Yoast SEO

Description

WordPress out of the box is already technically quite a good platform for SEO. This was true when Joost wrote his original WordPress SEO article in 2008 (updated every few months) and it’s still true today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve it further! This plugin is written from the ground up by Joost de Valk and his team at Yoast to improve your site’s SEO on all needed aspects. While this Yoast SEO plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization, more on that below, it first and foremost helps you write better content. Yoast SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.

Premium Support
The Yoast team does not always provide active support for the Yoast SEO plugin on the WordPress.org forums. One-on-one email support is available to people who bought the Premium Yoast SEO plugin only.
Note that the Premium SEO plugin has several extra features too, including the option to have multiple focus keywords and a redirect manager, so it might be well worth your investment!

You should also check out the Yoast Local SEO, Yoast News SEO and Yoast Video SEO extensions to Yoast SEO. These of course come with support too.

Bug Reports
Bug reports for Yoast SEO are welcomed on GitHub. Please note GitHub is not a support forum, and issues that aren’t properly qualified as bugs will be closed.

Write better content with Yoast SEO

Using the snippet preview, you can see a rendering of what your post or page will look like in the search results, whether your title is too long or too short, and whether your meta description makes sense in the context of a search result. This way the plugin will help you not only increase rankings but also increase the click through rate for organic search results.

Page Analysis

The Yoast SEO plugins Page Analysis functionality checks simple things you’re bound to forget. It checks, for instance, if you have images in your post and whether they have an alt tag containing the focus keyword for that post. It also checks whether your posts are long enough, whether you’ve written a meta description and if that meta description contains your focus keyword, if you’ve used any subheadings within your post, etc. etc.

The plugin also allows you to write meta titles and descriptions for all your category, tag and custom taxonomy archives, giving you the option to further optimize those pages.

Combined, this plugin makes sure that your content is the type of content search engines will love!

Technical WordPress Search Engine Optimization

While out of the box WordPress is pretty good for SEO, it needs some tweaks here and there. This Yoast SEO plugin guides you through some of the settings needed, for instance by reminding you to enable pretty permalinks. But it also goes beyond that, by automatically optimizing and inserting the meta tags and link elements that Google and other search engines like so much:

Meta & Link Elements

With the Yoast SEO plugin you can control which pages Google shows in its search results and which pages it doesn’t show. By default, it will tell search engines to index all of your pages, including category and tag archives, but to only show the first pages in the search results. It’s not very useful for a user to end up on the third page of your “personal” category, right?

WordPress itself only shows canonical link elements on single pages, but Yoast SEO makes it output canonical link elements everywhere. Google has recently announced they would also use rel="next" and rel="prev" link elements in the head section of your paginated archives. This plugin adds those automatically. See this post for more info.

XML Sitemaps

The Yoast SEO plugin has the most advanced XML Sitemaps functionality in any WordPress plugin. Once you check the box, it automatically creates XML sitemaps and notifies Google & Bing of the sitemaps’ existence. These XML sitemaps include the images in your posts & pages too, so that your images may be found better in the search engines too.

These XML Sitemaps will even work on large sites, because of how they’re created, using one index sitemap that links to sub-sitemaps for each 1,000 posts. They will also work with custom post types and custom taxonomies automatically, while giving you the option to remove those from the XML sitemap should you wish to.

Because of using XSL stylesheets for these XML Sitemaps, the XML sitemaps are easily readable for the human eye too, so you can spot things that shouldn’t be in there.

RSS Optimization

Are you being outranked by scrapers? Instead of cursing at them, use them to your advantage! By automatically adding a link to your RSS feed pointing back to the original article, you’re telling the search engine where they should be looking for the original. This way, the Yoast SEO plugin increases your own chance of ranking for your chosen keywords and gets rid of scrapers in one go!

Breadcrumbs

If your theme is compatible, and themes based on for instance Genesis or by WooThemes often are, you can use the built-in Breadcrumbs functionality. This allows you to create an easy navigation that is great for both users and search engines, and will support the search engines in understanding the structure of your site.

