Just like everything else in the online space, working out which plugins will work best for your site can be time-consuming and confusing. If you’re new to the space, it can seem downright impossible to make a decision.
WordPress dominates almost 50% of the online space and offers an almost endless list of plugins, and they all prioritise a different SEO technique. Some of them are free, and some of them are pricey. It couldn’t be any more confusing.
So to stop your head spinning and to take some of the uncertainty out of your decision, we’ve put together a list of our five favourite SEO plugins to help you make the best choice for your site.
All in One SEO for WordPress (AIOSEO)
AIOSEO is the best plugin for beginner sites, and it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a comprehensive plugin that helps improve search rankings. It’s a really well established plugin and over its lifespan it has come to handle every aspect of SEO. The set-up is really easy, and there is no need to have previous SEO knowledge to use it well. The plugin automatically chooses the best settings based on your type of business and audience, so you don’t have to worry about getting that right.
AIOSEO also prioritises the SEO issues to alert you to what needs to be addressed immediately so you can feel sure you haven’t missed anything.
Some of the SEO features are:
- Meta tag generator
- SEO title
- Rich snippet schema markup
- Smart XML sitemaps (with advanced controls)
- SEO health check
- Search engine notifications
- Bad bot blocker
- In built basic WooCommerce SEO tools for e-commerce sites
- For business owners it allows you to manage access to important SEO features.
If you’re site is quite basic, AIOSEO will do the job perfectly on its own. It works perfectly for all types of businesses, news sites, blogs, and e-commerce stores. This plugin will help grow your site’s visibility without too much stress for you.
If your site is a bit more complex AIOSEO offers a paid for pro package.
The paid package offers:
- On-page SEO
- Local SEO
- Video SEO
- Built-in social media integration to add open graph meta data (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram)
- Advanced WooCommerce SEO
- Structure data (schema markup)
- Redirection manager
- Increased customer support
The basic premium package is reasonably priced at $99 per year. There are several tiers so you can choose the package that works best for your individual site.
Yoast has declared itself the number one WordPress SEO plugin and fortunately for them they have the user stats to back it up. Yoast has a range of SEO features that allow you to optimise your site for the search engines. Some of the standard features include SEO analysis of individual pages, the ability to set meta titles and meta descriptions and it allows you to analyse other important SEO factors such as internal links, content length, and keyword mentions.
Like most plugins Yoast has a free version and a premium version.
The free version of Yoast includes:
- Facebook open graph meta data
- Twitter card meta data
- Default page titles and meta descriptions (really useful for large websites)
- Create and maintain an XML site map
- Google/mobile previews
- Schema markup
- Keyword analysis
- Readability analysis
If you have a larger site then the premium version will be more up your street. The added features include:
- Internal linking suggestions
- Redirect managers that automatically redirects pages when URLs are changed
- Content insights
- Elementor integration
- Automated publishing
- No in-app advertisements
- Local, news and video SEO (paid add-on)
- WooCommerce SEO (paid add-on)
The premium package is around $89 per year.
Yoast is one of the best SEO plugins and can be adapted for any sized site.
SEMRush is the go-to place for all your keyword needs. It’s not an all-rounder like AIOSEO and Yoast are, but it can’t be beaten for keyword analysis. It is utilised by web users across the board: marketers, bloggers, SEO experts, businesses etc. Their SEO Writing Assistant Tool helps to improve the content you are producing and by focusing your keyword research.
The basic areas that SEMRush assist in are:
- Competitor research (so you know what words your competitors are ranking for)
- Paid search marketing
- Identifying organic keywords that easily rank in the search engines
SEMRUSH comes with a writing assistant feature which offers recommendations on how to improve a piece of content. These recommendations include:
- Tone of voice (appropriateness and consistency)
- SEO (keyword density, plagiarism)
The assistant offers you a score on each area and provides suggestions on how they could be improved. Once SEMRush has done the assessment they provide a comprehensive report for you to download
SEMRush is a lot more expensive than the other plugins at around $120 per month for the basic package.
Ahrefs has made a name for itself as an all-in-one SEO tool and assists in in-depth analysis of a site. It is used by marketers, bloggers and businesses and is a popular alternative to SEMRush (they share a lot of tools and features in common).
The areas that Ahrefs excels in are:
- keyword research
- competition analysis
- content analysis
- monitoring keyword rankings
- backlink analysis
The backlink analysis feature is what really sets them apart from other plugins like SEMRush.
Ahrefs is a great tool for auditing the content on your site. It goes deeper than the surface level information that’s free from Google, and shows you each page’s performance on a micro level. Each page shows you it’s ranking position, total traffic, percentage of organic traffic and the number of backlinks. It also provides a list of ways to improve the page’s performance.
This plugin can be installed for free but to really take advantage of it you need a Ahrefs license which is around $100 per month for a standard package.
If you’re very new to WordPress or the online space then Ahrefs might not be right for you. To get the most for your money, start with a plugin like AIOSEO plugin and work your way up.
This one is a bit of a cheat as it’s not technically an SEO plugin, but it definitely helps with your search engine rankings and works really well in conjunction with some of the plugins listed above.
So on to Schema Pro. The Schema (a form of microdata) tells Google how to interpret your content and which web users to show it to.
The plugin allows you to add snippets to your listings which grabs the attention of web users and puts your site in front of the competition. These snippets include:
- Star ratings below reviews
- Prices below a product
- An image or video next to a description
Basically anything that is not the standard text description is the work of Schema Pro. Other plugins such as AIOSEO also offers tools to add snippets to your search results, but they are not as comprehensive as Schema Pro. You don’t need to be a coding expert to use Schema Pro as it handles all of that for you. You invest so much time in your site’s rankings in the search engine and Schema Pro might just be the extra boost your site needs to grow your traffic.
The types of content Schema Pro supports are:
- News articles
- Job ads
- Local businesses
If you consistently post any of this content Schema Pro is right for you.
As we said above, Schema Pro is not an SEO plugin bur it can be used alongside some of the others listed above, such as Yoast, in a complimentary way.
Schema Pro is about $80 per year so you won’t have to break the bank to take advantage of its features.
Hopefully, we have made the prospect of choosing a WordPress plugin a little easier. But if want some more help with your decision or the management of your site, get in touch with us here.