How To Setup Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress

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How To Setup Yoast SEO Plugin Wordpress

Don’t Let SEO Scare You

I think we’ve all heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but most people think you have to hire some consulting firm to try to take advantage of it. If you’re using the WordPress, it’s much easier than you think. Yoast SEO is a plugin that completely changes the SEO implementation process. After you have this free plugin activated, it almost “gamifies” using SEO as part of your website strategy. We’re going to take you step-by-step and show you what you need to do to get SEO working for you.

NOTE: If you haven’t setup a WordPress site yet, you may want to take a moment to review your hosting options to see what might work best for your site.

Read more about Hosting here: How To Choose Your Hosting 

Why Use SEO?

There are a lot of different strategies to get traffic to your website. Many people rely on social media efforts, paid traffic, guest posts (on other blogs), directory submission, email marketing…and the list goes on. These all take time and some cost substantial money, but SEO has been something the top webmasters have been working with since the beginning of the internet.

The idea of Seach Engine Optimization is to make your website as “easy to read” as possible. Google wants to serve it’s users the best content available, so you want to make sure your content is formatted and edited properly to rank as high as possible. Google robots will crawl your posts (and every other part of your site) and judge on countless targets, such as word count, readability, keywords, etc. Yoast will help you get the biggest bang for your buck. If you’re going to spend the time creating content, you might as well make it easy to digest. So let’s get started…

The idea of Seach Engine Optimization is to make your website as “easy to read” as possible. Google wants to serve it’s users the best content available, so you want to make sure your content is formatted and edited properly to rank as high as possible. Google robots will crawl your posts (and every other part of your site) and judge on countless targets, such as word count, readability, keywords, etc. Yoast will help you get the biggest bang for your buck. If you’re going to spend the time creating content, you might as well make it easy to digest. So let’s get started…

The Basics: Step-By-Step

First of all, you have to download the free plugin. After you’re logged into your WordPress dashboard, you’ll click Plugins from the column on the left side of the screen. You’ll select Add New and then search for Yoast SEO.

How to Yoast SEO - Step 1

Once you complete your search, you’ll click Install and then complete the installation process. After you have it installed, you’ll go back to the left column and select Add New under Posts. This will create a new Blog Post. Scroll down until you see the Yoast SEO section. This area will show you piece by piece, what you need to be looking for and considering as you build your Blog Post.

Yoast SEO - Step 2To get things started, you’ll enter your Focus Keyword in this area. This is the main topic/keyword that your Post is going to be focused on. For instance, this post is focused on SEO. Once you have your Focus Keyword added, you’ll want to click the Edit Snippet button. This will allow you to change what shows up in the mini description on the Search Engine.

seo-step3

Adjusting Your Metadata

The text within the Snippet should be a clear summary of what your post is all about. You’ll also want to be sure the URL Slug is clearly defining your posts’ purpose using just a few words.

Yoast SEO - Step 4

Once you’ve completed those parts, you’ll notice the Analysis section below is updated. Notice the colorful dots to the left of the different targets. There are three colors to be aware of. The first is Red (bad – need to fix these), then Orange (fix – fix what you can), then Green (good to go). The goal in using the Yoast plugin is to get all of the colorful dots to be green. If you can’t get all of the targets Green, that’s okay. Your post is judged on an average of those targets.

Yoast SEO -Step 5

How to Make Your Post Readable

Write your post as you normally would and keep checking to be sure you’re staying Green. Once you start getting closer to the end of the post, you’ll want to check in on the other Tab of the Yoast plugin. Click on Readability to view and resolve and issues. You’ll notice below we have a few targets that might need a little attention, so we can try to get this Green as well.

Yoast SEO - Step 6

When you click on the Eye Icon, the problem text within your post above will be highlighted. This means you can easily review and adjust anything as needed.

Yoast SEO - Step 7

You will continue writing and editing until the post is complete.

TIP: The Yoast plugin also gives you a couple of shortcuts to see if your article is on track. You’ll notice the Green dot on the top and the two sections on the top right also recap your posts’ SEO and Readability status.

 

Yoast SEO - Step 8

While SEO is only a small piece of the ever-changing website puzzle, this plugin makes it easy to make basic SEO start to work for you. There are hundreds of other tactics that you can deploy to help your presence online, but I think this is one of these best ways to get started.

Final Thoughts on SEO

One of the main reasons we use the Yoast plugin is because it’s easy to get through the basics of SEO. I don’t recommend going too far into the search ranking black hole. There has been tons of sob stories about people that have spent years building heavily optimized websites only to have Google change a few lines of their algorithm. They may have had a good run and been ranking really well, but after an update, they’ll loose half their traffic. One of the most notable updates was Google Panda (wiki).

According to Moz, Google will update their algorithm 500-600 times per year. So, don’t spend too much time on these efforts, there’s no telling what’s to come in the future of the internet. Use these tactics to jump ahead of most of the people not using them and get your basic SEO together.

According to Moz, Google will update their algorithm 500-600 times per year. So, don’t spend too much time on these efforts, there’s no telling what’s to come in the future of the internet. Use these tactics to jump ahead of most of the people not using them and get your basic SEO together.

If you have any plugins that you’re loving, tell us about them. We would love to check them out. We’re always looking for cool new tools.