A step by step guide to using Yoast SEO in WordPress

Yoast SEO WordPress

A few days back I wrote a detailed blog post about how to write SEO optimized content for your website.

I listed down and explained 11 techniques that a writer must adhere to if he or she wants to write an SEO optimized content.

Trust me it’s always easy to read some useful content on the internet and say, Hey! this is too awesome, I am gonna implement all these things in my next post.

But then get carried away in writing another content and forgetting to apply all those techniques you promised to apply last time.

This is a basic human tendency of forgetting things.

But since you have chosen WordPress as your blogging platform and one of the best things about WordPress is the unlimited no. of plugins it offers to cater to every problem you face while growing your blog or website.

One such plugin is Yoast SEO which will make your writing SEO optimized content job super easy.

How to install the Yoast SEO plugin in WordPress?

Installing Yoast SEO in WordPress is the same as installing any other plugin. Just hover over the plugins section in your WordPress admin panel and click on Add New. Then search for the Yoast SEO in the WordPress plugins search box and install it.

install Yoast SEO from WordPress admin panel

On-page SEO by Yoast

There are a few parameters this plugin considers before concluding whether your content is SEO optimized or not.

Good and bad results of Yoast SEO

And if you would meet most of the criteria ( approx 80%) while writing your content then it would rate your content with a smiley.

Yoast SEO final result - good
Yoast SEO final result - average
Yoast SEO final result - bad

It also rates your content based on readability. Whether your content is very well readable and comprehensible or not.

Readability section of this SEO tool

Explaining the parameters of on-page SEO

Outbound links

Outbound links are the links you send out of your website.

Suppose you used a few words about the history of WordPress but you don’t want to write much about it so you can create those words into a link and redirect to the Wikipedia page of the history of WordPress.

Or You can give credit to some other blog or website from where you acquired some knowledge and this is your way of saying thanks.

Internal Links

Interlinking is the process of creating links to your old posts in the post you currently writing.

it is important because it drastically improves your on-page time and decreases bounce rate.

Read More: 11 ways to write SEO optimized content for your blog

keyphrase in Introduction

What is keyphrase?

Keyphrase is basically the keyword you are targeting.

It’s always a good SEO practice to do a bit of keyword research before writing a post. And find a keyword that has high search volume and low competition and finally target that particular keyword to rank for.

Yoast SEO has a focus Keyphrase box where you can mention the keywords you want to target and it will evaluate SEO friendliness of the content based on that particular keyword.

Focus Keyphrase section in Yoast SEO

keyphrase in Introduction means whether you mentioned your Focus keyphrase in the first paragraph of your article or not.

keyphrase length

The length of the target keyword should not be too long nor too short.

This means it shouldn’t be just a word nor a whole paragraph.

Anything between 3-6 words will be good.

In my case, I am targeting Yoast SEO WordPress.

Keyword example for better SEO results

Keyphrase density

This term means how many times you have used your target keyword in the whole article.

Again this should not be too less not too much. But the good thing about this plugin is, it will suggest to you how many times you must use the target keyword as the length of your article increases.

Keyword Density in Yoast SEO

keyphrase in meta description

A meta description is the set words you see below the post title and URL when you search something on search engines.

Meta description example on Google

It is advisable by Yoast SEO to use your target keyword in the meta description.

You can add a meta description in Yoast SEO by,

How to add meta description in Yoast SEO
How to add meta description in Yoast SEO part 2

Meta Description Length

The meta description ideally should be 155-160 characters long. Anything more than that will be trimmed by the search engines.

It’s always beneficial to make your meta description attractive by adhering to the word limit.

meta description length example

Previously used keyphrase

This term means whether you have targeted this particular keyword in your previous posts or not.

It’s not advisable in terms of SEO perspective to target the same keyword over and over again.

Image alt attributes

Search engines don’t read images, it reads the alt texts of your image.

It’s always advisable to use relevant and proper image alt texts in your blog post.

Image alt text example in wordpress

Text length

As per Yoast SEO best practices, the length of the article should be more than 300 words.

text length example in Yoast SEO

Keyphrase in Title

To make the best out of search engine optimization, always try to incorporate your target keywords in the post title.

