How to Use the Yoast SEO Plugin - Blog - Sevaa Group

We work with WordPress a lot and for good reason. Not only is it a CMS that offers a solid foundation for development, it’s easy for our clients to use. Most, if not every, WordPress website employs a blog. You might think blogs are reserved for websites about DIY projects or cooking. However, there are plenty of benefits to incorporating one on your site. Not only does a blog drive traffic to your site through SEO, it also contributes to your company’s image as a thought leader in a particular industry. We share our blog posts on social media and other content syndicates like Atlanta Tech Blogs. A lot of our website traffic actually enters through the blog. Your content reflects your company, and if visitors see that you’re knowledgeable about your trade, they’re more likely to engage.

A solid blog post starts with good research. Take the time to follow trusted sources, and stay up to date with the latest trends in your industry. Once you have all the information you need, begin drafting your blog post. You can draft directly in WordPress. On the left-hand menu, you’ll see a tab labeled Posts. Click Add New to begin writing. Make sure you’re incorporating keywords and the correct formatting.

WordPress has a myriad of plugins that you can add to your site to add layers of functionality. Don’t get plugin happy though! Too many plugins can really affect the way your website runs. One plugin that we highly recommend is the Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin tells you how well your post satisfies readability and SEO standards. On the right-hand side of your post, you’ll see a module with a readability score and an SEO score. These scores can rank as “Needs Improvement,” “OK,” and “Good.” Ideally, you’d like both your readability and SEO score to be Good.

Yoast readability and SEO score.

 

You can improve your score based on the advice listed in the Yoast SEO plugin module, located below your post. The plugin is organized into 3 sections located on the left-hand side of the module:

Yoast sidebar with traffic light icon, social icon, and gear icon.

Content Optimization

Readability

The first tab of the content optimization section gives you more information about your readability score. The plugin tells you everything you need to do in order to improve your score. Click the eye icon next to each suggestion to highlight exactly which sentences you need to revise in your post. In addition, Yoast offers resources to help you correct your mistakes, in case you forgot what passive voice means.

Readability tab of Yoast plugin.

Highlighted text with passive voice.

 

Keyword

The next tab is the keyword section. This section allows you to improve your SEO score. Here, you can edit your snippet, this is how people will see your blog post listing on a search engine results page. You can also edit the “slug.” This is the tail-end of your URL. Personalize your slug so that people understand the topic just by reading the URL, as opposed to a not-so-attractive string of random letters and numbers.

Snippet preview with colored progress bars.

In the “Focus Keyword” field, indicate a keyword for your post. You can add multiple keywords with the premium version of the plugin. Refer to the “Analysis Section” for ways to improve. You may need to use your keyword in your headings or add more outbound links.

Focus keyword field.

 

Social

This section allows you to add structured data for social media purposes. Add a title, description, and image for Facebook and Twitter. Your post will be automatically formatted when you share your link on social media! This saves so much time and effort if you have to schedule your posts on multiple social media outlets.

 

Social tab of Yoast plugin.

Advanced

This section gets a bit more technical. Indicate whether or not you want search engines to show your post in search results, and if you want search engines to follow the links in your post. This is generally set to “yes” by default. You also have the option to add a canonical URL. If you have similar versions of the same content, you can indicate the canonical URL. This is the URL search engines will use, since they don’t know which version of the content to show users.

Advanced tab of Yoast plugin.

Finally, be sure to add the appropriate category and tags if applicable. Though a certain rating is not required to publish your blog post, striving for that “Good” rank will increase your chances of a higher conversion rate. Schedule your post and share on social media. Use UTM parameters to build your links. This will help Google Analytics organize traffic information.

We install the Yoast SEO plugin for all of our WordPress projects. We try to make your website as easy to use as possible, without sacrificing performance. Talk to us about your next WordPress project.

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