Whether your WordPress website is an e-commerce store, a blog, or a photography website – you’re going to want people to find your website so they can read your content and purchase your products. Part of making that happen is taking search engine optimization seriously. Taking search engine optimization seriously is a great way to make that happen because search engines are a great source of traffic so in this post, we’ll take a look at the 5 best WordPress SEO plugins.
Let’s a look at the five best WordPress search engine optimization plugins you can use to help you optimize your WordPress website to rank higher in Google.
The Yoast Dilemma
Although Yoast SEO is by far the most popular and widely-used WordPress SEO plugin, they don’t have a clean slate. The intention of this article is, by no means, to complain about Yoast SEO and talk about how bad their plugin is because it really isn’t. The Yoast SEO plugin has been around for a long time. It was one of the first SEO plugins geared towards WordPress. That being said, there have been a number of issues relating to the development of their plugin and how some updates have specifically negatively affected the rankings of the majority of websites that were using the plugin. This obviously didn’t go unnoticed, especially with their large user base – there was a huge backlash. Nobody ever wants to experience the feeling you get when you realize your site is no longer ranking as it should be and you suddenly start seeing a dip in traffic. There is a whole range of different reasons that could negatively affect your website’s search rankings including low-quality content, a Google penalty, on-site technical issues, or more competition, but a plugin with a bug should never be one. 😨
It might be worth noting that despite all of this, Yoast SEO remains the most popular and widely used plugin available on the WordPress plugin repository with over 5 million installations and 24,442 reviews
In that video, they make it clear that they’re addressing some of the most common issues with their plugin.
Is it time for a new WordPress SEO plugin?
Despite their massive user base, the Yoast SEO plugin certainly can’t be for everyone, right?
Well, one thing to consider is the price. To unlock the full range of features that Yoast has to offer on just a single website, you’ll pay a whopping $89. I mean even if you consider the bulk discount that they offer (shown below) if you run 10 WordPress websites, which isn’t that unlikely – you’ll end up paying almost $1,000.
Is it even possible to switch between SEO plugins?
Yes, luckily most search engine optimization plugins have made it easy for you to migrate.
Is SEO really worth the money?
Search Engine Optimization is definitely worth the time investment that it is given the amount of traffic that you can generate from improving your website’s ranking. The return on investment is definitely there for some WordPress users.
Search Engine Optimization is definitely worth it, and if you still don’t think so, you clearly haven’t heard that the industry is slowly but surely approaching the $80 billion milestone.
Is an SEO plugin worth the money?
So, while we likely agree that search engine optimization in itself is definitely worth the time investment, we seem to be forgetting something. We’re not talking about paying $1000 dollars to immediately get your website to the top of Google search results.
We’re talking about an SEO plugin for WordPress.
An SEO plugin isn’t what’s going to get your website to rank at the top of Google – only you can do that with a lot of hard work and dedication. The only thing an SEO plugin can really do for you is help you get there, but that shouldn’t come at a price. If you’re on the free version of Yoast and feel like the features are limiting you from optimizing your content for search engines, migrating over to Rank Math is a no-brainer. Rank Math comes with all of Yoast Pro’s functionality (and some extras!) for free. Above all, and possibly the most significant difference is that Rank Math isn’t as notoriously bloated as Yoast is, while still offering more functionality.
In this post, we’ll be conducting an in-depth comparison of the following Search Engine Optimization plugins for WordPress:
- Rank Math SEO
- Yoast SEO
- All in One SEO Pack
In order to conduct a fair comparison, everything in this post has been based on my personal experiences with each of the plugins. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in, starting with Rank Math SEO.
The Rundown for those of you in a rush
For those of you in a rush, here’s the rundown.
|Rank Math||Yoast SEO||SEOPress||The SEO Framework||All in One SEO Pack|
|Price||Free, forever.||Up to $345/year||Up to $39/year||Up to $299/year||$9/month|
|Useful on-page optimization insights||Yes||Yes, and paid.||Nope.||Nope.||Nope.|
Enter Rank Math – the SEO plugin of the future.
