It seems like there’s a plugin for everything nowadays, even if you’re looking for help with the technical SEO functions of your WordPress website. Yoast is by far the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress, but what most people don’t realize is that Yoast won’t actually drive traffic to a website.
Yoast’s motto, which states “SEO for everyone”, is a bit misleading. Sure, it helps to make your SEO strategy more successful, but this plug-in alone won’t make you rank on Google and other search engines.
So what do SEO plugins like Yoast actually do?
Any SEO strategy is driven by many moving parts. Just take a look at SGD’s list of SEO services… keyword research, off-page link building, local SEO through Google Maps, and social media integration are just a few of the tasks involved in a well-rounded SEO gameplan.
Yoast doesn’t actually do any of these things. The plugin makes it easier for you to perform the tasks listed above by giving a user access to technical SEO tools, but it won’t perform them for you. That’s all on you, so never assume that installing and setting up Yoast is your one-way ticket to high rankings.
Don’t get us wrong, it is a helpful tool, but take the advice from Kyle Douglas, an experienced SEO strategist at SGD:
“Too many business owners think that by installing a simple plugin that all of their SEO worries are through and they can expect to start to outrank competitors with this one simple tool. In reality, Yoast by itself does nothing to improve your rankings, it’s simply a tool that your SEO consultant will use to make it quicker and easier to implement the strategy they have designed for your website.”
So basically, it’s up to you to develop and implement your SEO strategy, Yoast just simplifies the process.
Another Big Reason Installing a Plugin Won’t Help You Rank
Now you know that Yoast alone won’t improve your SEO strategy, let’s look at another reason for why that is. It actually has a lot to do with Google’s dedication to maintaining integrity and keeping up with ethical practices.
If Google started to rank pages solely based on their installed plugins, that would show signs of favoritism for certain content management system (CMS) solutions over others.
It would start to look really fishy and cause problems for Google on the ethical front, ultimately ruining the trust that the company has been able to establish as a responsible, fair search engine. So yeah, Google really doesn’t care about the plugins you use, and it would actually hurt them if they did.
How to Use Yoast for SEO (the Right Way)
The main thing to remember about using Yoast is that it’s not your golden ticket to ranking your WordPress web pages high on Google. It can definitely help you to get there, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle.
There are a few things that Yoast is really helpful for, like updating a page meta description and making the overall SEO process more efficient. But overall, the suggestions made by Yoast and other SEO plugins are generic and not necessarily the right decision for your site.
To use it effectively, you’ll want to confirm Yoast’s suggestions through human vetting and then take the necessary steps to follow through. Be sure to choose the right Yoast plugin for you; there are several different options on top of the standard WordPress SEO plugin, like a video optimisation plugin and one for WooCommerce SEO.
The Final Word on Yoast for SEO
Overall, Yoast is a simple plug-in that’s worth installing, but optimising a website for search engines is far from simple. That means that using Yoast is just one of the many aspects of optimisation. It should never be used as an all-around tool because frankly, that won’t get you (or your website) very far.
For more information on how to use Yoast effectively and how to get in Google’s good graces for higher rankings, contact us. With our reliable SEO services, we can help you to outrank the competition in a way that Yoast alone can’t.