Yoast SEO – The Complete Overview
Yoast SEO is not new in terms for website designers and semi-pro self taught WordPress users. However, for someone who is coming accross Yoast SEO plugin for the first time, you can guess what it does from its name. The ‘SEO’ Tag tat comes after the ‘Yoast’ suggest that it is a SEO tool for improving your Search Engine Optimisation.
That is the basics, but there is still more to know about Yoast SEO. This article will serve as a complete overview of the world of Yoast SEO. Among other things, we will discuss the importance, features, and how to use the Yoast SEO plugin to get results.
How about we start by properly familiarising ourselves with Yoast SEO?
But for those who are brand new to SEO we put together a blog article called ‘A begginers guide to search engine optimisation‘. Thats a great place to start learning more about SEO, before you explore the tools such as Yoast explained in this blog.
Yoast SEO Explained
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin – one of the most popular around the place. It is specially created to help websites, and their owners improve their SEO with little efforts. So, we can say Yoast SEO is a tool that effortlessly optimises WordPress sites and webpages for easy indexing by search engines like Google, Bing, and others. Newbies favor the tool – it requires no previous skill – who wants to get their websites optimised and SEO-friendly.
Yoast SEO has been around for a while. It boasts over 3 million active installations and about 150,000 daily downloads. The best part? It is free and easy to install and use. All you have to do is to download the Yoast SEO plugin from the WordPress platform and install it. There are easy-to-follow instructions to guide you at every step of the way. With the Yoast SEO tool, you are just a few inputs away from boosting your chances of ranking in SERPs.
Yoast SEO is a necessity; here is why!
If you are still undecided about joining the millions of websites and blog owners using the Yoast SEO tool, this is for you.
You will agree that even content with the highest quality will not rank themselves. There is a need for some additional inputs in the form of optimisation. It is only through proper search engine optimisation that your website or webpage will rank and record organic traffic.
You can optimise your blog by using various methods. Some people prioritise the on-page aspects of the optimisation, i.e., the images, links, headers, meta descriptions, and keywords. Others may prefer to work on the technical parts – social sharing and promotion, load time, and user experience. The Yoast SEO tool is more inclined to on-page search engine optimisation.
For instance, with the plugin, you can come up with titles that are catchy and converting. Likewise, if you have any snippets featured on your blog, Yoast SEO will come handy. You can also rank particular keywords in your content using the Yoast SEO tool. These, and several other features, are packed in this versatile tool to help you get results.
Features of Yoast SEO
As mentioned above, you will find a wide range of features in Yoast SEO, each with a unique role. We have compiled this article Yoast SEO – The Complete Overview in an effort to indentify the most important of these features below, alongside how you can use them to get the desired results.
1. Readability Analysis
This feature of the Yoast SEO plugin takes care of the content of your webpage or site. With the reader analysis feature, users can check their drafts’ readability score before publishing them. All you have to do is to paste your draft in the text box and allow the readability analysis to run. After running the test, the tool provides a ‘readability check’ score.
According to Yoast SEO, the ideal content must tick a couple of boxes. These criteria are usually provided at the end of the test. If your draft meets any of these criteria, there is a green bullet right beside it. The orange and red bullets are indicators of areas that require modifications and improvements. The best part? You can hover your mouse around these bullets to see the actionable feedback that you can use to make improvements.
Such feedbacks may ask that you improve the flow of the content by infusing transition words where necessary, or replacing passive by active voices. It may also recommend the inclusion of sub-headings and headings at the right places to achieve improved organisation or trimming any unnecessarily long paragraphs to achieve conciseness.
Overall, effecting these recommendations and feedback will leave you with a readable text of high quality. This is a crucial requirement for user engagement and organic traffic on your website.
2. SEO Analysis
Ordinarily, you will expect Yoast SEO to include this feature; after all, it is included in its name. The SEO analysis is an assessment that checks if a blog is SEO-friendly or not. It does this by assessing the blog based on some criteria, including keyword optimisation, internal linking, and snippet preview. Here is a closer look at some of these criteria:
a. Internal Linking
Getting your internal linking right is crucial to a successful on-page search engine optimisation campaign. This basically involves linking your content to posts and pages that are related. With this, it becomes easier for search engine bots and readers to see the links between various posts on your website. It further highlights the relevance and value of your overall catalog. Hence, they get to spend more time on the site, navigating freely and easily. This will not only boost your page views but also reduce the bounce rate.
How does Yoast SEO help with internal linking? There is a dedicated internal linking tool featured in the plugin, usually with a text link counter that determines both the number of internal links pointing to a post and the internal links in a post. This is a surefire way of identifying posts that require more links.
If you are using the Yoast SEO Premium Version, you can use its inbuilt internal linking feature to assesses texts while offering the ideal replacement links and spots. The suggestions appear automatically, and all you have to do is drag and drop them in your post. In addition to saving time, this automated feature makes optimisation way easier.
