Which is the best SEO plugin for WordPress?

Wordpress SEO

It’s a battle that has raged on for several yeas now but which is the best SEO plugin for WordPress?

Many contenders have come and gone but of the two biggest hitters still remain at the top of the table.

It is the age-old battle of Yoast SEO vs All in One SEO Pack!

Yoast SEO vs All in One SEO Pack

These two plugins have over 40,000,000 downloads each which makes them both power-house in the WordPress plugin arena but even to this day many people still struggling to pick between them as to which is the best SEO plugin.

Having used both for several years across a number of our own websites as well as dealing with many clients who are on the WordPress platform we finally made a decision last week as to which plugin we believe is the most superior and have since updated all of our own sites and our clients sites to use it.

We are going to share a few thoughts on both plugins and our final verdict at the end of this post.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

Of the two, Yoast SEO is the most downloaded but there is not a huge amount in it.

It is also fair to say that Yoast SEO is the most comprehensive plugin to handle all your on-site SEO requirements.

At a page/post level it will allow you to add an SEO title, meta description, and meta keywords to each which give you control over how each page on your site represents itself.

On top of that control at a page/post level you also have the ability to set up rules for the homepage, archives, category and tag pages.

For those of you that are social driven, you can also add Open Graph meta data and Twitter Cards.

Finally the ease at which you can create sitemaps and control their contents is a real plus point as well.

The large number of features could have been implemented in a way that makes the plugin difficult to use for beginners, however, by moving the more advanced configuration into an ‘Advanced’ section it will not overload WordPress SEO newbies!

If you are more focused on Local SEO then moving to the Pro version may provide you some additional benefits however in the majority of cases the free version is more than enough.

It does have a couple of downsides that some complain about, most notably the fact that the plugin does appear to take over your whole WordPress Admin due to it’s touch points in so many areas. However for us these are valuable touch points that you simply get used to with time and does not pull away from the full value of the plugin.

All in One SEO Pack

All in One SEO Pack (AIOSEO)

For a short while AIOSEO actually had a lot more downloads than Yoast but due to a lot of the hype surrounding their competitor in recent years they have now slipped back into second place.

In terms of features there is a very high level of cross-over between the two which is why they are so closely matched at the top of the SEO plugin charts.

As you will see the features such as the following are also available in Yoast:

  • XML Sitemap support
  • Easy Google Analytics integration
  • Support for custom post types
  • Canonical URL support
  • WooCommerce integration
  • Automatic or manual meta information

One plus that many people cite when talking about AIOSEO is that it does not simply enable everything once you install it, allowing you to slowly implement and turn on the features that matter to your website.

The general consensus is that AIOSEO slightly edges it when it comes to the ease of use and aesthetic, however for us we think both are on a par in this aspect.

The user interface is very beginner friendly whilst still providing enough technical/more advanced options for those users who want to dig a little deeper into their set-up.

The one area that it lacks compared to its rival is a good content analysis function to help you structure your posts/pages correctly when creating them in order to best target your keywords. A feature that is useful for beginners.

Our Verdict

This truly is one of the closest plugin battles there is on WordPress right now.

However, for us the best SEO plugin for WordPress is: Yoast SEO.

We find that the rankings changes we have seen when moving away from AIOSEO to Yoast are not a coincidence and that the added feature of the content analysis is very useful for agencies like ours who are not creating/adding all the new content to a site on a daily basis and allows us to train/teach our clients to follow the Yoast guidelines to create better content on their site.

It is still a very close call though and one that we will likely revisit every couple of months as these plugins never stand still and are always pushing out new updates and features that may well swing the balance again in the future.

It would be great to hear which side of the fence you sit on this and any additional insights on either plugin that you have found whilst using them.

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