Creating all the best content in the world, is just unfortunately not going to be enough. To get eyes on your content, you need it to be optimized for search engines. WordPress plugin Yoast SEO is a fantastic tool that can help you to do this effortlessly.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links’. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.
Setting up your Yoast SEO plugin
Yoast SEO is a free WordPress plugin and friendly to anyone who doesn’t even understand SEO. Or get’s what SEO is, but the techy side of SEO is way too much to handle.
This is why Yoast SEO is perfect for anybody even a newbie at SEO.
So why is it so great?
Using this fantastic traffic light system is what Yoast SEO makes them ahead of the competitors. Traffic light system telling you how SEO friendly your content is.
Letting you know how you can improve your content in its analysis. What’s even better, you can get it for FREE.
Get Yoast SEO Plugin
Find the Yoast SEO plugin on the add plugin option on your WordPress plugin.
After you’ve found it after a quick search using the term Yoast. Install it, and then activate the plugin.
Configure Your Settings
Urgh that already sounds techy!
It’s not as bad as you may think.
Here is what you need to do
- Go to the Yoast SEO icon on the left bar
- Press the General tab
- Click Webmaster tools
- Add your Google verification code (don’t know how to do this, they give you help with this)
- Add the other Webmaster tools that you want to be ranking on
Also, the search appearance and social is what you want to configure too.
Configuring them is even easier than the configuring your Webmaster tools.
But let’s get to business and get it working so that it improves your Google rankings.
Improving your Google rankings all starts with keywords. Keywords are what makes Onsite optimization. Telling Google exactly what you want your content to rank for.
What Is The Focus Keyword?
Focus keyword in Yoast SEO, is the keyword or phrase that you are trying to rank for in the page or post.
Before you start choosing any keyword, you think you might want to rank for. Here are 3 quick tips to choosing the right keyword to target.
3 Tips To Choosing The Right Keyword To Target
Choosing the right keyword is not just all about using keyword research tools. But it helps if you do!
You should consider these 3 things first.
#1 Think like a customer
Think like a customer, what would they put on Google when searching for your product?
What keyword would they use?
Then start typing in a phrase your customer would use in searching for your product. What did the search results show up?
Did it lead to the right products you were aiming for? Or did it show up completely irrelevant results?
Next take a look at the related keywords, or just keep trying until you tap into your customers mind.
Remember if someone is looking for a quick solution to a headache. They don’t write in painkillers. Customers would write in something like ‘get rid of headache fast’.
#2 Do Your Competitor Research
Competitor research in finding keywords to rank for, can be done fairly easily.
List Your Competitors
Create a list of the top competitors in your niche.
Research Your Competitors
Using a tool such as UberSuggest.
Type in your competitors domain. From there you will see the keywords that they are currently ranking for.
Plus you can see where they’re getting their backlinks from.
#3 Create Better Content
To start competing against your competitors, take a look at their blog posts. Especially at the blog posts with the keyword you want to rank for.
Next, consider what you can do better. What extra information can you add?
Could you add graphics? Or even more authority sites to link too so that you increase the user experience.
This is important as Google ranks content higher that has a better user experience.
Finally, start reaching out to other blogs on the same topic and say that you have a blog on X, Y, and Z. I think it would help your readers further to solve X problem.
Writing Good SEO Titles
Your title is your blog post headline, easily put.
Though, writing a blog post headline that gets clicks and ranks you higher on the search results. That’s something else altogether.
So what does it take to write a headline that gets clicks?
Here are 3 things you need in every blog post headline.
- Power Words
Using Numbers In Headlines
Using numbers at the start or a year at the end. Our brains are more attracted to blog post titles with numbers.
Odd numbers though are even more attractive. Single digits like 3, 5, 7, or 9, is more attractive than 12.
This though also works with using the year. For example, you are doing an ultimate guide or roundup. Put the current year at the end (or next year if predicting next year). You will get more clicks, than the person who leaves out the number.
Studies have even shown that readers prefer number of headlines. Numbers give predictability and control expectations.
Using Power Words
Power words are used to trigger emotional responses. They are widely used in all writing. From children’s books to landing pages and newspapers. Power words are widely used, so you should be using them confidently in your blog posts and titles.
Here are some of the power words for you to start incorporating into your own writing.
5 Headline Analyzers
Headline analyzers provide several scores. Scores
Identifying common and “weasel” words, which are words that don’t help convey much meaning.
Offering suggestions for boosting SEO in your headlines. You’ll learn how to incorporate power words and positive word counts.
Here are 5 headline analyzers for you to use.
#3 Blog About by Impact
#4 Capitalize My Title
#5 FatJoe Headline Generator
Writing Meta descriptions
A meta description is the bit of blurb you see underneath the title. For instance, you search for something on Google. On results you get a title for each result and a short description.
On your meta description, you need to keep to a specific length. Go over this length and it doesn’t show up.
So, what length do you need a meta description to be?
Ideally, your meta description between 50 – 160 characters.
Yoast SEO plugin, helps you keep to this length. Long meta descriptions result in you getting a red light. Short meta descriptions result in you getting an amber light.
But the perfect meta description length, you will get a green light.
In your meta description, you also want to add your focus keyword.
Your focus keyword should not just be in your meta description.
Focus keywords should be in your slug. Focus keywords should be in your title, preferably at the start.
Additionally, Yoast SEO uses the traffic light system to show if you’re using the focus keyword an optimal amount of times.
Upgrading To Yoast SEO Premium
Yoast SEO premium is available, but of course at a price. Although, you do get a lot with the free version. If you have the budget, you can upgrade and get so much more.
Yoast SEO Premium
With Yoast SEO Premium you get
- Optimize for more keywords
- Get a clear view of your focus keywords and SEO scores
- Redirect Manager
- Content Insights
- Internal Linking Suggestions
- Control Over Breadcrumbs
- Watches Old Content
- Tells Google what your blog or page is about
Plus so much more all from £89 per year
In A Nutshell,
Using the Yoast SEO plugin is easy to use and can help you rank your content higher. Just remember to use the keywords that your customers are using. These are the exact keywords you want to target. Then go into the blogs your competition is doing and outrank them.