Yoast is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for optimizing your site for search engines. The free version from the WordPress repository has more than 5 million active installations. The premium version offers additional features to boost up your SEO effort. If you are using free version and want to upgrade to premium version, here is how you can install Yoast SEO premium plugin.
Note: Yoast changed the process with premium plugin from version 16.0. Now, you need to keep the free Yoast SEO version on your site and upload the premium version as an add-on. The activation process still remains same and after activation, you need to keep both plugins on the site. The free version will show a message that it is required for premium version and you can only deactivate the premium version first and then possible to delete the free version. If you are confused and frustrated with Yoast, then read the review on Rank Math plugin which you can consider as an alternative.
Yoast SEO Premium Plugin Features
Many argue Yoast SEO premium version does not worth the price. However, you have to think in a legitimate way. The developer offers most important features free. You can upgrade to premium version to get few additional features and as a matter of gratitude. We use the free version for more than six years and decided to purchase premium version only as a gesture of thanking the developer. Here are some of the features you will get with Yoast SEO premium.
- Access to Yoast SEO Academy
- Internal link suggestion tool
- Table of content and related article blocks
- Multiple focus keyword analysis with synonyms
- Preview of posts in Twitter and Facebook
- Find orphaned articles that do not have any internal links
- Redirect manager
- Integration with Zapier
It will cost you $89 and you can get with 20% to 30% discount deal during special occasions like Black Friday. You will get one year and support with the premium version and get 25% discount on renewal.
Yoast SEO Premium Plugin Installation
The process of installing the premium version is somewhat different than other plugins.
Step#1 – Purchase Premium Plugin
If you decided to purchase then the go to Yoast website and navigate their shop section. Find the plugin product and click on “Get Yoast SEO Premium” button. Remember, they have different premium versions for news, WooCommerce, news, videos, etc. Make sure that you are purchasing the general SEO plugin.
Follow the checkout process to complete the purchase. After successful payment, you will see a checklist as shown below. Note down or copy the checklist that you have to follow further.
Step#2 – Access Your Yoast Account
You will get an email from Yoast to activate your MyYoast account. Click on the link in the email to setup password for your account.
After changing the password, you will see a success message like below.
Now that you have your email and password to login to Yoast site.
Step#3 – Add Your Site in Yoast Account
The next step is to add your site in Yoast account and activate the subscription. Remember, in general you will activate the subscription by entering a license key in WordPress admin panel. However, with Yoast, you have to first activate the subscription in order to download the premium plugin.
- Login to your Yoast account.
- Navigate to “Home” tab and click on “Add site” button. Or go to “Sites” tab and click on the “Add site” button.
- Type the complete and correct URL of your website and choose WordPress as a platform.
- Click “Add” button to add your site in Yoast account.
If you want to change the site after some time, simply go to your MyYoast account and remove the old site. add your new site and activate the subscription for the remaining period.
Step#4 – Activate Your Subscription
After adding your site go to “Sites” tab to view the added site and click on it. Here you will see the purchased plugin subscription and available activation.
Turn on the “Yoast SEO for WordPress Premium” to activate the subscription on your site. It will enable “Download” and “Manage” buttons against the plugin.
Click on the “Manage” button to view the details of subscription like start / expiry dates, products and option to download invoice. Surprisingly, clicking on the download button will not start the download. You will see a pop-up showing link to the installation guide on Yoast site.
Step#5 – Download Premium Version
Now, go back to the dashboard and navigate to “Downloads” section. Here you will see the actual download button for Yoast SEO premium and premium + academy options. Click on the version you want and download Yoast SEO premium plugin version to your computer.
The download should be ZIP file like any other plugin. In some cases, your computer may extract the downloaded ZIP to a folder.
Step#6 – Install Yoast SEO Premium Plugin
If you are not using Yoast free version, then upload the ZIP file through “Plugins > Add New” section on your admin panel. Alternatively, you can upload the extracted plugin folder to “/wp-content/plugins/” directory using FTP or File Manager app. However, if you are already using free version then you should make sure to migrate all existing meta data to the premium version.
- Go to your WordPress admin panel and navigate to “Plugins > Installed Plugins” section.
- Make sure your free plugin version is same as the premium version you have download from Yoast account. If not, first update the free version to the latest version and download the latest version from your Yoast account.
- After ensuring the correct plugin version, deactivate the free plugin.
- Now, click on “Add New” button and upload the ZIP file of premium version that you have downloaded in previous step.
- Click on “Install Now” and WordPress will start extracting the plugin from the ZIP file.
- After you see the line “Plugin installed successfully”, click on the “Activate Plugin” button.
- Now, you should see the premium version in active status and free version in not active status.
- Click on the “Delete” link and delete the free version from your site.
This process will automatically migrate all data from the old free plugin to new premium plugin.
Note: Yoast plugin affects the visibility of your site in search engines. Hence, we recommend you to take a backup of your site before installing the premium version. This will help you to restore in case of any issues at alter point.
Step#7 – Test Your Site
To make sure everything is working fine, navigate to “SEO” menu and check the settings. You should see all your previous plugin settings are exactly there. You can also open the site in browser and check the source code contains your meta description and SEO titles. The source code will also have a line mentioning the site is using Yoast SEO premium version.
Now that, you have successfully installed Yoast SEO premium and removed the free version. Before exploring the premium features, you need to go to “SEO > Tools” section and do the data optimization. This will help the plugin to offer internal and other link related suggestions properly.