SEOPress is a WordPress SEO plugin. It is lightweight with lots of features and has to compete against some very well established names like Yoast, The SEO Framework and All in One SEO Pack. So how does it compare to the competition? Does it deliver the results we want from an SEO plugin?
Read on to find out!
We have used SEOPress extensively before this review on some of my own websites and for this review on a couple of test sites. Having shifted to SEOPress from a competitor who gradually became overcomplicated, we haven’t looked back since. We have played around with the settings, used it on different stages of a website’s development and have a pretty good idea of how this WordPress plugin works and how it compares to other SEO plugins.
From free to $39 per year (for unlimited sites)
No but core plugin is free
Ease of use - It takes minutes to install and set up and you can be making improvements straight away.
Fully featured – The free plugin has everything you need while the Pro version just adds to the goodness.
Lots of Google Tools – the inclusion of Analytics, Knowledge Graph and Local all make this plugin shine
Price – The plugin is free while the Pro version is just $39 a year.
New developer on the scene – It’s a very minor downside but the developer is largely unknown - will elaborate on this below.
Learning curve – This is another very minor downside and one all SEO plugins have.
Ease of use
(email support + WordPress forum)
Value for money
What is SEOPress?
SEOPress is a WordPress plugin designed to make the very complicated job of climbing the SERPs easier. Along with the likes of Yoast and SEMrush, the plugin tries to collect all the fundamental elements of SEO and organise them into a series of menus within a single plugin. It is the brainchild of Benjamin Denis, a developer who also created WPCloudy and WP Admin UI, two other plugins for WordPress. If you're interested in learning more about other WordPress plugins in general, do check out the rest of our articles.
There are two versions of SEOPress, a free version, and SEOPress Pro which requires a subscription. The free version includes all the main tools you need to begin climbing the rankings while the Pro version adds a few more tools for extra benefit.
Have a look at the quick intro video below:
As anyone with a website knows, SEO and being as close as possible to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) is a primary goal. We want to make sure as many people as possible see the website, particularly when they are searching for a product which we offer, and convert into paying customers. SEO a large part of how we do that.
You generally have two options to achieve this:
Pay an SEO outfit a large amount of money to deliver your results or you can use a plugin like SEOPress and do it yourself.
Doing it yourself will take longer and requires time and effort, but you retain full control over what happens and how you are represented on the web. It will also be much cheaper and you can refine your SEO on the fly as you learn new techniques.
Both the free and premium versions of SEOPress are feature-packed. The free version is a very capable SEO plugin in its own right and will cover most things you’ll need.
- a simple installation wizard,
- control of titles and meta descriptions,
- generation of XML sitemap,
- generation of HTML sitemap,
- a content analysis tool,
- Google Knowledge Graph,
- generate of meta data for Twitter Card,
- Google Analytics tool
- and a whole lot more.
SEOPress Pro adds:
- Google Suggestions,
- a broken link checker,
- Google Structured Data Types (schemas.org),
- Backlink tool,
- Video XML Sitemap tool,
- Google Analytics Stats,
- Redirect tool,
- Google Page Speed Insights,
- WooCommerce integration and optimization,
- Google News Sitemap,
- a 404 monitoring tool
- and URL rewriting tool.
As you can see, there’s a lot here, both in the free plugin and as part of the pro package. There are too many features to cover all of them so we’ll cover some of the main tools you’ll use below.
1. Titles & Metas
Titles and meta description tags are central to any SEO effort. They are actually two of the most important factors when it comes to on-page SEO, besides the actual slug you use as the URL of a page.
The ability to control exactly what is used in the search engines means you have control over how your pages. SEOPress allows you to set your own title and meta description from within the plugin.
You can do this for the entire site, every page, and every post.
One of the great things we like is the extensive support for variables. When you're competing for clicks, and better rankings, your CTR can make a huge difference. Using variables, you can create a dynamic title that encourages users to click through. For example, using (%%currentmonth%% %%currentyear%%) will create something like (September 2020), at the end of title. This encourages searchers to click through because they know that the article has been updated recently.
XML sitemaps are used by the search engines to help them crawl your website. HTML sitemaps are there to help direct visitors to pages they are looking for. Both help bots and human visitors navigate your website and both contribute in a small way to your overall SEO.
You can create both from within SEOPress in less than a minute.
One needs to note that other popular plugins such as Yoast and All In One SEO, do not generate HTML sitemaps, and you'd need to install yet another plugin to do this.
3. Google Knowledge Graph
The inclusion of Google Knowledge Graph is a real bonus.
If you don’t know what that is, search for a brand, artist or movie and look to the right of the search results. You should see a box containing a short bio, social media links, weblinks and supplementary information.
