If you consider yourself a blogger, entrepreneur, small business owner, or anyone with an online presence, hopefully you know a thing or two about SEO.
Thankfully, platforms like WordPress provide plugins that allow you to make website changes without having to be too versed in coding or search engine optimization in order for your website to succeed.
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular SEO plugins; it has both a free and premium (paid) option. It’s user-friendly and is installed on more than 5 million websites, as of this writing.
That being said, there are several other great options for WordPress SEO plugins in addition to Yoast – they just don’t get enough attention online.
We’re here to change that.
Check out the following list of the seven best alternatives to Yoast SEO.
Known as the “swiss army knife of SEO”, Rank Math is a WordPress plugin designed with tons of helpful features to improve your website’s online visibility.
It has a smart automation feature that will save you a ton of time, along with a user-friendly design and easy-to-use setup wizard that makes implementing Rank Math and optimizing your site a breeze.
Unlike Yoast which only lets you optimize your posts for one feature keyword, Rank Math lets you choose up to 5 keywords per post.
It has the ability to perform a complete SEO audit on your website, and it even has specific features to target local SEO, so your site is guaranteed to stand out from the rest.
If you haven’t seen it yet, Rank Math is definitely worth trying out!
SEOPress is an all-in-one, white label SEO plugin for WordPress that will help your website stand out in the SERPs in no time.
They offer both a free and paid version, and the paid version is incredibly affordable (only $39 a year!).
SEOPress works by:
Improving your social network sharing.
Analyzing your content with unlimited keywords.
Managing your titles, snippets, and meta descriptions.
Sharing your sitemap with Google so they can quickly recognize any changes and index them to boost your SEO.
They’re rated 4.9/5 by WordPress users, and it’s easy to see why.
All in One SEO Pack was created in 2007 and has generated a huge following since then. It’s one of the most downloaded plugins on WordPress.
It has all of its setting on a single page which is preferable to some who find plugins with multiple pages (like Yoast) confusing and time-consuming.
The settings are divided up according to features, so it’s easy to know where to click if you want to work on your site’s homepage, title, display, etc.
It comes with an XML sitemap, a file editor, a performance manager, and the ability to import and export SEO data.
Overall it’s a great alternative to Yoast.
SEOPressor powers over 23 million WordPress websites, and it’s easy to see why.
Their dashboard presents all your SEO data clearly in one place, so it’s quick and easy to identify and remedy any errors.
They let you optimize up to three keywords, and their newly designed algorithm was formulated based on an analysis of 3 billion rows of data so it crawls your site almost as well as Google itself.
Unfortunately, they don’t have a free version, but their paid option starts at only $9 a month so it’s affordable for most businesses.
The SEO Framework sets itself apart from other WordPress SEO plugins because it’s driven by AI, and so it automatically analyzes and optimizes many elements of your website that you would have to do manually if you were using other plugins.
It comes preconfigured, but you have the option to tweak the settings to meet your needs, and the intelligence built into it optimizes your website’s pages without you having to do anything (if you don’t want to).
It automatically generates page titles and descriptions that are sure to be recognized by Google.
Additionally, it’s unbranded so you won’t see the words “The SEO Framework” anywhere on your website.
The free version allows you to incorporate some extensions like Incognito, but if you want to link multiple sites, have API access, or premium extensions like Local SEO you’ll need to upgrade to their premium or enterprise plans.
Premium SEO Pack boasts that it’s “the best SEO plugin for WordPress”, but by now hopefully you understand that there are a lot of “best” plugins.
That being said, Premium SEO Pack has a lot of great features and it’s definitely something you should check out if you’re looking to optimize your website.
Like many of the others, it has both free and paid versions, and naturally the paid options come with more features.
Although the free version doesn’t come with the tech support that the paid ones have, it does include a unique feature: mass optimization.
The mass optimization module allows you to optimize all your posts and pages at one time in addition to optimizing your meta titles, descriptions, and keywords as well.
This feature definitely sets it apart from some of the other plugin options, and it’s worth checking out their website to see more about how mass optimization can save you time and money.
WP Meta SEO is a plugin designed for people who have little to no understanding of SEO.
