As a WordPress site owner, you’re always looking for ways to boost your traffic. Maybe you’ve tried Google Ads, onsite optimizations, and other techniques to try to get more visitors. However, you might be missing out on a vital helping hand – SEO plugins. Think of WordPress SEO plugins as an after-market addition to your site. They can give you a powerful boost and help “level up” the online vehicle of your business. If visibility and increased traffic is your goal, you might want to install an SEO plugin. Once you’ve begun thinking about how to improve the SEO of your posts and pages with a built-in tool, the next step is to consider which plugin to use. In this post, we’ll consider Yoast, the dominant plugin on the market, in comparison to SEOPress, a new but popular tool. Below, we outline the main selling points of each plugin before doing a side-by-side comparison of their most important functions.
SEO plugins at a glance: Yoast
Yoast is by far the most popular WordPress SEO plugin, with over 135 million downloads as of October 2020. It has market leader status for a reason: it’s extremely user-friendly, it gets very frequent updates based on new Google features, and it provides a cheerily familiar green smiley face for each fulfilled SEO requirement. As a longtime Yoast user, I really love its readability feature. Yoast can tell you how often you should insert subheadings, whether you are using too much passive voice or too few transitions, and even instruct you to simplify your post if the language and sentence structure are too complex to hold the average reader’s attention. This feature basically gives you a built-in editor. The main thing that drives users away from Yoast is its high cost; it can get expensive very quickly, especially if you plan to install it on multiple sites.
SEO plugins at a glance: SEOPress
SEOPress is the new kid on the block, but it’s rapidly becoming a favorite of site management agencies and businesses. It is much less expensive than Yoast but gets a similar quality of reviews from users. Popular unique features include the ability to include Google Analytics data inside your WordPress dashboard, 404 monitoring and redirects, and local business SEO. The SEO reports and features inside individual posts tend to be more technical in nature than for Yoast, which may be a downside for those not experienced with SEO.
Side-by-side feature analysis of SEO plugins:
Cost: Yoast Pro is an $89 one-time fee per site. SEOPress Premium is $39 per year for unlimited sites.
Keyword optimization: Yoast Premium takes multiple forms and variants of keywords into account, so you can use synonyms, plurals, and more. SEOPress allows you to use multiple distinct keywords on a given post.
Google Previews: Yoast automatically displays a preview of how your link will appear on Google with its associated SEO title and meta description. Unfortunately, SEOPress does not – you have to publish the content to see how it will appear.
Ease of Writing and Editing Posts: SEOPress requires you to save the post draft and manually refresh the analysis page to show you new data if you’ve added or fixed items in your post editor. Yoast performs new analyses in realtime; as an added bonus, many of the issues Yoast points to have a button you can click to show you where the problem is, i.e. if you have too many sentences using passive voice, it will highlight all sentences with passive voice directly in the post editor.
Meta Settings and Technical Details: Like any SEO plugin worth its salt, both tools have extensive customization available here and cover the same basic features. Both plugins cover your robots.txt file, your .htaccess file, and your permalink structure. They will also both generate XML sitemaps. Both have a range of meta settings for you to choose from and customize.
Updates: Yoast is updated every two weeks in accordance with any changes from search engines and to generally improve the user experience and eliminate bugs. SEOPress is updated regularly, but not on a specific timeline.
Support: The paid versions of both SEOPress and Yoast offer 24/7 support to customers who are logged into their accounts. However, the free access to Yoast support expires one year after purchasing the plugin.
Imports and Migration: One “leg up” SEOPress offers is that they make it easy to switch from other SEO plugins without losing any meta data or information. Their website provides simple, user-friendly instructions for importing from 9 of the most popular WordPress SEO plugins, including Yoast. This makes it easy to switch if you find you aren’t a fan of Yoast or whatever other plugin you’re using. The same is not true of Yoast, which means you may lose data if you decided to change over to Yoast after using something else.
Ultimately, whether you choose Yoast or SEOPress will depend on you, your business, and your needs. Do you have experience using either or both of these tools? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!