That’s the Google Knowledge Graph. SEOPress allows you to create your very own which will be shown every time you come up in search. See an example of the CollectiveRay knowledge graph below.
4. Content Analysis
We are usually very suspicious of app or algorithms that say they know how to write better than a human.
Content Analysis is one of those but it does quite well. It’s not like Grammarly, correcting your errors. It’s more about content structure, headlines, titles, imagery and general help with formatting your content for SEO, particularly to tweak your on-page optimization to give you the best chance of ranking.
If you have something missing, it will highlight this, so you can fix this.
One thing we noted here is that keyword matching is exact only i.e. if you use partial keywords, these are not listed. If you use synonyms, this is also not flagged. This is one of those areas where the human brain is able to do this implicitly, while it is incredibly difficult for an algorithm to compute this.
But we won't fault the software for this, none of the alternative SEO plugins does this so far, so they're on par with each other.
5. 404 Monitoring
404 monitoring is a SEOPress Pro feature that will scan your website for broken links and works with the standalone broken link checker to ensure your site is fully navigable. While having complete links does not actively improve your SEO, having broken links can detract from it. They can also ruin the visitor experience which you don’t want either!
6. Broken link checker
The SEOPress broken link checker does a similar job to 404 monitoring only it doesn’t monitor. You need to trigger a scan but the process is very similar. The plugin will scan all hyperlinks on your website and provide a list of any broken links for you to repair.
You can then work your way through the links correcting or deleting as appropriate. This is one of the important aspects of technical SEO. Most times, you'll have to purchase specific software to run this process for you, so having this built-in is a huge advantage.
This functionality is not available in such software as Yoast.
7. Google Local Business / Google My Business
Local search is key for many websites, especially those linked to brick and mortar stores or local services.
SEOPress enables you to control your Google Maps presence and make it shine. You can configure your business name, address, latitude and longitude, URL, phone number and all the elements that are important to local search.
This provides a big SEO bonus to any business but especially to those for whom local search is relevant.
8. Google Analytics
You can access Google Analytics directly through your Google account but it’s nice to have the dashboard within WordPress too. You will have to provide your Google login for SEOPress to gather data but the rest is done for you. There isn’t quite the depth of data here that there is in your Google Search Console but there is certainly enough to get you started.
The SEOPress UX is a positive one. It is beginner-friendly in the sense that everything is explained and there are videos and documentation outlining most aspects of the plugin. It isn’t quite so friendly in the sheer volume of decisions you have to make and settings you have to set. That’s no bad thing. Just plan on spending a couple of hours just working your way through the options.
But have a look at the above wizard. It literally guides you through the changes you need to do, guiding you with what you need to do to fix the problem. It also shows you the impact that action will have on your rankings. Neat!
Once installed, SEOPress adds a side menu item accessible from the WordPress dashboard. From here you can control every feature and drill down into each further in many cases. Free plugin users will be able to access all the features that come with the free version from the side menu. SEOPress Pro users will be able to access the premium tools from the PRO menu. A new window will appear with all the Pro features in tabs.
Each works in exactly the same way. Open the option, make your changes and hit Save Changes at the bottom. Save before shifting from tab or feature to make sure you don’t lose any settings. That’s all there is to it.
SEOPress comes with a simple wizard to help you get started. As you load it, you are presented with a dashboard with a list of priorities. Select the option to fix it next to the list item and you are taken directly to where you can make your configuration changes. Not everything is explained but it makes initial SEO setup very easy.
In my time using SEOPress, we have never had an issue that we needed help with. Ben is however very responsive via email whenever we had any interactions, which is always a good sign. However, should we need it in the future, there is a fully populated support area on the SEOPress website with lots of documentation covering most features and configuration options within the app.
SEOPress Pro users also receive email support from within the account section of the website. There is no mention of wait times or priorities and we have yet to need this support but it is there if you need it. Email support isn’t ideal as it isn’t tracked, audited or managed but it’s better than nothing.
PROs and CONs
Every plugin has positives and negatives and strengths and weaknesses. SEOPress is no different although the pros far outweigh the cons in this case!
- Free to use – The free version of SEOPress is a very strong contender as a WordPress plugin for SEO. It has a ton of tools, includes most of the key SEO tools you’re likely to need, makes it easy to import Yoast or other SEO plugin settings and works fast.
- Fully featured – As above but also more. The free SEOPress comes with everything you need to get your SEO up and running, from XML sitemaps to Google Analytics and even a very useful content analysis tool. There is everything here covered if you’re starting out or if you want to supercharge your SEO.
- Pricing –The pricing for the pro version is also on point. While $39 a year may seem a lot, in terms of what you get and what some of the competition charges, it really isn’t. You get all the features listed and can use them on unlimited numbers of websites. Most WordPress plugins limit how many sites you can use their product on. Not so here.
