create it by going to the Facebook developer section.
In short, if you have some money to invest in plugins go for Premium SEO Pack from CodeCanyon. It is the best choice for search engine/social media optimization and analyzing traffic. If you are a beginner or not willing to pay, use WordPress by Yoast. It is a good choice without any financial burden.