And that’s exactly where Rank Math comes in.
Rank Math has also not been without its faults, but, in my experience with the plugin, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve never encountered issues in which it did not function as intended. Although it would be justified based on how much longer Yoast SEO has been in development, I was `not at all more forgiving of the Rank Math plugin during my testing.
Setup – Easiest SEO configuration wizard tool (+ easy migrations from Yoast)
Migration from Yoast (and other SEO plugins) to Rank Math is really easy. Their configuration wizard gives you full control and confidence that you’re not accidentally going to delete something and have to rewrite tons of meta descriptions.
Speed – The Fastest SEO plugin ever
Earlier in this article, we showed you a comparison between the resources that Yoast and Rank Math consume. That alone leads us to the conclusion that Rank Math is a really fast plugin, but judging not only from the data but also from my experience, all Rank Math pages really load quickly even in comparison to Yoast. But this might in part be related to the fact that we’re hosting our website on Kinsta.
Something you will notice if you decide to give Rank Math a try is that the plugin’s meta boxes and admin areas are kept as clean as possible. There are currently no advertisements, images or up-sells that clutter what is supposed to be a productive workspace.
Rank Math: The Meta Box
A big part of optimizing your WordPress website for search engines is undoubtedly going to be creating content that is optimized for search engines. As a result, the most-used feature of your chosen WordPress SEO plugin is likely going be the SEO meta box.
What is the SEO Meta Box?
If you’re not quite sure what we mean when we refer to the SEO meta box, it is the area that generally appears underneath the post/page editor in WordPress and gives you helpful tips in order to teach you how to improve the content you are currently working on so that it is more likely to rank highly in search engines.
Specifically for Rank Math, this is also where you are able to configure Schema markup for your posts, change certain posts and pages to no-index (if necessary) and improve your meta title and description tags for better click-through rates. Optimizing meta titles and descriptions is extremely important to do because – as you may already know – click-through rate is considered a ranking factor.
Let’s take a look at Rank Math’s SEO Meta Box…
Rank Math breaks down their SEO meta box into three easy-to-approach sections.
This section includes insights that are all fairly easy to address, and aren’t really up to interpretation. Your content needs to be of a certain length to not be considered thin, your focus keyword should appear in your SEO title, URL and meta description.
Now, Rank Math helps you dive into some more advanced optimizations with insights such as keyword density, URL length, focus keyword subheading distribution amongst a range of other things.
This section looks at the title of your content. In the above post, you’ll notice that Rank Math flags up the last point as needing attention. Yes, we didn’t include a number in the title for that post.
It’s important that when you use plugins to optimize your website to rank higher in search engines that you don’t do this blindly. Don’t fall into the trap of just following every recommendation that is made to you. Yes, it is true that posts that have a title with a number are more likely to rank and be clicked on when in Google search. However, that doesn’t mean that every post title should have a number in it because you can actually harm your website’s SEO by doing something that just isn’t natural.
This section will take a closer look at the actual content on the post or page that you are currently working on. You’ll notice that the second insight is marked orange to indicate that it requires attention. Rank Math runs a Flesch readability test on your content. This is not something that is unique to Rank Math as a plugin. If you’re interested, you can learn more about the test which is known as the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test itself, here.
Rank Math also lets you preview what your search results look like (or will look like) on mobile devices – as shown below, which I must admit is a nice addition.
Rank Math: 404 Monitor
What is a 404 Monitor?
“Error 404” (or “Page Not Found”) – is a standard HTTP status code that occurs when the server can’t find the document requested by a user. Basically, this is a page that doesn’t exist or broken.
The 404 Monitor that Rank Math offers is really useful when used with their Redirections feature because you can now not only identify 404 errors or broken links on your website but also do something about them – like redirect them to the page where the content has moved, or the homepage.
Rank Math: SEO Analysis
What is Rank Math’s SEO Analysis?
