Jenny’s Update 10/31/13
Yoast or Genesis, Yoast or Genesis…since I originally wrote this post in July of 2012, I have had some interesting feedback from people both agreeing and also disagreeing with me and my assessment. In full disclosure, I actually do use Yoast and most of my small business SEO clients do too. However, unless they know how to use this plugin properly, Yoast often comes with more confusion and questions than clarity and answers.
I’ve asked Beth, a Genesis web design colleague I converse with on Twitter and email frequently, to chime in with her insights. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Beth Hood’s Genesis vs. Yoast Insight:
I don’t claim to be an SEO expert and don’t have a lot of experience working with Yoast, but I have found the Genesis SEO settings to be incredibly effective in helping my clients sites rise naturally in a Google search, in surprisingly little time. I call it the “magic of Genesis.” I don’t know how it works, I just know it works. The built-in SEO settings in Genesis allow me to achieve my goal of providing my clients with the best tools possible for their websites so that they can increase their exposure online and grow their businesses.
Most web development experts will tell you that if you can add functionality to a site such as SEO via the theme, that this is always recommended. With the developers of Genesis, Studiopress, you can always be assured that they are building the best into your theme, including the best SEO options and security features. So while not all plugins will slow down a site, having too many or the wrong ones, can slow it down, or possibly break a site if the plugins aren’t being updated to work with the latest WordPress update. I’ve been using Genesis for 4 years exclusively and couldn’t be happier!
From a user-friendly standpoint, I would never add an SEO plugin to a client’s site unless they requested it because most of them have too many options. If you are looking for advanced options and want to spend a good amount of time making head’s or tails of them, then it might give you a boost over Genesis. However, I find it is too confusing for most of my clients, and if a tool can’t be simple to understand and implement, then they won’t use it. I prefer the simplicity of the Genesis SEO Settings. And since it works, why make our lives more complicated?
Beth Hood is owner of Websites with Aloha, a design company that offers advanced WordPress web design for small businesses and nonprofits, built proudly on the Genesis framework. Visit http://websiteswithaloha.com/ for more information.
“Is it better to use the built-in Genesis theme SEO or the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast? Does it make a difference? I assumed they both accomplish the same thing and that what you put in them is way more important than which you use. Do you have an opinion or preference?”
Yes, I do have an opinion. I would use the built-in SEO functionality that comes with the theme, especially one as well-known as Genesis. No use in wasting a plugin that would just duplicate something the theme already allows.
With WordPress, it’s easy to get plugin happy and start downloading lots of plugins which you really don’t need. Having an over abundance of plugins can make your site slow, which will absolutely have an effect on your SEO, not to mention other negative consequences.
Also, this reader is absolutely correct that it’s way more important what you put in there. Make sure to always have keyword rich titles and descriptions, follow best practices, and leave the keywords tag blank. It’s a waste of time to fill this out as Google no longer takes the keywords field into account.
Do you have any burning SEO questions I can answer for you? Email me at jennyatjennymunn.com and let me know – I’d love to hear from you (really!). :). Or, connect with me on Google+ today.
Photo Credit: SAN_DRINO
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