What drew me to The SEO Framework plugin originally was that the author based it on the built-in SEO framework that’s a part of Genesis. While I’m not a fan of Genesis as a builder anymore, especially compared to more modern offerings like Divi, Genesis did have an excellent framework in that regard. Some of the most frequented blogs were built with it years ago, after all.
As a standalone plugin, it’s pretty powerful.
One of my early experiences with it was switching a site I’d administered for awhile from Yoast to The SEO Framework. Other than copying the metadata over between the two and getting all the core settings put back in place, I didn’t make any changes to the site. (This wasn’t a regular SEO client.) Yet next time I ran a ranking report out of curiosity, quite a few words that’d been stagnant jumped up.
It wasn’t a one month fluke. Rankings continued to climb. And on sites I’ve used it that also received regular updates? Solid. But why is that? I have an assumption.
The SEO Framework plugin seems like it’s very lightweight, doing the core SEO things well with no fluff.
Here’s a great example of what I mean by fluff.
Yoast includes a page grader feature: you tell it a focus keyword and it gives you a score of how well you optimized the page for that keyword. This is very useful for beginners at SEO because it helps ensure basic elements are in place. However, it’s often mistaken by little oversights, like when you use a plural version of your keyword in the first paragraph it yells at you for “not including the keyword in the first paragraph”. (Plurals are actually irrelevant to Google.)
It’s a pretty simplistic analysis of your content, and is easily outsmarted by pluralized words. Sometimes if you begin a post with an image it will erroneously see that as the first paragraph of content, and then also claim you didn’t use the keyword there. Or it dings you because your keyword is not close enough to the beginning of a title. True, but the phrasing should always play to the reader first.
There are other examples, but you get the idea. It ends up in those cases giving you an artificially lower score than you actually deserve simply because of its limitations.
Bear in mind that for Yoast to even have that functionality there are hundreds of extra lines of code involved in the plugin. For someone like myself that doesn’t need a grader to help me optimize a page, that’s unnecessary code clutter.
Note that I do recommend Yoast to my SEO coaching clients, since the grader is useful for them as a guide when I’m not there to help optimize their pages better.
Contrastingly, The SEO Framework is focused only on what’s needed to get the SEO done properly.
It includes niceties like a place to paste your Search Console (and Bing Webmaster Tools) verification metas, and creates a sitemap for you like Yoast. You have control over schema data, social pages, indexing, canonical tags, etc. — the “must haves” without bloat.
Google seems to like the way this plugin presents the information, also.
This is not to say that Yoast is a bad SEO plugin, since I’ve ranked many a website over the years using it. But I can’t deny the experiences I’ve had with The SEO Framework, and I also find it faster to get set up initially than Yoast — especially when Yoast wants you to go through its wizard that again seems geared toward beginners. (Great for those folks, but slower for the serious SEO that just wants to set up quickly and get moving on the site.)
So there you have it. That’s one man’s opinion about The SEO Framework and why I use it on almost every website I work on.