If you don’t already know that WordPress is the most popular web platform out there, you just might be living under a rock. According to recent data from w3techs.com, almost a quarter of the web uses WordPress. Of all the content management systems known, WordPress is used 61 percent of the time a CMS is being used (http://w3techs.com/technologies/details/cm-wordpress/all/all). With that being said, if you plan on growing, it might make sense to look at redesigning or transferring your website to WordPress. Here is a instant custom WordPress Design Calculator that will help you get an estimate on cost. Now, WordPress by itself is pretty good with SEO, but most of the “big guys” still use some sort of SEO plugin. Which SEO plugin is best for me, when there are so many choices?
One of the keys here is to look at what others are using, and why they’re using those plugins. Lipperhey ran a test of the most popular SEO plugins out there, noting which ones had the most installs and the best SEO scores. While I hate tests as much add the next guy, I love the results Lipperhey published. These results lay out which of the most popular SEO plugins perform well in various metrics, like the percentage of unique page titles, the percentage of pages optimized, the percentage of pages with unique meta description, the percentage of pages that succeed in not keyword-stuffing, and the percentage of pages using H1 tags. Before installing a plugin it is important to understand what SEO mistakes you are currently making on your website. This can be done by using a free SEO audit tool.
The five most popular SEO plugins, by installation rate, were scored as far as how effectively they are used by webmasters. Here’s a rundown of the results.
Yoast did well in avoiding keyword stuffing, keeping unique page titles, and using H1 tags, with more than 80% of pages running Yoast doing well on those metrics. Optimizing pages was a bit less successful, with a success rate of around 45%. When it came to forcing unique meta descriptions, Yoast was the worst in the bunch, at 20% (but none of the plugins did better than 45%).
In avoiding keyword stuffing and unique page titles, SEO Booster rivals Yoast at better than 80%. SEO Booster begins to fall after that, with only a 59% success rate at using H1 tags, around 43% at optimizing pages, and just over 20% of pages using a unique meta description.
Like Yoast and SEO Booster, Ultimate SEO scored above 80% in unique page titles and avoiding keyword stuffing. Ultimate SEO’s weaknesses were optimizing pages, at 45% and using H1 tags (40%). The one area that Ultimate SEO does better than Yoast and SEO Booster is in unique meta descriptions, scoring a solid 30%.
All In One SEO is Yoast’s chief rival in terms of number of installations, and it also gives Yoast a run for its money in terms of performance. Avoiding keyword stuffing is All In One SEO’s biggest victory, with a 98% success rate. All in One also beats out Yoast in terms of unique page titles, with 83% success, but falls behind a bit when it comes to using H1 tags (only 78%). In optimizing pages, All in One beats Yoast, with a score of 67%. Finally, when it comes to unique meta descriptions, All in One is above the average at 22%.
Platinum SEO trails behind Yoast and All In One SEO in terms of installs, but it boasts much a few much better scores than Yoast. In terms of avoiding keyword stuffing, Platinum SEO scored 92%, beating out Yoast. In another couple of wins over Yoast, Platinum SEO scored 85% in unique page titles, 80% in pages optimized, and 40% (the best of the bunch) in unique meta descriptions. Platinum SEO falls behind the two in using H1 tags, with only a 75% success rate.
Summing Up the Numbers
All of those numbers might make your head spin, so which SEO plugin is best for me? The top installed SEO plugins are the All in One SEO Pack and the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. These have the most installations with top SEO scores. However, when it comes to the plugin pack with the highest proportion of top scoring installs, Platinum SEO Pack takes the cake. Any of the three SEO packs, if used effectively, will definitely boost your SEO scores, but for the time being it appears that Platinum SEO Pack is the best of the bunch.
Comment below if you know a new tool or have any questions about the tools above. Also, if you want additional information in regards to SEO, here is direct access to my calendar to schedule a free strategy call.