What Is the Yoast SEO Plugin About? The #1 Free SEO Plugin!
As the amount of information on the internet continues to expand it is more important than ever to be able to stand out from the growing crowd and make yourself visible.
With a broad range of choices in search engine optimization software currently on the market claiming to do just that, how does the Yoast SEO plugin compare?
Formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast, the Yoast SEO plugin is a bundle of different software that is all used to help enhance some aspect of the content and collectively improve the web page ranking which will allow more people to find your site.
This process has become a specialist field in recent years and as such the Yoast plugin features a range of different tools to provide full control over everything from the site structure to content analysis tools which are used to refine the various areas of the web page which can affect the overall effectiveness of your site.
What Is the Yoast SEO Plugin About?
Team Yoast are a Dutch based company that has specialized in web development since 2010 with the self-proclaimed aim of developing websites to improve and enhance them in every way possible and in doing so, make the internet a better place.
Yoast is clearly a well-established company that holds a significant influence in this industry. Founded by Joost de Valk, a leading authority of WordPress and a loud advocate of open source software, Yoast offers a range of services which includes guide books, courses, blogs and consultations as well as optimization software which now has over 14 million users.
The Yoast SEO plugin itself claims to be a complete SEO plugin available in today’s market and comes available in two versions, a premium edition and a condensed, free version which both provide tools that among other things, allows the user to:
- Refine keywords, headlines, and embedded links.
- Improve the vocabulary and formatting of your content to make it easier to read.
- Analyse WordPress traffic statistics and highlight areas for improvement.
- Make the overall website more efficient and user-friendly.
- Further advanced features are also available in the premium version.
Check out a video walk-through and Tutorial of how SEOPressor Plugin works in a nutshell:
How does the Yoast SEO plugin compare?
There is an impressive depth of features within this SEO package.I will go into more detail below, but first it is worth mentioning that included within the free version of this SEO plugin, there is a variety of tools which is more than adequate for light users and people wishing to gain more control and efficiency from small to medium sized websites.
The premium version is indeed a very powerful piece of software. It has been created with commercial use in mind, and as such, I recommend that you at least try the free version before deciding whether the added functionality is worth the investment.
Likewise, there are other products on the market which are perhaps better suited to SEO beginners as there are many advanced features within this bundle which require the user to have already a degree of understanding as to how search engine optimization works.
Things being said, the Yoast plugin has an easily navigated interface that allows quick use through the central control panel which spirals outwards into more advanced options that are available through an intuitive tab system which groups settings together by type and as such, offers a lot of features to manipulate the content of the web page.
Like all good SEO tools, this plugin provides much more than just refining the searchable content of a page or article posted on the internet. Much more important in the grand scheme of optimization is the structure and maintenance of the website and with powerful resources available to control the following areas:
- The indexing of pages within a blog or site
- Tidying linked image URL’s
- Navigation between pages of a website
- Speed of access in uploading a page
- Customization of the created URL’s within your website
Yoast SEO outperforms many of its competitors in each of these individual areas before we even consider the collective power that this collection of software delivers.
Key features of the Yoast SEO plugin:
Perhaps the best way to explain how useful the software performs is through the individual processes which can be utilized through the plugin to add value to your site and below we have put together our findings from the top 5 key areas that we believe are vital for SEO software to successfully manage:
As mentioned above, there is an enormous amount of options available in this aspect of the product, from tools which are designed to increase the effectiveness of keywords (both from too little and too much usage) article construction, Meta descriptions and headlines within articles.
This aspect of search engine optimization is perhaps the most commonly understood and is certainly the most featured area amongst the differing software extensions on the market.
Unsurprisingly, there is an exhaustive list of features within the industry as a whole, but suffice to say, we found that the Yoast SEO plugin offers a varied selection which may not contain everyone’s favorite feature but certainly has more useful options than anyone will fully use on a regular basis
Arguably the most important aspect of site optimization for increasing your SEO ranking is the way in which your website is held together and searched, or crawled, by the search engine.
The Yoast plugin provides unrivaled control in this area, from the ability to control every individual tag on your website separately, to simple functions which prevent duplication of titles and setting permissions for canonical URLs.
These options do appear in other software solutions that we’ve tested but not as comprehensively or with as much control as that offered here.
The Yoast SEO plugin is one of the most valuable tools you can have. It's one of the most widely popular WordPress plugins around the world, and it’s easy to understand why. Whether you’re running a personal blog or you’re an SEO professional managing a website for a client, Yoast is a powerful tool that can help you make your site as search engine-friendly as possible.
writer for Moz.com
Social Media Links
Undoubtedly the area of marketing which has seen the most growth and therefore the area with the most increased importance over recent years. Your social media output can be linked to your website and vice-versa, which is all offered within an extension of this plugin.
Although we found that more bespoke applications can handle this task with greater detail, the Yoast plugin does cover slightly more than the basics and more importantly, can be connected to third-party software that can offer further functionality.
Website navigation and organization
The ease with which a site can be accessed and used has an often overlooked but extremely significant impact on the ranking. With multiple options for the use of breadcrumbs, permalink cleaning, and organization of XML sitemaps, all of which can be automated to user defined settings, with again, a vast amount of customization available to each strand.
This is another aspect which makes this software stand well above the competition.
Along with social media, this field of website design has seen the biggest rise in new avenues to exploit with the user lead demands of the industry.
Web pages are now using images much more as the current trend for quick and aesthetically pleasing information which can result in much slower page loading times and additional searchable information, both of which are comfortably dealt with by condensing and redirecting the URL information, thereby choosing which content is indexed.
The video, news, and local SEO extensions are also available which add further specialist features that are aimed at users who specialize in these more niche areas of SEO and add much to the power that is already offered from the core of this plugins application.
WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin is by far a complete SEO plugin for WordPress. When Joost told me about the video sitemap, I was ready to try it. Within a month, I found myself ranking on the first pages with my video articles. This module is a must have if you embed videos in your posts
Final Thoughts on Yoast SEO Plugin
Not only is Yoast the most popular SEO tool on the market, but it also seems to us to be the most useful product on the market due to its range of in-depth functions that are clearly designed by a team that fully understand how search engine optimization works.This is even more important than many people realize because of the constantly changing nature of this industry which is built upon the shifting sands of user-defined trends and search engine companies’ insistence on continually realigning their goal posts.
For the knowledgeable user, Yoast SEO offers unprecedented control and guidance over the performance regarding all aspects of your website. For the inexperienced user that wishes to become involved in the world of SEO marketing, they also offer an unbeatable range of courses and support to quickly get you up to speed up on the basics, techniques and the current trends that exist within this industry.
The Good Stuff:
- Wide range of advanced options towards SEO functions such as keyword counters, local SEO plugin, and page analysis tools
- Specialist optimization tool for managing news sites
- Powerful SEO tools ideal for heavy users and commercial websites.
- Automates the mechanical background processes such as updating your site's XML sitemap and URL redirects.
- Provides real-time content analysis for monitoring and maintaining updates and new material.
The Bad Stuff:
- The social media integration feature is limited to essential functions compared to specialist software already on the market.
- Advanced features and extensions may be too complicated for entry-level users.