I love these kind of questions where every plugin developer jumps in with a “hey check out mine which I build because the mist popular one didn’t do what I want… and here are some SEO services.”
And it’s particularly amusing in this case because one could expect that the Best Plugin for SEO is the one that shows up first when you search for “Best Plugin for SEO,” no?
SEO is not a thing you can just plugin.
Rather, it almost is… to prove a point, I long ago hacked into getting the “Who is the best SEO in Austin?” search just so I could tell the story of how any business / startup thinking SEO is a simple as plugging in a key word is both right and horribly wrong.
Stop and think for a moment about what Google wants. Your objective is really that simple. Google wants to present its users with search results that are valuable; both to the user and to Google.
That means a LOT of different things for any given query. Is thus a result from a brand people will recognize? Is this a result that looks good? Is it a credible source? Is it something unique and distinct so that If we’re (Google) wrong, the user will have choices? Does the copy meet the users expectations? Does the user return to Google from the site to which they were sent?
So your job is to consider EVERYTHING about you business and the content you’ve published in every context applicable to those objectives of a search engine.
Now. Here’s the dirty secret. 90% of those things have nothing to do with a plugin.
In fact, if you do those things well, a plugin doesn’t make any difference. Why? Because the plugin is little more than band-aid to fix what’s screwed up, it’s NOT a means of doing anything right.
What do I mean by that?
Consider simply, the titles of your pages and posts. Are they what people searching are seeking or what you think they want?
Consider simply the quality of your site. Is it something that reflects a credible and valued business?
Consider simply if your pages meet user expectations. Do they bounce away? Convert? Read more?
Consider simply your brand. Does anyone recognize it? Is it familiar? Are search users going to pick you or your competitor?
If you fail in that regard, no plugin will matter.
All that said (I’m being a bit of a jerk because I’ve been in the search space too long and all the snake oil sales is making me cranky), does a plugin help? Yes.
Why? It helps Google realize those things. It’s going to make your social data accessible to Google so it can determine if your site is indeed credible and popular. It’s going to simplify your URLs which, like page titles, should be straightforward and intuitive to your audience. It helps remind you about quality content and engagement so you don’t write articles without appreciating that length, language, and other metrics matter.
But again, it won’t fix those things. Either you appreciate their importance and do them, or you don’t. Syncing up your social data with your site, for example, won’t improve your rank at all of you don’t have a following and engage it; that means being active, engaging, and valued on social media.
An SEO plugin won’t make you rank well, the “Optimization” of your business for search engines will, and that’s a practice that’s always changing.