SEOPress, Yoast, Rank Math: Which Is The Best SEO Plugin For WordPress?
What’s the point of having a well thought out, clear and interesting website… if you don’t work on SEO ? Fortunately, there are many plugins available in WordPress to help you optimize the SEO of your pages and optimize your Google rankings.
Here we will analyze and compare three of the biggest SEO plugins for WordPress : SEOPress, YoastSEO and Rank Math SEO. What is the best plugin to boost SEO in WordPress? Here we go!
Table of Contents
What is an SEO plugin for?
Before getting into the matter, it is important to clarify what to expect from a WordPress SEO plugin. How can an SEO plugin help a website rank in search engines?
You should know that an SEO plugin has several functions. An SEO plugin like Yoast SEO , Rank Math or SEOPress has a reporting and auditing feature.
In fact, all SEO plugins will allow you to know more about the quality of a page from an SEO point of view. Thus, SEO plugins analyze different criteria at a technical and editorial level to offer an indicator of SEO optimization thanks to a rating system: traffic light for one, score out of 100 for another, etc. Thus, these plugins will allow the SEO to carry out a quick preliminary audit, since they will obtain a list of all the elements in which the plugin predicts that an improvement could be beneficial for the positioning of the page.
But be careful, we are talking about a prior audit: in no case should we think that an SEO plugin for WordPress can replace an SEO professional in this matter, especially because as Google’s algorithm is updated, more are added and more checkpoints. However, the scope of an SEO plugin is usually limited to the editorial aspect of one page at a time, as well as the presence of the essential tags for content to be correctly referenced in the SERPs .
Another function of SEO plugins is to facilitate access to certain options. In fact, some options can be difficult to execute without a plugin, I think in particular of setting up redirects and updating meta-descriptions, title tags, etc. The role of these SEO plugins for WordPress is therefore to facilitate access to these functions: they are often available directly at the bottom of the page, nothing could be simpler!
Now that we have clarified the role of an SEO plugin for WordPress, it is time to address the heart of our topic: which SEO plugin to choose between SEO Press, Yoast SEO and Rank Math SEO? To compare these plugins, let’s look at their functionality on both the free and paid subscription sides.
SEO Press: the SEO plugin with ranking and backlink tracking
Let’s start our analysis with our French neighbors’ alternative to Yoast SEO: SEO Press.
Available since 2017 in a full version, the plugin today has more than 100,000 active installations in WordPress. It also has a very good 5-star rating in the official WordPress plugin catalog.
The free SEO plugin for WordPress SEOPress
In its free version, SEOPress already offers many of the key features of WordPress SEO plugins. For example, there are:
- A content analysis with an SEO eye, with several keywords from the free version (Yoast only offers one at a time…). The plugin offers an estimate of the quality of the editorial aspect of the content with a color system and, recently, simple annotations: good, improvable, bad. It’s simple… Maybe too simple?
- Creating a sitemap, including images
- The management of meta robots (noindex, nofollow and others)
- Google Knowledge Graph Management
- Managing redirects on posts, pages, custom content types
- Change of titles, meta-descriptions, of course
- WooCommerce Optimization Integration
- Preview of content on social networks
- No advertising at all
- A wizard to directly modify image data such as alt tags, titles, etc.
Therefore, there is nothing special about this free version: there is nothing that cannot be found elsewhere. Except for the optimization for WooCommerce, which may be welcome for some users, and the preview of content on social networks, which is well thought out and very practical for all bloggers who publish automatically on social networks. Although in both cases you can easily do without…
It should be noted here that the editorial analysis performed by SEOPress is quite extensive: at the bottom of the article page, you can directly access several drop-down menus representing optimization topics. For each of these topics, there is a score in addition to the overall score. Therefore, the classification in only three colors is explained quite well.
And what about the premium version of SEOPress?
That said, where SEOPress stands out is in the price of its premium version: it is priced at $39 per year for an unlimited number of sites. This is a very good price, let’s see what it gives in terms of additional features:
- Automatic management of structured data (schema.org)
- The ability to export and import metadata to or from a CSV file
- A video sitemap
- Automatic integration of Google suggestions when writing content
- Google Page Speed Insights integration into the dashboard
- Google Analytics integration directly into the control panel
- A broken link checker to detect 404 errors
- Custom display of a trail of breadcrumbs
- Backlink analysis (via a Majestic API, costs about €380/month!)
- More complete management of redirects, etc.
- Obviously, it is true that the list is ambitious, but if you think about it, many of these features are really dispensable and not necessarily adapted to everyone.
