WordPress SEO by Yoast
WordPress SEO by Yoast is one of the most important plugins you can add to your blog. It will allow you to easily optimize your blog posts so that they rank highly in the major search engines.
Using WordPress SEO by Yoast is easy once you know what you are doing.
The object of each post is to have your main phrase, keyword or seach term, included in the right places in each post.
To make sure that you have included the right words in the right places, WordPress SEO by Yoast measures the important elements of your site and reports to you on how efficiently your post has been constructed.
When you install the WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin, a panel will appear below the editor for your post.
There are four main tabs in the WordPress SEO by Yoast panel, General, Page Analysis, Advanced and Social.
The main two you need to pay attention to are the general tab and the Page Analysis tab.
To start, add your Focus Keyword. This is the main keyword or phrase that you want to rank for. WordPress SEO by Yoast will offer drop down suggestions for similar terms or phrases.
The phrase that you choose will become the keyword or phrase that will need to be included in all of the important elements on your blog post. These elements include the page title, page url, page headings, keyword density of your content, the meta description tag & image alt text.
Once you have chosen your Focus Keyword, you need to write your SEO Title.
You have 40 – 70 characters for the SEO Title, and should aim to include your Focus Keyword at or near the beginning of the title. You should also include associated keywords in the title if possible.
Once you have written your title, you can paste it into the Post Title at the top of the post editor.
Meta Description Tag
The Meta Description tag is the description used by the search engines in their search listings, so if it is well written and descriptive it will increase the traffic to your site.
You only have 156 characters including spaces and shouls include your Focus Keyword at least once.
Blog Post URL – Permalink
Once you have added your Blog Title in the bar above the editor, WordPress will generate a Permalink which is the part of the blog post URL unique to your post. If you click on the edit button you can change the Permalink as you choose.
Your Permalink should include your Focus Keyword.
There are three main types of Heading Tags, H1, H2 and H3. Each Blog post should have one H1 heading, one or more H2 headings and one or more H3 headings.
The H1 heading is automatically added using the Post Title, but you should add one or more H2 headings and one or more H3 headings to each of your posts.
Adding headings is simple, just highlight the words you want to be in the heading tag, and select which type of heading you want to use from the ‘Paragraph’ dropdown.
Each blog post needs to be at least 300 words or longer, with a keyword density of 1 – 3% for your Focus Keyword.
For each 500 words of content, you should include one image as a rule of thumb.
Each image should have a file name that includes your focus keyword, or related keywords or phrases, LSI Terms (Latent Semantic Indexing)
You should also add ‘alt text’ for each image you use. Alt text is the text that is shown if a browser is set not to download images. The Alt text should include your Focus Keyword, but if you have several images in one post, the alt text should not be identical for each image. This is because it is supposed to be descriptive text describing the image, rather than an additional place to stuff keywords, so choose related keyword in your alt text, and the search engines will relate them all to the main topic of your post.
Once you have written your post, you should click on ‘Save Draft’ and the in WordPress SEO by Yoast, click on the second tab ‘Page Analysis’
WordPress SEO by Yoast – Page Analysis
Each element of your post will be shown with a coloured dot by it, red, amber, yellow or green.
For the best quality posts, you want all your dots to be green, but as a rule of thumb, as long as the SEO dot by the ‘Publish’ button is green, your posts have a minimum acceptance level.
Personally, I suggest aiming to have all the dots in the Page Analysis panel either yellow or green, as it is not always possible to achieve 100% green dots.
If you see a message about ‘slug’ length, this refers to the length of your permalink, and should be reduced to your Focus Keyword.
‘Stop Words’ are often reported if they are found in your Page Title. I tend not to worry to much about these as Google prefers to see copy written for people rather than optimized purely for rankings, and the ‘stop words’ make yout posts read more naturally.
WordPress SEO by Yoast will easily optimize your blog posts if you follow the steps above. Optimized posts will rank higher, and bring you more visitors so it is well worth your time and effort to get in the habit of checking every post before you publish it.
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