Yoast SEO is not only one of the most popular WordPress plugins, but one of the most popular WordPress plugins overall. One of the reasons WordPress powers a 1/4 of all websites (and growing) is that is has pretty good SEO out-of-the-box. Yoast succeeds in making a good thing better.
If you were just to install the plugin, and forget about it. You’d still see benefit. Yoast rewrites page titles, and creates an XML sitemap for search engines. Beginners often get hung up on Yoast’s mechanism for grading your SEO per post. It works like this. You specify a keyword (only one with the free edition), and then it displays the colors of a stoplight to rank your post; red, yellow and green. It’s tempting to tweak every post until you have all green lights. Like a deserted street at 3am.
Yoast has “live” recommendations, that change with your content. So we can’t cover every recommendation here. Let’s review some of Yoast’s most common content analysis recommendations, and see which are worthy of your time.