Yoast SEO plugin is one of the most commonly used WordPress plugins that you would find. That’s because it addresses a problem that is common to bloggers, marketers, businesses, and all WordPress users – Search Engine Optimization.
Without using proper SEO techniques, you may create the most interesting content but not attract the right traffic. This review covers the Yoast SEO plugin in greater detail, giving you all that you need to decide if the Yoast SEO plugin is worth the price tag.
It’s only proper that we jump right into our Yoast SEO review with the benefits of using the WordPress plugin for your site.
Yoast SEO Benefits
Right out of the box, WordPress offers great SEO benefits for your site without having to do anything extra. It makes use of sound coding practices that comply with HTML standards, plus it is SEO-friendly.
Yet, WordPress users still opt for plugins and extensions that they could use to fully optimize their content and website. A good SEO plugin should help you in creating quality content, sitemaps, keyword management, etc.
Yoast SEO offers you the right tools to do all of that and more.
Here’s a compiled list of some Yoast SEO benefits that you should look forward to when using the WordPress plugin.
1 – Improve the Quality of Your Content
One of the most effective strategies you can implement to attract and retain web visitors is through publishing of high-quality content. It’s the only way for your blog posts to stand out among the millions of content published every day.
Yoast SEO plugin offers you the right tools to help you optimize your site’s content for the right audience. It includes a Yoast SEO Meta box while you’re creating or editing your post, and this allows you to include clear titles and descriptions in your blog posts. It also enables you to choose a focus keyword for the blog post that you’re currently working on.
After choosing a focus keyword, Yoast SEO will assign a score to it by analyzing the post content. You will also be offered some suggestions on what to do in order to improve the SEO score.
The great thing about using Yoast SEO is that after some time with it the SEO practices become second nature to you. It becomes easier to perform SEO checks on all your blog posts before you publish them.
Yoast SEO also comes with an in-built readability score analysis that enables you to find out the readability score of your post. This makes it easier to edit your content and suit your specific audience before hitting the “Publish” button.
2 – Decide What to Show or Hide from Search Engines
There are certain controls that you need to have over your site’s content like whether to show or hide your content from search engines.
The reality is that not all web pages are meant to be displayed in search results. And if you want to be able to decide the pages that will be displayed on search results, then this feature is for you.
Let’s say you’re creating a landing page for a particular ad campaign but you don’t want it showing up in search results! Yoast SEO has a tool that can help you decide which web pages you want to be displayed in search results.
It enables you to include “no-index” to the web pages that you do not want to be displayed in search results. The no-index attribute restricts search engines from indexing the particular pages that contain the attribute.
Also, Yoast SEO adds the canonical link elements on all the pages that are on your website. This is meant to provide guidance to search engines on the link that should be indexed.
3 – Google Search Console Integration
One other benefit of using the Yoast SEO plugin is that you do not need to install another WordPress plugin to handle your sitemap.
That’s because it generates an automatic XML sitemap for your site which then submits to Google and Bing search engines.
Even though you are able to manually add your XML sitemap to Webmaster tools account, Yoast provides you a better option. Yoast provides integration with Google Search Console from your dashboard.
Making it easier to track and monitor the SEO performance of your website from your Yoast dashboard.
4 – Protection of Your RSS Feeds
Scraping is one of the most popular problems that content producers are facing. Some unscrupulous persons set up scraper sites in order to “scrap” content from the original creators.
They claim that they curate the content from different websites through their RSS feeds. These scrapers install scripts that enable them to fetch content from others’ RSS feeds which they then publish on their sites.
The danger about the practice is that it could lead to search engines ranking them before you, the original creator of the content. Yoast SEO offers a solution that involves adding a link to your own article with each of your RSS feed.
This link tells the search engines that your site is the source of the original article and that it should be ranked first.
5 – Edit Important Files
There may be situations that warrant you to edit your site’s robots text file or .htaccess file. And if you want to access these files, you’ll have to use an FTP client since the files reside on your website’s root directory.
However, there’s a Yoast SEO tool that allows you to view and edit those files from your WordPress dashboard. Think about the convenience that the Yoast SEO tool offers for editing any of those.
A note of warning though! You have to be very cautious with any edits you make in these files as any errors could crash your site or make it unreachable.
I’m sure that there are countless other benefits to be derived from using Yoast SEO on your WordPress site. However, these are some of the ones that come to mind with using Yoast SEO.
Yoast SEO Features
I – Keyword Optimization
Yoast SEO enables you to optimize your content by allowing for 5 focus keywords (one primary and multiple secondary keywords). You can do this effectively by sprinkling keywords around your page title, Yoast SEO title, description.
