Using Yoast SEO with the Enfold WordPress Theme

This is a good question that came into my e-mail box:

I enable all my customers to use Yoast SEO since it helps trains them to enter the proper content. However it appears Enfold developers think Yoast should accommodate the use the Avia Layout Builder versus Enfold folks coding to use Yoast SEO. Do you know of a solution?

I decided I’d make a quick post about my thoughts about this so that hopefully others can benefit from the explanation.

The background here is that the Enfold theme has the option to use the ‘Avia Layout Builder’ within pages and posts instead of the standard WordPress editor. The ‘Avia Layout Builder’ is a very high-quality builder with similarities to Visual Composer and other theme-specific layout builders. It makes it really easy for a non-developer to build and manage more advanced page layouts and content.

The problem is that the Yoast SEO plugin doesn’t properly recognize content in the Avia Layout Builder so that ‘SEO Score’ or red yellow green ‘Traffic Light’ that Yoast produces on a page/post edit screen is not exactly accurate.

So how is an SEO amateur supposed to even use the Yoast SEO tool if they choose to use the Enfold theme?

First, let me say that the Enfold theme is my favorite theme currently to customize and develop websites with. Let me also mention that I use Yoast SEO on all my sites.

How I use Yoast SEO with Enfold

Let me start by addressing the main question about the using the Avia Layout Builder and the Yoast page/post optimizer dialogue. Personally, I predict this incompatibility is one that will get resolved between the theme and plugin authors Kriesi and Yoast in some time.

In the short term, a workaround would be to not use the Advanced Layout Editor and the Yoast SEO page optimization dialogue will still work as normal with the Enfold theme. So, most blog posts, don’t use the Advanced Editor anyway, so you’re still all good. If you do need to use the Advanced Layout Editor, certain parts of the Yoast SEO plugin still work so just take the traffic light results with a grain of salt and move on. Just because the light is not green does not mean that isn’t optimized.

Furthermore, I personally think the page/post Yoast SEO optimization dialogue, the focus keyword, is the most over-rated part of the Yoast SEO plugin. I almost never use it these days, but sure I know a thing or two about SEO. But for someone who the tool helps them get closer to having a well-optimized post/page they also should not get caught up in having all green lights. I’ve even used some CSS to hide the little traffic light for some clients who just cannot get past it. These ‘rules’ are more like guidelines and really there is no formula for a well-optimized piece of content other than it being authoritative and resourceful from the users perspective.

Why I actually use Yoast SEO with Enfold

Yoast SettingsThe most under-rated part of the Yoast SEO plugin is with the other settings contained within the plugin I haven’t mentioned yet. The settings that should be set-up properly but yet are often ignored resulting in indexing issues that cause bigger SEO problems. Specifically, the ‘Titles & Metas” section of Yoast SEO is one where you should have an expert help you get right for your site to avoid time-consuming head-aches down the road.

To provide you a resource on this please see my previously published post on How to Troubleshoot Google Indexing Issues which outlines these settings I’m talking about here.

Titles & Metas

So when I set up an Enfold site for a client and install Yoast SEO I do a basic configuration of these settings for the client to make sure they get started on the right foot. And leave the individual post optimization settings to them, but advise them to take that area with a grain of salt.

Conclusion: If you or your clients are obsessed with having a ‘Green Light’ on every page of their website that is the problem, nothing to do with Yoast or Enfold. My point is that I’ve had amazing SEO results with content where the Yoast tool showed ‘Red’. If there is still an issue with that answer, then try perhaps having your Avia Advanced Layout Builder pages optimized by an SEO professional or manually complete the Yoast checklist yourself. I’d assume the pages where Advanced Layout Builder are used are important pages on your website. Most the time for blog posts you use the Standard WordPress post editor anyway where the Yoast tool currently works great for optimizing new blog content as it’s created.

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