I’ve been working in Gutenberg for the past 6 weeks on a new site I just launched. I’m trying to give it a fair shot, as well as help provide feedback to the development team. With Yoast SEO’s latest release, 8.0, they’ve added Gutenberg support, as well as updated the Yoast meta boxes for everybody. In this article, I’ll share my thoughts on the Yoast SEO Gutenberg experience.
I’m using Yoast 8.0 and Gutenberg 3.6.2, both the latest versions at the time of publication (Aug 18, 2018).
ALSO: Read Yoast’s official post about the 8.0 release, which includes a full overview, along with some things they have in store for the future (modals & Gutenblocks!).
No Automatic Sidebar Switching
After switching my sidebar to Yoast SEO, once I go back and click on a block, the block options don’t automatically appear in the sidebar. The sidebar keeps all the Yoast SEO options active. I have to go back and click the gear icon to get back to the block options.
I realize some people might want to continuously check their SEO as they’re writing and adding new content to the page, but I suspect most would rather see block options reappear. I suspect most of us use/check the SEO suggestions after we’re finished writing (before we publish), or each time we make new edits to an existing piece of content.
It just felt like the block options should start reappearing, and they didn’t.
How the Accordions Work
There are two things about the accordions that I would change, and this goes for both the ones in the sidebar, as well as the ones below the content:
- Only allow one section to be open at a time (when you click one section title, close all the others)
- When clicking on an section title, autoscroll to the top of that section
As you can see in the animation below, I scroll down to open up “Cornerstone Content,” but when I click it, nothing shows up. The cornerstone content opens up, but it happens out of the viewport, so I don’t see any visible change.
I would love to see the “Focus Keyword” section close, “Cornerstone Content” open and get anchored near the top of the screen so it’s section contents are immediately visible.
Mobile Meta Boxes Are Too Narrow
The 3 icons Yoast SEO uses for SEO, sharing & advanced settings are placed to the left of their respective sections. This works fine on desktop and larger screens because there’s plenty of horizontal space.
But on mobile devices, it makes for really narrow meta boxes. Too narrow in my opinion, especially when viewing the Snippet Preview.
I’d love to see the icons moved to the top, just below the “Yoast SEO” meta box title. There’s plenty of room for 5 icons in one row across the top:
- Traffic Light for main SEO options
- Share Icon for sharing options
- Settings Cog for advanced settings
- Question Mark for help
- Star for premium upgrade
🙂 vs. 🚦
I’ve always found the use of the Yoast traffic light a bit strange, but it appears to be a huge part of their brand. In Yoast 8.0, they’ve introduced smiley faces to provide feedback on the optimization of your focus keyword.
- Good: Green smiley face
- OK: Orange neutral face
- Bad: Red sad face
While I like the use of smiley faces more than traffic lights… now we have both. It doesn’t seem to jive for me. I think they should pick one or the other, and use it consistently.
In the example above, they also appear to be two different colors of orange. I didn’t check green & red, but at the very least, I’d make sure I used the same colors here.
Preferably, I’d love to see smiley faces used everywhere.
I’d love to hear your feedback. Have you tried Yoast SEO 8.0 with Gutenberg yet?
And if you’re on the Yoast team, I’d love to hear from you. Were these decisions intentional? Would you consider implementing any of my suggestions?