Searching for an easy to use and beneficial SEO plugin for your blog? Look no further! Yoast is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin. It is a must have for all bloggers who are serious about being known on the internet and getting established as an expert in their field.
Getting Started with Yoast
For a thorough guide on how to set up and install Yoast, check out this step-by-step tour by MOZ. Don’t miss the part on meta descriptions!
Once you have Yoast plugin installed, it is time to focus your on-page optimization–this is by far the handiest part of Yoast.
Adding quality content to your website on a regular basis is the single best thing you can do for SEO.
Google sees that your website is active because new pieces of information are added. On top of that, you increase the overall volume of your content. If your keyword strategy has been crafted well and your content is optimized for the right keywords, adding content will increase your searchability.
The second best thing you can do for your SEO strategy is to properly use Yoast for on-page optimization and this begins with finding the best focus keyword.
What is a Focus Keyword?
The focus keyword is the word you want the page to rank for, it is a super concise summary of what the page is about. When people search for that keyword, you want them to find your page. Once you have decided on a keyword, Yoast evaluates the page’s content and provides feedback on how to improve the page for that specific keyword.
Your keyword strategy should have given you some idea of what you want to write about. For blog posts, you will usually aim for long-tail keywords (containing 3 to 4 words). Use the long-tails in the content, but pick one word for the focus keyword.
Now that you have the word, what do you do with it?
You want to place your focus keyword in specific locations including:
- Headlines (specifically the H1)
- Image Alt tags
- URL of the page (often called the slug)
- Page content
Once you have determined what the focus keyword is and have carefully crafted a post centered on the keyword, the final element is to write a meta description for the blog post.
The meta description is the blurb of content that appears on the search engine results page once someone searches for the focus keyword, think of it as ad copy. The point of it is to get a searcher to click. Make the description easy to read and a bit salesy. Use the keyword in the meta description because it will get bolded if someone has done a search it!
Pro Tip: Google cuts off the description if quote marks are used, so don’t use any non-alphanumeric characters! If quotation marks are important in your meta description, you can change them to single quotes rather than double quotes to prevent truncation.
Yoast will give you a green light when you have entered the proper number of characters for your meta description –155– and will give you props when you have entered the focus keyword.
For on-page SEO optimization, Yoast is the best tool because it provides instant green light feedback so that your post can be found and you can be known.