The Rank Math SEO analysis performs a test on your entire website and returns a series of actionable insights that you can use to improve your SEO from a technical standpoint. It will identify things like missing alt-attributes for your images and the most common keywords that your site use. But, as we know,
Is it really groundbreaking?
While it’s definitely useful to have, I must admit that this feature alone is not a reason to use Rank Math over another WordPress SEO plugin but there certainly tons of other reasons for that.
You’ll be able to make some small improvements here and there and it might flag up some things that you may have otherwise missed but it’s nothing you shouldn’t have already seen before or already be aware of. It provides an analysis of your website from an SEO standpoint similar to how https://varvy.com does.
In case you’re still really interested in the SEO analysis, here’s everything it tests:
Basic and Advanced SEO
These are likely things that you will have already configured and are happy with, but I still like how Rank Math brings everything to one centralized view.
Although the checks that Rank Math makes in this section are quite basic and are likely things that any website owner will already be aware of, it’s still useful to have it centralized in such a way. And, you might be surprised by what you find, maybe you never really did change your site tagline, or you find a typo somewhere where there really shouldn’t be one.
|Common Keywords||Rank Math checks which are the keywords which your website most commonly ranks for in search engines.|
|SEO Description||Returns what you’ve set your website’s description for search engines to so you can make sure it matches with what you’d like it to be.|
|H1 Heading||Checks if a H1 tag was found on the homepage of your website.|
|H2 Headings||Checks if a H2 tag was found on the homepage of your website.|
|Image ALT Attributes||Checks if image alt text was found for all of the images on your homepage.|
|Keywords in Title & Description||Rank Math checks what keywords are found in the title and description of your website’s homepage.|
|Links Ratio||Checks if the ratio of internal to external links found on your website is correct.|
|SEO Title||Checks to see if the title you have set for search engines is of the correct length.|
|Site Tagline||Checks if you have customized/set your tagline at all.|
|Blog Public||Checks if your blog/website can be indexed by search engines. This should probably be somewhere near the top as it would be quite important to know whether search engines can index your site or not.|
|Permalink Structure||Checks if your post permalink structure has been set to the accepted standard for search engine optimization: /%postname%/.|
|Focus Keywords||Checks whether you have set focus keywords in the Rank Math plugin for the various different post types that you have on your website.|
|Post Titles Missing Focus Keywords||Checks if there are any post or pages on your website which have titles in which the focus keyword does not appear at all.|
|Search Preview||Shows you a preview of how your website will actually appear on Google.|
|Mobile Search Preview||Shows you a preview of how your website will actually appear on Google searches performed on mobile devices.|
|Mobile Snapshot||Shows you a snapshot of how your website appears on mobile devices, so you can see whether or not it is mobile friendly or not (if this is something which you haven’t already checked for some reason).|
|Canonical Tag||Checks whether your content has a canonical tag set or not.|
|Noindex Meta||Checks whether your content contains a Noindex Meta header when it really shouldn’t.|
|WWW Canonicalization||Checks whether both the WWW and non-WWW versions of your website redirect to the same URL.|
|OpenGraph Meta||Checks if you have set tags for the OpenGraph Meta. This related to whether or not your website has been properly configured to appear with a preview image/card on social networks like Facebook or Twitter.|
|Robots.txt||Checks whether your website has a Robots.txt to inform search engines of how you want your website to be indexed.|
|Schema Metadata||Checks if Schema.org metadata is configured as expected.|
|Search Console||Checks if you have linked your website to the Google Search Console|
|Sitemaps||Checks to ensure that your website has sitemaps so that search engines can index your website.|
Your website can’t rank if it doesn’t load – you should already know this, but in case you don’t Rank Math includes this lovely section outlining whether or not your website has been optimized to load as quickly as it should.
