Are you going crazy trying to get all of the dots on the Yoast SEO plugin to turn green?

Do you have nightmares every night of red and orange dots that you cannot turn green no matter how desperately you try? 

First of all, take a deep breath.

It’s going to be okay.

Like with any tool that helps you write, you should take Yoast’s suggestions with a bucket of salt. It’s like a spellcheck for your SEO, but just like those red squiggly underlines, it isn’t infallible.

For example, I accidentally typed “Toast” instead of “Yoast” about four times while I wrote this post. Did spellcheck flag it? No. Will there be SEO issues in this post that Yoast won’t flag? Hopefully not, but it’s possible.

Full disclosure: We use the Yoast SEO plugin on our blog. I’m using it right now! This isn’t meant to be a takedown of Yoast, nor are we saying that you shouldn’t use it. We’ll describe how we use Yoast below.

How does Yoast help me write SEO-Friendly blog posts?

Yoast offers a lot of handy options for search engine optimization like reviewing your page titles, descriptions, and keyword density. It complements WordPress’ already SEO-friendly designs, so you can publish content that Google will crawl and index easily. All of that is important if you want people to find your posts organically.

However, it isn’t a magic wand that will make your post The Most SEO-Friendly Post Ever Created™. 

Yoast and similar plugins help you with little things that you otherwise might have to code or customize – like how it helps you change the meta description of your post (the little snippet that shows up on a SERP).

On the other hand, there are a lot of things that Yoast will suggest that you don’t necessarily have to do to optimize your post. SEO plugins can only help you so far as your own SEO knowledge goes. If you don’t know at least a little what you’re doing, even the most helpful plugin won’t work for you or your site. 

For example, the Yoast plugin keeps telling me that the URL for this post is a little too long and perhaps I should change it, but I know that it contains an important keyword and also conveys what I’m talking about as briefly as I possibly can while still being relatable to the content.

I also know that people don’t just type in brief keyword phrases into the search bar anymore. They type sentences like “why shouldn’t I trust Yoast” and Google will (hopefully) recognize that this post answers that question and show it on the SERP. 

Gif Credit

What the pirate and I are trying to say is that many plugins – not just Yoast – will suggest things and that’s how you should look at it.

They are just suggesting things for you to do, but it shouldn’t be your only SEO strategy.

How Digital Strike Uses Yoast

Like I said above, I’m using Yoast right now – but I’m not slaving away until every dot turns green. 

That’s a waste of my time.

But here are some of the useful Yoast features that Digital Strike uses every day for ourselves and our clients:

  • Edit the SEO title and meta description so that it is search engine optimized
  • Meta robots setting to tell Google which pages we want them to index
  • Add canonical URLs so that we can avoid problems with duplicate content
  • Create and edit XML sitemaps so search engines can crawl the site more effectively
  • Automatically redirecting attachment URLs to the parent post URL so that Google doesn’t index the image page

SEO plugins should only make your life easier – not make you too worried to schedule a post because there are some dots that aren’t green.

The Bottom Line

Whether you become an SEO expert in your own right or you hire a digital marketing agency (*cough Digital Strike *cough*), Yoast shouldn’t be the end-all, be-all for your site and SEO.

So, if you’ve been driving yourself insane trying to get all of the dots next to Yoast’s analysis to turn green for every single one of your blog posts, just stop. Getting all of those green dots doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve written a good post that people will find valuable and that Google will show it in the number 1 spot on the SERP.

It just means that a plugin you installed approves of what you wrote without actually knowing much about your intentions and goals for the content.

To learn more about SEO and digital marketing as a whole, check out our Digital Marketing 101 Guide. It’s everything you ever wanted to know about SEO, PPC, and content marketing. 

Or, if you’re ready to talk to us about a comprehensive digital marketing solution, contact us for a free consultation.