Making your theme compatible isn’t hard either, check these instructions.

Edit your .htaccess and robots.txt file

Using the built-in file editor, you can edit your WordPress blog’s .htaccess and robots.txt file, giving you direct access to the two most powerful files, from an SEO perspective, in your WordPress install.

Social Integration

SEO and Social Media are heavily intertwined. That’s why this plugin also comes with a Facebook OpenGraph implementation and will soon also support Google+ sharing tags.

Multi-Site Compatible

The Yoast SEO plugin, unlike some others, is fully Multi-Site compatible. The XML Sitemaps work fine in all setups and you even have the option, in the Network settings, to copy the settings from one blog to another, or make blogs default to the settings for a specific blog.

Import & Export functionality

If you have multiple blogs, setting up plugins like this one on all of them might seem like a daunting task. Except that it’s not, because what you can do is simple: you set up the plugin once. You then export your settings and simply import them on all your other sites. It’s that simple!

Import functionality for other WordPress SEO plugins

If you’ve used All In One SEO Pack or HeadSpace2 before using this plugin, you might want to import all your old titles and descriptions. You can do that easily using the built-in import functionality. There’s also import functionality for some of the older Yoast plugins, like Robots Meta and RSS footer.

Should you have a need to import from another SEO plugin to Yoast SEO, or from a theme like Genesis or Thesis, you can use the SEO Data Transporter plugin, which will easily convert your SEO meta data from and to a whole set of plugins like Platinum SEO, SEO Ultimate, Greg’s High Performance SEO, and themes like Headway, Hybrid, WooFramework, Catalyst etc.

Read this migration guide if you still have questions about migrating from another SEO plugin to Yoast SEO.

Yoast SEO Plugin in your Language!

Currently a huge translation project is underway, translating Yoast SEO in as much as 24 languages. So far, the translations for French and Dutch are complete, but we still need help on a lot of other languages, so if you’re good at translating, please join us at translate.yoast.com.

News SEO

Be sure to also check out the premium News SEO module if you need Google News Sitemaps. It tightly integrates with Yoast SEO to give you the combined power of News Sitemaps and full Search Engine Optimization.

Further Reading

For more info, check out the following articles:

From within WordPress

  1. Visit ‘Plugins > Add New’
  2. Search for ‘Yoast SEO’
  3. Activate Yoast SEO from your Plugins page.
  4. Go to “after activation” below.

Manually

  1. Upload the wordpress-seo folder to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the Yoast SEO plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
  3. Go to “after activation” below.

After activation

  1. You should see (a notice to start) the Yoast SEO configuration wizard.
  2. Go through the configuration wizard and set up the plugin for your site.
  3. You’re done!

Screenshots

  • The Yoast SEO plugin general meta box. You'll see this on edit post pages, for posts, pages and custom post types.
  • The fully configurable XML sitemap for Yoast SEO.
  • Easily import SEO data from other SEO plugins like All In One SEO pack, HeadSpace2 SEO and wpSEO.de.
  • Example of the SEO analysis functionality.
  • Example of the readability analysis functionality.
  • The advanced section of the Yoast SEO meta box.

FAQ

You’ll find answers to many of your questions on kb.yoast.com.

Reviews

Read all 16,918 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Yoast SEO” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

“Yoast SEO” has been translated into 34 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Yoast SEO” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.

Changelog

5.8.0

Release Date: November 15th, 2017

Security:
* Fixes an XSS vulnerability in the Google Search Console configuration page, when connected to any profile.

Bugfixes:
* Fixes a bug where inactive suggested plugins weren’t displaying a notification.
* Fixes a bug where an error would be thrown if a Yoast SEO custom database table was missing.
* Fixes a bug where the layout of the metabox would break if too little content was present. Props to shane-gray.
* Fixes a bug where the WordPress editor was being displayed for custom, private taxonomies. Props to stodorovic.
* Fixes a bug where the analysis heading is shown when readability and keyword analysis has been turned off. Props to daim2k5.
* Fixes a bug where outputting on the_content filter calls could result in faulty AJAX requests.

