Yoast SEO Premium Full Review: Installation, Main Features, Pros & Cons (2022)

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Product Name: Yoast SEO Premium
Category: WordPress
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For years, Yoast SEO Premium has been my go-to SEO plugin. I use it on almost all of my personal and client sites, and I've suggested it to anybody who has asked me for a solid SEO plugin for as long as I can recall. So, what made me decide to write a Yoast SEO Premium review right now?

So, recently, while lurking on the WordPress subreddit and generally listening to the WordPress sphere, I discovered that there are a slew of new SEO plugins that I am completely unaware of. Furthermore, several plugins I've used in the past have gone through years of development and may now be entirely different.

That is why I have chosen to produce a series of evaluations and comparisons of the top accessible WordPress SEO plugins (here are the other reviews: All in One SEO, The SEO Framework, Squirrly SEO, Rank Math SEO, SEOPress). This is to keep myself up to date as well as to offer an overview and advise to people deciding which SEO plugin to use.

So, in the next weeks, I'll be evaluating a few of these plugins based on their setup/installation, functionality, and premium offerings (though the reviews will always be based on the free versions). I'll also list the benefits and drawbacks before reaching a conclusion.

The idea is to assist you determine whether a certain plugin is right for you and what you can anticipate from it. In my initial evaluation, I'll focus on Yoast SEO Premium because it's what I'm most familiar with.

Let's get rid of it.

Installation and Overview of Yoast SEO Premium

Yoast SEO Premium is the main product of the same-named firm. They also have a fantastic SEO site, provide SEO training, and are an overall fixture in the WordPress community.

According to the WordPress plugin directory, the plugin is installed on over five million websites. This is the maximum number of plugins that the plugin directory will accept. It also has an almost perfect rating of 4.9 stars out of 5 stars. It has received a 5-star rating from over 25,000 users!

Configuration Wizard and Setup Process

The installation procedure is the same as for any other WordPress plugin. Go to Plugins > Add New, type in Yoast SEO Premium, select Install Now, and activate it after it's finished downloading.

One of the first things you'll notice is that Yoast SEO Premium adds its own area to the top of the WordPress admin bar.

When you click it to view alerts, you are taken to the general settings. You may also launch a configuration wizard, access keyword research courses and programs, and get straight to the Yoast SEO Premium settings menus.

It's a good idea for newbies to launch the setting wizard the first time they use the plugin. It is also easily available from the general choices.

The wizard walks you through many stages to establish some of your site's most crucial SEO settings.

Simply answer a few questions, and the plugin will take care of the rest. This includes the following:

You may also reopen the wizard from the General menu.

Plugin Configuration Options

Aside from that, you may go through all of Yoast SEO's choices in its own section. Each panel contains a number of tabs to help with organizing.

If you don't like the top-bar menu, you can disable it in the Yoast menu by going to General > Features.

Here's what you can set up (we'll go through each one in detail):

If you have any questions about any of the options, you can always click the small question marks to get tooltips. There are also frequently links to either an article that describes it in depth or the plugin documentation.

A large purple button is also present. When you click it and approve activation, it will provide fast answers as well as links to blog entries for the settings pages you are on.

So far, so good for the setup; now let's have a look at what Yoast SEO Premium has to offer.

Standout Feature: Ace Your On-Page SEO With the Content Analysis Modules

Yoast SEO Premium, like most WordPress SEO plugins, allows you to customize your meta titles and meta descriptions on a per-post and per-page basis. It provides a metabox at the conclusion of the content editor and in the sidebar for this purpose.

We'll go over everything in greater depth later. However, the best part about Yoast and the major reason for its popularity, in my opinion, is its content analysis tool.

This is how it works: Enter a focus keyword, and the plugin will assess the post's optimization state and provide you with a thorough checklist of how well you're doing.

It will check to see whether you are using the term sufficiently and if it is present in critical locations (title, URL, meta description, image ALT tags). The plugin will also tell you whether your SEO title or meta description is too lengthy or too short, if you have enough internal and/or external links, and much more.

Essentially, it's like having your own SEO professional watching your back and advising you precisely what you need to do to make your content perform better in search engines. It is quite useful advice.

But it doesn't stop there. Yoast SEO Premium also includes a readability study that ranks your content based on how enjoyable it is to consume for your readers, not just search crawlers.

It will look at factors like sentence, section, and paragraph length, repetitiveness, usage of passive voice and transition words, and overall text ease. When you click on the eye icon, problematic passages in your text will be highlighted.

These two capabilities have been the primary reasons why Yoast SEO Premium has been my go-to suggestion for years. Following the plugin's suggestions to the letter has helped me get several articles to the top page, if not the first spot, of Google. So, yes, I believe in their recommendations.

Additional Yoast SEO Premium Options

Aside from this core function, Yoast SEO Premium has a lot going on behind the hood. Let's have a peek at what else it has to offer.

Take Charge of Your Online Search Appearance

As previously said, Yoast SEO Premium provides a plethora of choices for controlling how your website appears in search results. They even have their own menu named Search Appearance for it.

On the first page, you may specify what your homepage will seem in search results. Choose an SEO title, meta description, and knowledge graph information.

The wonderful part is that you can make your title out of variables (see above). That way, if you alter your site title or tagline in the WordPress settings, it will update automatically without you needing to remember to do it manually.

The same is true for various forms of material. In the other tabs, you may specify whether you want posts, pages, media attachment pages, and all archives (taxonomy, author, date, etc.) to display in search results, as well as their default title formats and meta descriptions.

Control How Your Content Appears on Social Media

You may do the same for social media, notably Facebook and Twitter, in addition to Search Appearance options. Under Social Yoast SEO Premium, you may provide a custom image, title, and description for your homepage when it is shared on Facebook. You may also choose a default picture for any material shared from your website that does not already have one.

For Twitter, you can only select one of two card types: summary or summary with huge image.

You may also insert the code to validate your site with Pinterest in this part. Furthermore, you may include any social accounts associated with your site so that search engines are aware of this.

Individual Page Search Appearance Can Be Customized

In addition to global settings, these defaults can be changed on an individual basis. This is where Yoast SEO Premium truly excels, and no review would be complete without it included it. Aside from the previously stated content analysis tools, it provides a plethora of possibilities for improving each and every piece of material.

Here's what their panel had to say:

Furthermore, comparable possibilities exist for almost every piece of material on your site, including tag and category archives. Furthermore, as previously said, you may toggle this feature on and off for any content type if desired.

Finally, you may alter the titles and descriptions of your posts and pages in mass by going to Tools > Bulk Editor. Instead of going through each piece of material separately, this may save a lot of time.

In brief, Yoast SEO Premium provides you complete control over how your pages appear in search engines, as well as which information you wish to keep out of search results both globally and individually.

Use SEO Indicators to Identify Weaknesses

When you activate Yoast SEO Premium on your site, it adds vital SEO indications to your post and page listings.

Indicators for the amount of optimization and readability, your SEO title and meta description, the target keyword you've picked, and the quantity of external and incoming internal links are all visible.

This is particularly helpful in gaining an overview of your optimization effort and identifying areas that may require extra attention. It also assists you in swiftly locating articles and pages that may be missing an SEO title, description, or target keyword. It also allows you to identify abandoned pages that have no internal links going to them.

If any of this information is irrelevant to you, you can always turn it off using the Screen Options menu at the top.

This way, you only see information that is truly relevant to you.

Make Use of the XML Sitemap and the Webmaster Tools Verification

Yoast SEO Premium will generate an XML sitemap for you without you having to do anything. There are entire plugins dedicated to this goal, and you get it right out of the box here. Your sitemap may be found at yourdomain.com/sitemap index.xml.

A sitemap, in case you didn't know, is a list of all the material on your website. It aids search engines in discovering and indexing what you have to offer. For that purpose, you may also submit it to webmaster tools such as Google Search Console.

In addition, under General > Webmaster Tools, you may enter verification codes from Baidu, Bing, Google, and Yandex's webmaster tools. This allows you to immediately communicate with them and collect crucial information about your site's performance.

Make the Most of the Excellent Support Architecture

The degree of support for the plugin is excellent. I discussed the tooltips and rapid responses within Yoast SEO Premium previously in my article.

Aside from that, Yoast's great site has articles on almost everything you need to know. A fast Google search on any issue generally yields an article they've previously written on it.

If not, given the plugin's popularity, you should be able to locate at least a third-party website with a tutorial or article on the subject.

Finally, they actively have team members addressing technical concerns in the WordPress help forums. If you want more focused technical help, you must purchase a premium license. More on that later.

Various Plugin Functions

In addition to the foregoing, Yoast SEO Premium allows you to accomplish the following:

Yoast SEO Premium Services

When you install Yoast SEO Premium, you'll see that the plugin also includes various paid offerings (there's even a menu for it).

First and foremost, there is Yoast SEO Premium, which includes additional functions. Second, there are extensions for enhancing your local, video, and WooCommerce SEO, as well as Google News optimization. Finally, as part of their Yoast Academy, Yoast provides both free and premium SEO training.

Individually, Here's What that Entails

Each of these has a price and entails the following:

All of the aforementioned, as well as their training courses, are also available as a subscription for 199€/year or 19€/month + VAT.

Pros and Cons of Yoast SEO Premium

Let's take a look at what speaks for Yoast and what talks against it based on what we've learnt so far.

Yoast SEO Premium Advantages

As stated at the outset of this review, I am a fan of Yoast SEO Premium and have done so for many years. I'm also a huge admirer of their content analysis tools, which are useful for both SEO and readability. It is what distinguishes the plugin as one of the finest in its class.

Aside from that, Yoast SEO Premium is really effective. It allows you complete control over key aspects of your website's search engine optimization. You have total control over how it appears in search results and social networks.

Furthermore, the plugin comes with a slew of useful SEO options that will improve your site, ranging from title modifications to XML sitemaps. So, even if you know nothing about SEO, simply enabling it enhances your site.

In addition, I believe they are doing an excellent job of making the SEO settings accessible to customers of all levels. There is so much help and assistance that even people with no knowledge can figure out what to do. This includes their excellent blog, which I frequently return to in order to learn more about SEO.

In general, Yoast SEO Premium provides tremendous value for free. Even if you do not purchase the premium license, the plugin will help your site achieve SEO success.

What Isn't So Great

Of course, the plugin has its drawbacks. For one thing, it adds a lot of advertisements to the WordPress back end, which can be irritating.

Surprisingly, because I used it so frequently, I acquired ad blindness. I just discovered how many there were after testing other plugins and compared the number of upsells.

Furthermore, one of the most common criticisms leveled about Yoast SEO Premium is that it is bloated and adds a lot of extra code to your site. Looking at my hard drive, it clearly takes up a lot of space, with more than 12MB – the largest of any plugin in my testing roster.

A quick speed test, however, revealed no significant differences between having the plugin activated and deactivated. As a result, I cannot confirm if this is an issue.

Another common complaint is that Yoast might teach you to "chasing the green lights" rather than concentrate on generating good content. This is certainly true, and it may lead to odd language and phrases in order to squeeze in more keywords.

Aside from that, the most of the things that concern me are minor in nature. For example, the meta box at the bottom of the editor is set up so that it blocks off the desktop preview and forces you to scroll.

Even on my 24-inch screen, I can't see it in its whole. This was clearly not the case in the past.

Finally, I'm not certain that all of the Premium additions are worth the money. At least for the Local SEO plugin, it appears that you could easily implement its functionality yourself (and save 70 bucks a year).

The Verdict on Yoast SEO Premium: Review

Yoast SEO Premium is a highly effective SEO plugin. It automatically optimizes your site in a variety of ways, is simple to set up and use, and has many useful features.

Aside from content analysis, it also tests your readability, allows you to create custom SEO titles and descriptions, offers you complete control over the display of your content in search and social, and is integrated in a very useful environment.

Sure, there are drawbacks, and some of the criticism is justified. It might cause you to become excessively reliant on "green light clearance," and there is a lot of advertising.

Overall, I see many more benefits than drawbacks, and Yoast SEO Premium is a plugin I will continue to recommend and you can also free download Yoast SEO Premium on the internet. I'm curious to see how others compare.