We use Yoast SEO on almost all our sites and clients sites. It is an incredibly powerful tool that gives basic insights into how well you are optimising your content for your chosen keywords. Yes, there are plenty of people out there in the WordPress community that slate Yoast for various reasons. My biggest problem with Yoast is the constant notifications to upgrade, so is it really worth upgrading to Yoast SEO Premium?

Let’s start with what you get with Yoast SEO Premium:

  • Redirect manager
  • Multiple Focus Keywords
  • Internal Linking Suggestions
  • Social Sharing Link Previews
  • Free support
  • Ad-free

After using Yoast SEO Premium for a while we find we benefit the most from the removal of ads. Unfortunately, after getting used to other tools such as the Redirection Plugin we find that Yoast actually falls way short with their premium tools. The internal linking also rarely works how you want and doesn’t seem to work with page builders at all.

Other factors such as social sharing previews and multiple focus keyword analysis are more or a gimmick than a useful tool. If you follow guidelines for social images then you know how your link will look on Facebook and Twitter. The additional keywords sometimes come in handy but it doesn’t really offer a real insight as to how well your content is optimised. Until Yoast supports partial matches of keywords the keyword analysis is rarely going to show a green light as it always looks for exact matches. In fact, we find clients obsessing over the green light that they end up stuffing keywords everywhere.

 

What I like about Yoast SEO Premium.

My favourite features of the premium version of Yoast is definitely the automatic redirection when you change the slug of a page (or any post type). This is a real timesaver and especially handy if your clients are in the habit of changing things without redirecting. Second to the automatic redirect the removal of ads is very useful as they are seriously annoying!

 

Rather than spending $89 try these free alternatives.

I personally don’t think Yoast SEO Premium is worth $89. Especially when you can find very good free alternatives to the tools you get with the premium version. Most of the tools you get with Yoast SEO Premium you can get for free and most of it you don’t actually need. If you follow the best practices when writing your content then the free version of Yoast SEO works just fine.

Redirection

Redirection WordPress Plugin

The Redirection plugin is a very popular one and for a good reason. It does all that the Yoast redirection manager does with the exception of automatic redirects. If you do go to Yoast Premium then you can import your redirects from the Redirection plugin to Yoast.

Social Preview

This is a very simple thing get right the first time. All you need to do is upload the feature images for Facebook and Twitter in the correct dimensions. Facebook is (1200 x 630), Twitter is (1024 x 512px). You can upload these images using the free version of Yoast. Do you really need a preview? If you upload the images correctly the first time you know how it will look.

Multiple Keywords

Yoast only looks for exact matches when doing a keyword analysis. Now when using a secondary keyword you should be looking for partial matches rather than exact matches for both the primary and secondary keywords. Since you will rarely get a green light on your additional keywords and by getting a green light you are probably not going to rank as well for your primary keyword this feature is just a gimmick.

Internal Linking Suggestions

You don’t need this. Off the bat, if you are relying on a tool to do your internal linking then you are doing it wrong. You can read more about internal linking plugins here.

 

Conclusion

If you understand SEO then you don’t need the Premium version of Yoast. Simply put you don’t get a great deal of useful stuff for your $89, if you want to get rid of the ads then you can just hide them with some basic CSS. The rest of the tools you get you either don’t need or you can find free alternatives. I hope to see Yoast offer more with its premium plugins. At the moment it seems they target a market of users who don’t fully understand SEO and expect miracle results by simply upgrading.