Yoast SEO is one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress. It offers SEO features both for the whole website and individual web pages.
The free version of the Yoast SEO plugin offers valuable features for improving search engine rank position such as tackling meta tags, sitemaps, keyword analysis, etc.
However, with Yoast Premium you can take the SEO to the next level. It provides more tools like internal linking suggestions, SEO analysis, and features such as social preview and many others.
Additionally, it gives access to Yoast SEO academy, which is composed of incredible courses about Yoast SEO, keyword research, copywriting, and many other valuable topics that can help improve SEO performance significantly.
Aleph Website answers how Yoast can help improve the SEO performance and your website’s ranking position on Google. Good SEO performance is crucial because it improves your website’s visibility, organic traffic, and, ultimately, chances to convert prospects into customers.
This article discusses tools, features, and other benefits of using the Yoast SEO plugin and compares it to Rank Math as the second most popular SEO plugin.
How does the Yoast SEO plugin work?
With the Yoast SEO plugin, your website can quickly meet advanced technical SEO standards in order to increase the ranking of its pages in search engines and organic traffic.
Besides that, it helps improve your content SEO or put it simply, optimize website content for a better rank position on search engines and overall readability.
Yoast SEO plugin is predominately used for WordPress websites.
There are two extensive analyses that help your website’s text bring to the next level: SEO analysis and readability analysis.
How does Yoast do SEO analyses?
Let’s discuss SEO analyses first and how it works.
The first thing you have to do is to fill in your keyword phrase. Before you do that, it is necessary to conduct thorough keyword research.
Based on this research, you get information about what users are searching for, what words and phrases they use, how often a certain keyword is searched for, etc. This data gives valuable insight into how your audience thinks and what they need. Keep in mind that even great content is invisible if it’s not what searchers are looking for.
According to the Yoast article about keywords:
‘If you use the wrong keyphrase, you’ll never get the visitors you want or need because your text doesn’t match what your potential audience is searching for. But if you do use the words people are searching for, your business can thrive. So if you see it like that, your keywords should reflect what your audience is searching for.’
Yoast offers a great feature in a partnership with one of the most popular and comprehensive SEO tools – SemRush. This feature enables getting related keyphrases to the focus keyword and gives valuable metrics such as volume for specific keywords.
After entering a focus keyword, you get analysis results marked with green, orange, and red bullets depending on the status (good results, improvements, problems). Some of the analysis results are:
- checking if the focused keyword is used in the meta title and the introduction,
- length of meta description,
- using internal and outbound links,
- keyword density, etc.
Basically, these results provide you with valuable feedback about the technical SEO and content SEO of the website and you can exactly get familiar with how to improve them.
What Is the Readability analysis of Yoast SEO?
Readability analyses give you feedback from the audience’s perspective. Website text is not written just for Google, Bing, and other search engines, it is predominately written for your audience.
You want them to understand the message clearly and effortlessly in order to find relevant information. This is crucial for good SEO. If you write content that is valuable, clear, and easy to read to visitors, they will keep viewing your website longer, which is an indicator for Google that your website is valuable.
These analyses include checking paragraph length, sentence lengths, subheading distributions, using transition words, etc.
In addition, a great feature that Yoast free offers is Google preview. Google preview helps you see how your web page looks on the search result page on desktop and mobile. Here you can also edit snippet elements such as meta title, meta description, and slug.
In the Facebook and Twitter preview sections, you can choose the title, description, and image people see when the post is shared on these social media channels.
What Other Features are Available in the free version of Yoast?
The Yoast plugin includes Schema settings that imply implementing structured data codes to the web pages. These codes help search engines understand what the web page is about in order to serve relevant results to the users.
In addition, Yoast SEO creates sitemaps automatically which serves as a roadmap for the website. This way search engine understands the structure of your website and makes indexing more effectively and quickly. To learn more, check out the Yoast article about sitemaps and their importance.
The next feature is using canonical URLs which is super helpful for preventing duplicated content issues. Why is this important?
If you use the same content on different pages, Google will not give users two identical pages on the result page, which means it wouldn’t rank all these pages. That’s not good for SEO performance at all. And here canonical URLs come.
What does Yoast Premium offer?
When it comes to the premium version, you probably wonder how it helps and whether it is worth it.
Which tools does Yoast Premium provide?
Let’s start with the tools and features of Yoast Premium. As we already mentioned, the premium version provides additional tools and features.