Keyphrase in title example

SEO title width

The Suggested title length for the best SEO results is 50- 60 characters long.

Anything more than that will be trimmed by search engines.

SEO title width example in Yoast

Keyphrase in slug

Slug is basically a different name of the URL.

And when it comes to following best practices of SEO, incorporating your target keywords in URL still holds an important place.

Keyword in slug example in Yoast

Keyphrase in subheading

If your content contains heading and it has further subheading then try to use your target keyword in it.

But put it just for the sake of putting it. If it’s not relevant then you better not do it.

You don’t need to complete all the parameters at any cost.

Doing it 70% or 80% will also do the job.

Keyword in subheading example

Exploring the features of Yoast SEO

This was all about making your content SEO friendly.

Now there are several other features you can enable to get the best out of this plugin.

General section of Yoast SEO

General

In the general section of Yoast SEO in WordPress, you can enable-disable several features which this plugin offers such as SEO analysis, Readability analysis, and XML sitemaps, etc.

General section options of Yoast

You can also connect webmaster tools (Google Search Console) of different search engines with this plugin.

webmasters tools in yoast

Search Appearance

The next section to configure is Search Appearance.

Search appearance section in Yoast SEO

General

In the general section of this feature, you can basically configure how your website will appear in the search results.

general section in search appearance of yoast

Here you can use any of the symbols to use as a separator between your post title and website title.

You can also configure what will be the title and meta description of your website if someone stumbles upon on search engines.

Search appearance section in Yoast SEO part 2

On top of that, you can also define whether this website represents a person or organization. And at last, mention your name or the name of the company and upload a picture.

Don’t forget to Save Changes.

Search appearance section in Yoast SEO  part 3

Content Types

This setting is all about how your individual post will appear in the search results.

Search appearance section in Yoast SEO  part 4

You can also configure your title with the separator of your choice.

The meta description is another thing you can configure but I will suggest to leave it blank if you want to select a specific meta description of your choice for a blog post and don’t want to get it filled with the default one.

content types section in search appearance of yoast part 2

Media

Keep this option as default as it helps you in redirecting users to the attachment file instead of the attachment page.

As per SEO perspective, attachment is considered to be of low quality as compared to the image so it’s better to redirect users to the attachment file to avoid having any negative SEO impact.

media section in search appearance of yoast

Taxonomies

This feature is all about configuring the title and meta description for your categories and tags.

taxonomies in search appearance of yoast

Archives

This option allows you to control the search appearance of the archive pages of your website such as author, date, etc.

archives in search appearance of yoast

Breadcrumbs

This option is great for the navigation of the post you are currently on which eventually helps in the internal linking of a post.

breadcrumbs in search appearance of yoast

Enabling this will expose you to another set of options that you must configure to get the best out of this feature.

breadcrumbs in search appearance of yoast part 2

RSS

Setting this option will ensure that if someone copies the content from your website through RSS feed then you at least get a backlink to your website.

RSS in search appearance of yoast

Social

This tab is all about connecting your social media accounts to WordPress.

social section of Yoast SEO

Tools

Yoast SEO comes with some powerful tools to make your life easy.

Tools section of Yoast SEO

Import and Export

If you were using any other SEO plugin earlier then you can import the SEO data from that plugin to the current one.

import and export in tools of yoast

File Editor

By using this feature you can add or remove some code from .htaccess or robot.txt file.

file editor in tools of yoast

Bulk Editor

This option allows you to add the SEO title and description to all your posts and pages at once.

bulk editor in tools of yoast

Conclusion

That’s it from my side in this detailed step by step guide to using Yoast SEO.

There are other SEO plugins too such as All in One SEO Pack and etc. But this the only SEO tool I am comfortable with 🙂

It’s also has a premium version that I haven’t purchased as of now.

No matter which tool you use for optimizing your content based on SEO best practices but you can’t deny the fact that this is a very important aspect of growing your blog or website.

And ignoring this will badly hurt the future aspirations of your blog or website.

Have a nice day 🙂

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