How to Choose an SEO Plug-In

If you look around on the Internet, there are so many SEO-related plug-ins out there for WordPress. For example, Yoast, Rankmath, All in One SEO are some of the popular solutions. All those plug-ins aim to serve one primary purpose. That is to assist us with our SEO efforts. However, there could be differences in individual features and how each solution goes about getting its job done. While hunting for a suitable plug-in for our SEO needs, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of different opinions shared by users based on their personal experiences. One might say a particular solution is more effective in achieving certain functionality than the others. Another might say that it’s the other way around. Therefore, it could prove very difficult for someone to decide which plug-in they should pick, considering all those different user opinions. I’ve seen the question ‘which SEO plug-in should I pick’ or ‘which SEO plug-in will work best for me?’ has been a question that gets asked quite frequently within a myriad of SEO circles. So I’ve decided to do my own research and share with you how I feel about it. However, I am not going to recommend one particular plug-in over the others. Instead, I will be focusing on the thinking or the idea that you should have in your mind while launching your SEO efforts.

The single most important thing I’ve learned about SEO plug-ins is that they are not supposed to mean everything in SEO. Simply put, SEO plug-ins are NOT SEO itself. Period. SEO plug-ins are simply tools that are supposed to assist with a range of other SEO activities to make the process lot smoother, productive and efficient. Someone who is doing SEO should never rely on an SEO tool as the almighty god of their overall SEO efforts. According to many SEO experts, no plug-in is a replacement for someone’s abilities or skills. SEO has evolved to become much more of a human-oriented process that takes a lot of attention to detail, analysis, insights, and proper planning. There’s more to the intellect than to the tools.

One should understand the basics of SEO before trying to utilize any SEO tools. Otherwise, that would be no different to someone who tries to use a knife without knowing what to do with it. Tools can help if you understand when you are going to need it and for what purpose. Therefore, learn some basics of SEO first before trying to decide on SEO tools. Trying to pick an SEO tool before learning SEO itself is like picking up the wrong end of the snake. The result is never going to be a good one. But if you’ve covered the basics and you already know what you are doing, then there will only be fewer things to worry and that way, you’ll also know if the plug-in is doing its job accurately or not. For example, some experts in the industry believe that SEO plug-ins, in general, don’t do a good enough job with generating schemas. They’ve even gone as far as labeling it as horrible. However, if you already understand how schemas work, then you can check what the plug-in has done and take steps to correct/improve it to suit your requirements. No tool can help improve your site if you don’t understand how to verify whether it works the way you intended.

Yoast, Rankmath, and All in One SEO are the most popular plug-ins available at the moment of this writing. I would say the community is kind-of divided between Yoast and Rankmath as their preferred solutions. Some people prefer Yoast while some others prefer Rankmath. But there seemed to be people who prefer solutions such as All in One SEO Pack as well. Overall, it’s not that easy to provide a concrete answer. According to many Rankmath fans, it is easier to start with, and therefore they prefer it as the go-to solution for someone who’s just getting started. Some say Yoast is not that beginner-friendly and therefore only recommended for advanced users. Some say Rankmath free version alone is better than the pro versions of both Yoast or All in One SEO Pack. Some people prefer to use Rankmath with Elementor website builder for better content optimization, which is something they say is not possible with Yoast. There are a lot of ideas, insights, and preferences. Considering all of that, you would have to test out each of the plug-ins one at a time and pick the one that suits you best and fulfills your requirements. After all, it comes down to personal preference.

I’d like to finish off with a screenshot of a Facebook post; a comment made by a popular SEO plug-in vendor Rankmath which validates what I’ve been trying to explain in this article:

There you have it. SEO tools (such as plug-ins) only provide a reference guide on areas that you should consider improving for better results. In other words, they are only there for your reference. They do not dictate or guarantee rankings. Always be prepared to do what’s best for your website via critical thinking rather than relying on a tool.

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