Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be one of your primary focuses as a website owner. If you don’t properly optimize your site for searches, potential customers will have a difficult time finding you. Your site’s success can depend on how highly you rank in search engine results, so choosing the best SEO plugin for WordPress is crucial.
Fortunately, plugins such as Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack provide the tools you need to properly optimize your site and content for search engines. These and similar options are powerful, yet beginner-friendly choices. Which solutions you use will depend on your site, your understanding of SEO, and your budget.
In this guide, we are going to compare All In One SEO vs Yoast SEO to help you determine which is the best solution for you. We’ll then go a step further by offering you some alternatives to these two popular plugins, so you can make a well informed decision. Let’s get to work!
A Brief Introduction to SEO (And How It Affects Your Site)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a way to target your content to specific keywords and phrases so that it can more easily be found in searches. When an end user types a query into a search engine, they do so with the expectation of finding content that will be useful to them. The object of SEO is to make sure that your content not only meets the end user’s needs, but is also is easy for the search engines to find.
SEO primarily affects your site by helping search engines rank your content more effectively. The higher your ranking is, the better the chances are of your site being found by the correct audience. While SEO is a fairly vast topic with many branches, it isn’t very difficult to master the basics. To make your job even easier, there are WordPress plugins dedicated specifically to helping you improve your website’s SEO.
2 Excellent SEO Plugins for WordPress Users
For this comparison, we chose to focus on two key plugins: All in One SEO vs Yoast SEO. We based our selection on the plugins’ popularity, their ratings, and how often they are updated. Let’s introduce one at a time!
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO has over 5 million active installations, and a five star overall rating from its users. This plugin works on two levels. First, it sets out to enhance the features already within the platform, by guiding you through WordPress’ built-in SEO settings. For example, you will be reminded to enable key functionality such as shortlinks or pretty links. It also takes care of some crucial tasks for you, like adding the elements search engines look for when they crawl your site (meta tags, link settings, a sitemap, and so on).
What’s more, Yoast SEO offers features beyond what you can get with a basic WordPress installation. It does this to help you improve your SEO through creating more optimized content. For example, it enables you to provide a focus keyword or phrase for each post, and tells you whether you’re using it effectively. Other standout features include:
- Content analysis: Yoast SEO analyzes your content based on SEO best practices, and scores it using a simple traffic light system.
- Integration with your social networks: You can connect your social sites like Facebook and Twitter, so search engines know those accounts belong to you.
- Automatic sitemap generation: Since search engines crawl the pages of your site to rank it, it’s important to make the process easy for them. Yoast SEO will generate an XML sitemap automatically, based on your pages and content.
We encourage you to take a look at all of the features available with the free version of the plugin, to see if it’s a good match for your needs. Of course, the Yoast SEO plugin is also available in a premium version. This upgrade provides additional functionality that is worth checking out, such as:
- Internal linking suggestions: Linking to internal pages on your site helps build SEO. The premium plugin will suggest pages you can link to within your content for that very purpose.
- The ability to use multiple focus keywords: While you can use a focus keyword or phrase with the free plugin, the premium version enables you to add up to 5 for every page on your site.
- 24/7 Support: While the free version of the plugin offers support through a knowledge base, FAQs, and forums, the premium version offers around-the-clock support through email.
As you can see, Yoast SEO offers an amazing variety of features for both its free and premium plugins. We encourage you to compare all of the premium and free features, to see which will work best for your particular website.
2. All in One SEO Pack
All in One SEO Pack (AIOSEO) has more than 3 million users, along with a 4.5 star overall rating. As an open source plugin, it offers a lot of freedom for developers. More importantly, it comes with several crucial components out of the box, so it’s a strong choice if you are looking for a highly supported free plugin. For example, it:
- Supports Google Analytics: Tracking your SEO and seeing what works is one of the best ways to improve your rankings. Integrating your SEO plugin with Google Analytics gives you way to do just that.
- Automatically notifies search engines of site changes: Search engines have to crawl your site to make sure its content is still relevant. Rather than waiting for a periodic review, this plugin lets search engines know right away that a change has been made.
- Offers a built-in API: If you are a developer, this is a huge plus. APIs enable you to ‘hook’ into the inherent code of an application to build or customize it for your needs.
All in One SEO Pack Pro is the premium version of the AIOSEO plugin. The biggest difference is that the premium plugin is always one major version ahead of the free one, so you’ll have access to the latest features available. Other additional features include:
- Advanced WooCommerce support: You can set SEO for WooCommerce product categories and titles to boost your e-commerce efforts.
- SEO for categories, tags, and custom taxonomies: The plugin enables you to provide SEO context for all of your post categories and tags, and includes support for any custom taxonomies you create.
- Dedicated priority support: In addition to providing access to the developers’ premium support forums, the pro plugin includes support from their dedicated team.
All in One SEO Pack Pro offers three pricing tiers based on licensing (individual, business, or agency). We encourage you to compare all of the features of the free versus the pro version before making a choice.
All in One SEO vs Yoast SEO
Obviously, both plugins have plenty to offer, but let’s see how they compare. We’ll take a look at how All in One SEO vs Yoast SEO fare in a few key categories, and provide an overall recommendation.
Ease of Use
To determine ease of use, we decided to compare how easy or difficult it is to install, set up, and start using All in One SEO vs Yoast SEO out of the box.