You’d be surprised at how many bloggers and business owners don’t comprehend what SEO is and how it impacts their website, but thankfully plugins like this one make it easy to close the gap in knowledge.
The first thing this plugin does after being downloaded is to list all the major SEO problems that are currently on your website.
You can mouse over each issue and it gives you a basic description of what the problem is and how you can fix it; it doesn’t get much easier than that!
If you want to make your life even easier, you can link WP to Google Analytics to further analyze your content, descriptions, and focus keywords.
While this plugin is great for beginners, it also has enough features to impress even a seasoned SEO expert, and it has no trouble competing with the other plugins for top spot.
Do you use any of these plugins for your WordPress site? We’d love to hear an honest review!
Leave a comment and let us know what you use and how an SEO plugin impacts your online presence.
Featured Image: Created by author, June 2019 In-Post Image #1: wordpress.org In-Post Image #2: seopress.org In-Post Image #3: wordpress.org In-Post Image #4: seopressor.com In-Post Image #5: theseoframework.com In-Post Image #6: premiumseopack.com In-Post Image #7: wordpress.org
On Oct. 31, Google announced the launch of its Site Kit WordPress plugin that, “enables you to set up and configure key Google services, get insights on how people find and use your site, learn how to improve, and easily monetize your content.”
This plugin allows you to easily connect the following Google Services in a dashboard format within your WordPress backend:
It brings the convenience of accessing your site’s performance data while logged into the backend of the site. This is great for webmasters, developers and agencies who are often an admin for their own site or a client’s WordPress site. However, it does not offer the robust and dynamic capabilities of a Google Data Studio report or dashboard to sort data so it may not be ideal for a digital marketing manager or CMO.
With that said, it wouldn’t hurt to implement this plugin as it’s actually a nifty tool that can help you stay on top of your site’s performance metrics. It’s also another way to give Google more access to your site which can have some in-direct benefits organically.
Here is what the Google Site Kit plugin looks like within the WordPress plugin directory.
Installing and setting up Google Site Kit
To utilize the plugin, simply click install and activate as you would any other WordPress plugin. You will then be prompted to complete the set up.
Click on the “Start Setup” button.
You will be prompted to give access to your site’s Google Search Console profile, which means you need to sign in to the Gmail account that has access to your site’s Search Console profile.
Once logged in you need to grant permissions for Google to access the data in your Search Console profile.
Once you’ve granted all the respective permissions, you will get a completion notification and can then click on “Go to my Dashboard.”
Once you’re in the Dashboard you will see options to connect other services such as Analytics, AdSense and PageSpeed insights. You can now choose to connect these services if you like. If you go to the settings of the plugin you will see additional connection options for Optimize and Tag Manager.
Here is what the dashboard looks like with Search Console, analytics and PageSpeed Insights enabled. You can see a clear breakdown of the respective metrics.
The plugin allows you to dive into each reporting respectively with navigation options on the left to drill down into Search Console and analytics.
There is also an admin bar feature to see individual page stats.
In summary, this is a great plugin by Google but keep in mind it’s just version 1.0. I’m excited to see what features and integrations the later versions will have!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
About The Author
Tony Edward is a director of SEO at Tinuiti and an adjunct instructor of search marketing at NYU. Tony has been in the online marketing industry for over 10 years. His background stems from affiliate marketing and he has experience in paid search, social media and video marketing. Tony is also the founder of the Thinking Crypto YouTube channel.
Bing announced a new link penalties. These link penalties are focused on taking down private blog networks (PBNs), subdomain leasing and manipulative cross-site linking.
Inorganic Site Structure
An inorganic site structure is a linking pattern that uses internal site-level link signals (with subdomains) or cross-site linking patterns (with external domains) in order to manipulate search engine rankings.
While these spam techniques already existed, Bing introduced the concept of calling them “inorganic site structure” in order to describe them.
Bing noted that sites legitimately create subdomains to keep different parts of the site separate, such as support.example.com. These are treated as belonging to the main domain, passing site-level signals to the subdomains.
Bing also said sites like WordPress create standalone sites under subdomains, in which case no site level signals are passed to the subdomains.