|Image Headers Expire ||Checks to see whether your server has been configured in such a way to ensure that image headers expire after a certain amount of time or after a post or page is updated.|
|Minify CSS ||Checks to see if your websites CSS stylesheets have been minified to optimize for the fastest page load time possible.|
|Page Objects ||Counts the total nunmber of requests that your page makes on a single page load. It is recommended that no more than 20 are made to ensure pages load quickly enough – although keep in mind this is only part of the story. It is somewhat acceptable to have more requests as long as the servers respond quickly and efficiently enough so that those extra requests don’t slow down your website.|
|Page Size ||Checks whether the size of your homepage exceeds the recommended maximum file size in KB.|
|Response Time ||Checks your website’s server response time – ours was 0.2 in this case, all thanks to Kinsta.|
In terms of SEO, having your website flagged up by Google’s Safe Browsing check is likely one of the worst things that can happen to you. Luckily Rank Math has brought a series of checks including one that ensures your website hasn’t been flagged up by Google into its SEO analysis, making it really easy to debug those critical issues before the damage is done.
Without Rank Math, you would otherwise not be made aware of this unless you specifically go out of your way to go to this page (from Google) to run the check yourself.
|Visible Plugins||Are the plugins on your website visible to the public?|
|Theme Visibility ||Is your website’s theme visible to the public?|
|Directory Listing ||Checks to see whether your server has enabled directory listings (i.e. does it list the contents of its directories?) as this is something which is not recommended.|
|Google Safe Browsing ||Checks to see if Google Safe Browsing has shown alerts to some users if they visit your website. If you are flagged by Google Safe Browsing you should immediately start taking steps to get your website whitelisted to prevent any further damage to your website’s SEO.|
|Secure Connection ||Is your website using HTTPS?|
I mean, come on, it’s 2019 guys.
The social SEO section of the plugin proceeds to show whether or not you have connected the following social networks to your website:
- Google Plus
Rank Math: Google Search Console Integration
What is the purpose of Rank Math’s Google Search Console Integration?
Just like the SEO Analysis, the Rank Math Google Search Console integration centralizes a large amount of useful information that it gathers from checks and analytics that Google collects. These include data such as click history, impressions history, CTR history, and position history and more…
Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article, their keyword tracker is still not available yet although it already appears on the navigation of the Google Search Console integration for Rank Math, but I’m sure this will be interesting to test out once we get the chance.
One of the most useful functions in the Rank Math plugin is the fact that it checks for crawl errors so you don’t even need to leave your WordPress admin area to find them before you can fix them. In case you don’t already know what crawl errors are, they are basically when a Googlebot tried to crawl a URL on your website and was able to resolve your DNS, connect to your server, fetch and read your website’s robots.txt file, but then wasn’t able to index the page, because something else went wrong.
Checking for crawl errors is by no means something new, this always possible with the Google Search Console which is why it appears when the integration for the Google Search Console has been enabled for Rank Math. However, having the ability to view the errors in your admin area and click a single button to set up a 301 or 401 redirect is just awesome.
The Search Analytics section essentially shows the keywords that your website ranks for with the number of impressions, clicks, CTR, and position of your website for those individual keywords. This is again useful to have access to so you can quickly check without having to log into the Google Search Console every time.
Rank Math: Redirections
Matched with Rank Math’s tight integration with the Google Search Console you want to be able to do something about those issues you’ve just been identified on your website. Luckily, Rank Math makes crawl errors not easier to identify but also actionable. With the redirections module, it takes a matter of a few seconds to set up redirections to fix all of the crawl errors on your website.
Rank Math: Role Manager – Get your site under control.
If you don’t run a WordPress website alone, you might want to give limited/controlled access to SEO configuration settings for certain users without having to make them an administrator to give them access to the rest of your website’s plugins.
With Rank Math’s Role Manager you can easily select the modules of their plugin which each user will be given access to. By default, only administrators will be given access to all Search Engine Optimization settings, which is likely the most suitable setup for your website. You can then proceed to tick (and untick) modules for each user type that you have on your website which allows you to easily ensure that contributors or editors that guest post on your website will be able to optimize their content to help you appear in search engines.
The Rank Math Role Manager won’t be of much use to you if you are the only user on your site with the ability to access the WordPress backend or you don’t want to give anyone else the ability to manage your site’s SEO settings.
