When I started this new blog in January, my number one goal – and today it’s still the number one goal – was to engage readers. That hasn’t exactly happened. But that’s okay, and I’m still working on it.
But one of the reasons I pushed forward and bought a domain name with a WordPress installation was because I kept getting told I needed to be able to use plugins! And that I’d never get anywhere without a domain name!
Sadly, I think I was oversold on the domain name. Nonetheless, one of the plugins that kept getting pushed over on Reddit’s blogging subreddit was “Yoast SEO”. The long and short of it is that Yoast SEO is designed to help you craft your posts to optimize them for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
I’ve had enough of Yoast SEO intruding in my writing.
I’ve definitely noticed since activating the plugin that I’m changing the way I might traditionally write a post, and that my own personal voice is marginalized. I don’t like it anymore, and tailoring my posts to perform well with search engines isn’t doing me any favours, anyway.
So I’m ditching it, officially. Consider this a negative review, and not just a pat on my own back.
If you’ve never used it before, Yoast SEO prompts you for a keyword (apparently several keywords if you have premium) and scans your post for SEO efficiency, giving you a red, yellow, or green light based on what you’ve written.
You get more points for adding images, headings, etc. Some of it makes sense to me. But some of it absolutely doesn’t – and maybe that’s a fault of my not understanding SEO, but I can tell you with certainty that I don’t feel like searching for or creating a random image to insert just because it increases my Yoast rating.
I think this is just my personal use-case showing through here; I believe that for people with focused, niche-oriented blogs, Yoast SEO might in fact be extremely beneficial for them. It’s just not for me.
If you’ve had better experience with Yoast, let me know in the comments! I’d love to be proven wrong, and given a lesson or two on how to use it and avoid losing my writing voice.