On your part, you’ll need to conduct extensive research to help you discover popular keywords on Google searches. Google auto-complete is a vital research tool for finding out popular search terms and phrases on Google.
Other suggestions for optimizing your keywords are crafting headlines, SEO title, and Meta description to include your keywords. Also, create pieces of content that directly match different search intents for the chosen keywords.
II – Automatic Updates
Yoast has come out to say that it makes updates to its plugin every two weeks. This is to ensure that your website is properly optimized for any updates that Google makes on its search algorithm.
This also means that Yoast analyzes your site’s content and makes suggestions for changes where needed.
III – Internal Linking Suggestions
Whenever you make an edit to your posts, Yoast Premium will offer you internal linking suggestions on your dashboard. What Yoast does is to do a check for internal links that are relevant to the content of your post or page.
Internal links are very vital to SEO especially for use in making navigation easier. You can also insert internal links into your posts and pages manually without using the feature on Yoast SEO.
IV – Social Preview
The social preview feature enables you to view how your page or post would look when it is shared on Facebook. Yoast offers you the right tools for uploading custom images that you created for this purpose.
The goal is to ensure that the images look very good when they are shared across social media networks. And since the images are created and uploaded using Yoast, there’s no need to worry about how they will look. That’s because the Yoast SEO plugin does a very good job of formatting your image to suit the specific need.
Yoast Social can be used to create and upload images on different social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Yoast will also show you the correct dimensions to use for any of the images you intend to share on these social networks. For Facebook, you should be using a dimension of 1200 px by 630 px while for Twitter, it is 1024 px by 512 px.
By uploading the images using the right dimensions, you’re sure that they will display properly on your preferred social network.
V – Content Insights
After you are done writing a post and you wish to know which words appear the most, Yoast SEO has a tool for you. You can have the total number of appearances counted and displayed to you by the Yoast SEO plugin.
That’s actually keyword density, which is a measure of the total number of times a keyword or phrase appears in a post.
Keyword density may not be a critical SEO measure, but knowing its score can be helpful in preventing keyword stuffing.
VI – Redirect Manager
This Yoast SEO tool enables you to fix any crawl issues discovered on your site. These issues may be caused by broken URLs resulting from changes made to your site’s permalinks.
Some redirects on Yoast include 301 Redirects, which came by default though Yoast has some other options. Automatic redirect is used to create redirects when you make changes to your site’s permalinks.
Also, the Import Existing Redirects is used to import already setup redirects into your site. After going through Yoast SEO benefits and features, the question that comes to mind is if the WordPress SEO plugin is worth the price.
The only way of finding out is to throw our spotlight on what Yoast SEO pricing entails.
Yoast SEO Pricing
You can actually access most of the useful features on the free version of the Yoast SEO plugin. In fact, millions of Yoast users are happily using the free version without any plans to upgrade to its premium version.
But if you want all the features that come with the Yoast SEO plugin, then you should upgrade to the paid plan.
You can download and install the Yoast plugin without any license or payment; however, the free plan doesn’t include support. If you think about it, you’ll realize that it is impossible to offer support to millions of users that are on a free plan.
If you need help using Yoast, you will find a lot of learning resources on the web to help you find your way around the tool. There are also on-screen instructions that you can follow to guide you with using the Yoast SEO plugin without hitches.
The official Yoast website is an excellent resource for using one of the most popular WordPress plugins. The Yoast SEO premium plan costs $89 per year and it includes all the features of Yoast plus 1-year free access to support.
Mind you, configuring your website isn’t covered by support as you’ll need to pay a professional if you need that service.
And even though Yoast SEO is one of the most installed WordPress plugins, most users are comfortable with the free plan, while some others are of the view that the $89/year fee for the premium plugin is much too expensive for the SEO plugin.
Having gone through this Yoast SEO review, do you think that the plugin is worth the price or is it overkill?
Well, it depends on the user’s needs, preferences, and budget for SEO tools. Quite frankly, Yoast has a lot of useful SEO tools that will help improve your site’s SEO efforts and earn you a better search ranking.
However, anyone skilled in SEO should be able to find their way around by simply using the free plan of Yoast. Besides, you may not need all the tools and features that are currently on the Yoast SEO plugin.
All in all, if you do have the budget and don’t mind the Yoast SEO premium plan, then by all means go for it.
Learn the basics of SEO and how you can maximize WordPress for traffic boost. Read my detailed WA Community review and leave me comments below.