- Google Knowledge Graph – This is a very useful tool to help engagement. Your bio provides all the essential information for the user and your social media links, weblinks and any images you might want to use. It won’t do a massive amount for SEO but in terms of brand presence, it can work wonders.
- Content Analysis – The Content Analysis tool is another top performer. While an algorithm should not control how you write, it is useful to see how your content performs in terms of structure, keyword terms, and headlines.
- Great documentation – Most SEO plugins assume a level of knowledge in order to get the most out of them. While that’s true here, there is a range of documentation and supplementary information on hand too. The plugin is very straightforward but there is a lot to learn and some best practices to get to grips with. The documentation does its best to make sure you can do just that.
- Not as well-known as the competition – Yes we know we’re clutching at straws here but it’s the only downside we have seen so far. The guy behind SEOPress is not as well-known as Yoast or some of the others. In reality, Ben aka Rainbowgeek has two more plugins, WPCloudy and WP Admin UI, which have 13,000 active installs between them. He's also been known to organize WordPress events, meetups, is a WordPress speaker and does contribute significantly to the industry. However, the fact is, this isn't a plugin from a big vendor. This isn’t really a downside as we always tend to root for the underdog or the new guy but some may find this as a problem or risk.
- Learning curve – All SEO plugins have a learning curve so this isn’t a criticism of this plugin especially. Every SEO plugin for WordPress out there requires the same amount of effort to learn and to master.
SEOPress has its pricing nailed. The core plugin is free to use and includes all the core SEO tools you need to get your website listed and climbing SERPs.
SEOPress Pro is only $39 per year (please note: for UNLIMITED sites) and includes all the pro features. There are no extras, everything is included and there are no half measures. What you see is what you get.
SEOPress core includes:
- Titles & metas
- XML Sitemap
- HTML Sitemap
- Google Knowledge Graph
- Twitter Card
- Content Analysis
- Google Analytics
- Intuitive interface
SEOPress Pro adds:
- Google XML Video Sitemap
- Google Structured Data Types
- Google Local Business
- Google Suggest
- Dublin Core
- Google Analytics
- Google Page Speed
- Google News Sitemap
- 404 monitoring
- And many more features
What’s more, SEOPress Pro and the free version allows you to use this plugin on as many sites as you like. Most premium plugins offer arbitrary limits on deployments and lock further deployment behind higher-priced options. This plugin doesn’t do that. Whichever version you use, it can be used on unlimited numbers of websites.
Discount / Coupon code
There are currently no running discounts for SEOPress Pro. If we have any, or there is a current offer, you'll find it listed here.
It’s always good to get a selection of feedback and opinions on a product before you buy. You have patiently put up with our own opinion so far so how about hearing from some others who have also used SEOPress?
Brian Jackson from Kinsta has this to say about SEOPress:
‘SEOPress is a freemium All In One SEO plugin for WordPress with no ads. It’s completely white-labeled with no footprints even in the free version. It’s simple, fast, and powerful, letting you manage all of your titles and meta descriptions for posts/pages/post types/terms.’
Kevin Mahoney over at Marketing By Kevin had this to say about SEOPress:
‘The free version does a fantastic job. If you do find you need the extras the pro version affords, you can pick the pro version up for $39/year. The good thing about this license is that you can have as many sites using the plugin as you want.’
Patrick over at WPBuilder Helper said:
‘Competition breeds innovation and I believe that SEOPress is a decent competitor that offers tons of value for your money.’
Finally, Kevin Muldoon had this to say:
‘I was thoroughly impressed with what SEOPress can do. With established plugins like Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack having millions of active installations, an SEO plugin has to really stand out to grab the attention of WordPress users. I think SEOPress does this by offering many features that are not available in alternative solutions.’ Kevin Muldoon
Alternatives to SEOPress
The SEO plugin space is a lively one with a large number of very competent competitors. They include: Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, The SEO Framework, Rank Math, SEO Squirrly and many others.
All offer similar features and benefits but not always in such a user-friendly or wallet-friendly way. Each is definitely worth checking out though.
Conclusion - should you buy this plugin?
This is probably the first time in my many years using WordPress and its various themes and plugins that we have struggled quite so much to find fault with it. This is an SEO plugin to beat all SEO plugins and competes, and perhaps outperforms, most of the others on the market.
Pricing is spot on. Features are plentiful. The design is excellent and the overall layout and navigation is so simple, even someone brand new to WordPress can follow it. Plus, it performs on the SEO front which is the most important thing. There’s no point having an SEO plugin that looks nice and says it can do lots of things and then doesn’t deliver!
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