Rank Math: Easy Search Engine Optimization for WordPress AMP websites
The Accelerated Mobile Project, otherwise known as AMP, is a part of Google’s journey to make the internet faster than ever. This is done by creating a lightweight version of your website that loads in under 1 second (on average). The lightweight AMP versions of your website will be stripped of all your theme’s styling and will cause some plugins not to function, which is why a lot of developers still haven’t adopted Google’s AMP technology.
Nevertheless, Rank Math includes a module that allows you to easily configure your website if you make use of Google’s AMP project as Google is known to rank AMP pages higher….
Should you use AMP on your website?
While we won’t say much about how we feel about Google’s AMP project, we’ll share a case study with you so you can make your own judgments.
Kinsta’s article Google AMP causes leads to drop be 59% supports the argument which encourages people to disable AMP on their websites, but Rank Math’s AMP module is only there if you want it. If you don’t, you can always disable it.
If you don’t have time to read another article, here’s the rundown:
- Kinsta’s mobile leads dropped by 59.09%.
- Kinsta’s newsletter email sign-ups from mobile dropped by 16.67%.
- Kinsta’s account creations from mobile devices dropped 10.53%.
In the end, I personally think that AMP is just not worth the hassle and the drop in conversions that you’ll see. More traffic coming to your site because AMP pages rank higher doesn’t mean anything if that traffic results in a loss of profits in the grand scheme of things.
Rank Math – Is it really that good?
For those of you which have recently become aware of Yoast’s recalibration project, it might seem counter-intuitive for us to be writing an article about another SEO plugin. While there is some truth to this, we believe that once the changes come to Yoast’s plugin all of the other SEO plugins such as SEOPress and Rank Math will likely adopt the changes shortly afterward.
Yes, I would argue that Rank Math is one of the best SEO plugins available, and better yet it doesn’t even come at a price. For those who think paying for a plugin which is essentially a requirement if you want your website and business to perform is absurd, Rank Math is the SEO plugin for you.
It’s fast, it’s lightweight, and it has the functionality that Yoast currently has and will likely adopt any future changes to Yoast’s algorithm (as will all other SEO plugins) shortly after they’re made public. And best of all, it really is free – SEO is an industry that shouldn’t have a barrier to entry.
What functionality is missing from the free version of Yoast SEO?
Earlier in this article, we made a few subtle comparisons between Rank Math SEO and Yoast SEO. This might have made you wonder how they stack up. Well, for this to be a fair comparison between Rank Math and Yoast, let’s take a look at how the free version of Yoast compares to Rank Math (which is completely free).
Unfortunately, the short answer to that question is well, actually, quite a lot.
The Yoast Plugin operates under the freemium model and, evidently, if they were to include most of their most attractive functionality in the free version of their plugin most people wouldn’t see the need to upgrade. I mean Yoast has an entire page dedicated to the reasons you should opt for Yoast Premium. This is a page on which they talk about all the lovely features you’re missing out on because you haven’t paid $89 for one of their plugins because keep in mind they also have four plugins apart from Yoast SEO Premium which include more functionality that has been strategically excluded from the Yoast core plugin.
In this post, when we refer to the Yoast plugin, we’re referring to their main Yoast SEO plugin although we may take a closer look at their individual plugins at some point.
|Yoast SEO (free)||Rank Math|
|Advanced context detenction||No||Yes|
|Orphaned content filter||No||No|
Yoast SEO: The Configuration Wizard
Just as you’d expect from a WordPress SEO plugin that has been around for a while, Yoast SEO’s configuration wizard makes it fairly easy to get your website set up with their plugin.
And, of course, as you’d expect the configuration wizard ends with yet another up-sell.
Yoast SEO: The Overall Experience
Feel free to take a look at the above images to make your own judgments, but I think it goes without saying that Rank Math’s Dashboard is just far nicer to work with. Considering that SEO is something you want to spend a lot of time optimizing, you don’t to be put off by your WordPress SEO plugin with constant annoying (and most importantly unnecessary) notifications and advertisements that clutter this area.
