Using Yoast SEO to Optimize Your Website
If your site is on WordPress, you need the Yoast SEO plugin. Yoast boasts some of the most comprehensive SEO tools that are available completely for free (of course with the option to upgrade to premium) and comes free with features such as:
- Snippet previews for Google Search results
- The ability to change the SEO title and meta descriptions of your snippets
- A list of SEO best practices for every page
- Real-time optimization tips for each page is based on their best practices
- The ability to verify webmaster tools for Google, Yahoo, and Bing
- Comprehensive set up wizard for ease-of-use that helps maximize the efficiency of the Yoast SEO plugin
All that to say, if you’re wanting to dramatically improve your search results ranking (and with it the overall efficiency of your website), Yoast SEO will help you get the results you’re looking for. Ready to install this incredible tool and get your website firing on all its SEO cylinders?
Follow these simple steps to get started with Yoast:
- Login to WordPress and select the Plugins tab on your left menu. Search for Yoast SEO.
- Once you find it, install the plugin and make sure to click “activate.”
- Once activated, you should see the Yoast icon on the left menu with two notifications already waiting for you. Click on the Yoast tab to open the dashboard.
- Under the notifications, click on the one that asks if you want to configure the plugin. This will take you through a ten-step process to set up basic optimization with Yoast SEO. This process takes you through all the basics like what kind of website you have, what kind of features you’d like, integrating your social media accounts with Yoast, post visibility settings on Google, authenticating your website with Google (if you haven’t don’t that already), and setting up how your page titles will appear in a web browser’s tab. While you can set up the plug in through the tabs on the dashboard, this way is ideal for those who might not know what all Yoast has to offer.
- Once you’ve finished this, Yoast SEO should be ready to go!
How to Optimize Your Pages Using Yoast
One of the greatest features that Yoast brings to the table is its ability to offer real-time analysis of your website as a whole and the individual pages of your site. When you go to create a new webpage, say for instance a new blog post, you’ll now have a Yoast section on your page builder. In this section, Yoast will show you a preview snippet of your what your page will look like when it comes up on a Google search, with an option to toggle between what that snippet will look like both on a desktop and on a mobile device. From there, you can select to ‘Edit snippet’ and modify the SEO title (what appears as the main result), the slug (i.e. the end of the page’s URL), and the meta description (the text that appears beneath the SEO title). The reason why these are so important to modify is because these are the pieces of information that people (and Google) will look at when determining whether your page contains what they’re searching for.
Now, if you were to just edit these off the top of your head, it might help you in your SEO rank a little bit. But thankfully, Yoast doesn’t leave you to your own devices and provides in-depth analysis of the current optimization of your snippet and your page. The goal with this analysis is to make the red lights go green. Simple, right? You bet. Yoast makes it easy to help create a page that will be optimized to a high degree. And, just a word about this analysis: do as many as you can if you want to see the greatest increase in your SEO rank. While it might feel like busy work, when you take the time to actually do what Yoast suggests, you’ll thank yourself later.
Here’s some of the analysis you get when you start using Yoast:
- Focus keyword efficiency
- Whether an image is used that will draw attention to the post
- The existence of links to authority sites
- The page/post length
- The overall readability of the post
- Whether the focus keywords appear in the URL, meta description, and SEO title
- Using the page title to include a call to action
Suffice it to say, Yoast SEO is an incredibly helpful tool that, when used to its fullest extent, can dramatically increase your search engine rankings over time. Looking for another way to see a dramatic increase in your search engine rankings? Email us or schedule a call, and we’ll conduct an SEO audit for your website that will give you valuable insight on how to improve your site’s effectiveness.