One of the most loved benefits of WordPress is its SEO friendliness. Plugins can add more value to this. There is a good number of SEO plugins for WordPress that make it easier to get better indexed by search engines. Today we will talk about three of the best SEO plugins for WordPress.
Yoast has built a fast-growing and hugely popular SEO plugin for WordPress. Although this is not the very first extension of its kind, but the title gained user attention very quickly. There are some reasons behind this. The plugin comes with a unique Page Analysis tool which can evaluate the content SEO quality and shows the SEO score with a traffic signal type symbol. It can manage your site’s search & social media appearance with links, excerpts, images and so on. You can configure website permalink structure, index/no-index contents, enable/disable a specific page crawling, optimize technical aspects, create XML sitemaps and do more.
Having 1+ million active installs, the plugin makes SEO really simple with the Page Analysis signal lights. You just add a focus keyword, meta description and post tags- the plugin will show the SEO quality with a light. If the light is green, then the SEO is good. If it’s orange, the SEO score is not so good, but OK. If it’s red, that means you have many areas to improve the page’s SEO. Plus the plugin has tools to verify and integrate with several third party services like Google Webmaster Tools, Alexa, Bing, Yandex and so on.
The basic and core functionalities of the plugin are free. If you need more advanced benefits like multiple focus keywords, video SEO, news SEO and some more extensions, you can purchase them from its developer company. Consultancy and review services are also offered by Yoast. The pricing model of Yoast SEO plugin is given below. Single site license: $69
- Up to 5 sites: $129
- Up to 20 Sites: $249
- Up to 50 Sites: $499
- Up to 100 Sites: $799
This plugin also has scored 1+ million active installs and fights with Yoast SEO hard. All In One SEO Pack presents all of the plugin settings on a single page. If you enjoy a master dashboard to control everything, this may fit you well. In case you feel daunting, there are explanations and categorized listings of these configuration options.
The plugin has a dedicated section to turn the feature categories on or off. You can manage its functionalities by using the feature manager dashboard. The feature manager lets you turn on/off XML sitemap, social meta, robots.txt generator/validator, file editor (robots.txt, .htaccess), settings export/import, bad bot blocker and SEO performance optimizer using the system information. Another feature, Video Sitemap is available only for pro version of the plugin.
All In One SEO Pack also has an SEO meta box appears below the WordPress text editor where you need to input the post title & snippet for search engines/social media sites, change search engine directory based description preference, turn SEO for specific page on/off etc. It lacks an easily recognizable ‘signal light’ like Yoast, but has an interesting bulk title & description editing feature that would help you to deal with older contents.
The Pro version of the plugin offers some additional features like advanced WooCommerce support, custom taxonomy SEO, video XML sitemap, video screencast access, pro support, pro knowledgebase etc. Just $79 fee will give you a license for unlimited sites. But you need additional subscriptions to continue getting updates and pro support from the plugin author.
This plugin has a relatively less number of active installs (200,000+) among the three, but it’s loaded with some amazing features you must like. SEO Ultimate strives to be literally the ‘ultimate’ search engine optimization plugin for your WordPress site. It organizes the major plugin settings in ‘modules’ that you will get on the plugin’s dashboard page. These can be enabled or disabled anytime.
With SEO Ultimate, while adding a post to your site, you can define whether it’s a standard post or a specific product review or a place related post. It lets the tool generate rich search engine snippet which is very helpful to get a better CTR. However, I missed Yoast SEO’s quality ‘signal light’ in this plugin too, but rest of this plugin is really cool.
Tired of manually hyperlinking major tags inside your post texts? SEO Ultimate has a solution to that. You just define some anchor texts with links, and configure how many of the anchor words will get hyperlinked. All of your posts/pages will have these texts hyperlinked. If you are an affiliate marketer, you might want to mask some links in posts. SEO Ultimate also sports this feature which is a plus for your search engine reputation. The plugin has a 404 monitor that can find 404 errors like Google Webmaster Tools and you can fix them ASAP.
Other features include permalink tweaker, canonicalizer, title tag rewriter, open graph integrator, meta robot tag editor, file editor (.htaccess, robots.txt), code inserter, third party site verification assistant etc.
SEO Ultimate+ (paid version) offers a host of additional features, premium support, advanced rich snippet options, more bulk editing ability and most importantly, new features will be added only to the paid version, not to the free one. SEO Ultimate+ costs $49/year for a single site license, $89/year for up to 5 sites, $169/year for up to 10 sites and $249/year for up to 20 sites.
Each of the above three plugins has some unique points of advantages. Yoast gets my vote for its page analyzer signal lights, All In One SEO Pack gives you a great deal of benefits at an attractive price (besides the free version) and SEO Ultimate offers some handy features that will make your SEO efforts more fruitful. Now it’s your turn to choose the most suited plugin for your purpose. Also please comment here and share your thoughts.