WordPress offers powerful blogging platform. However, it certainly lags search engine optimization features like adding meta description. You need a SEO plugin, in order to make up the gap and optimize your site for Google. Yoast is the most popular plugin available in WordPress repository with more than 5 million active installations. Though you can get most of the SEO features with free plugin, the developer also offers a premium version. If you are confused whether to go for a premium version, continue reading on to find our opinion.
Yoast SEO Premium Plugin Price
Since the developer offers multiple plugins, first we want to make it clear that we are talking about Yoast SEO premium plugin. This is a premium version of the free Yoast SEO plugin and different compared to other premium plugins for news, WooCommerce, local, etc. You can see the name as “Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO Plugin” on their shop.
Yoast SEO premium plugin will cost you $99 + VAT for a single site license. You can get one year free support and updates and need to renew each year. Since the plugin price is costlier than commercial themes (you can get for $59 to $69), site owners may hesitate to purchase Yoast SEO premium version.
WordPress SEO: Optimize WordPress site with free WordPress SEO guide.
Yoast Premium Features
Here are the features you will get with premium plugin in addition to the free version’s features.
- Access to Yoast SEO academy
- Redirect manager
- Internal linking suggestion
- Table of content block
- Related links, subpage and sibling block
- Orphaned content indication
- Social preview on Facebook and Twitter
- Keyword optimization with synonyms, related word forms
- Plugin available in all popular languages
- Content insights with 5 most used word or phrase from the article
- Export focus keywords in CSV
- Keyword research with Semrush integration
- Full integration with Elementor page builder
- Zapier integration
- No advertisements in WordPress admin panel
- Premium support
Free Vs Premium Features Comparison
Here is a comparison of free and premium versions to help you understand what you will get for $99. Check out the review and features of the free plugin in our earlier article.
|Advertisements in admin panel||Yes||No|
|Internal linking suggestion||No||Yes|
|Internal linking block||No||Yes|
|Subpages and Siblings block||No||Yes|
|Table of content block||No||Yes|
|Multiple focus keyword||No||Yes|
|Show orphaned content||No||Yes|
|Yoast SEO Academy access||Only free courses||Full access|
|Top 5 words in article||No||Yes|
|Facebook and Twitter preview||No||Yes|
|Consider synonyms and word forms in focus keyword analysis||No||Yes|
|Cornerstone content update warning||No||Yes, if content is not updated for six months|
|Export focus keywords||No||Yes|
|Breadcrumb||Yes, manual insertion||Yes, manual insertion|
|Classic editor and Gutenberg support||Yes||Yes|
|Plugin update||Yes for free version||1 year limited for premium version|
|Plugin installation||From WordPress repository||Download from Yoast site and upload on your site|
|Webmaster tools verification||Yes||Yes|
|Meta description and title optimization||Yes||Yes|
|Bulk edit title and description||Yes||Yes|
|Indexable feature for plugin optimization||Yes||Yes|
|Add nofollow and sponsored links||Yes||Yes|
|Semrush integration||Limited to 10 queries per day||Yes|
|Add OpenGraph meta tags||Yes||Yes|
|Breadcrumbs and site title separator||Yes||Yes|
|Primary category in breadcrumb||Yes||Yes|
Though the list of premium features is long, we do not think you will be using all of them. we will first discuss some of the important features that is worth to consider for paying $99. Later let us explore other features and alternatives.
1. Internal Linking Suggestion
After installing Yost SEO Premium plugin, the first thing you need to is to run SEO data optimization. This will help the plugin to index your pages and suggest internal links when you create content. You can get the internal linking suggestions right on the Gutenberg block editor’s panel on the right sidebar. We have more than 2K posts on the site and finding relevant links is always a painful task. In this situation, Yoast internal linking suggestion is very useful for us.
Remember, the plugin will only suggest 5 internal pages, you have to manually insert the links on your content. It will be great if the plugin also highlights the anchor text in the article based on which it suggests the links. However, it does not which means, you will still have some pain in finding proper anchor text for each link.
2. Gutenberg Blocks
As you know, the free version already offers FAQ and How-To blocks with Gutenberg editor. with premium version, you will get some more additional blocks.
- Table of content – insert table of content linking all headings on your article
- Related links – you can use the same 5 internal linking suggestions as related articles widget
- Subpages and siblings – used to link subpages on parent page and siblings on subpages.
Both table of content and related links are useful. However, similar to internal linking you have to manually insert them on each post. We do not see much use of subpages and siblings block as we don’t use many pages/subpages.
3. Keyword Optimization
The free version allows you to assign a single focus keyword in the editor with the meta box. With the premium version you can use multiple focus keywords on a single article. The plugin will also consider plurals, synonyms and other forms of the focus keyword for content analysis. You can also download focus keyword of all articles in CSV format to do offline analysis.
As part of content insights, you can view the 5 most used words in the article. You can use this is analysis to find whether you are using the focus keyword properly and avoid wrongly optimizing for some other keyword.
4. Redirect Manager
Whenever you delete a page, Yoast SEO premium plugin will suggest to setup a redirect to avoid losing the ranking of that page. You can click on the “Redirect it to another URL” button to get a browser pop-up and enter the new page’s URL.
You can go to the “SEO > Redirects” section and create or delete redirects manually. The good part is that you can import redirects using CSV file or .htaccess file or from other plugins. Yoast SEO premium plugin supports importing redirects from Redirection, Safe Redirect Manager and Simple 301 Redirects plugins.
Unfortunately, the redirect manager is very simple without any option for monitoring the traffic to redirected page or 404 logs. You have superior and dedicated free plugins like Redirection that do this job much better.
