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WordPress Plugins We Love: Yoast SEO

Yoast SEOOne of the reasons we love WordPress so much is the vast number of plugins it has available to extend the built-in functionality. But since there are over 40,000 plugins available in the repository, we thought it would be fun to help you sort through the pile by recommending a few of our favorites. These will be plugins we use all the time, have thoroughly tested and highly suggest using if you are looking for what they offer.

One of the great things about WordPress is that it’s already optimized for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so just by installing it, you’ve taken a major step towards lifting your place in the rankings. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot more than what it provides by default. To that end, we used to use a plugin called the All-in-One SEO Pack, but a little less than a year ago we made a switch to a new SEO plugin called Yoast SEO.

With a year of testing under our belt, we can now safely recommend it to you! And for good reason. While All-in-One SEO Pack was no slouch, Yoast SEO goes that extra step further in functionality and ease-of-use, making it a no-brainer for our go-to SEO plugin.

So why choose Yoast SEO? Stay tuned, and we’ll look at some details.

Easy Install and Setup

While both All-in-One SEO Pack and Yoast SEO do a pretty good job of making it easy to get through their many many options, Yoast goes a step further by providing a tour through its options for new users, breaking those options up into different sections so that you aren’t blasted with all of them at once (All-in-One SEO Pack puts all of its options on one page, which can be a bit daunting), and providing useful help sections and videos on each of its option pages.

Content Analysis

Content analysis is one thing that Yoast SEO does very well that All-in-One SEO Pack doesn’t even attempt to do. Just below the post editor on each page or post, you’ll find a powerful metabox that shows you snippet previews of what your published content will look like when displayed in the search listings, analyzes that content strength based on a particular keyword and provides color-coded recommendations for improving the SEO and readability of that content. It also provides built in sections for managing how content displays when shared on social media and for managing the interaction of the content with meta-robots.

If there was a single reason to switch to Yoast SEO, this content analysis would be it. All-in-One SEO Pack does provide a snippet preview, it lacks any content analysis and doesn’t have social features turned on by default.

Extra Features

Yoast SEO also comes with a suite of extra features that cover many other parts of site optimization, like building XML sitemaps, setting up the Open Graph Meta Tags used to pass information to a variety of social networks, importing data from Google Webmaster Tools, editing .htaccess and robots.txt, and allowing the import/export of SEO data to and from your sites.

Want to make sure that your new sites have the best SEO in the business? Give the Solamar web team a shout, and we’ll get you set up in a jiffy.