Yoast SEO: Google Search Console Integration
We took a look at Rank Math’s Google Search Console integration in this article. Rank Math parsed some of the data from the Google Search Console right into your WordPress admin area and made it actionable with their redirections module. On the other hand, quite disappointingly, with Yoast, the only integration you really get with Google’s Search Console is the ability to paste your Google verification code into the admin area. That’s it. There isn’t even a way to tell if it’s successfully linked your website.
Yoast SEO: The Recalibration Project
Previously Yoast would solely measure the number of times a specific keyword appears in your content, but as announced in their recalibration video they will now start recognizing what are called keyphrases. Keyphrases don’t need to be an exact match of focus keywords, because Yoast can now pick up a number of variations of the focus keyword that you enter. For example, if you were to enter “SEO Strategies” as a focus keyword, Yoast would also pick up “Strategies for SEO”. One of the most interesting features included with Yoast Premium now is support for alternative word forms such as singular, plural, comparative, past and present tense forms of words. Essentially, Yoast is finally fixing what most people hated about SEO plugins which was the fact that they were so dumb that they couldn’t even realize that the plural version of your keyword is still your keyword, not a completely different word.
Additionally, Yoast has improved their synonym checker which previously required you to manually add your own synonyms. Now, Yoast will help you by automatically identifying potential synonyms
SEOPress is a relatively new search engine optimization plugin for WordPress which gained quite a lot of traction over their past Black Friday promotion in which they were offering unlimited-use, lifetime licenses. Obviously, tons of WordPress agency owners were quick to open their wallets for this promotion because it meant that they finally, no longer needed to pay for a premium, well-designed SEO plugin to use and offer to their clients. This was especially the case because they are the only WordPress SEO plugin that makes it possible to white label and hide their plugin’s branding so you can replace it with your own.
SEOPress: The Overall Experience
Overall, the SEOPress dashboard makes everything you need easy to access with a quick menu that appears (as shown above) when you hover over their logo on any of the SEOPress admin pages. During my testing of the plugin I found that it was quite simple to work with and offered a great experience.
SEOPress: The Meta Box
Unfortunately, with SEOPress one of the most disappointing features is the meta box itself. Although there are some things which are nice to have like the real-time preview of what your website will look like in search (shown above) it really lacks the in-depth content analysis that both Rank Math and Yoast Pro offer.
For those of you in doubt, this is really not me just selling the plugin short. Here’s all the information that SEOPress provides in their content analysis.
- 5187 words found.
- 1233 unique words found.
- Your content is composed of more than 300 words, which is the minimum for a post.
Target keywords were found in the Post Title.
- WordPress was found 1 times.
H1 (Heading 1)
We found 1 Heading 1 (H1) in your content.
You should not use a H1 heading in your post content because your post title is already an H1. The rule is simple: only one H1 for each web page.
H2 (Heading 2)
Target keywords were found in Heading 2 (H2).
- wordpress was found 1 times.
H3 (Heading 3)
None of your target keywords were found in Heading 3 (H3).
None of your target keywords were found in the Meta Title.
The length of your title is correct
No custom meta description is set for this post.
Now when we compare this directly to the four easy-to-digest sections in Rank Math’s meta box, there’s quite a big difference in the insights that they offer. Rank Math makes suggestions that are actionable and easy to implement while SEOPress really just restates the obvious. In a section titled content analysis I really don’t need to know how many words I’ve written, but having things like the Flesch readability check would be really helpful.
One interesting feature that SEOPress Meta Box offers is the ability to use Google Suggest which basically lets you use Google’s autocomplete search function to help you make better decisions about the content you should focus on producing in order to rank higher.
