Most WordPress users are installing an SEO Plugin for a better rank. But the Yoast SEO plugin is still number 1 in the download and install. After all, it’s been downloaded over 200 million times, and it’s active on over a million different websites right now as you’re reading this article.
The Yoast SEO plugin:
It is the default in the SEO space if you go to the plug-in menu, And that’s the one that you choose, and it can be a really great tool. It can help remind you of specific things that you need to do on every page of your website.
Yoast Plugin will give you a little prompt to say, “hey let’s make sure that your keyword is in your SEO title.” And “oh you forgot to include a link here” and “hey you don’t have any alt text here.” So make sure to include an image with alt text. It’s a really great little prompting.
Reminder service, but the Yoast plugin is not a strategy. It is a tool. And there’s a difference between a tool that can follow a certain set of protocols and be a checklist for you to double-check your work and a strategy that will help you get better results.
After I’d written the blog post, I turned on my Yoast because I know that I should always go into Yoast as I’m getting ready to publish something. And I wanted to make sure that I was doing okay for SEO. It said, what’s your target keyword and I said Ifada because I thought It would help me to rank with this, and that’s a great keyword, and I optimized the entire site for the word.
Before you start stressing out about getting green lights onto all of your pages, There are a few disclaimers I want to put in place.
Number one: not every page on your website needs to be optimized for search. If you have a landing page where you’re driving traffic from social media or a guest blog post, you want a concise page to collect email addresses. Then you don’t need that to show up in google search results. So don’t feel like you need to get that to a green light. To have your website pass a magical test doesn’t matter at all. Whether every page on your website is green or if they’re all red does not matter at all.
Second: once you’ve identified which pages on your website you want to have shown up in search results. Before you think about the Yoast SEO plugin, It’s time to do some keyword research.
The basic idea here is that you want to make sure that every page has one to five different phrases that you want to rank for.
It does not have to be one specific phrase that you repeat over and over again. You can choose three or four different phrases that all mean the same thing and optimize the page for variations. So make sure that every page that you have on your website has some keyword in mind. If you’re not sure what that is, think to yourself, if I were looking for this page, what would I go search for.
Third: remember that every page on your website does not need to get a green light, Even if it’s optimized for the search. You have my full permission to write something that people want to read. More important than you want to sneak keywords into specific places.
So if you can get yourself to the orange or amber color on specific things, But you feel like you’re getting a little bit stuck about how to get that one phrase into five different places on that blog post. I permit you to let go of perfectionism and to write something that people want to read. That you think people will be interested in which is more important to your content than just getting those green lights. And one more thing, Yoast Plugin does not communicate with google directly.
Some people think you have to have that focus keyword in there, and then Yoast reports the focus keyword to google it. Yoast is a checklist it makes sure that your keyword is in specific places. But you can rank very well for a page that has no Yoast information in it. And all so don’t feel like you have to follow all of their rules. Otherwise, Yoast Plugin won’t tell Google what’s happening. It, Is just making minor tweaks to things like your SEO title and encouraging you to adjust your text. But if you turn it off, you can still absolutely rank for things.
So you can go to Plugins, Add new, and you’re just going to type in Yoast. And once you do that, you’re going to install it. So you have it there.
Yoast SEO Settings:
If you’re thinking about what you want your organization name to be? This is the part that would show up automatically as the default at the end of all your blog posts. So this is what mine loves for search SEO training and services. There’s the name of my organization:
You can choose which content types you want to show in the search results. I always want google as a default to check out my posts and my pages. But I don’t specifically want them to look up my projects. So I set that up to no because I’m often using projects to show things within a portfolio.
I don’t need the portfolios to show up; I really want the page that it’s on to show up. So that’s a decision that I have made that makes sense for my business that may not be true for your business if you are using categories and tags to organize your content.
Yoast SEO Setting Categories:
If you have a lot of different posts in different categories and you’re actually going through and clicking those, you could choose whether or not you want Google showing your category pages, so I have a category called SEO, and if people are looking for SEO, they could find my category page. That has links to all of my blog posts where I do reviews like this of SEO.
