Yoast SEO settings: Site features

As of Yoast SEO 20.0, the settings interface inside our plugins has received a major overhaul. Please update to the latest version of Yoast SEO if your plugin does not look like the screenshots you encounter in our Help center.

In this article, we’ll discuss the Yoast SEO Site features settings in your WordPress backend. You’ll see a video explanation, and we’ll explain all the settings on the page one by one.

Video: Yoast SEO settings: Site features

Would you like to watch this video in your own language? Follow these steps to auto-translate the subtitles.

We’ve redesigned the Yoast SEO settings interface and are currently updating this video to reflect the changes. In the meantime, check out the guide to navigating our new settings interface. Thank you for your patience, and check back soon for the updated video! 🎉

Site features settings

You can find the Site features settings by going to your WordPress backend, clicking “Yoast SEO” and then “Settings” in the menu on the left-hand side. You’ll automatically be on the Site features settings page.

Screenshot of the Site features settings in Yoast SEO.

Yoast SEO comes with a lot of features. In the Site features settings, you can disable and enable features within Yoast SEO for your entire site, like the SEO analysis, the readability analysis, and the cornerstone content functionality. On this page, you can simply turn them off or on.

Read more about the other settings Yoast SEO offers in the configuration guide for Yoast SEO.

Site features that can be enabled or disabled

In the Site features settings, you can enable or disable the following features:

Writing

The Site features settings are divided into five sections: Writing, Site structure, Social sharing, Tools, and APIs. First, let’s take a closer look at the features in the Writing category.

Screenshot of the Writing section in the Site features settings in Yoast SEO.

SEO analysis

The SEO analysis is the first analysis you see in the Yoast SEO sidebar when you’re editing posts or pages. This analysis offers suggestions to improve your text’s findability and ensure that your content meets SEO best practices. For example, it checks whether you’ve used the focus keyphrase enough throughout your text and in the right places. Read more on how to use the SEO analysis in Yoast SEO.

Readability analysis

In the Yoast SEO sidebar, you’ll also find the readability analysis. This analysis offers suggestions to improve the structure and style of your text. It checks, for example, if you use enough transition words. Read more on how to use the readability analysis in Yoast SEO.

Inclusive language analysis

The inclusive language analysis offers suggestions for writing more inclusive copy. If you write more inclusively, you will open up your content to more people. And the more people read, understand, and relate to your content, the more likely it is that they will enjoy it, share it, or link to it! This feature is opt-in, so it’s disabled by default. If you want to enable this analysis, you can do that by switching the toggle on this page. Read more on the importance of inclusive language for SEO and the categories the inclusive language analysis assesses.

Insights

The Insights tab in the Yoast SEO sidebar shows you insights about your content. For example, it shows you the most prominent words of your text (if you have Yoast SEO Premium), the Flesch reading ease score, the reading time, and the word count. Read more on how to add focus to your text with Yoast SEO insights.

Site structure

The next section in the Yoast SEO Site features settings is called ‘Site structure’. So, let’s take a closer look at the features in the Site structure category.

Cornerstone content

The cornerstone content feature lets you mark and filter your most important articles as cornerstone content to make sure they get the attention they deserve. The SEO and readability analyses are a bit stricter for articles marked as cornerstone content. What’s more, you can filter which articles you’ve marked as cornerstone content in the posts and pages overview, so you can quickly get an overview of all the cornerstone articles on your site to ensure you’re doing well on the most important parts of your site.

You can also use the stale cornerstone content filter if you have Yoast SEO Premium. This tool filters the posts you’ve marked as cornerstone content and warns you if you haven’t updated them for six months. Keeping your cornerstone content up-to-date is super important; that’s why we remind you to do so!

The text link counter counts the internal links from and to your posts so that you can improve your site structure. You can find this feature in your posts overview.

The link suggestions feature shows recommendations for relevant content on your site to link to, so you can set up a great internal linking structure. This feature is available if you have the Yoast SEO Premium plugin.

Social sharing

Next up in the Yoast SEO Site features settings is the “Social sharing” section. Let’s take a closer look at all the cool stuff it has to offer.

Screenshot of the "Social sharing" section in the Yoast SEO Site features settings.

Open Graph data

Open Graph is a protocol used by Facebook, as well as other social networks and search engines, to determine which elements of a webpage should be displayed when someone shares that page on their platform. By adding Open Graph metadata to your website’s posts and pages, you can control how your content appears when shared on Facebook and other platforms. This information, such as the title, image, and description, is displayed in a preview when a link to your site is shared.

Yoast SEO automatically adds this information to Facebook’s Open Graph. That’s why we recommended keeping this feature enabled unless you’re using another plugin to manage your Open Graph data.

Twitter card data

In addition to Open Graph data, Twitter uses specific data to display information when your website’s content is shared on their platform: Twitter card data. In the Site features settings, you can decide whether you want to output specific data for Twitter or you want it to rely on just the Facebook data that you already gave it. It’s usually a good idea to keep this feature enabled.

Slack sharing

Slack is a very popular tool for professional communication. It is also a place where colleagues often share information they find on the web. Chances are, people also share links from your site on Slack. The Slack sharing feature can make your website stand out on Slack by enhancing your link previews. It adds an author byline and an estimated reading time to your metadata.

Tools

The “Tools” section of the Yoast SEO Site features settings is next on the list. Let’s examine the feature it includes in more detail.

Screenshot of the Tools section of the Yoast SEO Site features settings.

Admin bar menu

In this section, you have the option to turn on or off the Yoast SEO admin bar menu. This menu provides convenient access to third-party tools and resources and allows you to quickly check for new notifications from Yoast SEO.

APIs

The final section in the Yoast SEO Site features settings is called “APIs”. Let’s take a look at which features we can enable or disable here.

Screenshot of the "APIs" section in the Yoast SEO Site features settings.

REST API endpoint

The REST API endpoint feature is designed to better support people who are building headless WordPress sites. A headless WordPress site does not have a front-end interface, only a back-end used for content management. With this feature, developers working with headless WordPress installations can generate metadata from a front-end request using a simple metadata endpoint and the REST API. This allows them to retrieve the data and display it wherever needed. If you are unfamiliar with headless WordPress sites and this feature, you can simply ignore it.

XML sitemaps

XML sitemaps are like roadmaps for your website, directing Google to all your important pages. WordPress also includes a built-in XML sitemap, but the XML sitemaps feature in Yoast SEO creates more advanced XML sitemaps and has several enhancements and performance improvements.

We recommend enabling this feature in Yoast SEO, which will automatically disable the default WordPress XML sitemap and ensure that our sitemap runs smoothly. If you choose to disable the XML sitemap feature in Yoast SEO, it will not disable the WordPress core XML sitemap. So, this will still be available as a backup. If you have the Yoast sitemap enabled, you can view your site’s XML sitemap by clicking the button “View the XML sitemap”.

IndexNow (Premium)

IndexNow is an open-source protocol that lets web publishers tell participating search engines about updates on their sites. It’s essentially a way to ping search engines and say that a URL or its content has been added, updated, or deleted. In this way, the search engines can send bots to crawl, index, and reflect the changes.

As of 2022, Microsoft Bing, Yandex, and Seznam are participating in IndexNow. Google is currently not part of the initiative, but they are testing it, so they might join in the future. If you have Yoast SEO Premium and enable this feature, we’ll automatically ping the participating search engines whenever you publish, update, or delete a post.

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