The video sitemap , for example, will only be really useful to a handful of users. And the integrations of Google tools do not provide data as complete as when consulted in the tools in question… In addition, some of these functionalities are available for free in the competition, such as the advanced XML sitemap functionalities found in YoastSEO .
However, another point where SEOPress stands out is its interface and, more specifically, its installation wizard. When you launch SEO Press, you will be presented with a wizard that will offer to import your data and settings from other SEO extensions for WordPress. So, you decide what content will be indexed or not. This is a very good point since these are important SEO settings, which you need to look for in other plugins. Here, a beginner will be forced to stumble upon them and thus be able to fix them without forgetting them.
Finally, SEOPress has one last idea, simple but effective: you don’t use a function, but it still takes up space visually in your interface? SEOPress suggests disabling it to gain clarity and effectiveness. It is a simple idea, but it will allow both professionals and beginners to better organize their interface to keep only the essentials.
What if I want to have position tracking and more data on search volumes for various keywords? SEOPress has just launched a new product: SEOPress Insights . This new tool allows you to track the position of several of your pages based on various keywords, be notified of a position drop in the SERPs, get an indication of the degree of competition on a keyword, etc. Good news?
Not entirely, since this service is a standalone product, which will require you to pay $118.80 per year (VAT included) (in addition to the cost of the Pro version) to take advantage of it. It is not really a wise choice on the part of SEOPress, which offers as a payment option a product whose functionalities are found in the paid subscription of one of its main competitors: Rank Math! We can only regret such a pricing position, especially when the additional features offered are so few…
Conclusion: The great strength of SEOPress is its adaptability at the interface level. We also believe that a lot of effort has been made to satisfy both SEO/WordPress beginners and more experienced ones.
The price of the full version is also very cheap, although this paid version is clearly not the strong point of this SEO plugin. We will therefore regret the new SEOPress Insights product , which is not really convincing, especially considering its price! Its large number of options can also put some people off, especially among the less experienced.
It is also worth noting that the team behind SEO Press seems to be very attentive to its community: updates are regular and seem to correspond to consumer expectations. Let’s hope this continues.
Also Read: A Comprehensive Guide to SEO Meta Tags
Yoast SEO – The #1 SEO Plugin for WordPress
Yoast SEO is no longer worth introducing… By far the most popular SEO plugin, with more than 5 million active installations, everyone knows it for its famous traffic light that tells you what to do to optimize the natural referencing of your pages in WordPress. It’s the #1 SEO software for WordPress , although it’s starting to see a lot of competition!
What does Yoast SEO offer in its free version?
You can find this:
- Analysis of your text based on 1 unique keyword
- Preview your content only on Google (so no social media here)
- An analysis of duplicate content and accompanying canonical URLs
- The usual technical options: robots.txt, full sitemap, .htaccess, etc.
- A readability calculation of your content, based on data such as the average length of your sentences or the richness of your vocabulary, which is quite practical.
In itself, once again, nothing very original for a free version. Yoast SEO does the job quite well. The editorial recommendations are quite similar to those given by their competitors, with a red, orange, green indicator, from the least good to the best (the famous traffic light present even in the SEO plugin logo). The layout isn’t great and is a bit boxy, but after a while, it becomes quite intuitive.
Yoast SEO continues to be a reference in its free version.
The paid version of the Yoast SEO plugin
But let’s see what the paid version of Yoast SEO has in store for us , with a price of €89 per site per year:
- Internal Link Suggestion: Yoast analyzes your writing and suggests some of your older articles to link to.
- Analysis of your content: are the 5 most common expressions in your text related to your main topic?
- A fast and simple redirect manager
- Removal of advertising in the plugin
- Access to email support
For a price of €89 per year and for a single site, one could have expected a little more. In this case, the additional features do not encourage you to upgrade to the premium version…
The internal link suggestion is the only feature that really deserves consideration. In fact, on a website that contains many articles, it can be easy to get lost under the ton of topics covered, even on a site specialized in a topic like this! The internal link suggestion saves you a lot of time at this point.
The Insights analysis is also not without interest, but it is more of a trick than a true optimization: it is obvious that in an article about the best SEO plugins for WordPress, the most represented expressions will be expressions like “SEO plugin for WordPress” or variants. It’s very rare to go so far off topic when writing an article! Therefore, it is quite dispensable…
The rest is completely useless (access to email support…) or can be done by another specialized plugin, and much better too!
Keep in mind, however, that the premium subscription will automatically give you access to all Yoast SEO Academy training courses – in the program, hours of courses designed for beginners and veterans alike. Independently, this access costs €89/year, which is the same as what you save by opting for the premium version of the plugin. This can be a significant advantage for some people, and we have to give credit to Yoast SEO.
