Top 3 SEO Optimization Plugins: Free Vs. Premium Version

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Check out this comparison of the top three WordPress SEO plugins. Learn the difference between the free and premium versions of all three so you can make the best choice for your website in 2017. 
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Check out this comparison of the top three WordPress SEO plugins. Learn the difference between the free and premium versions of all three so you can make the best choice for your website in 2017. 

Why SEO Plugins are Important – Read This First

Without paying close attention to SEO, your site could slip in rankings or worse – never take off, leaving you forever dependent on PPC and other paid forms of advertising.

Luckily there are plenty of plugins for your WordPress site to help you along the way.  Here are three cold-hard facts about SEO, which should spur you to adopt one of the plugins you’re about to discover.

  1. Every time words are typed into a search engine the results are displayed according to how well websites have performed Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on their pages.
  2. All search engines use an algorithm that factors in the keywords typed in by the user.
  3. Studies have shown that most people don’t look past the first page of results after they search.

As you can see, it’s all about the keywords. Keep this in mind as you read the following SEO plugin comparisons.

Yoast SEO

This is one of the most popular SEO plugins available for WordPress. Yoast SEO enables the user to create a keyword for each post or page, allows the addition of a limitless number of tags, and gives the user a spot to write a brief description (the META description) that can be easily recognized by any search engine.

Yoast calls this section a “Snippet”, and it’s one of the most-loved features of this plugin. It offers a “live view” of what your site’s description will look like in the SERPS and is incredibly handy to use.

Plus, on every post or page, you’re able to manually determine your “Snippet” with the aid of a page analysis tab to ensure that you are using the best keyword, tags, and description as possible. When complete, Yoast will let you know that what you have written has the best chance of being found.

The “Readability” score is handy, too. Yoast coaches you to adjust your sentence and paragraph structure so that it’s more readable to users.

Yoast works for anyone, but especially for beginners. However, the free version falls slightly short of what any experienced webmaster would need. Yoast Premium allows multiple keywords, has optional add-on plugins for enhancement and gives you full Development Team Support while the free version does not.

Pricing for the premium version starts at $69 per month for a single site license and goes up from there.

Yoast SEO Free Yoast SEO Premium
No Dev Team support Full Dev Team support
Single word Keyword Multiword keyword
Social media Integration Optional add-on plugins
Sitemap Generation Social media integration
Sitemap Generation

All-in-One SEO Pack

This WordPress plugin is just as popular and comes as highly rated as Yoast. All-in-One SEO Pack uses a “Meta Box” that helps you add Meta Tags and titles that best fit your post. There is even an option that will add the tags automatically to help speed up the process without sacrificing SEO.

The free and pro version both give you Google Analytics support that will help track how your posts perform and assist you on improving future posts. But only the pro version allows you to integrate easily with commerce sites, a huge plus for any business owner.

Pro also gives you full Development Team support and includes Video XML Sitemap so search engines can recognize if your site has any helpful videos.

Pro starts at $79 for a single site license and can range up to $1200 for unlimited sites. A quick internet search may net you some coupons for up to 50% off.

All in One SEO Pack All in One SEO Pack Pro
Automatic meta tags Automatic meta tags
Google analytics support Google analytics support
Sitemap support Sitemap support
No Dev Team support Full Dev Team Support
Integration w/ commerce sites
Video XML Sitemap
Category SEO options

SEO Ultimate

Only slightly less popular than Yoast and All-in-One, SEO Ultimate has two distinct features that set it apart. The first is the option to label your post as a standard post, a product review, or a place related post. This will help the plugin create a rich description that will maximize SEO.

The second is defined as “Deep Links Juggernaut”. You are able to choose anchor words in the post that will automatically create a hyperlink for you. This is available on the free version as well as the SEO Ultimate plus and is a must have for all affiliate marketers.

As of January 1, 2017, the free version no longer comes with support or any updates. Single site licensing starts at $49 per year and ranges up to $249 per year for 20 sites.

SEO Ultimate SEO Ultimate Plus
Deep Links Juggernaut Deep Links Juggernaut
Post defining Post defining
Module control Module control
Meta keyword editor Meta keyword editor
Slug Optimizer
Social Media Integration
Premium support
XML Sitemaps


Each plugin is very user-friendly with over 200,000 active downloads and excellent reviews. They all work exceedingly well and have great features. But each one is tailored slightly to a different user.

  • Yoast has the Snippet tool and the Readability score, so it’s great for blogs.
  • All-in-One SEO Pack is best suited for businesses trying to sell directly. Google Analytics available on free version.
  • SEO Ultimate has post types and is great for affiliate marketing.

Ultimately, no matter what kind of site you run, any one of these three contenders for top SEO plugin will do the job well.

The real matter at hand is that you get one of them up and running on your site the next available moment you have if you’re at all interested in getting organic traffic to your website.

Ben Shepardson

Ben Shepardson has been creating and managing websites and web content since the early aughts. From the early wild days of SEO to today’s demand for fully-researched content that users crave, he’s dealt with it all. His latest project is NoStop Content, a provider of original, top-notch written content for business owners and media agencies.

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6 Responses

  1. I have been using Yoast SEO since a really long time and its performance is very good.

  2. I keep hearing praises about SEO Ultimate lately and intend to try it out.

    But Yoast SEO is my main SEO plugin to use.

  3. Hey Ben,

    Nice Post.

    I have been using Yoast SEO since a really long time. It is one of the first plugins I install when I launch a new site.

    This is the first time I have heard of SEO Ultimate. I think I might give it a try in a few weeks 🙂

  4. I could be wrong but I think the price for yoast is incorrect. It should be $69 for a year, not per month. Right?

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