Yoast SEO – is it all bad?

For most people, the first time they come into contact with Yoast SEO is when they look for an SEO Plugin which will help their performance on their WordPress website.

So why do some people have success with the product and others struggle? In short, to get the best out of Yoast, you already need to know SEO.

But if you ‘know’ SEO is there any real benefit in the product?

Why Yoast as a stand-alone solution is flawed

To understand the underlying flaw with Yoast you need to understand what it is doing. In short, Yoast looks at the copy you put into the editor and make assumptions about how the title is used.

On the face of it, it makes sense, but if you have a theme which contains widgets, or any other content on the screen which you don’t enter via the editor, then Yoast will only ever be working with a partial picture of the generated source.

Now for some websites (with little competition), this might be fine, but if you are in a competitive field, you may find Yoast by itself can’t cut the mustard.

So does this mean Yoast SEO is a waste of code?

While by itself for pure SEO it does have holes, as part of your SEO armour it does have some useful features.

In short, the edit snippet section does make life easy as these directly relate to the title tags and open graph tags.

But to get the best out of Yoast, ironically you need additional help.

Content may be king but only if it’s spelt right

With Yoast’s green light system it can be easy to get caught up not thinking about the whole page. Using something like Grammarly is a real godsend. For those not familiar with Grammarly, it is a powerful (and free for most uses) online service which checks spelling and grammar as you type.

With Grammarly on board, you can actually make sure your copy is well written.

That’s great, but what about professional grade SEO tools

As mentioned above only looking at your in editor content is flawed, you need to look at the generated source code as a whole.

Products like SEO Profiler although not free, fill this gap, with a vast arsenal of tools, they simply take up the slack where Yoast falls short.

Many come with site audits, which pick up issues Yoast is not capable of detecting, key phrase research tools, ranking checkers, social media monitoring functions, in addition to tools to help build inbound links.

All these areas are vital if you wish to climb Google for serious search terms.

In conclusion

If you are not an SEO professional and have a website with a lot of competition, Yoast SEO is unlikely to get you to the top of your chosen search engine, but by using additional tools and putting the effort in, you too can rule the rankings.