SEOPress: Google Integration
SEOPress built their plugin to be Google friendly which means that they:
- Support Google Structured Data Types: article, course, recipe, video, event and product (and more to come)
- Support Google Local Business Data Type
- Analyze the performance of your site with Google Page Speed
- View your Google Analytics Stats right in your WordPress Dashboard
- Google Suggestions: get the top 10 suggestions for a keyword / sentence
- Create an XML Video sitemap for Google
- Create an XML sitemap for Google News and more.
From the above list, the fact that SEOPress actually parses Google Suggestions into your WordPress admin area to help you create content that is more likely to rank stood out to me the most. Apart from that, it is also worth noting that some of the functionality that SEOPress has in their core/main plugin would only be made available to Yoast users if they bought another plugin, such as the Yoast News SEO or Video SEO plugin. If you really want the full package you’re going to end up spending a lot more than just $89 for Yoast Premium, which is something you should keep in mind when exploring your options. SEOPress is $39, and once you make a purchase they don’t try and waste your time and distract you by offering other products that you’ll actually end up needing if you want your site to be indexed properly.
SEOPress is working on
The SEOPress Redirections module works as intended and lets you easily set up redirects to make sure your website visitors don’t see 404 pages when you move a page, and maintain the SEO value for those pages.
The main difference when you compare SEOPress to Rank Math is that the redirections module becomes especially useful because it is possible to create redirects to fix crawl errors that you can identify with the Rank Math Google Search Console integration. On the other hand, SEOPress redirections function just as any other standalone redirection plugin would, which is a bit disappointing. If you dig a little deeper into the SEOPress settings and options you might come across the screen below:
The SEOPress Bot makes it easy to identify 404 link errors in your actual content. Essentially, this means that SEOPress can (like Rank Math) help you identify these 404 errors. However, the big difference being how these errors are detected. The Rank Math Google Search Console integration allows you to identify links on your site which are getting traffic but then leading to 404 pages. Personally, I think Rank Math takes a unique approach to it, however, the way SEOPress scans for 404 links is also very useful and may help you identify links that Rank Math wouldn’t be able to.
The SEO Framework: The Overall Experience
Overall, The SEO Framework is a great solution if you’re looking for a lightweight and fast WordPress SEO plugin. While it lacks the in-depth content analysis and insights that both Rank Math and Yoast provide (read on to learn why), it’s still a great option for those who don’t use those anyway. Aside from that, the range of extensions make it easy to get more out of the plugin if you really want to, but won’t get in your way if you want to prevent bloating your website.
The SEO Framework: The Meta Box
The information that The SEO Framework provides in their meta box is quite limited in comparison to that of Yoast and Rank Math. However, Yoast, Rank Math and The SEO Framework have a system that rates how well a page has been optimized and provides basic tools like title length and meta description length.
I think it is quite clear to see that in comparison to the Yoast and Rank Math meta boxes, The SEO Framework leaves us somewhat empty-handed.
For those of you wondering why this is the case, it is because Sybre (the creator of the plugin) specifically argues against having keyword-focused recommendations. He argues that what is recommended as good on-page optimization is speculative at best, because, Google’s secret sauce and main criteria for ranking remain a secret.
This is a valid point, but just because other plugins include the helpful content analysis insights doesn’t mean you need to follow them. From my own experience and various studies, it is true that better rankings correlate with specific on-page optimizations which SEO plugins like Yoast and Rank Math make.
The SEO Framework: SEO on Autopilot
If you don’t want to be bothered with SEO, you can let TSF handle it for you! TSF intelligently and automatically generates all meta tags for you via its AI: It reads your titles, content, and queries WordPress for additional info; all this will allow TSF to generate your meta tags automatically. We spent thousands of hours optimizing this and we will continue to do so even further. We firmly believe the solution brought with TSF is the most complex, advanced, and accurate version available for WordPress.
I highly doubt that this feature is something that people who take SEO seriously will just set and forget. Although it is possible that this will exist in the future, there is no way that The SEO Framework’s self-proclaimed artificial intelligence is so good that it is going to automatically make your site rank higher in Google search. That being said, they don’t encourage nor force you to use it, so it is likely intended for people who don’t care about or have the time SEO.
