Yoast SEO

Search Engine Optimization

Updated February 22, 2018

7 updates


SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

20/25

Cost

20/25

Differentiation

15/25

Effectiveness

17/25

Pros

  • Free option
  • Offers keyword toggling and search engine previews
  • Automatically generates an XML sitemap

Cons

  • Slows down site load times
  • SEO and readability recommendations are basic
  • You need to pay $89 annually for premium features

Yoast SEO, the most popular SEO plugin supported by WordPress, is one of the leading tools for website and keyword optimization. Over 5 million people have downloaded Yoast; however, the platform’s ability to be a flexible companion for would-be bloggers and content marketers comes at a cost due to performance and language stability issues.

The basics

Yoast SEO was developed for a straightforward reason: optimize content for search engines like Google or Bing. Users are given this ability with great ease through a simple set-up, per-post SEO tools, and a series of additional features that can help your website and content rank. Primarily, Yoast relies on keywords to determine the SEO and readability of a particular post. The Yoast control panel allows users to select keywords that identify how SEO-ready your content is. By using a color-coded scoring system, you can quickly determine what in your content is working and what isn’t.

Yoast has a built-in readability AI that gives writers recommendations to make their content SEO-friendly. Social media optimization is also available; however, this feature, while helpful, can’t replace tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social. Yoast can also automatically generate an XML sitemap, provide website verification, and curate cornerstone content.

Functional, but with setbacks

One of the main reasons that Yoast SEO is popular is its beginner-friendly user interface. You can term meta descriptions, titles, keywords, and get some basic feedback on your writing all in one place. However, the platform could present a set of problems. For one, Yoast is notorious for its bloated code, inaccessibility to specific language use, and the simplicity of its readability and SEO recommendations.

Yoast has a name for functionality and simplicity through many features that automate your site’s SEO. These features create a bloated application that can wreak havoc on site performance and load speeds. Plus, the main feature that differentiates Yoast from its competitors, the readability function, only offers basic grammatical and structural recommendations. In some cases, the tool is even unable to distinguish between active and passive voice.

Though many users find the recommendations helpful, taking them literally could result in rich content being butchered for the sake of search engine performance. Additionally, the SEO recommendations are at times pointless and could be considered unneeded for a particular piece of content to perform well.

Would you pay for Yoast?

One of the best things about Yoast SEO is that the platform’s essential functions are available to users for free. However, premium features are only available to subscribers for $89 per year for one website. Yoast could be useful; however, scaling up this framework isn’t worth it for organizations seeking a premium SEO tool for cheap.

Yoast Works, but it isn’t perfect

Yoast SEO is popular for a reason. It’s an excellent tool for beginners and small-scale web developers and content marketers. And, in this realm, Yoast’s free option would be a helpful tool. On the other hand, Yoast’s benefits are evenly matched to its disadvantages due to the potential for site performance issues. But, it’s entirely up to you to determine whether the top SEO plugin on WordPress is worth it or not. External tools like SEMRush and SEO Powersuite can offer more in-depth analysis, compared to Yoast.

If you have any feedback on this review or you would like to suggest an app for us to review, please drop us a note – telegraph@joinlincoln.org.


Screenshots

SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

20/25

Cost

20/25

Differentiation

15/25

Effectiveness

17/25

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