How to use the plugin Yoast SEO
Today I want to share with you how to use the plugin Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO is a very popular plugin for Wordpress that works really well for implementing SEO on your website or blog. I install the plugin for all my customers and show them how to use it. I am not an expert at all in SEO – search engine optimization - but I have learned a lot over the past year and I have used Yoast SEO many times. So I kind of know how to get that traffic light to green.
If you are new to blogging or own a new website and want to implement keywords on your website to be better found on Google then you should read this blog post.
Yoast SEO is very user friendly and it is easy to configurate your posts or pages so they are good for SEO. So now I will show you how I use SEO for this blog post on my MNFL Design blog site.
I am assuming you have installed the plugin on your site and you are seeing the panel at the bottom of your page or post. You have also written your blog post or filled your page with content and you have added pictures. Yoast SEO has actually already worked in the background and you can see the traffic light showing either red, orange or green for readability of your content. In this post I will only focus on the SEO part as you have to specify this yourself.
This is what I saw once I had pasted my content into the page and had not edited anything for SEO purposes.
This is what your website or blog will look when it shows up in Google's search results. So when you are changing the keywords, title etc you will always know the effect and what potential visitors will see when they find you on Google.
This is the most important part! You have to think of one keyword or a very short description for this particular post or webpage and you have to put it here. You need to make sure it is short and specific. Think about what people might type into Google when they search.
I have put “how to use the plugin Yoast SEO”. I could have made it even shorter, like for example just Yoast SEO plugin, but when I would have typed this in if I was looking for a guide on how to use Yoast SEO so this time I kept it quite long.
Now you click on the button edit snippet so you can determine what people see when they find you on Google.
This is the big blue text or headline. So unlike many people think you can actually determine what your readers will see on Google when they find you. Obviously the title has to be catching as this is the only part most people read or scan before deciding to click on it or more on the next search result.
It is also good if your keyword is included in this title.
Make sure the page title is not too short or too long. Yoast SEO will actually show you a line underneath and once it is green the length of the title is good.
This is he green part under the title. It is the name of the URL (or permalink) for this particular page or post. You can determine this and make sure it reflects the content of this page so that Google knows what the page is about.
This is how Yoast explains the benefit of a slug:
The SEO benefit of a slug is that you can change the words in there and make sure that it has the words that you really want to rank for, because it’s one of the indicators to Google of what a page is about. It’s also one of the things that people see in the search results. So, if you see in the search results ten different URLs underneath each other, about a certain topic, like WordPress SEO, and you see our yoast.com/wordpress-seo, that’s very on point and people might click on that a lot easier than if it’s yoast.com/?P=613458, which is the old default of WordPress.
It is preferred if there are no stop words in the slug and it is kept as short as possible.
Here you can customize the description that appear in Google under the title and slug. This is a great way to advertise your page to potential visitors. Make sure it contains the keyword at the beginning of the description and it gives a quick overview of the content of your page or post. Again the bar below your description will show you once you have reached a nice length by turning green.
If you have not already done so consider adding pictures to your site, if appropriate. Make sure you put the focus keyword as your alt text which can be specified when you click on edit of the picture.
The minimum text length which is good for SEO purposes is 300 words. Whereas this can easily be reached when writing a blog post, it is sometimes difficult for webpages when you want to keep them clean. In this case consider adding some text that refers to other pages of your website, it adds text and gives your customers also a quick overview of the content of other pages.
As I wrote in my previous blog post "SEO guide for beginners", external and internal page links are very important. So try and find some pages that link to and support this particular page or post's topic and add them to your page. Also try and find other website who want to refer to yours.
Consider adding titles to your page and have at least one of them contain your keyword. Google as well as readers like to scan those titles instead of the whole text in order to see if the content they are looking for can be found on this particular page.
Now go through the analysis of Yoast SEO and see where you have reached a green light, yellow or red. It gives a clear description of what is good and what needs improvement. However take this only as a guide as you have to keep in mind that you are actually writing for your readers and not for search engines!
If you want to read and learn more about Yoast SEO I recommend reading this article as it will give you more in depth help on how to improve your SEO. https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/
This is what Yoast SEO looked like for this page after I had specified the keyword, title, slug and meta description.
Next time I will share a little bit more about the general configuration of Yoast SEO. But for the beginning I hope this post was helpful for you!
Have a great day, Emilia
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