Digital Strike

Learn more about Digital Strike

Recent Posts

5 Critical Elements of a Recession Marketing Plan

A question on everyone’s mind lately is, “Are we heading toward a recession?” The answer is not always clear but, according to the Associated Press, six … Read More

All About the Click-Through Rate – CTR Explained

You need benchmarks to determine the success of your paid ad campaigns. One such metric? Click-through rate, otherwise known as CTR. At a glance, CTR can … Read More

How to Drive Traffic To Your Site

Everybody Asks: How to Drive Traffic To Your Site But nobody asks how your site is doing. (Doing great, thanks for asking!) All jokes aside, online … Read More

Google Core Web Vitals: What They Are & When They’ll Take Effect

Benjamin Franklin once said that the only guarantees in life are death and taxes. Maybe it’s time we add Google updates to that list. If you’re … Read More

12 Easy Technical SEO Audit Tips for Marketing Managers at Any Level

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the digital marketing industry, you know just how crucial search engine optimization (SEO) is for the success of … Read More

Migration Strategy

When A Website Migration Strategy Goes Awry

As much as we don’t want to admit it, the Digital Strike offices are not always overrun with sunshine, victories, and vintage ‘80s high-five montages. Truth … Read More

The Life of Content: Keep, Add, Combine, or Kill

In a recent newsletter here at Digital Strike, we covered a few topics that made headlines in 2019 and are guaranteed to continue to trend as … Read More

The Google BERT Update: What It Is and What It Means for Your Website

BERT is being hailed as the biggest change in search since Google released RankBrain five years ago.  That fanfare is warranted because it’s going to change … Read More

Top SEO Sites to Watch in 2019

Top SEO Sites to Watch [Updated for 2021]

It’s been said that the only constant in SEO is that it’s constantly changing. This is why, to stay on top of our game, we have … Read More

Landing Page vs. Homepage: What's the Difference?

Landing Page vs. Homepage: What’s the Difference?

They’re the same thing, aren’t they? Just different names for the same thing, right? Wrong! Technically, while a visitor to your site can land on its … Read More

How Does UX Affect SEO?

You know when you go to a website and it’s just…bad? You can’t find the navigation menu, the page isn’t loading correctly, or pop-ups are keeping … Read More

Location Page Google Will Love

How to Build a Location Page Google Will Love [Infographic]

Ready to crush your local SEO with a top-notch location page? Hold up, wait a minute. What is a location page? And what is local SEO? … Read More

Content Creation or Link Building

What Should Come First: Content Creation or Link Building?

What came first – the chicken or the links? Wait. No. That’s not right. The content or the links! It’s a question we get asked a … Read More

Why You Should Have a Blog

Why You Should Have a Blog

Creating unique content on your company’s website has benefits you haven’t considered yet. Do you want people to keep coming to your website? Are you working … Read More

Organic Search Opportunity

Organic Search Opportunity is Changing (Again)

Is SEO opportunity actually shrinking? Organic search opportunity has always been a constantly changing field.  Algorithm changes send everyone into a tizzy a few times a … Read More

How to Write Headlines

Here’s How to Write Headlines Like a Pro (You’re Welcome)

Once you know how to write headlines, you can pretty much rule the world. First impressions are crucial, right? If you make a bad impression in … Read More

How long does SEO take to work?

How Long Does SEO Take to Work?

TL;DR: SEO results take more time than you think. Almost every SEO client we have asks us, How long does SEO take for my website to … Read More

When Should I Use a Canonical Tag or 301 Redirect

When Should I Use a Canonical Tag or a 301 Redirect?

It’s a phrase knowledgeble SEO specialists say all the time – “canonical tag.” Or maybe they say “rel=canonical” and you’re sitting in the meeting like: Then … Read More

Does PPC Affect Organic Rankings?

A Digital Marketing Misconception: Does PPC Affect SEO?

In the digital marketing world, there are a lot of misconceptions and myths (myth-conceptions, if you will) about how organic search engine optimization and pay-per-click campaigns work together. We’ve heard and seen it all. … Read More

“How is HubSpot different from SEO?”: An honest answer to an actual client question

“Have you heard about inbound marketing?” This is how a recent client call started. Then, to make things worse, they proceeded to ask, “How is HubSpot … Read More

Design responsively: The importance of mobile-friendliness to your site redesign strategy

Back in 2014, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches, and search engine optimization was never the same. What does this mean for your company? First and foremost, … Read More

Why you aren’t ranking first in Google for [INSERT KEYWORD] … And why that’s okay

You might be wondering: “Why am I not ranking first in Google for [INSERT KEYWORD]?” It’s not a bad question—it shows you value your business’ position … Read More

Local SEO ranking factors: What gets you into the game, and what makes you stand out

Just because you’re on the track doesn’t mean you’ll win the race. Maybe you bought the shoes and paid the entrance fee, but if you didn’t … Read More

5 Must-Have Elements of Every Small Business Online Marketing Plan

Image Credit Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but the following could be considered the most conducive to the budget of even … Read More