So that’s a space where I want Google to see my categories, but I don’t actually use tags that much, So I turned off the ability to see tags. Based on how you use your categories and tags and note to self, I should create a blog post or create a video about categories and tags.
I’ll link that when it’s ready, but that’s my decision here. If you use categories and tags, make sure they’re turned on if you don’t, or if you use them sporadically, make sure to turn those off.
Same with archives, I typically turn off my author archives because I’m the only person who’s blogging on my website, so I don’t necessarily need to have an author page for it because everything on my website is by me. But if I had different contributors who were submitting different content for my website, I would want to have an author page so that people looking for content by a specific writer would be able to find that page.
So knowing what it is about your website makes it special. It can help you set up your SEO settings here in Yoast. It makes sense for your website, and then we’re gonna get really meta here.
Yoast Green Lights:
Here’s a blog post that I wrote last month, all about using the Google Search Console, whether it’s worth it, the drawbacks, and the things you can do. I’m going to show you in the post about the plugin how you can update your plugins. It’s like Thanos being like I use the stones to destroy the stones.
I’m using the Yoast post to explain the Yoast post. It’s a little meta, so you’ll notice that even though I’m an SEO specialist talking about SEO and using an SEO plugin, I’m getting a green light.
It’s okay not to have a green light if you’ve written something more interesting to read. That’s the important part. Here is to optimize your page and make something that people actually want to read.
If you were looking for this on google and so uh, the title of the post is Yoast SEO plugin how to optimize your site for search, and it tells me that my meta description is a little bit too short, so here’s how to optimize your site
to make it easier for Google.
Checklist and make sure that specific things are taken care of. Do I have outbound links? Do I have internal links that include my keyphrase? Is it a short enough target keyword? Is it showing a certain number of times within the post? All of these are basically just a checklist that Yoast is going through and double-checking, and making sure that this particular word or phrase shows up in these 10 places. It hasn’t been used before, and it shows up a certain number of times relative to the length of the post. It’s really just doing some calculations here.
Suppose you do want to add another couple of focus phrases you can upgrade to Yoast premium. As I finish this walkthrough, the other thing that I wanted to show you here is the readability analysis.
It will have things that will tell you whether or not it’s easy for the people looking at your blog post to make it easy for them to read it. And there are definitely some grammatical things that you may want to consider. “here you don’t have enough transition words” or “sometimes you repeat things in certain sentences” you might have a “passive voice” these are all things that make it a little bit more difficult for people to read your blog post.
So you can make some of these changes: If you’d like to and then it also has some of these other pieces that make it easy for people to skim, Making sure that your paragraphs are “short your sentences,” aren’t too long you have subheadings spread throughout.
Honestly, I’m not too worried about readability. Sometimes when I’m talking about more complex topics, they will have some jargon in them. And it’s not going to pass that, you know, third-grade reading test here, and it can be a little bit tough to get yourself to pass this test.
So if you want to make things really readable to an audience that needs things to be broken down, maybe they’re not native English language speakers, or maybe they don’t have a certain level of education. Then you can definitely take some of these things into consideration. Especially the reading ease test.
But on the whole, sometimes they can also be a little bit oversensitive. If you have, you know, green or orange here, that’s great.
If this works for you great, You can but don’t feel like you have to follow all of these rules. Because otherwise, google will penalize you. These are just recommendations, not hard and fast rules. You can still rank better on Google if you don’t get green lights on both of these.
Should you upgrade to Yoast premium?
And the answer is Yes. But if you take my permission that you don’t need to be a green light. You don’t need to feed different synonyms to Yoast. My idea is to fit into your checklist.
You can just write what you want to write with those keyword variations, Without telling Yoast what those synonyms are.
Yoast SEO plugin premium And Redirects:
Yoast premium will help you also with 404 errors and dead-ends by providing 301 redirects you could manage or create automatic redirects of the content that you moved or you delete.