Enhancements:
* Introduces wpseo_breadcrumb_single_link_info filter for modifying breadcrumb data. Props to slushman and forsvunnet.
* Introduces wpseo_redirect_orphan_attachment action to allow unattached attachment pages to be redirected in tune with the relevant setting. Props to soulseekah.
* Enhances integration with most role/capability manager plugins using the members_get_capabilities filter. Props to JoryHogeveen.
* Adds a Yoast group to the Members and User Role Editor plugins to easily find the Yoast SEO capabilities. Props to JoryHogeveen.
* Made link for Premium buy button changeable. Props to leesto.
* Removes the max-width on alerts to present a better UI. Props to timnolte.
* Sets default Twitter Card option to ‘Summary with large image’. Props to pattonwebz.
* Makes the content accessible by adding scroll functionality in the help center tabs.
* Improves the suggested plugins messages and adds installation and activation links when appropriate.
* Makes sure that the yoast_seo_links table is accessible before attempting to run a query against it.
* Uses Gutenberg content if it is available.

Maintenance:
* Cleaned up codebase by removing old Knowledge Base Search code.
* Improved the codebase to make it comply with the latest WordPress Coding Standards.

5.7.1

Release Date: October 25th, 2017

Bugfixes:
* Fixes a bug where the message “You are not receiving updates or support!” is shown incorrectly.
* Changes the reference to the correct ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO plugin.

Enhancements:
* Adds a plugin suggestion for WooCommerce SEO when WooCommerce is installed.

5.7.0

Release Date: October 24th, 2017

Enhancements:
* Adds notifications when we detect certain plugins are installed to suggest our AMP and ACF glue plugins.
* Adds the ability to start the configuration wizard from the admin bar menu.
* Adds better responsive styling for the video tabs in the Help Center.
* Replaces the link to Google AdWords with the https variant, props Shane Gray.
* Changes to the desired spelling of plugin and setup, props Pedro Mendonça.

Bugfixes:
* Fixes a bug where the text link counter doesn’t count links for scheduled posts when they get published.
* Fixes a bug where the internal link count is not updated when a post is removed permanently.

5.6.1

Release Date: October 13th, 2017

Bugfixes
* Fixes a bug where the SEO Manager role was not being able to save SEO settings.

5.6.0

Release Date: October 10th, 2017

Enhancements
* Removes legacy license page and shows the new license page by default.
* Changes references from licenses to subscriptions and sites on the premium submenu page.
* Changes the appearance of the Help Center in line with our design approach.
* Introduces an explanation bar when the Cornerstone content filter is active.

Bugfixes
* Fixes a bug where Hebrew slugs aren’t decoded on display in the bulk editor.
* Fixes a bug where the internal link count is not updated when there are no links to that page or post anymore.
* Fixes the Cornerstone content filter to behave consistently with existing WordPress filters.

5.5.1

Release Date: September 28th, 2017

  • Bugfixes

    • Fixes Snippet preview error when Yoast metabox has been removed.
  • Changes

    • Change Yoast Blog feed to new endpoint.

5.5.0

Release Date: September 26th, 2017

  • Enhancements

    • Updated the Dashboard Widget with a new design.
    • Added additional explanations to the Configuration wizard.
    • Added contentinfo landmark for assistive technologies to the Configuration wizard page.
    • Introduces wpseo_manager and wpseo_editor roles.
    • Introduces wpseo_manage_options capability to control which users have access to all SEO settings.
    • Introduces wpseo_edit_advanced_metadata capability to control which users have access to the advanced SEO settings.
  • Bugfixes

    • Fixed a bug where certain options (site_type, environment_type and has_multiple_authors) would be reset to their default value whenever one of the feature toggles were changed.
    • Ensured that has_multiple_authors gets validated.

Earlier versions

For the changelog of earlier versions, please refer to the separate changelog.txt file.