Whenever we talk about SEO for WordPress, the one name that always pops out is Yoast SEO. Yoast is one of the most popular WordPress plugins around and a powerful tool that helps you make your website search-engine friendly. It’s built with a host of awesome features designed to give you great control over your website’s SEO.
But for many website owners, SEO is a scary topic. Anything SEO-related is just too technical and too complex. Can SEO be a little simpler and less fussy?
The truth, there’s plenty you can do with a powerfully-built, customisable SEO tool like Yoast. And ultimately, it’s precisely Yoast’s job to make SEO easy and digestible for website owners.
Yoast SEO: What exactly does it do?
As its tagline “SEO for everyone” implies, Yoast is literally for anyone and everyone—yes, even if you have zero knowledge about SEO and you don’t know how to code. It walks you through each step of the optimisation process using simple color codes to guide you through issues and instructs you how to fix those issues.
If your website runs on WordPress, all you need to do is search for the plugin, click “Install Now” and it will be downloaded by WordPress. Once activated, you will be able to see an option that says “SEO” on the left-hand side of the screen. From there, you can tweak the plugin’s SEO options on your website.
Yoast comes with a free version and a premium version. If you’re running a small website, you can already get what you need from the free version. Both versions offer optimisation tips, analysis of keyword usage, internal link counter, readability check, a preview of how your post will look like in SERPs, and the ability to adjust SEO titles, URLs and meta descriptions. The paid version offers social sharing previews, a redirect tool, internal linking suggestions, and the capability to use multiple keywords.
Yoast SEO Configuration Wizard
By clicking the configuration wizard link, Yoast will provide with a guided tour to help in setting up all the basic SEO settings:
- Environment – Select whether your site is live and ready to be indexed or still under construction
- Site type – Select the type of site that best matches your site
- Company or person
- Social profiles – In this section, you can enter all your social media profiles for your website
- Post type visibility – This lets you choose which types of content to be indexed in search engines.
- Multiple authors
- Google Search Console – Google Search Console is a tool that allows you to view information about your site’s performance in Google’s organic search. Yoast SEO provides the option to import information from Google Search Console.
- Title settings
Yoast SEO Meta Box
The Yoast meta box is where most of the work happens. The meta box provides an analysis of your content for SEO quality and readability, and it is also where you can configure settings for how your content can function in search engines. This is how the meta box looks
Snippet preview – Shows you how your post looks on Google’s search results page
Edit snippet – Allows you to manually edit your SEO title and meta description
Focus keyword – This is where you enter the keyword you want to optimise your content for.
Readability Tab – The Readability tab determines how readable your content is to your (human) readers and makes suggestions on how you can optmise it.
Yoast SEO Dashboard
In the Yoast SEO Dashboard, you can view potential issues on your site. Yoast will provide you with instructions on how to address these issues. It includes the following:
- General – This tab lets you access the configuration wizard and see the number of internal links
- Features – Allows you to enable or disable certain Yoast features
- Company Info – Edit company details
- Webmaster Tools – In this section, you can verify your website with different search engine’s webmaster tools
- Security – Allows you adjust user access
You will find the social options under the SEO tab on the left-hand side of your screen. Here you can configure more settings with regard to how your site can function with various social networks.
These sections allow you to easily automate your on-page SEO. Yoast lets you set templates for the SEO titles and meta descriptions for your pages, posts, archives, custom post types, taxonomies and custom taxonomies.
Have you taken advantage of Yoast SEO’s powerful features? What other questions do you have about this plugin? Let us know now and we’ll help you make the most out of your Yoast SEO tool.