6 Best WordPress SEO Plugins to Get Your Site Ranking

A quality SEO plugin is a must-have for every single WordPress site. In this post, we'll compare and contrast six of the leading SEO plugins in the market.​

Looking for the best WordPress SEO plugin to help your site rank in Google and other search engines?

Because WordPress doesn’t include much in the way of built-in SEO functionality, a quality SEO plugin is pretty much a must-have for every single WordPress site.

That fact has led to the creation of a number of great options, which we’ve collected here in this post.

In total, we’ll compare and contrast six different SEO plugins:

  1. Yoast SEO
  2. Rank Math
  3. All in One SEO Pack
  4. The SEO Framework
  5. SEOPress
  6. Squirrly SEO

Let’s dig in so that you can get ranking!

When you think of WordPress SEO plugins, Yoast SEO is probably the first name that comes to mind. It’s not only the most popular WordPress SEO plugin by a wide margin, but it’s also one of the most popular WordPress plugins period.

According to WordPress.org, it’s active on over five million sites with a 4.9-star rating on over 26,000 reviews.

It helps you optimize individual pieces of content for SEO and it also offers helpful sitewide tools to manage your overall site’s SEO efforts.

When you go to manage an individual piece of content, you’ll get a new meta box where you can control that piece of content’s SEO title/description and social graph tags (AKA how it looks when shared on Facebook or Twitter). You can also configure some other SEO basics, like whether or not to index this piece of content:

Beyond just setting up the technical basics, Yoast SEO can also help analyze your content for both SEO and readability. It will run a bunch of different checks and then present you with suggestions to optimize your content for humans and search engines:

While there are several other plugins that help with SEO analysis, Yoast SEO’s readability analysis is pretty unique.

Beyond the individual post settings, you also get a bunch of sitewide settings and tools:

  • Title and description templates (you can always manually override these).
  • An internal link counter.
  • A “Cornerstone content” feature that helps you drive links to your most important content.
  • Webmaster tools verification.
  • In-dashboard file editing for .htaccess and robots.txt files.
  • Breadcrumbs support.

The core Yoast SEO plugin is free, which should work for most sites. Then, there’s also Yoast SEO Premium which adds features like:

  • Internal link suggestions based on the content in your post.
  • The option to optimize content for multiple focus keywords.
  • A redirect manager tool.
  • Schema markup support.

Yoast SEO Premium starts at $89.

Rank Math is a newer WordPress SEO plugin from a popular WordPress theme and plugin developer, MyThemeShop.

It packs a ton of different functionality into one well-designed package, which helps explain why it’s quickly grown to be active on over 60,000 WordPress sites with a 4.9-star rating on over 400 votes.

Like Yoast SEO, Rank Math helps you with the technical parts of SEO — e.g. setting your titles and meta — as well as analysis and research.

Let’s start at the beginning…

For individual pieces of content, Rank Math gives you a new meta box where you can set up titles and meta descriptions, as well as add your focus keyword for analysis.

Rank Math will then analyze your post for that focus keyword based on 40 different factors and give you some tips for improvement (and tell you what you’re doing well):

Beyond titles and meta descriptions, Rank Math can also help you add schema markup to get those eye-catching rich snippets in Google’s search results, as well as social media graph tags to control your content’s appearance on social media. And it can also help you optimize your images for SEO by automatically adding alt and title attributes:

In addition to the SEO functionality for individual pieces of content, Rank Math also helps you with:

  • XML sitemaps.
  • Google crawl errors.
  • Redirects (via an in-dashboard redirect management tool).
  • Breadcrumbs.
  • 404 error monitoring.
  • Webmaster tools verification (Google Search Console, Bing, Alexa, Yandex, and Pinterest).
  • .htaccess file management from your dashboard.

The developers are also working on a bunch of other features like displaying Google Search Console info in your WordPress dashboard, keyword comparison via Google Trends, news and video sitemaps, and plenty more.

Currently, Rank Math is 100% free. For that reason, Rank Math is the most generous free plugin when it comes to the functionality that you get.

After Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack is the second-biggest name in the WordPress SEO plugin space. It’s active on over 2+ million WordPress sites with a 4.4-star rating.

Unlike Yoast SEO and Rank Math, All in One SEO Pack does not help you analyze your content for SEO. Instead, it only helps you set up the technical parts of SEO.

