What is Yoast SEO? A Beginners Guide

If you use WordPress, you will likely use Yoast to ensure you can get the most from your SEO. If you don’t use Yoast SEO, you may want to read on to learn more about it.

What is Yoast SEO?

Yoast is currently perceived to be the most comprehensive piece of SEO software for WordPress users, with its developers responsible for more than 10 per cent of WordPress releases. This week, we will explain the basics of using the Yoast SEO plugin for your website.

Using the Yoast SEO plugin

Once you have Yoast SEO installed on your website, you can use it for every page on your website. It is there to help boost your content for search engine optimisation. This tool allows you to edit the title, meta description, and slug.

Adding Yoast default settings

In the Yoast settings, you can create a default title tag for each page. This feature will eliminate a step when you create new content. The slug, which is the ending of the page URL, will also be automatically generated when you give each page a title. However, you will still probably want to update the meta description for each page within the tool. You can also make edits to your slug and title tag if you’d prefer.

SEO analysis

When you create content, Yoast will analyse what you are writing and will run everything through a checklist of items that will help your post rank higher. It follows a traffic light system and will highlight areas of improvement. Some of the items on this list include:

  • Focus keyword – the main word you want to use that describes the content
  • Meta description – a summary of the page content
  • Page Title – This should include your focus keyword
  • Slug – ensuring your focus keyword is also included
  • Images – images will have an alt tag for you to add the keyword
  • Linking throughout the page – use links on the page that will take people through your site and to other reputable sites too.

Readability Analysis

Yoast also performs a readability analysis. This is because Google will also perform a readability analysis to rank your page in search results. This means that your content should be easy for people to take in as they read it. Some things that improve readability are:

  • Short sentences instead of lengthy sentences
  • Try to avoid difficult words
  • Try to avoid a passive voice
  • Use keywords in headings
  • Using headings and subheadings so people can scan your page easily
  • Limit H1 and H2 headings to one or two per post
  • H3 and H4 are good throughout the post
  • Use transition words whenever you can
  • Short paragraph lengths are easier to digest.

Yoast’s readability analysis will offer suggestions on how you can improve your content.

And that’s it!

We have just gone over the basics for using Yoast SEO to make the most from your search engine optimisation. Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of how Yoast works and how it can improve your findings in organic search. Of course, if you think this may be something you don’t wish to add to your list of marketing concerns, don’t panic. Search and More are here to help. We can create, manage and optimise your SEO strategy, including using Yoast. Get in touch to find out more.

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