Yoast SEO is a great tool to help you execute and optimise your SEO strategy.
What is Yoast SEO?
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that helps websites perform more effectively in search engines. It is one of the most popular SEO plugins and is currently used on more than 13 million websites. The plugin offers a range of features that will help you optimise your content for both SEO and readability and also lets you control how your website appears in search engines.
How does Yoast SEO improve SEO?
Yoast SEO gives you the tools to optimise website content for SEO and readability with ease.
Focus Keywords, SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions
With Yoast SEO, you can set a focus keyphrase to each page or post on your website, which is what you want your content to be found for in search engines. We recommend completing keyword research first to find the most relevant and appropriate focus keyword. You can also write your own meta descriptions (the snippet of text underneath search results) and SEO titles (the part of a search result that looks like a heading). These are important elements that not only help you rank for a keyword but are also important for making the user want to click through to your page.
After you have written content for your page and added your keyword and meta description, Yoast SEO will analyse your content using a traffic light system to determine how your content is performing based on ranking factors. This is to ensure you are using best SEO practices.
It will identify what you are doing well (green bullet points), what could be improved (orange bullet points) and what potential problems you may have (red bullet points). Next to these points, Yoast SEO explains its recommendations to help you understand how you can improve these points and optimise your content further. Once you make changes to your content, Yoast SEO will re-analyse your content and orange or red points will to green when you’ve effectively optimised your content for SEO.
As you can see from the image above, Yoast SEO analyses elements in your content such as keyword density, image alt attributes, inbound and outbound links and keywords in headings. Yoast SEO will also help you perfect your meta descriptions and SEO titles by providing recommendations on the optimal length etc.
Yoast SEO also uses an algorithm to analyse the readability of your content. In the same way as the SEO analysis, this feature provides recommendations that will help you create content that is easy to understand for everyone. The readability feature will analyse elements in your content such as transition words, sentence beginnings, work complexity and sentence length.
Although readability does not directly affect SEO, well-written content will improve user experience and accessibility. Whilst it is good to optimise the readability of your content, it is still important to think about your target audience and how they use their language as the content is targeted for them.
Does every bullet point need to be green?
It is important to remember that Yoast SEO only provides recommendations and that you need to decide whether implementing the suggestion will actually help improve your content and SEO. It is likely that not every page or post on your website will need to be optimised for ranking and you shouldn’t just add links or unnatural keywords to your content for the sake of it.
How to use Yoast SEO on your WordPress site
Once Yoast SEO has been installed, the plugin will appear on all your pages and posts when you are logged into the back end of your website. It will automatically analyse your content on each page/post.
Should I be using Yoast SEO Premium?
Tela recommends upgrading to Yoast SEO premium to unlock more SEO features. Yoast SEO premium allows you to add and optimise your content for related keyphrases and synonyms, which helps you create richer content.
Yoast SEO premium can help make your site maintenance easier. For example, it offers a redirect manager to help make sure there are no broken pages on your website. It also has a stale cornerstone content finder which checks that content is still relevant and provides prompts as to when you should update content.
Yoast SEO is a free, helpful plugin that will help you optimise your content and help your site perform and rank higher in search engines such as Google.