In order to optimize your site and blog posts for search engines, you need a solid WordPress SEO plugin. After using SEMrush since early 2019, I’ve concluded that the SEO Writing Assistant in combination with the free version of Yoast gives you the ideal SEO recommendations.
Here’s a full review and tutorial of the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant, and why I think it’s the best SEO plugin for WordPress.
What Is the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant?
The SEO Writing Assistant from SEMrush is a tool that helps bloggers craft highly optimized posts for search engines. Real time data and information such as SEO tips and readability analysis are at the core of the SEO Writing Assistant.
In other words, this SEO tool continuously analyzes your content as you type and gives you readability, word count, and target keyword recommendations. Additionally, this SEO checker analyzes your title, tone of voice, quality of linking, and paragraph length.
Here is a list of all the best features of the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant.
- Readability analysis based on the Flesch reading ease score formula with a target of the average readability of the top 10 Google search results for a given keyword
- Suggested word count based on the average word count of the top 10 Google search results for a given keyword
- Recommended keywords based on your target keywords that are semantically related to your topic
- Title analysis ensures an ideal length, target keywords are present, and contains the right number of words
- Tone of voice analysis based on the words, rhythm, and pace of your content with a score from very casual to very formal
- Link checker that ensures links are not broken and that anchor text is meaningful
- Paragraph length checker for detecting and reporting on paragraphs that are too long
While each feature has its own reporting section, the writing assistant gives your post an overall SEO score. The overall score out of 10 is consequently based on all these individual metrics.
SEMrush WordPress SEO Plugin
Although the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant is available for Google Docs, this review focuses on the WordPress plugin.
All paid SEMrush plans come with full access to the SEMrush WordPress plugin. Check out my post about SEMrush pricing and learn how to get a free SEMrush trial.
It’s also worth pointing out that most of the readability features are available to everyone for free—even if you don’t have a paid SEMrush account. This means that you still can use the SEO Writing Assistant for readability analysis.
Unfortunately, you will need a paid SEMrush plan to access the SEO recommendations. Without a paid SEMrush plan, you won’t have access to SEO recommendations, tone of voice analysis, and link checker.
|No SEMrush Account||Paid SEMrush Account|
|Suggested word count||Yes||Yes|
|Tone of voice analysis||No||Yes|
|Paragraph length checker||Yes||Yes|
You install and activate the SEO Writing Assistant just like any other WordPress plugin. After doing so, go to one of your blog posts and click “Connect SEO Content Template”. This will allow you to log into your SEMrush account.
After that, you can create content templates with the click of a button for all future blog posts.
SEMrush Content Templates
Content templates are at the core of the SEO Writing Assistant. As a result, it’s worth talking about them for a minute or two.
A key part to search engine optimization is how you appear relative to your competitors for a given keyword.
For example, if you target the keyword “SEO framework” and the top 10 pages on Google have an average text length of 1,623 words, you are going to want to have at least that many words in your blog post and ideally more. In addition, if the top 10 pages on Google for “SEO framework” have a Flesch reading ease score of 59, then you will want to target a similar readability.
Knowing this information about your rivals is critical to ranking on Google.
While you have the option to manually create these content template recommendations on SEMrush’s website, it’s all done for you automatically with the SEMrush WordPress plugin. The best part is that you can see these recommendations right from within your WordPress website.
Out of the many WordPress SEO plugins available, I find this feature of the SEO Writing Assistant invaluable.
Best SEO Plugin for WordPress — Yoast vs SEMrush
Although I highly recommend the SEO Writing Assistant from SEMrush and consider it the best SEO plugin for WordPress, it does have its shortcomings.
While there are many aspects to search engine optimization, one that the SEO Writing Assistant ignores is the meta description. Unfortunately, the SEO Writing Assistant does not allow you to insert or analyze a meta description.
I think it’s safe to assume that you’re probably familiar with the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. While this WordPress SEO plugin has a paid premium version, I find that pairing the free version of Yoast with the paid version of SEMrush yields the optimal set of SEO recommendations and readability analysis. In other words, SEMrush covers Yoast’s shortcomings and vice versa.
Although the premium version of Yoast is packed with SEO features, it’s no comparison to the suite of SEO tools you get with SEMrush. Even though Yoast premium is $10 cheaper than the SEMrush Pro plan, the price difference is not justified. Consequently, you get way more bang for your buck with a paid SEMrush plan than you do with Yoast.
It’s for this reason that I recommend the SEO Writing Assistant plugin for your WordPress site.
UP NEXT: Add a Contact Form and About Page
Now that you have all the SEO tools you need for your website to rank organically on Google, let’s take care of something basic—add a contact form and about page to your website.
In the next part of this WordPress tutorial series, we’ll creating an about page, contact page, and linking these pages to your primary navigation menu bar. While no plugin is necessary for your about me page, we’ll be using the Contact Form 7 plugin for the contact page.
If you have any questions about SEMrush or SEO in general, let me know in the comments below. I’ve been studying and implementing SEO since 2017. As a result, I have seen my websites grow organically overtime. Therefore, I’ll be more than happy to help you out with your questions.