If you like to update your SEO practices according to the latest trends, you know how challenging it is to find a tool that helps you do so.
The two best SEO tools are hands down, Yoast SEO and Semrush. They’re both easy to use, packed with features, and instantly help you improve your SEO performance.
While they both are amazing on their own, they have some distinct features that can give you an edge over your competitors. However, the key lies in picking the right tool.
So, which one is right for you?
In this article, I’ll compare Yoast vs Semrush to help you decide the best tool for your SEO needs. So, let’s get started!
Yoast SEO: A brief overview and features
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin for SEO that helps you optimize your content for search engines. It offers helpful tools that ensure your content fulfills the latest SEO requirements, so it has a better chance of ranking higher on the search engine result pages (SERPs).
These are the key features of Yoast SEO:
- Yoast SEO checker monitors all aspects of your website’s on-page SEO—from meta tags to keyword density—and provides feedback on improving each.
- A detailed Yoast SEO report detailing your content’s SEO performance.
- Generates an XML sitemap that makes it easier for Google and other search engines to find and index your pages.
- The real-time content analysis with Yoast SEO lets you create custom titles, descriptions, and URLs optimized for search engines.
- The readability analysis tools let you know if your posts are easy enough to understand or need work.
Semrush: A brief overview and features
Semrush is an all-in-one digital marketing tool with a comprehensive collection of basic to advanced SEO and marketing features designed to help you analyze your website and competitor data. The tool not only boosts the quality of your content but also enables you to identify growth opportunities.
Like Yoast SEO, you can install a Semrush WordPress plugin on your website for ease. This SEO tool offers SEO, PPC (Pay-Per-Click), and content marketing capabilities, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to increase their website’s visibility.
These are the key features of Semrush:
- Find the right keywords to target for your SEO and PPC campaigns
- Conduct detailed analyses of website performances, including search engine rankings, backlinks, traffic sources, and more.
- Track competitor activity and identify areas where your competitors outperform you so you can adjust accordingly.
- Check your website for technical errors and potential issues holding back your traffic.
- Get ecommerce-focused analytics & reporting or local SEO tools
- Plan, create, and measure the performance of your content marketing campaigns.
You can also perform all these functions with the Semrush plugin for WordPress.
Yoast vs Semrush: Summary
In a nutshell, the winner of this “Yoast vs Semrush” one-on-one depends on your SEO needs. Each tool has unique features that suit individuals with different needs.
If you need an easy-to-use, straightforward content optimization tool, Yoast SEO will suffice your needs.
Yoast SEO only helps optimize your content and on-page SEO, while Semrush is a full-scale digital marketing tool offering many more features. So, if your focus is beyond on-page content optimization, Semrush is the best option.
Additionally, Yoast is a WordPress plugin, while Semrush was launched as a standalone cloud-based tool. However, you can now easily install a Semrush for WordPress plugin.
You can also integrate both SEO tools into your online stores. Yoast Shopify tool integrates directly into the e-store for SEO optimization, while you’d have to use Zapier for Semrush integration.
Some key differences between Yoast SEO and SEMrush Writing Assistant include:
|Tone of voice
With Yoast SEO free tool, you can benefit from basic content optimization for as long as you want without paying a single cent. Semrush is also free, but only in the downsized version with specific daily limitations.
Yoast vs Semrush SEO Writing Assistant
Let’s begin this Yoast vs Semrush one-on-one by comparing their SEO Writing Assistant. Both tool’s Writing Assistants are available as WordPress plugins.
The Semrush SEO Writing Assistant is a part of the Semrush Content Marketing Toolkit that helps you optimize your web content for search engines. It provides real-time feedback on how well your content matches up with best practices for SEO.
You can access the Semrush SEO Writing Assistant with the Semrush Guru plan.
All you need to do is enter your text and keywords into the assistant, and it will provide feedback on how well it meets the criteria for key elements of SEO writing.
You can use the Semrush SEO Writing Assistant in three content editors:
- Google Docs
- WordPress Editor
- Semrush account
This post will mainly focus on using the Semrush SEO Writing Assistant as a WordPress plugin to compare it with Yoast SEO. To get started with these plugins, you simply need to install and activate them from your WordPress dashboard.
If you don’t have an Semrush account yet, you can use my exclusive affiliate links to get 30-day free trials with my Semrush free trial offers.
Yoast vs Semrush SEO Writing Assistant – TLDR Summary
The biggest difference between Yoast and the Semrush SEO Writing Assistant is that Yoast helps you improve mostly the on-page SEO of your content, whereas the Semrush SEO Writing Assistant helps you optimize your actual content based on your target keywords.
Yoast SEO vs Semrush: SEO and readability
The two metrics common between Yoast SEO vs Semrush are:
For both tools, these options are at the bottom of your WordPress post/page editor. Let’s compare both in detail.
Yoast SEO feature
The SEO section of Yoast provides tips to improve your on-page SEO based on a focus keyword and a preview of how your post will appear in Google SERP.
The SEO section of Yoast will show you the following:
- Mobile/ Desktop preview
- Title tag and meta description editor and preview
- Tips on where to include your focus keyword
- Internal and nofollowed and normal outbound link(s) in the content
- Reminder to create an SEO title and add alt text to images
- Indexation options of a page
If you have the premium version of Yoast, you can add more related keyphrases to optimize your titles and content further and track your SEO performance.
Semrush SEO feature
The Semrush SEO Writing Assistant provides SEO tips similar to Yoast, like adding alt text to images and internal and external linking.
However, there are a few differences in both tools’ SEO metrics, especially in how they provide insights.
For instance, unlike Yoast, Semrush does not suggest where to add your focus keywords. Instead, it offers recommendations on keywords to include in your content based on the 22 billion+ keyword database of Semrush.
Enter the keywords you want to optimize the content (you can also extract it from the text), and get recommendations. If you have Semrush SEO Premium, you can add related keyphrases to optimize your content further.
You can also perform an Semrush meta description and page title audit to optimize these metrics. The Site Audit tool helps you do that. Once the audit is completed, you can use the on-page SEO checker to find areas for improvement in your descriptions and titles.
Yoast SEO readability feature
The Readability section of Yoast shows you how easy or difficult your content is to read and provides a few recommendations to improve it.
It gives you a Flesch reading score to show your content’s readability while providing tips about the length of sentences, paragraphs, and headings. You will also have the transition word and passive voice percentages.
Semrush readability feature
The Semrush SEO Writing Assistant provides metrics on the readability and target text length. This is the closest similarity in this Yoast SEO vs Semrush comparison.
With Semrush Readability Checker, you can also compare the complexity of your content against that of your top 10 competitors using the same tool. You will also have improvement suggestions and the approximate reading time of your content.
Yoast SEO vs Semrush: Distinctive writing features
Yoast and Semrush have two distinctive writing features. Yoast SEO offers:
On the other hand, Semrush offers:
- Tone of Voice
Let’s discover each aspect in detail.
Yoast SEO schema feature
Getting high search engine rankings becomes more challenging every day, but adding schema markups to your post can significantly boost your SEO.
Schema markup, or structured data, helps search engines understand the content on your web pages. It’s actually a semantic code or language that search engines use to read and categorize webpage content.
One of the biggest advantages of Yoast is that you can add Schema to your post directly as you write it in a few clicks.
The Semrush SEO Writing Assistant does not provide this feature.
Yoast SEO social feature
Another advantage of Yoast is that you can customize the preview of how your post URL appears on social media (Facebook and Twitter). You can even select a separate image to add to your social media posts.
This feature is also not available on Semrush.
Semrush content originality feature
Semrush SEO Content Checker is an all-in-one tool for complete content optimization.
Besides running SEO content analysis, you can easily check your content’s readability and ensure its originality. This can be done before and after publishing your content.
Semrush SEO Writing Assistant also has a checker that ensures your content is plagiarism-free. Know more details about this feature in my full post on the Semrush Plagiarism Checker.
This feature is not available in Yoast SEO.
Semrush tone of voice feature
The tone of voice feature is another distinctive feature that gives Semrush an upper hand in this Yoast vs Semrush one-on-one.
The tone of voice feature helps you set and adjust the voice of your content and warns you when it’s becoming too formal or informal. This happens even when there are some inconsistencies and gaps.
You can then edit the text, and the tone of voice feedback will immediately update accordingly.
Yoast vs Semrush SEO Writing Assistant metrics
To summarize Yoast vs Semrush SEO Writing Assistant in terms of its metrics and recommendations, we can say that the only common optimization metric is readability.
Though both tools help you optimize your SEO content, the aspects of SEO insights they provide are different. That’s especially the case with keyword integration.
Yoast SEO real time content analysis tells you how many times the focus keyword should appear in the content. On the other hand, Semrush offers keyword recommendations to include in your content from its 22 billion+ keyword database.
Besides, Yoast helps you add schema and customize your URL for social media, which Semrush does not. On the other hand, Semrush enables you to improve your tone of voice and check for plagiarism, which Yoast does not.
Yoast and Semrush integration
WordPress Semrush plugin and Yoast plugin are super easy to use and integrate into different platforms.
However, the best part is that you can interconnect your Semrush and Yoast accounts. This way, you can use the combined features from both to optimize your content.
Here is how it works.
1. Do your keyword research on Semrush
Get a list of keywords you want to optimize your content for. The Semrush Keyword Magic Tool is fantastic for that.
You just have to enter a phrase or keyword in the search bar, and within seconds, a list of keywords with average monthly search volumes will appear. You can even export this data to Excel for efficient online marketing and SEO.
Semrush offers 10 keyword searches per day in the free plan. If you want more keywords, you must subscribe to the Pro plan for $108.33 per month, billed annually.
If you don’t have an Semrush account yet, you can get a Semrush Guru trial for 30 days to get full access to and try out all the Guru features (including the SEO Writing Assistant) for one month.
2. Optimize your WordPress content
In the SEO section of Yoast, enter your focus keyword, and then ‘Get related phrases’ to add your selected keywords from Semrush.
Yoast will now provide suggestions for your on-page SEO based on not just the focus keyword but also the related keywords.
To access Yoast’s related keyphrases, you must connect Semrush to Yoast SEO. If you don’t have an Semrush account yet, you can register when connecting your Yoast SEO account to Semrush.
3. Run a site audit and on-page audit on Semrush
You can use Semrush keywords to optimize your on-page SEO for each website page on Yoast. If you have done that, you can now use Semrush to run audits and check for errors.
Semrush’s Site Audit and On-Page SEO Checker are excellent in finding any SEO errors or optimization opportunities on your site. Use these recommendations to optimize your website content further.
Read my full tutorial on how to use these auditing tools in my full Semrush guide.
Yoast vs Semrush: Which SEO tool is the best?
In conclusion, it isn’t fair to compare Yoast and Semrush as they are two different types of SEO tools.
While Semrush is a mega digital marketing tool, Yoast is just a plugin to improve your WordPress SEO. In terms of content and on-page optimization as well, they both offer important metrics that are not substitutes but complement each other.
However, it does not mean you have to pay for both. You can easily combine the free SEO version with a paid Semrush account or Semrush trial.
I would recommend this approach rather than the other because Semrush offers the features of Yoast Premium but not vice versa.
Have you used Yoast with Semrush or either one of the tools? What do you think about their comparison? Leave a comment!