Somewhat embarrassingly, it wasn’t too many years ago that SEO consisted of ridiculous levels of keyword stuffing and bulk backlink building in forum comments and spam sites. Thank goodness we’ve moved on from that, and now the principles of SEO are more in line with creating top-quality content that meets the needs of its target audience.
While the new SEO principles are easy to understand, WordPress webmasters and content creators alike can certainly benefit from free WordPress plug-ins and tools to help optimize their on-page SEO and get the most from their website content.
When it comes to SEO plug-ins for WordPress, there are plenty of options to choose from but arguably only two legitimate contenders for the top spot. Rather than go through the pros and cons of a bunch of smaller SEO plug-ins that you’ll likely never use, read on as we compare the big two: Yoast SEO and All In One SEO pack to help you decide the best WordPress SEO plug-in for you.
Yoast SEO is arguably one of the most famous and best-known WordPress plug-ins of all time. While Yoast offers every type of SEO tool a WordPress Webmaster or content creator could need, it is the on-page content analysis features that really make the plug-in shine.
The plug-in uses a traffic light system to provide a visual representation of how well each piece of content will perform SEO-wise. By typing or pasting in your content and then specifying your target keyword, Yoast will analyze your content using an impressive number of factors to provide an easy-to-understand indication of how well the content is optimized. Major problems are noted with a red light, minor problems with an amber light, and where SEO best practices are found, the user is rewarded with a green light.
Unfortunately, perfectionists among us can easily become frustrated with this traffic light system as it allows little leeway for special circumstances. For example, if your keyword contains a stop word (like the “to” in “how to” for example) you’ll have to live with a couple of amber lights while the plug-in urges you to remove the stop word. At times this can cause problems for content creators dealing with finicky site owners who may not be satisfied with a less than perfect SEO score and may not understand why that stop word actually needs to be there. After all, in the real world, no one searches for “how fix car” instead of “how to fix a car”.
These considerations aside, Yoast is popular for a reason. Creating metadata on a per post per page basis is beautifully simple, while more advanced features like the ability to pull information from custom fields to populate titles and metadata, creating XML site maps, and social media integration are included even in the free version.
Yoast is undoubtedly targeted towards beginner users, as the more advanced features are hidden in a separate menu that must be manually turned on within the plug-in’s settings before it can be accessed.
All In One SEO pack
All In One SEO pack – the great rival to Yoast – was created three years before the Yoast plug-in and has actually been downloaded more times than Yoast, yet somehow it has never enjoyed the level of notoriety of its competitor.
Perhaps it’s because All In One SEO pack lacks some of the bells and whistles, leading many to describe it as a stripped-down version of its better-known competitor. Like Yoast, All In One SEO pack features an SEO metadata box underneath the main text editor, where titles, descriptions, and other metadata can be manually set for each post.
This is where the on-page SEO features differ between the two plug-ins, however. Instead of Yoast’s traffic light content analysis indicators, All In One SEO pack includes more advanced options like the ability to create canonical URLs, choose whether the post is to be followed or indexed and whether it is to be included in your XML site map.
While more advanced options display in place of more beginner friendly ones, All In One SEO pack is just as user-friendly and accessible as Yoast SEO. Both plug-ins offer similar features, with the difference largely coming down to how prominently each of these features is displayed and the emphasis placed on the importance of beginner or more advanced SEO best practices.
Choosing between Yoast SEO and All In One SEO pack
Ultimately there is no clear winner when pitting Yoast SEO against All In One SEO pack. Both are excellent SEO tools, and both can help any WordPress Webmaster or content creator optimize their site and its content to maximize its SEO potential.
Both plug-ins are equally suitable for beginners and advanced users alike, however, there is a prevailing view that Yoast SEO, with its user-friendly interfaces and traffic light approach to content analysis, is more appealing to SEO beginners, while All In One SEO pack is tailored more towards advanced users and those with specific requirements.
If you’d like some advice about optimizing the SEO potential of your WordPress site, choosing premium WordPress themes or navigating the world of free WordPress plug-ins and tools, contact us today. At Fuel Themes, we specialize in creating beautiful WordPress themes to help you maximize your website’s potential.