I recently shared some simple SEO tips and that’s when I mentioned the best SEO WordPress plugin – that my friends, is Yoast SEO. The Yoast SEO plugin is a gamechanger if you’re serious about optimising your website and increasing your chances of getting more organic and quality traffic to your blog.
I’ve used the Yoast SEO plugin since I first started blogging in 2014 and even used it on client’s websites when I worked in a marketing agency – it’s never let me down. It has many benefits to rave about, but the number one benefit that’s probably top of your checklist when searching for an SEO WordPress plugin, is it’s free. Of course, like most things that are free, if you want more out of it then you will need to upgrade to Yoast SEO Premium. At the time of this post, this is charged at £89 + VAT with a 30-day money back guarantee.
What does the Yoast SEO Plugin do?
Yoast is a user-friendly WordPress plugin that assists you in optimising your website for search engines. Why is this important? Well, without those search engines crawling your website, you won’t rank on the likes of Google. Oh dear.
Installing Yoast SEO is simple. You can can either download straight from their website or head to Plugins > Add New > Type in ‘Yoast’ > Click ‘Install Now’. Once installed and activated, you can then make your way to the plugin’s dashboard and start amending your search appearance. This allows you to choose things such as what title separator you want, if you want the post date to show in Google Preview, and even how you want your breadcrumbs to appear on your website.
Yoast SEO Features
Even with the free version, there are lots of available features for you to utilise. Below are a few to note:
- Traffic light scoring system – if your content is fully optimised, your page or post will show as a green smiley face. If it’s close to being optimised, it’ll show as orange. If it’s got a lot of work to do, it’ll show as red. You’ll then see this traffic light system in your Posts and Pages dashboard, which is useful to know at a glance which need working on.
- State one focus keyword for your page/blog post. The plugin then analyses how well your content is optimised for that focus keyword. It’ll then give you an indicator of what you need to do to get the green light. You’ll need the premium plugin if you want to have up to 4 additional focus keywords.
- Readability – there is a check that’s completed on all your content to advise you on if your content needs more paragraphs, headers, bullet point etc. This may not have an effect on your SEO analysis, but once a user has made it to your site and they’re struggling to read the content, then they’ll likely just leave.
- The plugin sits at the bottom of each post and page when editing and gives you a preview of exactly what your result in Google will look like on both desktop and mobile view. If you’re not happy with it, you can amend everything; title, meta description and slug.
Should I upgrade to Yoast SEO Premium?
I’m yet to try Premium out for myself and once I have, I’m likely to write another ‘Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin’ post, but purely for the upgrade – so keep your eyes open for that!
Have you tried Yoast SEO? Or even Premium? Let me know your thoughts.