Search engines are getting smarter. For this reason old SEO tricks like furnishing a web page with keywords do not have much effect these days. None the less, making a website friendly for search engines is a solid marketing tactic that brings “free” visitors from likes of Google and Bing.
SEO plugins for WordPress give you tools that assist search engine bots with website parsing. They enriching website pages with invisible tags that communicate metadata to automated website crawlers.
SEO Plugin Functions
Traditional functions that belong to SEO plugins are:
Also some SEO plugins offer integration with Google Search Console and website visitor analytics.
Main differentiation between plugins is how well they integrate into WordPress Admin user interface and how well they support different non-core WordPress functionality such as WooCommerce for e-commerce and WPML for multilingual websites.
All in One SEO
All in One SEO was in business since 2007. Over years they invested into their plugin and integrated many useful tools as well as wrote tons of good guides on search engine optimization. Watch All in One SEO presentation for plugin functionality overview:
An innovative feature of All in One SEO is its headline and content scoring system that makes writing SEO friendly articles much easier for non-professional users.
When you open an editor, you get All in One SEO tab that offers recommendations on word balance, sentiment, character and word counts.
Regularly writing new and interesting content is the most reliable way to improve SEO over time and tools like help to bring costs down. Even if you outsource content creation, All in One SEO will help to assess quality of articles delivered to you.
All in One SEO presents metadata tags in a simple to understand way and hides all complexity of formatting tags for variety of targets – be it Twitter, Facebook or Google.
Huge benefit of this plugin is automation – you don’t need to customize title and description meta but instead can rely on meta derived from the article itself.
XML sitemaps assist website crawlers with navigating the website. Instead of just following links from one page to another, a sitemap offers means for a crawler to fetch all pages in a batch.
All in One SEO has native support for generating XML sitemaps for pages, posts and authors. Also if you upgrade to Pro version, it will generate XML sitemaps for images and videos.
For simpler websites, it is possible to rely on default settings for XML sitemap generation. For more complex websites, it is possible to customize what post types and taxonomies participate in sitemap generation.
Besides Pro version has support for Google News integration (News Sitemap). This is relevant for websites publishing news articles that should appear in Google news search.
Another interesting feature is RSS Sitemaps. Those are used for feeding content changes into search engines directly. For example, Google will consumer updates instead of crawling every page again and again. In turn this ensures faster indexing and any new content becomes available in search results sooner.
It is worth mentioning that All in One SEO integrates with WordPress so well, it can generate a special sitemap page for you that offers regular website visitors an overview of the whole website.
Structured Schema (Rich Snippets)
Structured schema is a community effort to create a dictionary of special tags that can be embedded in web pages to communicate metadata. Supporters of Schema include Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex – all the major players in search engine business.
All in One SEO supports many different schema types, including Article for posts, Local Business for capturing business details, Product for e-commerce.
Open Graph and Twitter Support
All in One SEO uses metadata entered by the user or derived from the post details to generate Open Graph and Twitter tags.
Also you can specify Facebook specific tags such as Facebook Admin ID and Facebook App ID. Those are needed for tight integration with Facebook tools and for Facebook Single Sign On.
Besides basic functionality, All in One SEO Pro offers number of tools and integrations that most WordPress users will find useful. For example, it integrates link redirection manager for situations when a page gets renamed and a SEO-friendly redirection must be created. Also it includes link assistant that offers advice on embedding links.
Free version of the plugin is rich with additional features as well. For example, it has Robots.txt editor and even supports customizing Robots.txt for different website crawlers.
SEOPress is another popular SEO plugin for WordPress. Main advantage of this plugin is that it is extremely friendly for web agencies: license fee covers unlimited number of websites and white-labeling is supported out of box. Watch overview of SEOPress:
SEOPress user interface is less polished compared to All in One SEO, however it offers some nice WordPress Admin enhancements that make professional WordPress users more productive. For example, it adds support for bulk operations for posts.
Another very significant advantage of SEOPress – tight integration with Divi and Elementor page builders. If you work on a page and want to check it for SEO quality, you can just click SEOPress icon and a popup with all details appear.
SEOPress offers simple editor for metadata tags with preview function for Google, Facebook and Twitter. Its interface is very functional, although somewhat minimalistic. Also if you make changes, don’t forget to click “Save” button!
It is quick and simple to setup sitemaps in SEOPress. Free version supports posts, pages, authors and images. Pro version adds support for videos and news.
In case it is necessary to include a sitemap for website visitors, SEOPress offers a special short tag. This feature is aimed at more advanced users.
Structured Schema (Rich Snippets)
Only SEOPress PRO supports structured schema. However SEOPress PRO offers wide variety of schemas and users can tailor all attributes for every snippet.
On another hand, if you already own WP Schema Pro plugin from Brainstorm Force, you won’t miss this functionality.
Also SEOPress supports earlier version of Structured Schema known as Dublin Core. This metadata schema dates back to 1995 and is in active use by some government and non-government organisations. However for business website owners, the focus should be on Structured Schema.
Open Graph and Twitter Support
Metadata editor automatically translates all inputs into Open Graph and Twitter tags. Also you can specify Facebook specific tags Admin ID and App ID. That is for integration with Facebook tools and Facebook Single Sign On specifically.
SEOPress goes far beyond SEO. In includes redirect manager, integration with Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Matomo Analytics. Also it offers many API hooks, so WordPress developers can build additional integrations.
Both All in One SEO and SEOPress are capable plugins and offer assistance with SEO to both professional and non-professional WordPress administrators. All in One SEO offers more polished interface and slightly better user experience. On another hand, SEOPress can be integrated into web agency care plans and offers tight integration with many popular plugins. Both plugins are great choice!