How to use WordPress SEO by Yoast on your blog posts

How to use WordPress SEO by Yoast on your blog posts

Ok, so now you’ve created a blog post and you want to make sure it gets seen. What’s the next step? In the WordPress backend (directly underneath your blog post content) you will see the Yoast WordPress SEO section. This is where you add the crucial final ingredient to your blog: search engine optimization. It doesn’t take that long to run through the search engine optimization steps, and by doing so, you significantly increase your chances of being discovered on Google’s coveted first page.

The content tab

SNIPPET EDITOR
This presents how Google will display your post. As you alter your WordPress SEO title and Meta description, it will change.

SEO TITLE
This is the prominent title of your blog post that will show up on the Google search page. This doesn’t have to be the same catchy title as your blog post. This title is designed to help SEO specifically. It is recommended that you place your brand at the end and your keyword/phrase at the beginning.

META DESCRIPTION
This is what shows up underneath the blog post title on the Google search page. Place your keywords at the beginning. Capture attention. Don’t lie about what the reader will get out of the post. Make it catchy.

FOCUS KEYWORD
Your starting point. Enter your keyword and WordPress SEO will indicate how optimized your blog is for that selected word. You can enter more than a single word if desired. You want words your audience will seek out that relate directly to the blog post’s content. Consider words your competition isn’t likely to use.

CONTENT ANALYSIS

  • Green is good.
  • Orange and yellow offer additional suggestions for improvement.
  • Red is to be avoided.

Follow the guidelines seen here—this is a great way to learn—but remember to keep your audience in mind. This is only a suggested list of recommendations for WordPress SEO purposes. If the SEO check indicates your post is good (indicated on your content tab) you should be optimized sufficiently enough. Of course, green doesn’t necessarily guarantee the maximum results.

SOME HELPFUL ADVICE OFFERED IN THE CONTENT ANALYSIS

  • Make sure the URL is not too long.
  • Link to other sites.
  • Shorter titles are better than longer titles.
  • Add your keywords to the alt tags for your images.
    Click on your Featured Image (right side of screen).
    Add your chosen keyword under the Attachment Details section.
  • Use plain english for easier reading. Shorter sentences are recommended. The Flesch-Kincaid formula is referenced by WordPress.
    90-100 grade = easily understood by average 11 year old student.
    0-30 grade = best understood by university grads.
  • Page titles should have keywords situated near the beginning.
  • Include keyword in first paragraph of post.
  • Include subheadings H2 or H3 with a keyword.
  • Create posts longer than 300 words. 450 – 500 words is optimum.

The advanced tab

This section you should leave as-is because it’s not required for most users.

The social tab

This section is for customizing your posts in social media. You can add images, titles and descriptions to your blog post. This is what will appear in Facebook, Twitter etc.

More useful WordPress SEO tips to consider for 2016

  • Blog, blog and blog some more! I can’t stress this enough. At minimum I suggest to my clients to write a blog post every week, It supports your credibility and the new content provides opportunities for improving your Google ranking over time.
  • Don’t over-optimize your keywords for blog posts. Vary the keywords. Do some research for the applicable words to your company that have search volume. Remember, the writing has to sound natural.
  • Acquire links from diverse, trusted websites. Social media is good as it invites those valuable backlinks.

There you have it! The more you use WordPress SEO by Yoast to optimize your blog posts the easier and more natural it will become for you. Writing new content is great but SEO optimized content is even greater.

We install and configure the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin on all our clients websites. If your website wasn’t built by us and you don’t have it installed, I would suggest installing it. I guarantee you won’t regret it!

Happy blogging!

About David Zupec

David Zupec is a web designer at the helm of Sailors & Mermaids, a small web design studio based in Michigan. His passion is helping small businesses build a successful online presence.