Are you comparing different WordPress SEO plugins? Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins ever. It is also one of the best SEO plugin for WordPress powered websites. In this Yoast SEO Review, we will take a look at the features and performance of the plugin.
Why Do You Need an SEO Plugin for WordPress?
WordPress uses the best coding practices and outputs clean standard compliant HTML. This makes it SEO friendly out of the box.
However, thousands of websites compete to gain top positions in search results for fewer keywords. This makes it a little bit challenging for new websites to perform better in search results.
An SEO plugin helps you easily optimize your website to perform better in search results. It helps with details where WordPress cannot do much. For example, creating content, managing keywords, submitting sitemaps, using webmaster tools, etc.
Yoast SEO comes with tons of features to optimize your website. It has built-in content analysis, meta keywords and description management, managing duplicate content, xml sitemaps, social features, rich snippets, and much more.
Having said that, let’s take a look at some Yoast SEO features, pricing, and support options.
Write Better Content With Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO plugin adds a Yoast SEO metabox on the post edit screen. This metabox allows you to add meta title and description for your blog post. It also allows you to choose a focus keyword for your post.
As soon as you choose a focus keyword. Yoast SEO plugin analyzes the post content against that focus keyword, and assigns it an SEO score. It also recommends steps you should take to improve that SEO score.
After using it for a few months you will start doing those steps without looking at your SEO score. However, having it there allows you to check your content for SEO before hitting the publish button.
It has built-in readability score analysis which shows the readability score of your content. You can then edit your content to make it more easy to ready for your users. Check out this guide on How to Add and Improve Readability Score in WordPress Posts for more details.
Easily Hide or Show Content to Search Engines
Want to create a landing page for your advertising campaign but don’t want to get indexed in search? Yoast SEO allows you to restrict search engines by adding no-index to pages that you don’t want to get indexed.
It also allows you to hide author archives on single author blogs, no-index categories, tags, or archive pages.
Yoast SEO adds canonical link elements throughout your website. This helps search engines understand which links they should index. For example, your archive pages have content from your posts. Yoast SEO helps Google understand that a post listed on archive pages has a canonical link pointing to the original post.
XML Sitemaps and Search Console Integration
With Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress you don’t need to install another plugin for XML Sitemaps. Yoast SEO automatically generates XML sitemaps for your site and submits them to Google and Bing.
You can also manually add your XML sitemaps to Webmaster tools account. But wait, Yoast has Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools Account) also integrated with in your Yoast SEO dashboard. This allows you to see how your site performs in search results without leaving your WordPress dashboard.
Protect Your RSS Feed from Content Scrapers
One of the major problems that many websites face is that some people have created scraper websites.
These scraper websites claim to curate content from across the web using RSS feeds. They have scripts installed that automatically fetch content from other websites using their RSS feeds and then publish them.
This could be dangerous for your website as search engines may start ranking those sites first.
Yoast SEO solves this problem by adding a link to your own article with each RSS feed. This tells search engines the location of original article and effectively beats scrapers in search rankings.
For more tips on how to prevent scraping, see this Beginner’s Guide to Preventing Blog Content Scraping in WordPress.
Editing Robots and .htaccess File Made Easy
Sometimes you may need to edit or examine your site’s .htaccess or robots.txt files. These files reside on your site’s root directory and normally you would have to connect to an FTP client to see them.
Yoast SEO has a built-in tool for that which allows you to see your .htaccess and robots.txt files. You can also edit those files right from your WordPress dashboard. However, we would advise you to be very cautious when editing those files.
Pricing and Support Options for Yoast SEO Plugin
Yoast SEO is one of those plugins that you can use for free without ever needing to buy the premium version of the plugin. In fact, it is currently installed on millions of website all over the world.
The only downside is that the free plugin does not come with support. Mainly because it would be impossible to answer support queries from hundreds and thousands of users from all over for free.
There is extensive documentation and tutorials available for Yoast SEO plugin. The plugin provides on-screen instructions for each feature inside the admin area. Features and SEO concepts are also explains on the author’s website. Yoast SEO is one of the most used WordPress plugins, so you will easily find tutorials and guides created by other users all over the web.
See this detailed step by step guide on how to install and setup Yoast SEO plugin.
This does not mean that support is not available. You can purchase a single site license for as low as $69 per year. The premium version of the plugin also gives you access to additional features and premium support from the folks behind Yoast SEO.
Our Verdict on Yoast SEO as The Best WordPress SEO Plugin
Yoast SEO offers a wide range of features all essential for proper website optimization. As a complete package for SEO we believe that Yoast SEO out performs all other WordPress SEO plugins in the market.
As for ease of use, we believe that Yoast SEO tries to make it extremely easy for users to set it up. The plugin has built-in onboarding tour, inline help messages next to each option, and comprehensive instructions built right into the plugin itself. However, considering that many of these features are quite technical and can appear intimidating to many beginner users.
All the essential features of the plugin are available for free which is a good thing. Support licenses are not that too expensive for businesses and individuals. However, beginner users of free plugin may find it a bit difficult to find support if they run into an issue.
We believe that Yoast SEO is certainly the best WordPress SEO plugin in the market and it rightly deserves its place as one of the most essential WordPress plugins that you should have on all your WordPress sites. We give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, here is a breakdown of our review score: