What Is Yoast

When I got back into WordPress a few years back, the very first plugin I got to know was Yoast. It stayed with me for quite a while after that and it is only recently I have chosen another simiar plugin. But millions still use it, of course it is free (well the basic features are), so what exactly is it?

Yoast in tile effect

So Yoast is a very popular WordPress plugin that is designed to help improve the search engine optimization (SEO) of a website. It provides a range of features and tools that assist in optimizing content, that claims to improve on-page factors, and generally enhancing the overall visibility of a website in search engine results.

Anyone who is part of any SEO training, will be introduced to Yoast with maybe Rank Math also, as these plugins really are an imprtant part of a wordpress site.

The Basic Yoast SEO plugin offers certain features, which are:

  1. Content analysis: Yoast provides a comprehensive content analysis tool that assesses the quality and effectiveness of your content. It evaluates factors such as keyword usage, readability, meta tags, heading structure, internal and external linking, and more. I have to be honest, don’t use this feature that much, after many years in this industry, I find my gut easier to follow.
  2. XML sitemaps: It can automatically generates XML sitemaps for your website, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your web pages. These sitemaps provide a structured overview of your website’s content, ensuring that search engines can discover and understand your web pages effectively. Yeas this can be very useful.
  3. Title and meta tags optimization: It enables you to customize the title and meta tags for each page or post on your website. This allows you to optimize these important elements for better click-through rates and visibility in search engine results. OK as a guide but don’t think every recomendation should be followed to the letter. I can be easy to overoptimise content, if this feature is overused.
  4. Readability analysis: In addition to SEO, It analyzes the readability of your content. It checks for factors such as sentence length, paragraph structure, subheadings, transition words, and other readability elements. This helps ensure that your content is not only optimized for search engines but is also user-friendly and easy to understand. Yes. but with recent popularity of AI, Google is looking for the human element in all written content. So having some errors can be good. (of course not too many).
  5. Social media integration: Yoast provides integration with various social media platforms, allowing you to optimize how your content appears when shared on social media networks. This includes options to customize the title, description, and image for social media posts, ensuring your content looks appealing and entices users to click through.
  6. Redirect manager: The plugin includes a redirect manager that helps you easily set up redirects when you change the URL structure of your website or delete pages. This helps maintain the SEO value of your website by ensuring visitors and search engines are directed to the appropriate pages. This is very useful, when pages are deleted links will get redirected autimaticall, reducing 404’s.

Lets be honest here, Yoast is widely used and trusted by millions of users to improve their website’s SEO. It offers a user-friendly interface with both free and premium versions available, making it accessible to beginners and advanced users alike. If you have never used it, you should try.

What Alternatives Are There To Yoast

As a professional I am involved in many online chats an over the years I have found that once a SEO agency or freelancer is used to a plugin or software and trusts it. They tend to stick with it. So here are some other alternatives, that also have a good reputation.

While Yoast is a popular choice, there are several alternatives available for WordPress users who are looking for useful plugins. Some notable alternatives to Yoast SEO include:

  1. All in One SEO Pack: Similar to Yoast, it offers a comprehensive set of tools for optimizing your website. It provides features such as XML sitemaps, meta tag customization, social media integration, advanced canonical URLs, and more. But with diferent menu options.
  2. Rank Math: This is a feature-rich SEO plugin that offers advanced functionality. It provides a user-friendly interface, content analysis, keyword tracking, XML sitemaps, redirection management, structured data support, and various other features. This is what I choose to use now, although I will admit some features I keep well away from. Do I care if I my optimisation is score is 80/100 or 40/100? No I do not, I know what works and does not in my niche.
  3. SEOPress: A powerful yet easy-to-use plugin that offers a range of features for optimizing your website. It provides options for controlling meta tags, managing XML sitemaps, social media integration, structured data support, and more. SEOPress also offers a content analysis tool similar to Yoast.
  4. The SEO Framework: A lightweight and fast plugin that focuses on simplicity and efficiency. It provides features such as automatic optimization, title and meta tag management, breadcrumb navigation, XML sitemaps, and more. Sometimes wordpress sites can be code heavy and slow, if so this could be an alternative.
  5. Squirrly SEO: Another plugin that is designed to guide users in optimizing their content for both search engines and humans. It offers features like keyword research, content optimization, audits, ranking tracking, and more.
  6. SmartCrawl: OK, the last plugin by WPMU DEV that offers automatic optimization, advanced meta tag controls, XML sitemaps, automatic link checkups, Moz integration, and other features to improve your website’s search engine visibility. Good to intergrate with MOZ, if this is your chosed backlink analyser.

These alternatives provide similar functionality to Yoast and can be effective in optimizing your website. The choice of plugin depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the features that align with your SEO strategy. I recommended to compare and test different plugins to find the one that works best for your website and you.

In short give them all a try for at least a couple of weeks, the free versions that is.