So if you’re a total SEO beginner who’s looking for a plugin to give you suggestions on how to improve your content’s SEO, this one is probably not for you. But if you’re already familiar with the principles of SEO and just want something to help you with the technical stuff (like setting titles and descriptions and social media graph tags), this one is a great option.

For individual pieces of content, you’ll get a more streamlined meta box that lets you control SEO titles and descriptions, as well as social media information:

Beyond that, you get modular sitewide features like:

  • XML sitemaps.
  • In-dashboard file editing for robots.txt and .htaccess file.
  • Sitewide schema markup.
  • Webmaster tools verification, as well as Google Analytics integration.
  • Google Sitelinks search box support.

Everything above is available in the free core version.

Then, there’s also a premium version starting at $97 that adds support for features like:

  • Video sitemaps.
  • Advanced WooCommerce support.
  • SEO for taxonomies.

Like Yoast SEO, most users should be fine with the free version.

The SEO Framework is a lightweight SEO plugin with a focus on performance and efficiency.

It offers a modular approach that lets you keep things simple or add on more advanced features like keyword analysis and monitoring.

Like All in One SEO Pack, the free core version makes a great option for DIY SEO because it doesn’t include those analysis features.

For individual pieces of content, you’ll be able to set up titles/descriptions, social media information, and control noindex and nofollow tags. You can also 301 redirect a post to another URL, which is convenient if you want to consolidate old content:

On the sitewide front, The SEO Framework can help you with:

  • Sitewide schema markup, including breadcrumbs and Sitelinks Searchbox support.
  • Sitewide robots.txt settings, like adding noindex to all author archives.
  • Webmaster tools verification.
  • XML sitemaps.

Then, starting at $49, you can get access to premium extensions that let you:

  • Analyze and optimize content for a focus keyword.
  • Automatically add article schema markup.
  • Monitor your site for performance and uptime.

SEOPress is another new’ish WordPress SEO plugin that’s gaining some steam. It comes in both a free and premium version and can help with both technical SEO options and analyzing/optimizing your content.

Like the others, you’ll get a new meta box for individual pieces of content that lets you control SEO titles/descriptions, as well as social media information. You can also manage redirects for individual posts, as well as apply noindex, nofollow, or other advanced options (like noimageindex):

Below that, you’ll get a separate Content analysis box that lets you analyze your post’s content, configuration, images, and links:

Beyond that, the free version also helps you with:

  • XML and HTML sitemaps (you can choose whether to use both or just an XML sitemap).
  • Webmaster tools verification.
  • Google Analytics, including advanced things like events and custom dimensions (it’s much deeper than other plugins’ Google Analytics integrations).

Then, there’s a premium version starting at $39 that adds a ton more features including:

  • Structured data.
  • Backlink analysis.
  • Video sitemaps.
  • .htaccess and robots.txt editing.
  • Breadcrumbs.
  • Google Analytics stats in your WordPress dashboard.
  • WooCommerce support.
  • Google keyword suggestions.
  • …plus a lot more.

Squirrly SEO is a WordPress SEO plugin with an extra focus on research and analysis, which is one of the big things that makes it unique in comparison to the other SEO plugins.

Without leaving your WordPress dashboard, you’ll be able to:

  • Perform keyword research, including search volume, ranking difficulty, and related keyword suggestions.
  • Manage sitewide usage of your important keywords via the “Briefcase” feature.
  • Track your rankings in Google search.

So in that respect, Squirrly SEO is replacing some external SEO tools that you might be using which, again, is one of the unique things about this plugin.

Squirrly SEO also helps in some other unique ways, like helping you find images to use in your content, relevant external articles, Tweets, and more.

You’ll also still get all the “standard” SEO plugin features like title/description management, social media, XML sitemaps, etc.

However, the downside of all those advanced research and analysis features is that, while there is a limited free version, the more advanced features are not free. In fact, they’re pretty pricey in comparison to all the other plugins on this list.

The cheapest plan will cost you $29.99 per month for use on up to 7 sites. That pricing means Squirrly SEO is probably only for serious projects where you can afford spending ~$360 per year for just an SEO plugin.

However, it’s worth remembering that Squirrly SEO might be able to replace some tools you’re already paying for, like a rank tracker or keyword research tool. Additionally, you can still do basic keyword research for free.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for a free SEO plugin or are willing to pay for extra functionality, you should be able to find a great option on this list.

