Going into SEO, everyone suggest Yoast – but what is it actually and what can it do?
When you are comparing SEO plugins, you have seen the name Yoast a numerous of times. What is it actually behind that plugin, and is it worth to upgrade for $89 a year?
Yoast is today one of the most popular and used WordPress plugins ever made. It is also always ranked in top 3 of SEO plugins for WordPress powered websites. In this Review, we will take a look into the features and performance behind the plugin.
The reason behind the needs of Yoast SEO
WordPress is by design incredible optimized on the coding practices, and ouputs a clean and standardized compliant HTML code. This makes it out of the box SEO friendly.
But, as there are billion of websites out there, thousands of them compete on every single search result, to be top 3. This is where it makes it a bit tricky for new websites to perform best in the search results.
An SEO plugin can help to easily optimize the website to perform better in the search results. It generally helps with the details where WordPress cannot do enough. For example, creating the content, managing the right keywords, generating sitemaps, Google Webmaster Tools, and I could continue.
Yoast SEO, comes with a ton of the features out-of-the-box to optimize your website. It ias an content analysis tool, that within seconds can give an heads up if you have duplicate content, or the content isn’t readable for the human eye.
It comes with an meta keyword and description management. XML Sitemaps. Social Features and rich snippets. Basically everything you need.
You are writing better content, by using Yoast SEO
Yoast have a meta box in the edit page/post section, which gives an instant feedback on what issues that may be found with your content.
It as well contains the featured focus keyword, and gives feedback on whenever the keyword is to broadly used or should be used more to be identified enough and correctly within your content.
When you have choosen your focus keyword, Yoast analyze the post content and assigns a SEO score. The recomendations is easy steps to take to improve the SEO score.
In the beginning it feels like it takes ages more for every post you are writing. But after few months you will start doing all those steps without even looking at the SEO score.
You will now start using the overall scoring just as a verification for which pages to optimize further, and which not to touch.
We have tried the inbuild readability scorign tools, and have had some great experiences with it. The scoring is done through an analysis of your content, the same way as the SEO score.
The scoring tool provides as well few bullet-points on which things to optimize, and an instant feedback when it is done.
Easy toggle for showing and hiding content in Google
You can have special landing pages that you do not want Google to index. This could be an special offer, or an landing page only few should be aware of.
Directly in the Yoast SEO plugin, you can toggle the setting for No-index, which ensures that specific page isn’t being indexed in the different search engines.
Yoast SEO do add canoical link elements in the HTML of your website. This tells the search engines which links they should index and which they should avoid. For example archives contain content from your posts.
At this point, Yoast SEO helps Google to understand that a post is listed on archive and the canonical link to the original post.
Sitemaps and Search Console
With Yoast SEO you don’t need to install other plugins to maintain your Sitemaps for Google. Yoast automatically generates the XML Sitemap for your site, and you can give Yoast SEO access submit them to both Google, Bing and Yandex.
The procedure of adding them, can be done manually through Google Webmaster Tools. However Yoast has Search Console integrated directly into your Yoast SEO Dashboard. Through this you can see the performance in search results without ever leaving WordPress.
Stolen content - Yoast SEO avoids it
There do exist scraper websites who every minute is looking into all RSS feeds they can find. These scripts are installed to automatically fetch all content from other websites, using their RSS feeds and then publish them.
This can be dangerous for your website, as the search engine may start ranking their website first.
Yoast SEO identified this problem, and have resolved it by adding a link to your own article with every single RSS feed. This tells the search the location of the initial article and beats the scraping websites in Google.
Pricing an Support for Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is one of the many plugins you can use for free, without feeling a lack of functionality. However, there are for sure a lack you should be aware of.
Yoast is today installed worldwide on many million websites, who are using a combination of the free and paid version.
The only downside we have identified with the free version of the plugin, is that it doesn’t come with any support. It makes sense, it would be an impossible task to answer support queries from thousands or million of website users for free.
On the positive side, there are an amazing documentation and different tutorials available – including our own, on the Yoast SEO plugin. The plugin do provide easy instructions for each feature inside the admin area.
To get access to their support, you can purchase a site license for $89 a year, and the premium version gives you access to additional features within Yoast.
The verdict - is it the best plugin for SEO?
Yoast SEO do offer a broad range of features, which are all essential for proper website SEO optimization.
As a full plugin for SEO, we do belive that Yoast SEO, at this point of time, completely outstand any other SEO plugin available in the market.
Discussing their ease of use, Yoast SEO decrease the boarders radically for learning and working with SEO in the day-to-day work of running a website. The plugin has a built-in tour, help messages and always an comprehensive guide directly in the screens of use. On the negative side, it can be complicated for many new users, where to start and how to start.
But with that said – any start on SEO is complicated.
Discussing the features in the free plugin, they are complete and fully informative. And at the same time, the support licenses are not overpriced for neither individuals nor businesses.
We definitely see Yoast SEO as the best product for SEO in the market, at this point of time, and would recommend it to anyone asking our honest opponion.