The SEO Framework: The Extension Manager
Available extensions include:
- Local SEO
- An AMP integration
- Article enhancement
- Monitoring for SEO and uptime
- Incognito mode
- Comment caching for spammers
The SEO Framework’s Most Notable Features:
- The SEO framework doesn’t sell anything to you. Its matches most of the needed features you find in Yoast and All in One, but you’re not required to pay for extensions or premium features.
- The visual, colored meter/scale provides a more user-friendly way to check whether or not your post is going to perform well on Google.
- It has a local SEO extension for companies that need to set up and display important local business information.
- The comment spamming extension removes the need for an additional plugin.
- Most of the SEO settings are preconfigured so that there’s little to set up after installing the plugin.
- While other plugins utilize a focus keyword, The SEO Framework focuses on the focus subject to encourage more natural writing, and due to the fact that Google sees synonyms in SERPs as the same thing.
All in One SEO Pack: The Overall Experience
The All in One SEO Pack plugin is another interesting option which may be suitable for those of you looking for a new search engine optimization plugin for WordPress. The core All in One SEO Pack plugin is freely available on the WordPress plugin repository, but for $57 you can get access to premium support.
One of the main reasons to upgrade to the premium version is because of the advanced support for WooCommerce and a range of other useful features like a Video SEO module, custom settings for categories and more.
Most WordPress users want to start with a free plugin which doesn’t require a lot of configuration. In my experience with this plugin it can be a little difficult to work with and has a few quirks here and there. In general, if all you want is an SEO plugin is common features like sitemaps, and Google Analytics, that is possible with this plugin.
All in One SEO Pack’s Most Notable Features:
- The advanced WooCommerce support is worth looking into if you run an online store.
- All sitemaps are automatically submitted to Google and Bing.
- All meta tags are generated automatically. You can also edit these yourself.
- The plugin is translated into 57 languages, making it available to a significant portion of the world.
- The features are pretty much the same as Yoast SEO, so if you happen to like the All in One interface more, go with it.
- Yoast looks more affordable if you only have one site, but All in One SEO makes the most sense for agencies and multi-site organizations.
All in One SEO Pack: The Meta Box
Unfortunately, the All in One SEO Pack meta box compares to that of SEOPress and The SEO Framework – it doesn’t come close to what Rank Math and Yoast have been able to achieve. What you’ll find when testing these plugins for yourself (or you’ll realize when reading this in-depth article which we made so you don’t need to waste your time testing all of the plugins) is that most WordPress SEO plugins are very similar in terms of what they offer apart from their content analysis. The Yoast and Rank Math plugins have the same basic features as All in One SEO Pack, but the actionable insights that you can find in their meta boxes are simply not present in this plugin.
Given that Rank Math offers all and Yoast offers most of this functionality for free, I personally wouldn’t see the logic behind paying for a product that lacks features that free alternatives have.
All in One SEO Pack: The Rest
As much as I would like to continue this article by covering all of the features that This WordPress SEO plugin has to offer like I was able to do for Yoast and Rank Math, that simply isn’t possible – the plugin doesn’t offer nearly as much functionality.
So, if a lightweight and simple SEO plugin is what you’re looking for because you really don’t intend on doing any sort of on-page optimization – give All in One SEO Pack a try.
The Best WordPress SEO Plugin: Conclusion
While we know the choice still won’t be easy to make, all we can do is hope that this 7000+ word guide made choosing the perfect WordPress SEO plugin for you at least a little bit easier 😉. Which plugin will you install?
With the comparison above, you should easily be able to narrow down your options to one or two plugins and once you’ve done so – there’s not much that can go wrong. If you don’t mind paying for Yoast Pro, then go for it! But if you do, why not give Rank Math a shot? In case you were wondering, we currently use Rank Math on all of our websites and fully endorse their plugin and look forward to seeing what’s in store for their plugin.
What’s your favorite search engine optimization plugin for WordPress? Let us know in the comments below! 💬