Improving WordPress SEO with Yoast

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Getting Started with Yoast SEO 

While there are many different ways to improve the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your WordPress website, one of the easiest ways to do so is with the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. This plugin provides several tools for improving SEO, making your site more visible in popular search engines. In this article, we will outline some ways you can improve WordPress SEO with Yoast.  

Site Health 

One of the simplest ways to quickly see how your WordPress SEO can be improved is by looking at the Yoast Site Health page. 

  1. To access Site Health, first, log into your WordPress Dashboard. 
  2. Next, navigate to Tools, then select Site Health
  3. On the next page, review the information provided by the Site Health status. If Yoast detects areas of improvement it will display them here, giving you insight into what you can do to optimize your site for search engines.

Readability 

One of the metrics used by Yoast is readability. Readability is defined as being easy to read, so the easier your content is to read, the better. The Yoast WordPress SEO plugin provides an easy-to-use readability analysis tool that displays next to the page you’re currently working on. 

  1. To access the Readability analysis tool, simply create a new WordPress post. 
  2. In the editing screen, access the menu on the right-hand side. You may need to click the gear icon at the top right of the page to display the menu. Navigate to the section labeled Readability Analysis under the Yoast SEO heading and click on the arrow to expand the menu.
  3. Review the suggestions provided by the readability analysis.
  4. Once done, update your content according to the suggestions to improve the readability and SEO of your site.

Setting a Focus Keyphrase

One of the ways to improve your WordPress SEO with Yoast is by allowing you to set a focus keyphrase for each page. The focus keyphrase is meant to be used frequently in the content on the page, including within the title of the page as well as subheadings. The key phrase can be a single word or a series of words, depending on your SEO strategy. 

  1. To set the focus keyphrase, access the Yoast SEO menu within the sidebar of the WordPress page editor. 
  2. In the first section of the Yoast SEO menu, you should see Focus Keyphrase with a field to enter text underneath it. 
  3. Input the focus keyphrase into this field. This key phrase will now be associated with the WordPress page for SEO purposes. 

Setting an SEO Title, Slug, and Meta Description

Another useful feature of the Yoast SEO plugin is the ability to set a meta title and meta description for your WordPress page. Setting the meta title and description allows search engines to easily identify your content and provide additional information to potential readers. The Yoast SEO plugin handles this through the use of a customizable snippet editor. 

  1. To set the meta title and description, open the page in the WordPress editor. Scroll down to the end of the page to access the Yoast SEO Snippet editor. Click edit snippet to proceed.

  2. In the snippet editing menu you will see three fields you can edit:

    SEO Title: This will be the title displayed when your page is listed in search results. You will want to include the focus keyphrase and make the title as eye-catching as possible. Generally, you want to keep this below 155 characters.

    Slug: This will be the URL slug used for your page. Generally, you want this to include the focus keyphrase and be as short as possible.

    Meta Description: This will be a portion of text displayed in search engine results and serves as a great opportunity to summarize the content of the article.

  3. Once you’ve finished updating the snippet, click Close snippet editor

Congratulations, you have successfully configured Yoast SEO to improve your site SEO.