Having a hard time ranking on the front page of search engine result pages?
It’s a difficult task. It consumes time and money.
Still, only 0.78% of Google users click on a result from the second page. That means you have to do everything you can to reach the first page of search results.
To do so, you need to optimize your website for search engines. It’s something Yoast SEO can help you with.
So what does Yoast SEO do? How can you use Yoast SEO to its fullest?
Read on to find answers to these questions and more:
What Is Yoast SEO Plugin?
Yoast SEO is a comprehensive WordPress SEO tool. It optimizes your WordPress website and webpages to rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs). It offers a range of features you can use to leverage meta descriptions, title tags and keywords and push your content to the front page.
Benefits of Yoast SEO for Website Owners
While optimizing your content for search engines — search engine optimization (SEO) — you need to get many things right.
You need to handle both on-page SEO and technical SEO. That includes keyword optimization, readability, WordPress files optimization, sitemaps and more.
While doing these yourself isn’t impossible, it is time-consuming and difficult. That’s why even SEO experts rely on SEO tools like Yoast.
How does Yoast improve your SEO?
Yoast SEO simplifies content optimization for search engines by:
- Providing SEO analysis, so you know where to improve your website’s SEO
- Helping you set a keyword and optimize your content for it
- Monitoring the content’s age — so you can update it when required
- Performing a readability assessment so you can optimize your writing for the target audience
- Handling technical SEO — optimizes robots.txt, XML sitemaps and .htaccess files
- Setting indexing options by adding meta tags of index or no-index
Downloading and Installing Yoast SEO
Here is a quick guide to installing Yoast SEO on your website if you’re just getting started.
- Log in to your WordPress site and open your WordPress dashboard.
- Click Plugins on the menu on the left.
3. Near the top of your screen, click Add New.
4. Type and search Yoast SEO in the search box.
5. Click Install Now to install the plugin.
6. Click Activate to activate the plugin on your website.
You have successfully installed and activated Yoast SEO on your website. It’s time to use Yoast SEO and optimize your website.
Note: For kickstarting the technical SEO, it is recommended that you follow the configuration wizard after installation.
Using Yoast SEO on Your WordPress Website
Yoast SEO plugin is an excellent resource if you wish to optimize your content. Still, the results depend on how you use it.
Let’s learn how to use Yoast SEO effectively.
1. Enter a Focus Keyphrase
For reaching the front page for relevant searches, you need to optimize for relevant keywords.
Suppose you manage a blog related to Italian cuisine. You would want it to show up in search results when someone searches for something related to lasagna, Italian Pizza, Risotto and other Italian foods.
You can use Yoast SEO to make it easy for you.
In the Yoast SEO meta box, enter the desired focus phrase under Focus keyphrase.
As a result, you will see Yoast’s SEO analysis for the focus keyphrase beneath it. It will let you know what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.
For example, if your focus keyword is Risotto ingredients, it will tell you whether you need internal links and keyphrases in headings and introduction. Also, it will tell you that you need to ensure keyphrase density through the text.
2. Get Related Keyphrases
You shouldn’t optimize for one keyphrase only. You will want to appear in search results of related keyphrases too.
For example, in addition to Risotto ingredients, you should also try to have your webpage appear in search results for ingredients to make Risotto. For that, you need to find the related keywords that provide you additional searches.
You can do so using Yoast by clicking on Get related keyphrases below the focus keyphrase text box.
A pop-up will show you the related keyphrases and their volume and trend (average monthly searches over the last 12 months).
You can choose the keywords relevant to your topic and with the desired volume and trend to optimize your content.
3. Add Synonyms and Related Phrases
Search engines like Google and Bing have grown intelligent. Instead of searching the web for exact words the user enters, search engines also look for synonyms and related phrases.
This means that you can optimize your content without catering to awkward keywords.
You can add synonyms and related phrases for Yoast to analyze by clicking + Add synonyms and + Add related keyphrase. While it is a premium-only feature, you can benefit from it to create content without risking keyword stuffing.
4. Improve Readability
Hard-to-read content can push away even the most interested website visitors. You need the readers to keep reading and stay on the page to achieve your goals.
How can you improve readability?
You can do that by
- Using shorter sentences
- Adding transition words
- Organizing the content using subheadings
- Writing in active voice
- Writing shorter paragraphs
Yoast SEO simplifies it for you by identifying all the readability issues through its algorithm. You can see the problems by opening the Readability tab in the Yoast SEO meta box.
5. Add SEO Title and Meta Description
There’s no easy way to add SEO title and meta description to a post without a WordPress plugin.
With Yoast SEO, you can add it in seconds through the SEO tab in the meta box.
Type in the SEO title and Meta description text boxes, and you will have your search snippet preview — the result you see in the search engines results — ready.
6. Add Internal Links
Internal links inform search engines about the structure of your website — which posts are related and which pages are important. You should, therefore, link to related posts while writing a post.
Still, adding links manually does take time and effort. In contrast, you can use Yoast’s premium plugin that offers internal linking suggestions as you write your article.
7. Add Slug
Slug identifies the location of a page on your website in an easy-to-read form.
For example, in www.yourwebsite.com/how-to-make-Risotto, the bolded portion is a slug.
You can add a custom slug to the post using Yoast’s SEO tab.
8. Add Schema
Using Yoast SEO, you can add schema — content type — from Schema.org to your posts.
Suppose you are writing an FAQ post. By implementing proper schema, you can have rich results — questions and answers from your FAQ post — on search engine result pages.
You can do so by using the Yoast SEO meta box. Select a Page type and Article type according to your post from the Schema tab. If not required, you can leave the default template selected.
Yoast Premium: Worth It?
Yoast provides both free and paid plans to its subscribers. You can get the basic SEO done using the free version. For advanced SEO implementation, you can use the paid version.
For example, you can use the Yoast premium to work on technical SEO by getting Google Search Console integration and canonical URL support — used to avoid duplicate content.
Yoast Premium costs you $89 for use on a single website while providing you a year of free updates and 24/7 support.
Here are some of the features that Yoast SEO premium provides:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Optimizes various keyword variations
- Exports keyphrase data in CSV format — for easier management
- Incorporates synonyms in keyword density
- Better experience
- Offers 24/7 email support
- Facilitates social media marketing
- Provides an ad-free experience
- Offers internal linking suggestions
- Website management
- Notifies you when you have outdated content — usually content older than six months
- Provides you an overview of pages with orphaned content
- Identifies deadlines on your pages
Final Thoughts: How To Use Yoast SEO To Stay Ahead of Your Competition
Using the Yoast SEO plugin, you can rank high on SERPs and drive traffic to your website.
Even if you lack SEO know-how, you can benefit from it and optimize your website content using its beginner-friendly interface.
Besides optimized webpages, you also need an optimized website that loads quickly and handles higher traffic that you will get after ranking higher.
Try Bluehost’s hosting plans today to prepare in advance.