WordPress 101: How To Use Yoast SEO Properly
Following on from our previous WordPress 101 blog posts we’re going to focus on the Yoast SEO plugin. Now if you’re not familiar with Yoast SEO then here’s a little overview. It’s a really popular SEO tool that works really well within WordPress blogs. I’m going to do a bit of a walk through on how we use the tool for our SEO and explain each chunk so that it’s a bit simple and easier to understand.
If you’re blog is hosted on theimagefile we automatically install the Yoast SEO plugin for you, during installation. If Yoast SEO is installed you will notice a panel, like the one pictured below, display every time you create a new post.
This is what it will look like when someone comes across your blog post in search engines.
This is the most important part! You need to choose ONE keyword or phrase for this area. When choosing your keyword/phrase make sure it’s not too broad or descriptive but really focuses in on what your post is about. Think about what people might search for or type into a search engine when looking for your blog post. In this post we’re only talking about the Yoast SEO plugin tool so we’ve chosen the keyword ‘Yoast SEO’,
Under this area you will find the ‘Keyword Usage’ section – this will tell you where the keyword you’ve selected is being used within your post. Ideally, you want to at least 3-4 of these to say “yes” rather than “no” as this will give you a higher SEO rating.
The meta description is a short excerpt or snippet of your post or alternately a description of what the post is all about that gets used by search engines. You can customise it here.
Once you’ve done all of this, hit “Save Draft” so that it updates and you can see what your current SEO ranking. If it’s green then it’s good, if not then you can click the “Page Analysis” tab to see what you can improve to make your post better for SEO. The page analysis breaks down a number of things than can improve or lower your SEO rating. If you have any red areas here you might want to take a look and make some alterations, or consider changing your keyword.
This is one that you don’t have to do if you don’t want to but it can be useful to some. You can set the Facebook title and description so that when someone shares it, it’ll populate with this instead. This is great because it allows you to be more creative and personalise your headlines. Readers are more likely to click on a witty or persuasive headline or description than a boring SEO keyword title.
Do you use the Yoast SEO plugin? Do you find it benefits your SEO?