For a more in-depth read about link building not specific to the Yoast plugin, a good read is our blog ‘all you need to know about SEO link building‘. This could help you further your understanding of Link Building.
b. Keyword Optimisation
What SEO sets out to achieve is to increase your chances of making your content visible to your target audience. You want the right people to see and access your content, and by implication, your product or service. To achieve this, you must put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. If you were them, how would you ask about your product or service? What words or phrases would you use when searching? The stage where you ask and find answers to these questions is the Keyword Research stage. Your findings or answers are the keywords or keyphrases.
But it does not end with finding the right keywords – how you use them is more important. You can only rank top on SERPs for a certain topic if you use your keywords strategically in your content. The dos and don’ts that come with this can be confusing. However, you can worry less about that when you use the Keyword Optimisation feature of the Yoast SEO tool.
All you have to do is type your keyword as the “focus keyphrase” and let the tool run an analysis on your content to find out how well (or strategic) you have used the keyword(s). If yours is the premium version, you can tailor the analysis to include every form of the target keyword – the tense variations, the possessive, or the plural forms. This offers a clearer picture as regards your use of the keyword(s).
Did you know that a great way to improve your search engine results is replicate the success of your competition? All their keywords are available to see, if you know where to look and more importantly its widely and freely available. for more details on how to understand your competition better through keyword research, read the article in the link.
c. Snippet Preview
When your page or content comes up on the SERPs, it is usually in the company of other top-ranking and relevant content. So, despite making the cut, you still need to make your content or blog stand out from the selected few. How do you do this? By upping your snippet preview game. Each result on the SERP comes with a sneak peek – the meta description. The Meta Description is a 160-character text that summarises your page convincingly and enticingly. The goal here is to get the searcher to choose and click on your page or content, among other options.
Also, if you share your content with people on social media, the meta description is always included. This is another reason you should come up with an outstanding copy for your meta description. Some best practices here include using your keyword in the copy, observing the word limit, and making the first word a verb. However, the most efficient way to create one is to use the Yoast SEO tool.
There is a dedicated Snippet Preview tab where you can drop your meta description draft. The tab assesses your draft and tells you how it will come up in SERPs, both on desktop and mobile. It also shows the social media preview of your content, especially on Facebook and Twitter, under the social tab. Lastly, you can modify the URL, title, or the meta description of your draft by using the Edit Snippet option.
The features we have discussed so far are only the basics – it is not a true reflection of the tool’s total capability. You can do much more with other tabs available in the sidebar or meta box of the Yoast SEO tool, in terms of improved search engine rankings, better visitor engagement, and more real traffic, among others.
Now that we know what the Yoast SEO plugin can do, how about we take a look at how you can get it up and running?
Start using Yoast SEO today.
Is your website a self or shared-hosted site on WordPress? If yes, the Yoast SEO tool is for you. From personal blogs to full-blown business websites, this tool does wonders in terms of SEO optimisation and ranking. It is not surprising that many SEO professionals use and recommend it as a top tool to make a site SEO-friendly.
You can join the multitude of Yoast SEO users today – all you have to do is to download and install the plugin. The best part is that it is entirely free, although the premium version costs a few dollars. However, the extra investment is always worth it. The Yoast SEO Premium offers more than the basic capabilities available in the free version.
If you are starting with the free version, you can still go as far as managing your meta descriptions, titles, headings, and keywords. The free Yoast SEO option also allows you to manage sitemaps and optimise the alt text of images in your content.
Follow the steps below to download and install Yoast SEO on your WordPress website:
- Log on to your WP website as an administrator.
- Head to the admin dashboard.
- Look for the ‘Plugins’ option on the dashboard – it is usually along the left-hand side of the screen.
- Place the cursor on it to access a sub-panel comprising three actions.
- From the sub-panel, click ‘Add New.’
- The next page is where you find all the WP plugins available for download.
- Yoast SEO will most likely be under the Popular, Featured, Favorite, or Recommended categories.
- Otherwise, use the search feature to find it.
- When you find it, proceed to download and install – it only takes a few minutes.
- You will need to activate the plugin after installation.
That is all you have to do to start using the powerful Yoast SEO tool for your SEO needs.
The importance of a sound SEO strategy cannot be overemphasised and its worth having periodic SEO Audits each quarter or half to ensure you are on track and making improvements. This is why most blogs and business website owners and managers are adopting various methods and techniques to make their website search engine-friendly. The Yoast SEO tool is one of the most effective tools for the job. There is a lot you can do with Yoast SEO in terms of optimising your website or blog from content optimisation to keyword research and link building. It is available for free and requires almost no prior technical knowledge.
Are you looking for an SEO service company that can help with Yoast SEO installation and use on your WordPress website? We will be glad to help. Feel free to reach out and speak to our SEO experts. We are here to serve you with the best digital marketing services that bring the desired results.