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SEMrush vs Yoast SEO (2023): Which is the Better WordPress SEO Plugin?

SEMrush is undoubtedly one of the most valuable tools that SEO consultants and agencies can have in their digital marketing arsenal. When talking about SEO optimization on WordPress, however, Yoast SEO is the most commonly used by new and advanced bloggers alike. SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant and Yoast SEO can easily complement each other, as each offers certain features that the other doesn’t. However, if you need to choose just one between SEMrush and Yoast, our detailed comparison below will help you identify which WordPress SEO plugin better suits your needs.

SEMrush vs Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin Comparison Chart

NameSEMrush SEO Writing AssistantYoast SEO Premium
 SEMrush SEO Writing assistant logoYoast SEO logo
PriceCheck Price at SEMrush.comCheck Price at Yoast.com
Keyword OptimizationYesYes
SEO ScoreYesYes
Readability CheckYesYes
Keyword SuggestionsYesNo
Plagiarism CheckYesNo
Page PreviewNoGoogle, Facebook, Twitter
XML Sitemap CreationNoAutomatic
Link RecommendationsYesYes
Redirect ManagerNoYes
Tone of Voice CheckYesNo
24/7 Customer SupportNoYes, 1 year

SEO Score

Both the SEMrush and Yoast SEO WordPress plugins help you craft SEO-optimized content for your website

semrush vs yoast SEO Optimization features
SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant (left) and Yoast SEO (right) show good SEO and Readability scores in green lines 

Those who are new to SEO will find SEMrush and Yoast SEO great starting points for optimizing their content to become more SEO-friendly, thus increasing the chance of ranking. It’s hard to choose between the two as it ultimately depends on where you feel you need an SEO WordPress Plugin to hold your hand while writing your SEO-friendly content. Having said that, Yoast made SEO less intimidating for complete beginners in the field.

Yoast SEO and SEMrush break down the different factors you need to work on (or where you’re doing well) to optimize your content on WordPress. It advises you when your title, permalink, and meta description are too long, or whether you used the keywords enough in your content. Yoast gives you an overview of the SEO basics and gives links to resources explaining its recommendations for every element you may need to work on, thus making it easier for you to understand the logic behind each suggestion. Even if you’ve never written SEO-optimized content before, Yoast helps keep you from blindly publishing content that search engines might not find.

Just like Yoast SEO, SEMrush also lets you know your SEO score, which reflects how SEO-friendly your content is. However, SEMrush’s on-page SEO optimization features and recommendations are not as comprehensive and intuitive as Yoast’s. Where SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant outshines Yoast SEO is in its keyword research tools.

Readability Score

Both WordPress plugins give you insight into how readable your content is, but only SEMrush analyzes your tone and checks for plagiarism

SEMrush readability score
SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant is also available as a Google Docs plugin

Publishing readable content involves thinking about what will make your written work more digestible for your audience. Both SEMrush and Yoast SEO alert you when your sentences are too long or the vocabulary may be too difficult for your target readers. At times, what you think is readable for you may not be as readable to your target audience, thus SEMrush and Yoast’s readability score helps keep you in check. Their algorithm identifies the reading difficulty levels based on the Flesch Reading Ease formula.

SEMrush takes it up a notch by checking your tone of voice and checking for plagiarism by scanning the web of any pages with similar content. This alleviates the need for installing another plugin that may end up slowing down your site loading speed. Yoast SEO lacks these features. It is worth noting that SEMrush’s more comprehensive plagiarism check is accessible if you’re also subscribed to the SEMrush Guru plan.

Deal Finder
Yoast SEO
Best SEO plugin overall for WordPress.org

With more than 5 million active installations on WordPress, Yoast is a solid choice for users who want basic search engine optimization.

Check Price at Yoast.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Keyword Research Tools

SEMrush’s WordPress plugin shows you the keywords from the top 10 ranking Google results

semrush vs yoast Keyword Research Tools
Spy on what keywords your competition domains are ranking for through SEMrush

Part of increasing traffic and visibility to your website is analyzing your competitors, replicating what’s working for them, and avoiding what’s not. SEMrush makes it easier to find your rival domains and without having to use a separate SEO tool. SEMrush shows you the top 10 Google results that pop up for your target keywords. If you want to implement the Skyscraper Technique, this SEMrush feature will come in handy. Of course, it’s not as comprehensive as actually using SEMrush Pro, but it’s a quick and easy way to spy on your competitors.

Yoast SEO Premium doesn’t offer this look into other high-ranking pages. Instead, it provides you with relevant keywords to your target keywords. For instance, if your target keyword is “link building,”  it shows relevant keywords such as “backlinks” or “getting high-quality links” so you can optimize your content for that as well. However, if you want to stay laser-focused on your target keywords, you may find the relevant keywords distracting.

Additional Features

Yoast SEO Premium creates an XML map, displays a preview of your article for social media sharing and offers 24/7 customer support for one year 

Yoast SEO WordPress plugin
Yoast SEO made search-engine optimization more accessible for non-SEO professionals 

If you want search engines to be able to crawl your site smoothly and improve your ranking, an XML map is a must. Yoast SEO automatically updates your site’s XML map to make it easier for search engines to crawl your website. It also gives you a preview of how your article will look like on Google, Facebook, or Twitter so you can optimize the images you use for sharing in your social media platforms. Another factor that makes Yoast SEO even more attractive for beginners is its one-year 24/7 support access if you subscribe to Yoast SEO premium. No more rummaging through forums if you encounter an issue with your WordPress plugin.

SEMrush may not have the abovementioned Yoast services on WordPress, but its main SEMrush SEO platform is as extensive as it gets in terms of search engine optimization and digital marketing tools. Keep in mind, however, that you need your own SEMrush account to be able to take advantage of the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant plugin. You can still use them for free, but its features will be limited compared to when you’re subscribed to the paid SEMrush Pro.


SEMrush’s WordPress plugin provides better keyword research tools, but for complete beginners, Yoast SEO is the better plugin 

As mentioned earlier, SEMrush and Yoast SEO shouldn’t even compete with each other, as they each have their own strengths as a WordPress plugin. Having said that, if you already use the main SEMrush platform for monitoring and analyzing your ranking, the SEMrush WordPress plugin can work seamlessly with that. Doing so helps better streamline your SEO tools for both off-page and on-page optimization. SEMrush further gives you a better picture of your competitor domain’s SEO strategies by showing the top-ranking pages for your target keywords.

Yoast SEO, on the other hand, is best if you want to focus on on-page optimization and want a plugin to automatically generate your site’s XML map. It’s a must-have WordPress plugin if you’re not yet completely confident in how well you can optimize your content on your own. Ultimately, you should keep your target readers in mind, but having SEO plugins like SEMrush or Yoast SEO will help optimize your content for you as you do so.


📌 What is the best SEO plugin for WordPress?

Yoast SEO is among the best and most-installed SEO plugins for WordPress.

📌 Is Yoast SEO good for keyword research?

No, Yoast SEO is not designed for keyword research or content planning. You’ll need SEMrush or similar tools for keyword research.

📌 Is SEMrush free?

You can use SEMrush for free, but the features you can use are very limited.

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps