WordPress plugins

Yoast SEO Explained to Improve Your SEO (Comprehensive Guide)

Yoast SEO Explained

Yoast SEO is the most popular and widespread search engine optimization and content optimization plugin for your site, as it offers many features and characteristics that help you optimize your site for search results.

While you are working on optimizing your site for search engines, you will be looking for SEO services from some specialists and will also try to optimize your website content for search engines. The Yoast SEO extension will help you in this task in the form of several features in the tool that facilitate your SEO tasks.

Whether you are using the free or paid version of the extension, there are a large number of features it contains to help you improve your site’s SEO, which makes it a reliable addition, in addition to its support for the Arabic language.

In this article, we will learn about the use of Yoast SEO extension, how it helps you to improve content, use of keywords and site maps, its many features, and the difference between the free version and the paid version of the extension.

Yoast add-on features

The free version of Yoast offers many features that help you improve the content of your site, including the following:

Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO

1- Keyword Optimization

Yoast helps you to identify the keyword phrase that you want to target in your article, and provide suggestions and solutions to help you improve it. You write the keyword phrase in the place provided for it, and then Yoast will analyze the content, show problems and make suggestions to configure the content for the keyword improvements.

In its free version, Yoast offers the ability to work on one keyword, while the paid version gives you the ability to target 5 keywords in the same article.

What does Yoast do for keyword phrase analysis?

  • Examine the number of times the keyword is mentioned in the article (if it is mentioned a little or an exaggeration) and make appropriate suggestions.
  • Examine the distribution of the keyword (is it evenly distributed or not).
  • The extension tells you if the keyword phrase has already been used on your site or not.
  • Ensure the quality of the keyword in (SEO Title) and (Description – Meta).
  • Check the length of the keyword phrase.

2- Page Preview – Page Preview

Yoast offers a preview of what your page will look like on search engines, through Google Preview. It offers you a preview on desktop devices as well as on mobile.

3- Preview the page in social media

This feature is only available with the paid version of Yoast.

This feature gives you the ability to preview the appearance of the page on social media.

4- Suggestions for adding internal links

This feature is only available with the paid version of Yoast.

You don’t have to bother searching for the internal links you want to add in the article. Yoast will provide you with internal link suggestions, which you can easily add, thus saving you the trouble of searching your site for the right links.

5- Readability check

Yoast helps verify the readability and comprehension of written text. It is very important that the written text be easily readable for visitors, and it is one of the most important criteria and things that must be taken care of when writing the article.

The text and content presented should be simple, understandable, and well divided. Yoast uses the Flesch Reading Ease score tool to check the text and provide suggestions and improvements.

What is checked for Readability?

  • Check the length of text and paragraphs.
  • Check the use of transitional words (words that link sentences together, such as “so, because, because, because, etc.”).
  • Examine the repetition of sentences and words.
  • Make sure to use subheadings to divide the article.

When Yoast analyzes the text, it appears and presents you (existing problems + needed improvements + good results).

6- Edit robots.txt or .htaccess files.

If you are an expert or you want to modify files ( .htaccess or robots.txt ) for your site or want to check them. Yoast gives you the ability to do so easily through the add-on settings control panel.

From within the WordPress dashboard, you need to go to (SEO >> Tools).

Note: We do not recommend modifying these files, unless you have sufficient experience in modifying them.

7- Create a sitemap – Sitemap

One of the important things in order to improve your visibility in search engines is to create a sitemap, which helps and makes it easier for search engines to discover your content.

Yoast can create an XML sitemap for you, which tells search engines how to navigate between the different pages on your site. Yoast also handles a file (robots.txt) to instruct web crawlers how to crawl your site.

You can create your own sitemap, if you have enough experience, or you can leave it up to Yoast to add the XML maps of your site automatically and send them to Google.

You can turn this option on or off in Yoast by going to (SEO >> Features >> On/Off)

8- Content Insights

This feature is only available with the paid version of Yoast.

This feature also analyzes your text and puts the most important words that are mentioned more than 5 times in the text and with the number of repetitions.

Thus, you can determine whether the repeated words in your text are appropriate for what you want to write about, or have you moved away from the goal of the article or the idea that you wanted to write about or target.

This feature can be turned on and off by going to (SEO >> Features >> On/Off)

9- Directions

This feature is only available with the paid version of Yoast.

Are you tired of the 404 page appearing on your site? Do you want to delete a specific page?

In Yoast Premium, this feature helps you to redirect visitors to a new address, so visitors will continue to get information and will not see a 404 page.

Yoast Premium also allows you to “regex” conversions. This means that you can redirect all URLs that match a certain text style to a different page.

10 – Import and Export

Yoast gives you the ability to import your SEO settings from another plugin or export your settings for use on another site. For example, you want to import your SEO settings from Rank math. You have to go to (SEO >> Tools >> Import and Export).

Then you have to choose (Import from other SEO plugins)

Can keywords be exported?

Yes, it can, but this feature is only available in the paid version of Yoast.

If you want to export keywords on your site as well as export SEO titles, description and URL, Yoast Premium gives you that ability.

Also Read: wordPress Plugins Every Website

11- RSS Feed

One of the common problems for site owners, is that other sites pull your articles and publish it on their sites automatically based on some scripts (ie stealing your articles without mentioning the source).

Yoast SEO, you solve this problem by adding a link to your article with every RSS feed. This gives an indication to search engines of the location of the original article and its primary source.

Advantages and disadvantages of Yoast


  • Easy to install and use.
  • It helps you to write correctly, checks for long and short sentences, keyword intensity and distribution, and more.
  • RSS feed to prevent your content from being pulled.
  • Many options for managing keywords.
  • Suggestions for internal links.
  • Redirect links.


  • Suggestions for internal links sometimes not appropriate
  • The content and speech count feature is not very useful.
  • Customer service is only provided for the paid version of Yoast.
  • Yoast, offers suggestions for improving your site’s visibility in search engines but doesn’t give you examples of how this might work.
  • Yoast asks for a lot of transition words, so you may struggle to make (green readability).
  • Yoast’s algorithms are based on analyzing the keyword density, and sometimes the results are not good (it can reach the green color by repeating the keywords randomly). Therefore, you should pay attention not to write keywords at random, but rather to write them within the context of natural speech and in a way that is useful to the article and provides the addition.
  • The green color in Yoast, does not mean that you wrote a good and distinguished article, Yoast can easily be circumvented to reach the green color. You have to know well what SEO rules are and write in a distinctive and useful way, and Yoast will be a helpful tool for you to remind you of what to do.

What additional features does Yoast SEO Premium offer?

Is Yoast worth paying for the paid version?

Yoast costs about $89 for one site for one year only.

What add-ons does Yoast SEO Premium offer for website owners?

The answer to these questions lies in the following lines, which explain the features and add-ons offered by Yoast SEO Premium.

1- Use more keywords

When you use the paid version, you will be able to work on more than one keyword or phrase within one article. You can use up to 5 keywords with 5 keyword synonyms.

This feature is very good, as you can target the largest number of keywords within your article and thus you can target the general idea you want, but with more than one phrase and more than one way.

For example, let the idea of ​​the topic you want to write about, is profit from blogging. When you use Yoast Premium, you will target 5 keywords related to the topic “Create a WordPress site” so you can think about what visitors are looking for in this field and target it within an article.

You can make:

  • Keyword Phrase: Create a WordPress Site
  • Keyphrase #1: Create a WordPress website
  • Key phrase #2: How to create a WordPress website
  • Keyphrase #3: Steps to Create a WordPress Site
  • Keyphrase #4: Create a WordPress site

This means that you have targeted all these topics in your article and thus you have strengthened your article and improved its visibility in search engines

But you should pay attention not to fill in the keywords in your article randomly and use the appropriate keyword phrases appropriate to the content of the article.

2- Orphaned content – Orphaned content

Orphan content or as it is translated (isolated content), is content that does not use any internal links and is not easily accessible to search engines or visitors. That is, when you share an article on your site and this article does not contain internal links, it will be called and included under the category (Orphan Content).

Yoast Premium, tells you this, i.e. what articles are on your site that don’t contain internal links, for you to fix.

3- Redirecting

Yoast Premium gives you the ability to redirect old URLs to new ones.

In the event that you want to restructure your site or you want to delete some articles or pages, you will see a problem (404) i.e. the requested page does not exist.

If you want to delete or change a page, you will need to redirect visitors to the new page.

Here you can either message the visitors that the page has been deleted or the page is being modified or you can transfer them to the new page directly with Yoast Premium.

