Yoast SEO – The Best WordPress SEO Plugin
I’m always hesitant about using superlatives like “best”, “biggest”, “fastest” because everything is relative isn’t it? But I’ve used one today haven’t I?
To start let’s just fast track your knowledge of the area just in case you need it. And then I’ll explain why you need really need Yoast SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO is search engine optimisation and involves work on your website and in the ecosystem in which your website is trying to be found.
What is a Plugin?
A plugin is an app that is used alongside WordPress to give your website some added functionality.
What is Yoast?
Actually Yoast is a person. His real name is Joost de Valk and he developed the Yoast SEO plugin from his base in The Netherlands.
Yoast SEO is a plugin to use with your WordPress website that helps you fine tune the website to perform at its best.
SEO helps search engines like Google and Bing find and list your website in the search engine results pages.
Yoast SEO is like having an assistant hold your hand while you optimise the posts and pages on your site.
Yoast SEO Settings
There are some top level SEO settings in the Yoast plugin where you can do things like connect your social media accounts to your site, set up templates for the SEO title and meta description and access the XML sitemap which helps Google crawl around your website easily.
You are also able to optimise at a page and post level and I would recommend that you do this. Although you would have set up a template for the SEO title and meta description I also set these up on individual posts and pages. Just be aware that the meta description is referred to as the snippet.
Also you are editing the post or page SEO settings Yoast will guide you. For instance, when you type in the SEO title it will be orange as you start, then move into green as you reach the optimal number of characters and then back to amber when you go over.
You can customise how your page or post looks like on Facebook and Twitter too. If you have the time you can upload separate images that are displayed when shared onto Facebook and Twitter. As you probably know all the social media platforms have different “perfect” image sizes – it is a pain I know. But sometimes it will be worth the extra effort. You can also a specific title and description for Facebook and one for Twitter too.
A useful, yet often forgotten aspect of Yoast SEO is the readability settings. If you use an ordered structure to your articles then you will probably score well in this tab. If you use Microsoft Word then the readability tab in Yoast SEO is very similar to to that. The structure of your posts and pages is very important to how Google deals with your content.
That is just a brief overview of what you can do in Yoast SEO.
Yoast SEO is not…
- Going to get your website to number on Google alone
- A plugin you just install and forget about (many web designers just do this and say they have done your onsite SEO – just be aware of that)
Don’t Try and Trick Yoast SEO
Once you start using this plugin on your posts and pages you will get a hang of the helpful, interactive, scoring feature. However, if you have a sound keyword strategy then panicking and changing the focus keyword in Yoast or changing the focus on your article just so you get the green bullet in Yoast is not the way to go. Keep the same focus keyword – you chose it for a reason – but have a look at your content and you will get the green bullet again.
Yoast SEO Top Tip
Anyone can get the Yoast SEO green light/bullet – even my seven year old nephew. But that will only be because you have chosen a generic word as the focus keyword. Remember a keyword is shorthand for a single word or a phrase. I saw someone writing a blog post recently and they used “journey” as the focus keyword. I call that a wishy washy keyword.
My top tip for using Yoast SEO is to select laser focused keywords. This is a beginner’s guide to keyword research – it will give you a strategy on how to choose good keywords.
How to Get More Web Visitors
I can guarantee that you will have more people visiting your website if you select appropriate keywords and use the Yoast SEO plugin.
For ease of use and technical know how I’m more than happy to say again that Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin.
Just to let you know that my Yoast SEO course is almost ready. It will be available online so you can access it at a time to suit you. And I will be selling it at a very affordable price.