One of the most powerful ones is the internal linking suggestion. With this tool, your website can get an impeccable structure which is significant for SEO and a good user experience. This tool helps you connect related content properly by creating strong internal links. If you do this by hand, it can be tricky and time-consuming. While you might forget about some pages and articles, this tool considers all web pages. Thus, it’s not just about time-saving.
Another amazing tool is the word forms support which is advanced language analysis. This tool understands all grammatical forms of a focused keyword just like Google does. For example, if the focus keyword is education, Yoast will recognize other forms of this word such as educated, educational, educates, etc. With free Yoast, this is not the option, and you add just one focused keyword while the premium version allows including more than one.
Also, the premium version helps you use synonyms and related words correctly. Why does this matter?
Because the context is crucial and synonyms are a big plus for SEO. This way, you can talk and mention your keywords using different phrases which are necessary to avoid keyword stuffing. Overusing keywords make reading unpleasant to readers and also Google will recognize it as manipulation and punish the webpage by lowering the ranking position.
Social preview is another feature of Yoast premium. This feature helps you see what your post looks like when someone shares it on Facebook or Twitter. So you can easily edit and optimize them before publishing.
Other features and benefits of Yoast Premium
Besides these amazing tools and features, Yoast Premium provides its users with SEO workouts. This feature helps to complete particular SEO tasks, improve the website content to rank higher, improve internal linking, and clean up outdated content. This way, you can improve your website’s structure easily and quickly.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, Yoast Premium provides a comprehensive SEO academy. You get access to 5 courses for free, while the Premium version gives you access to all 13 courses which teach you more about SEO, copywriting, keyword research, and other SEO topics.
Another great benefit of the Yoast Premium version is getting 24/7 Premium support. That means that you can contact the support staff at any time if you feel a bit lost and they will do their best to help you.
How much does Yoast Premium cost and does it pay off?
Depending on your location, the price of the Yoast Premium is $99 excluding VAT per year, or €99/£99 annually.
Besides amazing tools and features, paid version provides amazing courses and support at any time. Most importantly, it will save you a lot of time!
Does the Yoast plugin only work for WordPress?
As previously mentioned, Yoast is a primarily WordPress SEO plugin. And it’s the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress websites.
At the beginning of 2022, Yoast officially launched Yoast SEO for Shopify! It is super helpful in optimizing product pages in Shopify and writing amazing blog posts.
Rank math – an alternative for Yoast SEO
One of the most used alternatives for Yoast is Rank Math. Rank Math is a free SEO plugin for WordPress that is released at the end of 2018 and has been mushrooming.
Rank Math offers great free features such as:
- Focus Keyword Analyses
- Setting Meta Tags
- XML sitemaps
- Local SEO and Knowledge Map
- Image SEO
- Internal linking suggestions, etc
We are fans of a Professional WordPress Designer and WordPress Instructor – Darrel Wilson and his work.
In This video tutorial, Darrel Wilson explains how to use Rank Math step-by-step in order to boost your SEO and increase organic traffic.
Which one is better for SEO – Yoast or Rank Math?
Both Yoast SEO and Rank Math have great reviews (4.9) which is a relevant sign of their quality.
As compared to Yoast, Rank Math offers more free features. For instance, while Rank Math offers internal linking suggestions and multiple focus keyword analyses for free, you have to sign up for Yoast Premium to get these features.
However, the number of free features is not crucial. Ponder over the features that you need for your business.
We should mention here that alongside a paid version of Yoast, Yoast offers add-ons that you can buy additionally:
- Video SEO
- Local SEO
- New SEO
One of the major differences between Rank Math and Yoast SEO is the advanced schema generator. With Rank Math Pro (which costs 59$ per year), your advantage is the Custom Schema Generator that enables taking control of the structured data on the web pages. Different Schema types are available such as articles, books, events, etc.
Then you can customize them with additional information. This way, you make your content stand out on the search engine result page.
For more information, check out Rank Math’s article about how to use the schema generator.
CONCLUSION: IS THE YOAST SEO PLUGIN the right CHOICE for you?
Yoast SEO plugin is one of the most comprehensive and popular SEO plugins. Additionally, it’s easy to use and beginner-friendly! Both Yoast SEO and Rank Math do a great job and both of them are user-friendly. It’s just about personal preferences and features that are more important for your goals and overall marketing performance.