Using Yoast for WordPress SEO – Why relying purely on the traffic light system will not bring you success

Yoast SEO

Table of Contents

When individuals or businesses are looking to improve their SEO on their WordPress website, the first port of call will usually be Yoast SEO. Yoast is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin on the market today. Packed with features and its user-friendly approach to SEO tasks, you can understand why this SEO tool is so popular. But you cannot rely purely on the green traffic light system to bring you WordPress SEO success. Here’s why:

Greenlight Envy

Yoast uses a traffic light system for evaluating how good the on-page SEO is for each web page on your website. And if your light is not green, it will provide tips on each SEO task that needs work to improve your score. In hind site, this could work well, but the tasks it asks you to do affect the user-friendliness and the page’s readability. The plugin focuses too much on exact matches of your keywords throughout the page, which will result in paragraphs not making sense or the readability needing to improve, giving a bad experience for the user.

Gone are the days when you could stuff your page with exact match keywords multiple times, and this will get you to the top of page 1 on Google. Yes, you need your keywords within the content, but this should be done in a way that enhances the content.

Google is much more intelligent than this now and will look for keyword variations and synonyms related to your keywords.

Using the Yoast SEO plugin does not guarantee rankings.

If you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, you will need more than the traffic light system to guarantee success in terms of rankings. The traffic light system is an excellent general guide, but it’s not foolproof. Other factors come into play regarding ranking, such as page load speed, Off-page Seach engine optimisation work, backlinks and social signals. In addition, Google is constantly changing its algorithm, so what works today may not work tomorrow. So while the Yoast plugin can be a helpful tool, put only some of your eggs in one basket.

Many inexperienced users pay for the Yoast plugin, do the traffic light updates for each page and then expect their webpages to get to page one of Google, sadly unless you are in a very niche market, you will need more technical knowledge and additional on-page and off-page work to make sure your website is fully SEO optimised.

Keyword-focused headings and titles based on Yoast instructions

Yoast will tell you that you need to have your keyword/key phrases with the page’s main title, the SEO title within the first paragraph of body content on the page and within a sub title. Having your key phrase in these areas then helps with your traffic light score. But the key to a page performing well for SEO is not stuffing your exact key phrases all over the place throughout the article, instead you need variations and synonyms. This is one of the major pitfalls of Yoast. Your article needs to be well-written and easy to read for a human, and Yoast tends to forget this.

Yoast instruction – Add key phrase to alt tags

One of the traffic light scoring factors on Yoast is based on you having your key phrase within the alt tags of any images on your web page. And it will mark you down if you do not have it there. But the alt tags should give an accurate description of what is actually in the image. Search engines are able to view images and will know if the description is true or not. If your key phrase was “Building Service London” and you added this as an alt tag to an image of a builder shaking hands with a women. The alt tag does not give a true description of what the image contains.

What is included in yoasts SEO plugin free version compared to the premium version

Yoast is not the cheapest of plugins, the free version will give you some access to the features but will leave you with half of a job completed on your website unless you upgrade to premium.

For anyone looking to do SEO on their WordPress website, If you are using Yoast, you may wonder what is included in the free version compared to the premium version. The free version consists of the traffic light system, which can give you an idea of whether your post is optimised for a specific keyword. However, it does not include the ability to track your progress over time or the ability to see how your post compares to other posts on the same topic. In addition, the free version only includes support from Yoast itself if you encounter a problem with the plugin.

The premium version of Yoast SEO includes all of the features of the free version, plus more. With the premium version, you can track your progress over time and see how your post compares to other posts on the same topic. In addition, you can get support from Yoast staff if you have any questions or need help troubleshooting.


Yoast is a good WordPress SEO plugin for getting you start and beginning to ranking on Google. But getting to page 1 for the pages of your website will require a lot more work and knowledge.

Share This Post
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore
Do You Want To Boost Your Business?
Drop us a line to get started
Big Data Domain Web Page SEO Concept