Examples of Inorganic Site Structure
An inorganic site structure is when a company leases a subdomain in order to take advantage of site-level signals to rank better. There have been
Private blog networks were also included as inorganic site structure
Bing also introduced the idea of domain boundaries. The idea is that there are boundaries to a domain. Sometimes, as in the case of legitimate subdomains (ex. support.example.com), those boundaries extend out to the subdomain. In other cases like WordPress.com subdomains the boundaries do not extend to the subdomains.
Private Blog Networks (PBNs) Bing called out PBNs as a form of spam that abuse website boundaries.
“While not all link networks misrepresent website boundaries, there are many cases where a single website is artificially split across many different domains, all cross-linking to one another, for the obvious purpose of rank boosting. This is particularly true of PBNs (private blog networks).”
Subdomain Leasing Penalties
Bing explained why they consider subdomain leasing a spammy activity:
“…we heard concerns from the SEO community around the growing practice of hosting third-party content or letting a third party operate a designated subdomain or subfolder, generally in exchange for compensation.
…the practice equates to buying ranking signals, which is not much different from buying links.”
At the time of this article, I still see a news site subdomain ranking in Bing (and Google). This page belongs to another company. All the links are redirected affiliate type links with parameters meant for tracking the referrals.
According to Archive.org the subdomain page was credited to an anonymous news staffer. Sometime in the summer the author was switched to someone with a name who is labeled as an expert, although the content is still the same.
So if Bing is already handing out penalties that means Bing (and Google who also ranks this page) still have some catching up to do.
Bing mentioned sites that are essentially one site that are broken up into multiple interlinking sites. Curiously Bing said that these kinds of sites already in violation of other link spam rules but that additional penalties will apply.
Here’s the kind of link structure that Bing used as an example:
All these sites are interlinking to each other. All the sites have related content and according to Bing are essentially the same site. This kind of linking practice goes back many years. They are traditionally known as interlinked websites. They are generally topically related to each other.
Bing used the above example to illustrate interlinked sites that are really just one site.
That link structure resembles the structure of interlinked websites that belong to the same company. If you’re planning a new web venture, it’s generally a good idea to create a site that’s comprehensive than to create a multitude of sites that are focused on just a small part of the niche.
Curiously, in reference to the above illustration, Bing said that kind of link structure was already in violation of link guidelines and that more penalties would be piled on top of those:
“Fig. 3 – All these domains are effectively the same website. This kind of behavior is already in violation of our link policy.
Going forward, it will be also in violation of our “inorganic site structure” policy and may receive additional penalties.“
It’s good news to hear Bing is improving. Competition between search engines encourage innovation and as Bing improves perhaps search traffic may become more diversified as more people switch to Bing as well as other engines like DuckDuckGo.
Read Bing’s announcement: Some Thoughts on Website Boundaries
Google has released version 1.0 of its Site Kit plugin for WordPress, which means its officially out of beta after 6 months.
In the time since the developer preview of Site Kit was released, Google says it drastically simplified the setup, fixed bugs, and polished the main user flows.
Site Kit allows WordPress users to access data from Google products right from their site’s dashboard. The plugin aggregates data from Google Search Console, Google Analytics, PageSpeed Insights, and AdSense.
With Site Kit there’s no additional code editing required, which makes it easy to set up products like Google Analytics for those without any developer experience.
Anyone can install Site Kit, but Google emphasizes that it’s especially useful for professionals who work on sites for clients. The reasons why include:
Clients and other teams can easily access data from Google products by logging into the WordPress dashboard.
Clients will see performance states and improvement recommendations directly from Google
Site Kit allows you to set roles and permissions and make sure only relevant people can see the data.
To get the most out of Site Kit, Google recommends reviewing the main dashboard on at least a weekly basis. You can also check the stats of individual pages by navigating to the page and clicking on Site Kit in the admin bar.
With this data, Google recommends comparing the top performing pages and seeing how people found them. This can help you discover trends, such as which topics get the most engagement on Twitter, which get the most engagement on Facebook, and so on.
To get started with Site Kit, simply install it from your WordPress dashboard.