Which is the best SEO plugin for WordPress websites and blogs? Everyone asks this question when they start using the WordPress platform.
You can find out several plugins on the web for optimizing articles, photos and videos in your website. They do a great job to make the contents search engine friendly and divert visitors to them. This task is really impossible without a proper search engine optimization tool.
The search engines run on complex algorithms which can’t read contents as we read. It will analyze texts based on the keywords and metadata connected to them. That’s why we say SEO is an inevitable part of online publishing.
An SEO plugin should offer various types of services like on page-off page optimization, keyword analysis, social media meta, XML sitemaps, and related features.
We can now analyze the top SEO plugins and choose the best among them based on the features, type of features 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 the third one is purely a paid plugin.
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All In One SEO Pack is the most popular SEO option with more than 3 million downloads. It provides great tools 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, keywords, post titles, description and tools for verifying with webmasters, 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 submenus.
The plugin doesn’t offer more than that.
2. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is another popular choice. It has downloaded more than 3 million times so far.
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 homepage, 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.
XML Sitemaps: Create XML Sitemaps to submit to various search engines.
Advanced: Manage Breadcrumbs, Permalinks and RSS feed.
Tools: Bulk edit posts and pages, Manage robot.txt and .htaccess files, Import and export plugin settings
Search Console: Monitor and redirect page not found errors on Google search console
Premium SEO is a CodeCanyon product. Compared to the both that we already discussed, it offers a wide range of functions and services from configuration to backlink building, 301 redirect and page speed insights.
This is the default entrance page of Premium SEO.
The 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.
Monitor- You can configure Google Analytics, PageSpeed Insights and 404 errors here.
On Page Optimization- It contains Mass Optimization (optimize posts in just a few clicks), Title & Meta Format (configure titles, meta description, keywords, meta robots and Twitter Cards), SEO Friendly images (update all images with proper attributes), SEO Slug Optimizer ( 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.
Advanced Setup- Files Edit (Create, edit Robots.txt and .htaccess file), W3C Validator (check the markup of pages), SEO Insert Code, Facebook Planner, Media Smushit (optimize 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 and Twitter||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bulk Post Editor||No||Yes||Yes|
|Customize RSS feeds||No||Yes||No|
|Webmaster Verification Tools||Yes||Yes||No|
|Google PageSpeed Insights||No||No||Yes|
|Monitor 404 Error Pages||No||Yes||Yes|
|301 Link Redirect||No||No||Yes|
|SEO Friendly Images||No||No||Yes|
|Bad Bot Blocker||Yes||No||No|
|Minify, cache JS & CSS files||No||No||Yes|
|Social media icons||No||No||Yes|
|Premium Option||$57||$69 (Single site)||R$44|
|Support||$49 p.a||No additional charge||No additional charge|
Premium SEO Pack has plenty of advanced options, that is very helpful to analyze competitors’ strategies, prepare plans and increase traffic. But at the same time, I am afraid whether the same features will affect your blog speed or not.
Yoast SEO is a simple, lightweight plugin for optimizing contents and boost SEO. It updates regularly and provides only those features which are essential for a common WordPress site. If you want additional options, go for Yoast SEO Premium.
The paid service allows you to set up to 5 focus keywords for each post, redirect URLs and suggest internal links for your posts. Facebook and Twitter preview is another plus point that lets you view the social media snippet even before publishing contents. So I suggest you use Yoast SEO to make your site, posts search engine friendly and increase traffic.