Top 3 SEO plugins
There are 3 main SEO plugins that most people use when it comes to On-page SEO. These plugins allow you to easily change the meta title and description, 2 extremely important features of SEO. Each plugin also has a series of additional features that can help with SEO.
The top SEO plugins are Rank Math, Yoast SEO and All In One SEO. They all pretty much do the same thing. Some have additional features, however, while others may be prone to bugs or keep useful features behind a pay wall.
Why you need an SEO plugin – basic features of all SEO plugins
Change meta titles and descriptions
SEO plugins make your life easier. They allow you to change meta titles and descriptions for each page.
The meta title is one of the biggest factors that affects what your page ranks for. This is the title that appears in Google and so its paramount that its optimised for both search engines and users. It’s not guaranteed that Google will choose the meta title that you entered, but most of the time Google will play nice.
The meta description is the description that appears below your title in SERPs (search engine results pages). This does not directly affect SEO, but gives users an indication what the page is about. Is this is accurate and enticing it will increase click through rate and indirectly affect SEO by reducing bounce rate, as visitors find exactly what they were looking for.
Change indexing and crawlability
SEO plugins also allow you to prioritise your pages by allocating them more crawl budget, setting some posts to no-index if you don’t want them to show up at all and a robots.txt file which also allows you to modify which users and search engines are able to access specific pages and content.
Another major feature that SEO plugins provide is an XML sitemap. An XML sitemap provides a hyperlinked map of all of the pages, posts, and sometimes images and other miscellaneous items, on a website.
The URL of the XML sitemap is then submitted to Google’s search console, which allows Google to more easily crawl your website. Upon submission, search console also has a host of useful features that allow you to detect errors in your website.
Rank Math is very recent plugin that’s already taken a large market share away from some of its more established competitors. With over 1 million active websites using this plugin and many positive reviews, Rank Math has definitely made an impact in the SEO world. So why is it so good?
Rank Math is a plugin that’s constantly updated and improved upon. Like the other plugins, it does have a premium version, but despite this, it offers many features for free that can only be accessed after purchasing the premium version of Yoast or All In One SEO.
The visuals of Rank Math are also a lot more appealing, and the easy to learn colour gradients provide a nice visual cue for the length and your meta titles and descriptions.
Rank Math, unlike the other plugins, also gives away for free the following features:
- Integration with Google Analytics
- Multiple keyword analysis simultaneously
- Local SEO and image SEO
- 404 error manager
- Recommendations for links to internal pages
- Redirect manager
- Counter for external links
- Schema generator
For a long time Yoast was the undisputed king of SEO plugins. There’s not much not to like about Yoast. It’s super intuitive and simple to use. It has all the basic features that you’d expect.
For most, the FREE version is sufficient. The premium version of Yoast are organised in modules which can be bought separately for $79/year – these include Video, Local, News & Ecommerce SEO. There is a $229/year bundle that includes all of these modules. This also comes with the Yoast Academy, which has useful learning material for SEO.
Overall, however, Yoast seems pricey for what it offers. Many of the premium features are available on Rank Math for free. It’s hard to justify the price tag, even if Yoast Academy is an intriguing preposition.
Yoast still remains the most popular SEO plugin, as Rank Math continues to struggle against it’s first mover advantage.
All In One SEO
Another older plugin, All In One SEO has been competitor of Yoast for a long time. Again, all the basics are there, but this SEO plugin, perhaps even more than Yoast, attempts to squeeze every last penny out of its users.
Many useful features are found beyond extortionary pay walls. To receive all the features, it’s $199 USD /month – and this will allow you to use it on 10 sites. Potentially it’s cheaper than Yoast in some circumstances, but not by much.
The plugin doesn’t feel premium at all. In fact, there is much to be desired. The aesthetic is somewhat ugly and lacks the modern look of both Rank Math and Yoast. There are also many bugs. A common bug is that the homepage meta title and description are sometimes deleted and can only be found in the general settings of the plugin itself.
Definitely a plugin that’s on its way out as by Yoast and Rank Math begin to tighten their grip on the SEO plugin market. This isn’t necessarily because the plugin is terrible, but because the competition is so high and there’s little room for error.