Types of Redirect in Yoast SEO Premium:

  • 301 – Totally Transferred Content.
  • 307 – Temporary Redirect.
  • 410 – Deleted Content
  • 451 – Content not available.

Yoast Premium also allows you to “regex” conversions. This means that you can redirect all URLs that match a certain text style to a different page.

Yoast Premium allows you to redirect one link at a time (i.e. you cannot forward a group of links together, you have to do it for each link separately).

4- Suggestions for internal links – internal linking

An important feature of Yoast Premium is that it gives you some suggestions for internal links (to other articles on your site) that you can add in your article.

This saves you the trouble of searching for the appropriate links that you should add, as these suggestions are appropriate and appropriate for the article you are writing.

You should pay attention to the importance of adding internal links within your posts and linking your articles to your relevant post to each other in order to improve your visibility in search engines.

Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO

5- Preview the page in social media

Yoast Premium gives you the ability to preview and see what your post or article will look like on social media in real time.

To enable or disable this feature, (SEO >> Social Networks >> Activate/Disable

To preview changes and the appearance of the post on social media

6- Export keywords

Yoast Premium gives you the ability to export the keywords on your site and also you can export your SEO titles, description and URL.

You have to go to (SEO >> Import and Export >> Export Keywords)

Yoast Premium Pros and Cons


  • Constant updates and full support.


  • There is no redirect feature if the link is changed.
  • Website speed may be reduced if all features are activated at once.
  • Some of the options in the paid version can be accessed via other free add-ons.

Is Yoast Premium worth paying for?

The closest answer is, Yoast Premium is not worth paying for, the feature of using more keywords, is not very useful and does not affect your ranking in search engines directly.

Also, even if you are using the free version, you can overcome this by writing the keyword, creating the article accordingly, then deleting it, writing keyword #1, creating the article, then deleting it, writing keyword #2 and so on.

As well as the redirect feature, there are many free add-ons that provide this service such as (Quick Page / Post Redirect).

The advantage of providing options and suggestions for internal links can be dispensed with, as well as sometimes offering options that are not good.

As for the support provided only for the paid version, they will not help you with logging in or optimizing your site, the support will mainly be by directing you to the tutorials they have (and are virtually available to everyone).

Comparison between Yoast and Yoast Premium


  • One keyword.
  • Preview the page on Google.
  • Readability check.
  • There are no suggestions for internal links.
  • There is no possibility to redirect links.
  • Key phrases cannot be exported.
  • No Content Insights
  • There are ads.
  • There is no support.
  • Constant updates

Yoast Premium

  • 5 keywords per page.
  • Preview the page on Google, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Readability check.
  • There are suggestions for internal links.
  • There is the possibility of redirecting links.
  • Key phrases can be exported.
  • Breadcrumbs control.
  • Content Insights feature
  • There are no ads.
  • One year support.
  • Constant updates

Bugs that appeared in Yoast SEO plugin

One of the technical problems in the Yoast plugin appeared when the Yoast SEO Plugin 7.0 was updated in 2018, and it affected a large number of sites around the world in terms of ranking sites, pages or products, and some sites lost a lot of money as a result.

To know the problem, you must go to (SEO >> Media), where there is an option (URLs of media and attachments) if the option is (No), you will often have problems with the site, if the option is (Yes), there are no problems.

What does this option mean?

This issue is related to images, and when you upload any image to WordPress, WordPress automatically creates a separate page for each image you upload to your site.

These pages do not provide any addition to the user and are considered harmful and negatively affect the improvement of your site’s visibility in search engines. What Yoast does, is that it converts these pages to the post page itself (if the option in the image above is ‘Yes’).

When Yoast was updated, to (Yoast 7.0 / Yoast 7.0.2), this setting that redirects pages to the post page was set to No and that was the problem.

What happened after this update?

What happened is that many of the image pages on your site are indexed into separate pages, which is bad for search engines and causes a big problem for sites.

You have new pages (without content), indexed and archived and a new URL generated for each media object on your site. These pages will be blank without content, page titles, meta descriptions, etc.

This will have a huge impact on your visibility and ranking in search engines.

How to solve yoast update problem?

Of course, the Yost team quickly realized this issue in the next update, but we talked about this bug just to be clear.


In the end, Yoast SEO remains one of the most popular plugins that you can rely on as a beginner or to learn some things related to SEO, but you should pay attention that Yoast is a utility and not the one that will bring you to the first place in the search engines.

What is your admiration?

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