page title icon 5 WordPress SEO PLUGINS – Best Choices IN 2021

Which One is the Best for your Website?

Ranking these five search engine optimization plugins, we found that the only two we would consider using are Yoast & Rank Math. This is mainly because they offer more than any other WordPress SEO plugins available.

We’ve used many others in the past including internal website ones and just coding in the metadata we’d like to see on a page. We settled on these two mostly due to the advanced feature sets and add ons that both offer. This sets them far apart from any other competition in the marketplace at this time in early 2021.

Every site is different and has unique needs. These five plugins are a great starting point for optimizing any WordPress site for search engines. We did heavily reference a recent Kinsta article on WordPress plugins for our article here.

Rank Math

Using Rank Math SEO is considered to be the swiss army knife of search engine optimization tools for your new WordPress website. This plugin does truly come standard with every piece you need to take control of your website’s on-site search engine optimization. While other plugins usually require the usage of multiple plugins to accomplish the same things Rank Math does, this plugin is also considered to be very lightweight in its size and performance downsides that would affect speed or load times.

When using Rank Math, you can quickly manage the on-site search engine optimization characteristics of your blog posts, web pages, products or other important taxonomies. You will be able to select options like index, follow/no follow and noarchive meta tags in general or specific to the piece of content they relate to.

With a close integration to Google Search Console, this plugin will bring all pertinent information directly to your admin dashboard. With data like what search terms you currently rank for, how many impressions your website is getting, and errors reported like Google, you can make impactful marketing decisions from its direct data feed.

WordPress SEO Plugin
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Some other great features Rank Math comes with include:

  • 404 Monitor
  • Redirect Capabilities
  • Rich Snippets
  • Local SEO Features
  • Sitemap Creation
  • Image SEO
  • Internal Link Recommendations
  • Ranks your content against over 100 on-site SEO factors
  • Open Graph & Twitter Card Options
  • Rich snippets for articles, news, blog posts, products, recipes, videos, local business, events, and more
  • Options to add alt text to images
  • Breadcrumbs are an internal option as well, so no need for an additional plugin to utilize breadcrumbs

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO WordPress plugin has more than 12 million downloads and is one of the most downloaded plugins on the marketplace. Looking at the plugin’s popularity, you might think that it’s a scam or that it doesn’t work. Don’t worry, I have some great news Yoast works very well.

Yoast SEO is a WordPress SEO plugin that is probably the most used SEO plugin available on the web right now. It has been around for a long time (Over A Decade) and is constantly being updated by the developers. In this article, we will go over why you should use the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin and what it can do for your website.

Yoast SEO is a great plugin for WordPress that helps you to optimize your pages so they are Search Engine Optimized. The main goal of Yoast SEO is to give your page content a better chance to rank in search engines and make it more visible.

It’s crucial for every website to have a solid foundation built with SEO in mind. No matter what plugin or method you utilize, you definitely need to modify your website for search engine rankings.

There are many SEO plugins available in the market today, but Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin is a clear winner when it comes to the number of companies that are using it. It’s one of the best SEO plugins for WordPress by Yoast and helps you optimize your website with ease. Yoast SEO WordPress plugin has a user-friendly interface with an easy-to-use dashboard so that you can focus on your content creation rather than getting lost in the settings.

Here is what the Yoast SEO dashboard looks like.

yoast seo dashboard
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One of the best parts we love about Yoast is the Webmaster Tools section. Having the ability to simply enter in four different verification codes for search engines to index makes the process of verification extremely easy. We like to always submit to all four because we’ve noticed ranking higher on lesser-known search engines always has a long-term impact on organic search campaigns.

yoast webmaster tools verification
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Check out our detailed article on how to submit sitemaps successfully to these search engines if you need assistance there.

All In One SEO Pack

This WordPress SEO plugin was initially created back in 2007. While a little over two million websites use the All In One WordPress SEO plugin, this plugin does lack a bit in the “extras” department. In terms of being a good on-site search engine optimization plugin, this WordPress SEO plugin does a good job of hitting all the important points. Our main hesitancy on using this one often though, is that you will need multiple plugins to accomplish the same goals as the two above.

They state that user experience is their main priority, which as a search engine optimization plugin is important yes, but probably not the priority. We’d like to think that the main priority of any WordPress SEO plugin was the ability to increase a website’s abilities to rank well for search terms but they do have a decent user experience, just not the best out of all the other options.

Basically, if you are a novice at WordPress website development and need a quick, easy-to-use WordPress search engine optimization plugin, then this could be the option for you. Within just ten minutes of setup, you could hypothetically call it a day and move on to your next area of concern. That being said, you probably won’t have the best on site metrics if you did this.

Some areas this plugin does cover include:

  • WordPress SEO Setup Wizard – Ten Minute Setup
  • Robots.txt Editor
  • SEO Audit Checklist
  • Sitemap Creation

Areas we did notice it lacked were the ability to add any sort of advanced schema markup, rich snippets or breadcrumbs. All in all, it’s a decent plugin overall though.

- aioseo dashboard image
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WP Meta SEO Plugin

While not a particularly robust WordPress SEO Plugin, this works particularly well though for website owners looking to modify their meta data often, but in a site wide fashion.

You are able to bulk edit all website meta data in a single view which is something the rest of options here do not offer. Some other rather unique features it includes are:

  • Bulk Edit All Your Websites Meta Data In A Single View
  • Bulk Edit Options For Images, File Names, Meta Data, and Link Titles
  • Breadcrumb Generator
  • XML Sitemap Creation
  • Local Business Options
  • Automatic Google Search Console Sitemap Submission

We like to utilize this plugin on directory-style websites or large membership websites because it offers a robust amount of site-wide management for too large websites to be managed on a page-by-page basis. We did also find this great walk-through about WP Meta SEO as well.

- WP Meta SEO Dashboard
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Smart Crawl Pro (WPMU Dev)

While this WordPress SEO Plugin is made by a highly respected member of the digital marketing community, it’s installs and downloads have never really caught up to the rest of the pack.

To quote my closest buddy at our office, “it’s not great”. When looking into any documentation as to it’s internal feature options, we found that it’s not really that well documented either.

They do a great job of sounding, well, great. When really reading through though, statements like industry-leading, advanced, and full support seemed used mostly to prop up the lack of any real data on why one should use their WordPress SEO plugin.

When using it for a practical application this year what we really found out was that this was the most lacking plugin on this list.

Most basic functions it handled in a rather basic fashion but suitable to the basic tasks it would be called upon for such as the modifying of on-site metadata.

We’d love to include a bullet list as to the options available on this plugin but they were just honestly too convoluted and unclear to offer a real set of options we’re sure they offer.

- Smart Crawl SEO Score WordPress SEO Plugin
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Best WordPress SEO Plugin

After utilizing each of the above WordPress SEO plugins on projects this year we’d like to say that either Yoast SEO or Rank Math are the two that really stand out. There was a little advantage to using WP Meta SEO Plugin, which was surprising since this was supposed to be the random one no one at the office had heard of before this test, for certain projects. At the bottom of our ranking was also surprising because we love most things created by WPMU dev and use them often. Their WordPress SEO plugin sadly though, was not one of them.

Whatever seo plugins you utilize and why, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Thanks for checking out our take on 2021 and the best WordPress seo plugin choices out there.

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