5. Orphaned Content
Yost SEO premium plugin will show you articles that do not have any internal links. You can get this information in the post index page on your admin panel. In our case, we found 375 articles do not have any internal links. This is an opportunity for us to link those articles to build a healthy internal linking structure.
However, if you have limited number of articles on your site then this may not be required at all.
The recent versions of Yoast SEO premium plugin focuses on third-party integrations.
- Preview sharing result in Facebook and Twitter
- Keyword analysis with Semrush
- Integration with Elementor to add meta data within the Elementor editor
- Share your content with more than 1000 networks by creating Zaps with Zapier
These integrations will be useful only when you are using and familiar with the third-party tools. For example, if you are using Elementor page builder, you can easily add SEO data right from the editor. However, you will not be excited when not using any of these tools.
Other Less Useful Features
Other features coming with premium version are not much useful from cost perspective.
- Multiple languages – unless you need to use the plugin in any specific language, it will be of no use to you.
- Advertisement – Yoast free version shows advertisements of the premium plugins in the plugin’s settings sidebar. You can get rid of these ads with premium version. Keeping the admin panel clean is a good habit, however, you are not going to access the settings page frequently after initial setup. In fact, there is a free plugin to remove the Yoast ads from the WordPress admin panel (well, that is surprising people create plugin for this).
- Social preview – you can preview the post in Facebook and Twitter right from the editor. The plugin allows you to change the image, title and description for Facebook and Twitter sharing. However, it will not be much useful as you should be aware of how shared content will look like in Facebook and Twitter. Since featured images is generally used when sharing, you also will not be interested in changing this for each post.
Alternatives for Premium Features
The problem with Yoast SEO premium is that you can get most of the features free with other plugins. In fact, you will get automated and highly useful way of doing the stuff with free plugins.
- Table of content – check out our article on how to add table of content in WordPress site. there are many plugins available for this purpose and you can insert table of content automatically on each post without manual intervention.
- Internal links – you can get this feature with inline related posts plugins that inserts links automatically based on the category and tags of the current article.
- Related links – you can get this free with any related post plugin with options to customize the featured image, number of links and placement.
- Redirect manager – Redirection and other plugins offer tracking of redirected page, 404 monitoring, group modified posts and manual redirects, import/export redirects, etc. You will not any of these features with Yoast premium plugin.
- Social preview – the free version adds OpenGraph meta tags which is used by Facebook and many other social platforms. Unless, you want to change the image and content, viewing preview is definitely not a premium feature. Alternatively, you can get this type of feature with social sharing plugins.
- SEO academy – along with premium version, you will get full access to Yoast SEO Academy. With millions of the free articles and videos available for Yoast SEO, you may not need premium video tutorials for learning SEO.
Area for Improvement
With missing attraction for $99 worth, the premium version also comes with some problems.
- Breadcrumbs – premium version does not solve the manual code insertion needed for breadcrumb. You still need to insert the PHP code in theme’s templates in order to use Yoast breadcrumb. This is surprising as third-party themes like Astra allows you to integrate Yoast breadcrumb from customizer settings.
- Premium support – you can ask questions using the chat box on Yoast site. However, this will go through email support mode and you need to wait for a day or two to get the response. We found the Subpages and Siblings blocks are missing in the editor. We reported the issue and got the below response. As you can see the highlighted text, there was no commitment to fix even it is a known bug. On top, developers will work based on the overall priorities and your issues will not influence their schedule. Many of the users will not accept this kind of response is a premium support worth paying.
Can I Buy Premium Version?
Hope, the above details helped you to understand the premium features you get with Yoast SEO premium plugin. Now, there should be two important questions to answer:
- Is it worth to purchase? – based on the available premium features, we do not see it is worth to pay $99 each year. You can get all those good stuffs for free and with better quality using other plugins. It is also good to ignore social preview, advertisement, support and SEO academy access which you may not need at all. Premium support does not make sense when there is no commitment for fixing their own bugs.
- Why did we use premium version? – you may ask why we purchased if it does not worth buying. We use the free version from 2015, the time we migrated our site from Weebly to WordPress. We want to thank the developers for the great free version and willing to pay as a gratitude. In addition, tools like internal links suggestion are very useful in our case as we have to find relevant links from 2K+ existing articles. Therefore, it makes sense for us to use the premium version for mutual benefit, regardless of the support quality.
If you are planning to stick with Yoast free version and have some money to invest on your site, we recommend purchasing the premium version. We do hope, there will be surprising features in the future releases. However, if you are running a site with limited budget, there will be no need of the premium version. At this point, you will not be losing any SEO feature with premium version and continue with the free plugins for optimization.
Frequently Asked Questions About Yoast SEO Premium
The plugin will cost you $99 for a single site license. It comes with one year support and updates. After a year, you need to renew the plugin which you can get for 25% discount. The premium features will continue to work after a year, the renewal will help you to get further updates and additional year of support.
Yes, Yoast offers 30 days money back guarantee and refund the amount when you report a valid issue with the plugin. However, money back is not valid after 30 days of activating the subscription and for renewal purchase.
The installation process is different compared to other premium plugins. You have to activate the subscription on Yoast site to download the premium plugin file. Learn more on how to replace Yoast free version with premium plugin.
Not directly. You have to follow the SEO practices and the premium plugin as such will not automatically impact the ranking. However, using proper internal structure and setting up redirects can help in long run to have well optimized site.
Yes you can. As mentioned in the article, the free plugins offer more features for specific purpose than Yoast SEO premium version.
They will not do personal support by logging into your site like many developers do. You will get a generic response which may not solve your issues.
We recommend to purchase Yoast SEO premium, if you have budget and want to combine multiple optimization features under single plugin. Otherwise, it is not worth for the high price.