The best SEO plugin for WordPress is undoubtedly the Yoast SEO plugin by Yoast. It’s earned a firm place in our WordPress Toolkit and we wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone.
How does this plugin earn such high praise among all the competition? We explain our reasons in this article.
Yoast SEO features
Despite it’s name, the Yoast SEO plugin does much more than search engine optimization. It’s bread and butter is SEO, but you can also use this plugin to optimize for Facebook, Twitter and RSS too for an integrated approach to getting your site found.
Yoast SEO can do the following and more for you:
- Control how your site’s pages appear in SERPs with page title and meta description templates for posts, pages, custom post types and taxonomies.
- Control the title, description and image that appears on Facebook and Google+ when your content is shared on those sites.
- Help search engines determine the structure of a site more easily with advanced control over internal links or breadcrumbs.
- Ensures your content is fully indexed by listing them out in a XML sitemap. You can even include and exclude post types and taxonomies from your sitemap.
- Control the canonical URL, 301 redirect and meta robots on your content.
- Makes your content more findable by helping you improve your content with SEO page analysis tools.
Let’s take a closer look at that last bullet point. Yoast SEO will even help improve your content to make it more findable online. To explain how the plugin does this, we made a 5-minute video to show you how to use the page analysis tools in the plugin.
In a nutshell, the plugin will grade your content against SEO best practices. It then shows and provides suggestions on what can be improved. It’s like having a SEO expert helping refine your content!
The plugin is already very feature-rich, but the developer has recently introduced premium extensions to add on even more features to the plugin. The first extension – Video SEO – is available for purchase now. We can’t wait to see what’s next.
Why we recommend Yoast SEO
As we mentioned right at the beginning, we think that WordPress SEO by Yoast is the best SEO plugin available and we recommend it without reservation.
Because the plugin has so many features, it replaces the need for multiple single-use plugins. For example, you don’t need a XML sitemap generator plugin if you use WordPress SEO. This reduces the number of plugins you have to manage and update, and you reduce the risk of plugin incompatibilities. Despite the breadth of features in the plugin, it is very lightweight due to its modular functionality.
The author of the plugin is Joost de Valk, a well-respected developer in the WordPress community and recognized SEO expert. Joost has also written many other plugins, and his skills and experience shine through when using the WordPress SEO plugin.
Joost is constantly improving the plugin, and because he now has a commercial component for the plugin (the Video SEO extension) we can expect that the plugin will continue to be developed with no danger of being abandoned any time soon.
Drawbacks and Criticisms
Update: Support is now included in the premium version of this plugin – WordPress SEO Premium
The only drawback (if you could count it as one) is that the plugin developer doesn’t provide premium support for WordPress SEO. He has detailed and in-depth articles and is active in the WordPress support forums, but the plugin is released as freeware and comes with no guarantees and support. That being said, the plugin has proven itself to be robust and high quality so the lack of support isn’t a major stumbling block in our opinion.
Switching to WordPress SEO by Yoast
If you’ve been convinced by our gushing recommendation, you’ll be glad to know that WordPress SEO has a built-in feature to import your SEO data from All-in-One SEO Pack, Headspace and WooThemes framework.
And if you’re using a theme framework with built-in SEO settings like Genesis, you can easily import your data to the WordPress SEO plugin by using the SEO Data Transporter plugin.
Verdict: Yoast SEO is the best SEO plugin for WordPress
As a plugin in the ClickWP WordPress Plugin Toolkit, we recommend and use WordPress SEO on our customer’s sites. It’s never given us any problems, doesn’t bombard users with advertising, and generally does it’s job well and gets out of the way. ClickWP recommends WordPress SEO by Yoast because we honestly believe it is the best WordPress plugin for SEO.
Usually a plugin has to earn it’s place in our Toolkit, but for the WordPress SEO plugin we are actually grateful to have such a plugin to be included on our list. Thanks Joost for making such a fantastic plugin and releasing it for free to the WordPress community!
Download Yoast SEO and give it a spin. Leave a comment if you have questions, or share this article if you enjoyed reading it.
I enjoyed reading your blog and I do use this plugin on a lot websites. What is your opinion on SEO Ultimate? Thank you
Hi Tom, appreciate the kind words. I’d say SEO Ultimate is probably more feature-rich than WordPress SEO, and hard core SEOs would probably prefer it.
That being said, we tend not to choose plugins that are geared too much at the power user because our customers aren’t hard core SEOs. Also, our approach to SEO is to focus on high quality content than spending time tweaking on-page SEO factors. WordPress SEO is plenty for our customers and is also reliable and dependable.
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Its really helpful for me.
Thanks a lot. 🙂
You have done a great job.
Nice article, David.
I read somewhere that the Yoast plugin had problems with duplicate title tags. Are these fixed now?
I am thinking of moving from AIO-SEO to Yoast and want to test the waters before taking the plunge 🙂
Hi Chandra, I doubt that the problem would be caused by WordPress SEO. Joost updates the plugin frequently with fixes and improvements all the time – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-seo/changelog/
I’ve not experienced duplicate title tags myself, although I have had repeated titles when sharing articles in Facebook. The cause for that was another plugin also outputting the og:title tags in the source, not a bug in the plugin.