Yoast SEO Reviews, Best SEO in WordPress?

Yoast SEO Reviews: Is it the Best SEO in WordPress?

Here is one of the most straightforward Yoast SEO reviews.

Is it the best SEO in WordPress?

Do you really like the traffic lights of Yoast SEO?

Haven’t you asked these questions before?

I must say I have recently become a bit obsessed in beating the Traffic Lights of Yoast SEO.


It can be equal parts a frustrating exercise in futility but indeed a quite challenging exercise. 

yoast seo reviews of traffic lights

Either way, adjusting and tweaking your content to meet Yoast's exacting readability standards a.k.a "traffic lights" will take you beyond your comfort zone and challenge your ability to write quality content that normal high school level people are apt to read and comprehend.

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Yoast SEO:  My Review Summary

Product Name:  Yoast SEO

Founder:  Team Yoast

Product Type:  WordPress FREE Plugin

What Is It:  SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plugin for WordPress

Made By: Team Yoast

Price: FREE.

Upgrade: You can Get Yoast SEO Premium for $89 (ex VAT), including 1 year free updates and support. Risk-free: 30-day money back guarantee


  • Readability check
  • SEO analysis
  • Full control over your breadcrumbs
  • Always updated for Google’s algorithm
  • You get weekly tips on how to optimize your website's SEO, usability and conversion
  • Yoast lets you know about new features and other cool (free) plugins
  • You get a free SEO for beginners course immediately to learn how to make your site rank higher

Best For:  Bloggers, Marketers, and webmasters

Summary: For the FREE version, you only get 1 keyword or keyphrase per page.
Yoast warns you might be missing out on search traffic for synonyms or related terms; however you will get these anyway if you write good natural content from Latent Semantic Indexing.

Rating:  75 out of 100

Recommended: Yes (Free Version)

yoast seo reviews straightforward

We Serve Yoast SEO Reviews Straightforward

Yes Ladies and Gent, we do serve Yoast SEO reviews straightforward.

We seek to find if it is the best SEO in WordPress.

First let me say for me, the SEO criteria section (Focus Keyphrase) of Yoast is easy and very useful. There are clear instructions indicating where improvements can be made to your content for greater search engine rankings and in areas where you may be going wrong.

Helpful suggestions in writing Meta Titles, Meta descriptions, and matching your focus keyphase (main keyword), SEO title, and permalinks
to them i.e., for Meta descriptions it gives you a "red traffic light" when you have exceeded the exact 155 character limit.

As you can see here, under my Focus Keyphrase I get all "Green Lights" for my SEO for all 14 categories. My focus keyprase (main keyword) which is a low-hanging fruit keyword is everywhere it is supposed to be, so I get a High Mark.

Plus my article (post) is 2844 words long, which is Great!

focus keyphrase in Yoast

Yoast will also warn you that Google or other search engines may decide to add the date to your meta.description (as Uncle Google will arbitrarily do on any random occasion), and there is a risk you will effectively be working with less than 155 characters.

That's another reason why you should place your main keyword (focus keyphrase) in your Meta description early.

yoast seo reviews readability scores

Readability is a Different Matter

Meeting the Traffic Lights of the Readability analysis is where Yoast can become a frustrating exercise in futility for content writing.

And quite an unenjoyable experience in editing content.

Here are some other Readability requirements you will need to satisfy to get an overall "Green Light":

  • Passive Voice
  • Transition Words
  • Consecutive sentences (using the same word)
  • Sub heading distribution
  • Flesch Reading Ease
  • Paragraph Length
  • Sentence length

Now I can see why using Yoast SEO Readability criteria can become a frustrating exercise in futility if you are trying to "please it" to the point of achieving an overall Green Light Score, if you write in a certain style this seems to be near impossible.

Doesn't Show You Where Readability Improvements Are Needed

This is especially true if you own a natural content writing style beyond a typical 10th grader, as Yoast constantly drills you that you should be writing content that every 15 to 16 year old can easily understand (Flesch Reading Ease).

The problem I have with Yoast SEO readability criteria is that it doesn't specifically show me where in my content it is penalizing me.

IT is very quick to correct me and tell me the area where I need to improve, but it is highly vague in showing me what sentence or paragraph should be improved.

Here's an example where Yoast SEO Readability criteria becomes frustrating.

Readability analysis in Yoast

It told me I need to improve my Readability by adding sub headings to eliminate all sections between sub headings so they are less than 300 words.

Now I have listened to Yoast and exhaustively added several additional sub headings to my content (h2 and h3 headings), and I now can clearly see I no longer have ANY sections between sub headings with more than 300 words.

Yet Yoast still tells me I will need to add 2 more sub headings to get an overall “green light" to eliminate the penalty - but it doesn't indicate WHERE that long content is in my article.

I checked the article several times, and there isn't any section between sub-headings even CLOSE to 300 words.

Yoast can be incorrect

Yoast Can Be Incorrect

Well, I will challenge that Yoast's assertion is incorrect, and no matter what further corrections I make I will not get an overall Green Light for that category.

As far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out as to whether I will continue using Yoast, or switch to the simpler All-In-One SEO.

Right now for me is it the best SEO in WordPress?

Not exactly.

yoast seo reviews: the jury is still out

The Jury is Out on Yoast

Perhaps I will continue using Yoast only because the SEO part is very useful and helpful, but will ignore trying to please every aspect of the Readability analysis.

The frustration arises when you are trying to get an overall Green Light in Readability (when your article is already highly readable and engaging), which means satisfying ALL of the Readability requirements.

In a way, I will argue all of these extra unnecessary Readability traffic lights imposed by Yoast SEO actually can HINDER your writing of good natural content.

You are constantly trying to please the algorithm, and if your natural writing style is more complex than a 10th grader can comprehend, you will never achieve an overall Green Light in all categories for Readability.

For certain articles containing a more sophisticated subject matter, this may be nearly impossible.

Moving forward, if I've satisfied 13 of 16 points in Readability, that will be good enough for me.

yoast seo reviews verdict is they need to improve readability function

So here's my verdict: Use Yoast for its useful and helpful SEO analysis, where it gives clear instructions where you can make improvements.

Do your BEST to improve your readability score by editing your content accordingly, however do not expect ANY specific indication from Yoast where your (e.g., in what sentences and paragraphs) your Readability problems are occurring.

There will come a point you will be BEST served to ignore those extra Readability traffic lights.

Best to ignore Yoast's readability traffic lights

Use the Yoast plugin as a tool but moreover use your intuition and common sense 🙂

The jury is still out if Yoast is the best SEO in WordPress.

Good Luck with your article writing.

Keep Ranking High.

Please feel free to leave your comments. 

About the Author

KAJU is the band leader and founding member of OFF THE HOOK, one of the premiere dance party bands in the New York Tri-State Area. After contracting a mysterious hand disorder, Kaju now writes to help other musicians and artists deal with disabilities. Currently he is a Full-time Affiliate Marketer and 1-on-1 mentor at Wealthy Affiliate, a community that can help anyone start an online business without prior experience. This is where he teaches others how to make a great passive income. Read more about his story here!