Once you install and activate Yoast SEO, you’ll need to go to SEO, Dashboard and click the General tab. Launch the configuration wizard, and it will walk you through each step of the set up process. Alternately, you can request that the Yoast team set it up for you (you’ll be required to purchase the premium plugin in order to access this service). The wizard makes setup extremely easy for beginners. If you want to take a deeper dive into the settings, you can read through the plugin’s extensive documentation.
All in One SEO Pack
Installation and activation for AIOSEO works the same as it does with Yoast. However, the setup is very different. All of the settings are divided by sections and located on a single page. Depending on how you work, you may find this faster than walking through a wizard. Alongside each option, there is a help icon to guide you in case you are unsure of what changes to make. These icons will show a description, and sometimes a link to further documentation.
Both plugins have numerous options that can seem intimidating, depending on your comfort level. They also both do a solid job of making those options clear and accessible to beginners. However, we are going to go with Yoast SEO for this round. Between the setup wizard and the well-organized pages and tabs in the settings, Yoast edges out AIOSEO when it comes to ease of use.
Winner: Yoast SEO
Next, we are going to take a look at the features offered by each plugin for managing day-to-day tasks. We’ll take a look at how All in One SEO vs Yoast SEO work when writing posts, reviewing SEO findings, and implementing changes.
To get started, you just need to provide a focus keyword or phrase, and the plugin will analyze your content against that target. You can also edit your meta data for each post, and preview how it will display on search engines. You can review the plugin’s analysis of your content, and see suggestions that can help you immediately improve your SEO score. By clicking on the social icon, you can also see how your post will display on your social media accounts. Yoast SEO includes a robust content analyzer that uses a stoplight system, to let you know how well your post is optimized as you create it.
All in One SEO Pack
All in One SEO Pack includes a simple meta box that also enables you to edit your posts’ meta descriptions. However, it does not include an analyzer or provide an SEO score. While it doesn’t include a social media preview out of the box, you can enable the social meta extension by choosing Features Manager from your dashboard’s All in One SEO plugin menu. The addon is free, and does enable you to preview images and snippets for social sharing.
Both plugins are easy to use on a post by post basis. They both offer the ability to customize your meta data, and with the activation of an additional addon for AIOSEO, they both provide social features. However, Yoast’s content analyzer and SEO scoring gives it a huge advantage over its competition.
Winner: Yoast SEO
Finally, pricing will play a role in your decision about which plugin to use. Let’s run through the options for the premium version of All in One SEO vs Yoast SEO.
Yoast’s premium plugin costs $89 for one site license, and has higher tiers as well. It offers several advanced features over its free counterpart, including:
- Internal linking suggestions: Will suggest links to other pages within your WordPress site.
- Content insights: See the 5 phrases you used most often in your posts, and check them against your keywords.
- A redirect manager: Avoid 404 errors by redirecting old URLs.
- A year’s access to 24/7 support: Access the premium support team any time through email.
All in One SEO Pack
The All in One SEO pack’s pro version is priced based on licensing, starting at $97. You should keep in mind that this will be a recurring annual fee, and any discounts offered are only for the first year. Here is a sampling of some of premium features you’ll get for that price:
- Unlimited downloads and upgrades: As long as you maintain your annual subscription, you will have access to the latest versions and updates of the plugin.
- Access to premium forums and dedicated support: Check the forums for quick answers to your issues, or contact the premium support team.
- Access to a library of video tutorials: Learn everything there is to know about All in One SEO Pro by taking advantage of the video library.
Whether you take advantage of the free version or shell out for the premium option, both plugins offer plenty of bang for your buck. However, we once again feel that Yoast wins in a head-to-head comparison, based on the sheer number of free features as well as the one time cost of its pro version.
Winner: Yoast SEO
Which Plugin Should You Choose?
Both plugins provide an easy way to get started, manage day to day tasks, and truly optimize your content. However, Yoast SEO had an edge in each category we examined. When considering All in One SEO vs Yoast SEO, the latter is simpler to use, as well as more fully-featured and cost effective. While you should definitely check out each plugin for yourself before making your final choice, our recommendation for most sites is Yoast SEO.
3 More SEO Plugins You May Want to Consider
While Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack are two of the top WordPress SEO plugins, they are by no means the only ones you should consider. We encourage you to do your own research, and would like to offer three more options for your consideration.
1. The SEO Framework
The SEO Framework stands out because of what it can do automatically. For example, it can generate titles, descriptions and even structured data for search engines with no input on your end. This robust plugin includes tons of premium features, while costing absolutely nothing.
2. Jetpack by WordPress.com
Jetpack is a multipurpose plugin that combines multiple SEO benefits with site security features. So in addition to site analytics and social sharing, you can use this plugin to lock down your site against brute force and malware attacks. Plus, you’ll get excellent support through the Automattic help forums.
SEOPress is a highly rated plugin that has a few advanced features for developers. It enables you to check your site to make sure there are no validation issues with your code. You can also export your settings from site to site, and if you are developing sites for multiple clients, you can white label them for a more professional look. The base plugin is free, but includes a pro version that offers unlimited site licenses for $39/year.
SEO can break or make your chances of website success. While WordPress was built with many SEO tools out of the box, using a plugin can increase your site’s rankings. However, you’ll want to choose the right solution for the job.
In this piece, we compared the two most popular SEO plugins available for WordPress: All in One SEO vs Yoast SEO. While we determined that Yoast SEO was the overall winner, we do suggest that you compare them to for yourself to see what works best for your site. To help you with your research, we also provided a few additional plugins that may be worth your time (The SEO Framework, Jetpack, and SEOPress).
Do you have any questions about choosing the best SEO plugin for WordPress? Let’s discuss them in the comments section below!