In terms of interface, Yoast SEO is very easy to use. Most of the options you will use for each post are at the bottom of the page. For the rest, more general options, such as sitemap management, will be in the menu dedicated to Yoast SEO. With a few clicks, you can decide which content will be indexed and which will not.
Do you need help with the Yoast SEO plugin? Don’t worry. Yoast SEO is the perfect example of the advantage of having a large community: there are countless Yoast tutorials and videos on how to configure Yoast for WordPress, even in Spanish.
It’s simple, it does the job expected of the free version: what do people expect?
If you are looking for a WordPress SEO plugin that will not disappoint, go for it!
Also Read: Different Types of SEOS You Need To Know
Rank Math SEO – The contender that offers tons of free SEO features!
Launched in 2018, Rank Math is known for being the challenger that comes out of nowhere and destroys the competition in its path. In fact, it must be said that its statistics are impressive: it already has more than 500,000 active installations and a rating that shows 5 nice stars. The plugin just released its premium version on November 12, 2020. Or rather its premium versions. Big promises were made in this regard: have they been kept? In any case, Rank Math is a very serious competitor to Yoast SEO, the number 1 in this field. So is the hype justified or not?
SEO plugin for WordPress: what does Rank Math offer in its free version?
As with SEOPress and Yoast, let’s start by taking a look at the list of SEO features that the free version offers:
- A simple and intuitive setup wizard, like SEOPress
- Complete SEO analysis, with a score out of 100 based on the analysis of 40 SEO criteria
- Metadata customization
- Page status analyzer, to automatically detect 404 errors
- A redirect manager, accessible directly at the bottom of the page you are working on
- Google Search Console integration
- Google Keyword Ranking, a tool to track the positions of your keywords
- The presence of a site-wide SEO audit tool
- Local SEO Optimization
- Internal link suggestion (as with Yoast, in the premium version)
- Multi-site support
- Editing the sitemap XML file
- A set of tools specific to WooCommerce
- Knowledge Graph Optimization
- Integration of a trail of breadcrumbs
- Easy access to image optimization options
- Social sharing settings
- Full integration with Elementor SEO, Divi, WPBakery and other popular page builders.
In short, you will have understood that Rank Math SEO is a powerful plugin, even very powerful!
You can find most of the features of other plugins in this free version of Rank Math.
Of all the SEO plugins for WordPress, Rank Math SEO is clearly the most tempting. The SEO recommendations are precise and in general the different tools are very qualitative.
We especially appreciate the presence of a score out of 100, which is more precise than a simple traffic light, and which gives a better idea of what the plugin considers very important. In fact, nothing prevents you from changing just one point and comparing your score before and after this change. It’s a detail, but it really helps to understand how SEO works, which is never negligible from a beginner’s point of view.
Page builder fans will also be very happy to see all the options that Rank Math SEO offers right in the interface of their favorite builder. Saves a lot of time by not having to load more pages than necessary. When building a site with many pages to create, this is a welcome option.
And the paid version of Rank Math: Rank Math PRO?
The premium PRO version of Rank Math is priced at $59 per year for an unlimited number of websites. There is also a BUSINESS version designed for agencies that work with many clients. Offered at $199/year in the current offer, this premium version for web agencies differs only in the number of keywords that can be tracked. Because yes, you can follow the positions of certain queries with Rank Math PRO! But let’s look in more detail at the content of this PRO version:
- Better integration of Google Analytics (Rank Math promises us more statistics directly visible on the dashboard)
- Track your rankings on hundreds of keywords, with a history going back 12 months. Currently, the special offer allows you to track 1,000 words (20,000) in its BUSINESS version. But in the long term, it should be 500 for the PRO version and 10,000 for the BUSINESS version
- Integration of news and video sitemaps
- Google Trends integration
- Better schema integration and a tool to create custom schemas
- An automatic image SEO management tool: automatically fills Alt attributes, title, etc.
- Special scheme and optimization for WooCommerce
- Automatic detection of videos and automatic creation of the accompanying outline
- A dashboard designed to track multiple positions for multiple websites.
This list of features is designed to make the lives of SEOs easier. At this price of $59/year, we don’t really see why we would choose any of the paid versions of the other plugins in this test: especially the Yoast SEO version, which is even less attractive than before!
Integrations allow you to access additional information very quickly. Video sitemaps were missing, although again, this is the type of functionality that clearly isn’t going to be useful to everyone.
However, the over-representation of diagrams in this PRO version is questionable. Schemas are not as useful for SEO as Rank Math would have us believe: most of the time, they are just used to get an additional SERP feature, but not all SERPs offer these features!