Your choice should really come down to the more advanced features and whether or not you want your chosen plugin to help with research and analysis.

If you just want streamlined tools to help you set up the technical aspects of SEO and don’t care about more advanced analysis, you might want to start with All in One SEO Pack or The SEO Framework.

On the other hand, if you do want analysis, Yoast SEO, Rank Math, and SEOPress all give you those tools for free, and Squirrly SEO goes even further with its research and analysis tools, though you might need to pay for those features.

Pick the one that fits your needs, and start ranking your site in Google today.

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About the Author

Colin Newcomer
Colin Newcomer
Colin is a freelance writer for hire specializing in WordPress and digital marketing. Grow your business with in-depth, conversational blog posts.

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Comments

38 Responses

    1. Rank Math all the way, it’s free, it has tons of features and some of them you can only find them on paid plugins. It’s no brainer, Rank Math is the best SEO plugin right now

  1. I have used Yoast seo like hundreds of times.

    But still many many thanks for this. I will definitely try more.

  2. We use All in One SEO Pack on all of the websites we manage. The other options are good, but for our needs, I feel they are too bloated with options.

  3. Squirrly SEO is the best of all !!!
    The results are immediate.
    They have an amazing training system.
    You can’t allow no success.
    My site “jumped” very fast.
    These guys think outside of the box. Very quickly, they will bypass all other companies.
    You must try them. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

    1. I totally agree with you. But it is good if you only want to focus on the technical parts. If someone needs help with content relevancy, them Yoast could be better.

  4. As a digital marketing company we have performed SEO on clients website with numerous different plugins including the ones linked above (Only one I personally haven’t seen is ‘Squirrly SEO’), however for our own sites we always stick towards Yoast SEO.

    The reason we like Yoast so much even with it lacking some features is purely the ease of use. It makes access to all the critical areas of SEO easy and quick to amend. It also allows you to use variables in meta titles and descriptions, allows you to bulk edit this meta information, has some very basic (Granted, very basic) Schema implementation and can pull in large amounts of useful information from search console and other 3rd party software.

    There are defiantly reasons for most of the plugins you’ve listed and compared, but everyone has their go-to, and for us that happens to be Yoast.

  5. Thanks Colin, I use yoast SEO for my agency website and on all our clients website. Though rankmaths is one of the most useful and generous SEO plugin for now. I will recommend yoast SEO plugin and rankmaths.

  6. Thank you for the article. I used All-in-One SEO in the passed. However, I came across SEOpress and fell in love with the I’m depth tools and analysis. They continuously making the plugin even better. My woocommerce pages rank just as high of not higher than content page. I use it now on all my sites and have LTD.

  7. I tested Both plugins and i can see Rank math is easy to setup, make things easy to newbie, by how quickly setup his own blog.

    In the other hand what i don’t like in Yoast every time i open my dashboard there is an update for it and even and there is no a complete documentation for it.

    If you want a good setting you need to buy their service. and even i think yoast developer’s they don’t understand how google work by using the old method by focus on meta (title + description and focus keyword). and keyword ratio.

    Now we need something follow google update and advice us how we can setting a good article or page structure and gain google trust.

    This is just my view about the both plugins

    Regards

    Badr

  8. Rank Math packs an immense amount of features in their plugin, features that are paid for in other plugins. The developers of Rank Math are very proactive in bringing in new features and offer great support too. Rank Math is definitely worth a tryout on your next site, the plugin will also pull in your previous Yoast SEO info, whilst adding the ability to target more keyword phrases than the free version of Yoast.

  9. I has used Yoast SEO for long time but in my new project I would like to try SEO Press.

    SEO Press look promising in term of feature and interface. I haven’t try RankMath yet but I feel it a bit overwhelmed after go through their website and documentation.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Any thoughts on the cons for trying out different SEO plugins on an already launched site…best practices etc., to avoid rank penalties…?

  11. Definitely a vote for SEOPress from me .

    Yoast caused so many problems for my clients in the past, but after switching to SEOPress it’s been much easier to teach people how to optimize for SEO. Premium version is really worth the cost, too.

  12. JoomUnited has a very solid SEO product as well. WP Meta SEO. Great interface, works well for getting ranked. Highly recommend.

    There is a free version in the repo. The pro version isn’t all that expensive either, making this a great choice for anyone interested in improving their SEO.

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