That said, while we may have some reservations about this list, we have to admit that tracking site page rankings is worth it in itself. With this Google tracking, you can track the ranking of your pages for various keywords and display all the keywords your pages are ranking for. This lets you know which keywords you should spend time on to build your rankings. This feature could be a tool in itself (as it has been for SEOPress for some time now!) but this tool is offered here in the PRO version.
So Rank Math SEO is very interesting, the paid version seems to keep its promises of not distorting the free version… We will have to see if it is maintained in the long term!
Let’s face it: Rank Math SEO is the only WordPress SEO plugin that offers this much functionality for free. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts 😉.
SEO Comparison: Yoast Vs. SEOPress Vs. Rank Math
To facilitate the comparison, we have prepared a small table that includes the main characteristics of these SEO plugins for WordPress:
|Gratuitous||To turn off||Gratuitous||To turn off||Gratuitous||To turn off|
|Content analysis||According to several keywords. Color-coded notation + annotations||Based on a single keyword. Color-coded notation + annotations||Multiple keywords can be used||According to several keywords. Rating out of 100 + notes|
|Sitemap||XML and HTML sitemap, classic and image||XML sitemap for videos and news||XML, classic and image sitemap||XML, classic and image sitemap.||XML Video and News Sitemap|
|Crawl parameters and technical SEO (Robots, noindex, nofollow…)||Easy management of noindex, nofollow…||Robots.txt, .htaccess configuration||Robots.txt
Simple management of nofollow, noindex…
|Configuration of robots.txt, nofollow, no index…||vers.htaccess Redirects|
|Google Knowledge Graph and structured data||Google Knowledge Graph Management||Schema.org structured data||Knowledge graph management + Schema.org structured data||Knowledge graph management, structured data Schema.org|
|Social networks||Open Graph (Facebook)
Preview of content on social networks
|Open Graph and Twitter Card||Preview of content on Facebook and Twitter||Open Chart
Social Media Preview
|Integrations||Easy connection with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager||Google Analytics and Google Page Speed statistics directly visible in the dashboard
Google Keyword Suggestion
|Ability to connect Yoast with Search Console||Google Keyword Suggestions
Search Console Integration
Ability to use Rank Math to install Google Analytics
|Integration of Google AdSence and Google Trends
Google Analytics statistics directly in the control panel
|Redirect Wizard and 404 Errors||Simple Redirect Wizard||301 Redirects
404 Error Tracking
|A simple redirect manager + addition of automatic redirects in case of 404 errors||Comprehensive 404 Redirect Wizard
Monitor automatically detects 404 errors and provides accurate data about them
|Automatic redirection module|
|Links _||Backlink analysis, through a Majestic API key (to be purchased separately)||Internal link suggestion between your articles||Internal link suggestion between your articles|
|Keywords||Keywords suggested by Google||SEOPress Insights allows you to track site rankings across multiple keywords (lateral and standalone product)||Yoast provides you with 10 keywords related to your main keyword per day||Yoast allows you to use SEMRush keyword research directly in the Yoast interface.
Content insight: Yoast shows you the 5 most used expressions in your article.
|Optimize based on top 5 keywords per article
Google suggested keywords
Track your positions on different keywords
|History of your positions on various keywords
Lists of all the keywords for which an article is positioned
Accurate tracking of the 5 keywords for which positions are lost and gained
|Image||Wizard to guide you in customizing image data (Alt, title, etc.)||Automatically add the Alt attribute only to images that do not contain one||Image SEO Pro: module to customize the Alt attribute and other SEO criteria in the image, automatically.|
In short, what is the best SEO plugin for WordPress?
As always, it is not easy to answer this question clearly and confidently, but Rank Math seems to me to be above the rest. The three WordPress SEO plugins we reviewed today are known and trusted to be among the best of their kind.
Yoast SEO is obviously the first one you think of as it is the most popular – it does the job you would expect from an SEO plugin. Only its full version is a bit strange, since it is expensive and not very interesting… Its free version will be perfect for the general public who does not have any particular needs.
SEOPress, for its part, is, in my opinion, more designed for those who have particular needs such as managing the SEO of a WooCommerce or that of videos, through the video sitemap. Its paid version is much more complete, and it is not very expensive either. Choosing to pay for Insights standalone, in addition to the initial cost of the Pro version, is in my opinion a mistake, considering what the competition offers!
Finally, Rank Math is clearly my favorite of the moment: what it offers in the free version is of good quality, the interface does not make the accumulation of functionalities confusing… The arrival and quality of the PRO version confirms my choice: none of these plugins SEO for WordPress is bad, but today for us, it’s Rank Math that wins!
And you, what is your favorite WordPress SEO plugin and why?