WordPress SEO Plugins: Everything You Need to Know About Yoast

wordpress seo plugins

When it comes to setting up a new website for your business, WordPress is the route to go. The evergrowing platform powers 27% of all websites. Considering there are over 172 million active sites on the web right now, about 75 million are using WordPress. People love the convenience and ease of use that come with WordPress.

One of the greatest convenience factors is its directory that houses over 56,161 plugins. The usefulness of each plugin differs. But if you want to generate more traffic to your website, take a look at the WordPress SEO plugins.

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In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about one of the most popular ones, Yoast. Just keep following along.

What Can WordPress SEO Plugins do for You?

No matter what type of website you operate, you need to use SEO for people to find it in the search engines. Again, you’re competing with 172 million other sites. So, how exactly does SEO work?

It isn’t as complex as it may seem. SEO is short for search engine optimization. By using SEO practices, you are moving your site (and its content) to higher on search engines like Google and Bing. The goal is to make sure you show up on the first page because it’s rare that anyone clicks past it.

This is where SEO plugins like Yoast come in. Yoast can help you do a lot, including:

  • Update titles and meta descriptions
  • Set up targeted keywords
  • Track keyword usage
  • Manage your sitemaps

Keep in mind that this isn’t going to be a magic solution to your SEO needs. While Yoast will do some things for you automatically, you still need to put some work in and interact with the program.

How Yoast SEO Works

Because Yoast doesn’t just run in the background and improve your SEO on its own, you will need to become familiar with using some of its features and functionality. While we won’t be going over every individual feature of the plugin, we will explain the best ways to help get you started.

Click here for a more in-depth SEO course.

The Configuration Wizard

The Yoast SEO Configuration Wizard is a good place to start after installing this plugin. You will find it in your Dashboard. This feature guides you through 12 steps so that you can customize the plugin to meet your needs.

This is a great way to make sure you don’t overlook small details, even if you aren’t completely new to this. You will have to ask some questions during each step. Your answers will be used to help with your settings, so make sure they’re well thought out.

The best part is that you will see videos along the way that will explain more options to you.

SEO Analysis Tabs

You won’t begin to see the SEO analysis controls until you’ve started writing posts. So, if your website is brand new, don’t fret if you don’t see them right away.

The SEO Analysis will scan the content you’ve written and give you feedback and scores depending on how SEO-friendly your writing is. When you are writing in WordPress, the Yoast meta box with this information will be located below the content you’re writing.

There are a couple of different tabs in the box. You will have one where you can enter your focus keyword. This is the keyword you are optimizing your post for. The SEO analysis is also under this tab.

The second tab is called “Readability.” This helps you to write content that will be easily read and skimmable. This way, you aren’t using too many long sentences or overly formal language that the average person might have a hard time understanding.

Online and Offline Writing

Online writing is intended for easy scanning and digesting. When you’re reading a post from a website, you a pretty much looking for information you may not have known before.

Offline writing is intended for other formats, like novels. These weren’t meant to be quickly scanned and digested. When you’re reading a novel, you become wrapped up in a story and its characters.

These are the differences the readability analysis in Yoast will pick up on.

The Google Search Console

Google Search Console helps you to track your website’s performance. Because this feature gives you tons of insight, you can see what parts of your website might need some editing or extra work.

It picks up anything from technical problems on your site like crawl errors. Or you might need to adjust your keywords in order to increase your rankings or impressions.

In addition to receiving this kind of feedback, Google Search Console will also send you notifications when near problems appear. This will help you quickly resolve any issues before they hinder your website’s performance too long.

Archive Posts

Having a section on your blog for archived posts is an easy way for your readers to find some of your older content. You can organize these archives by date or author for even more ease.

The downside is that archive content doesn’t always work so well with search engines. This is because they often consider these types of posts to be duplicate content.

Using the archive feature in Yoast will help you prevent that confusion. It will allow you to say whether or not you want archive pages indexed. You can even disable archive pages if you’d like.

The Social Tab

The “Social” tab in Yoast SEO allows you to make edits to your content to ensure it stands out when it’s shared on social media sites. You’re competing with people’s newsfeeds that tend to move very quickly, so showing your content in its best light the first time around will help you generate more page clicks.

You will have the ability to change the image that accompanies your post along with the page title and meta description by using this feature. If you choose not to, the site you’re posting to will automatically include what was already set in place.

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WordPress SEO plugins come with a wide variety of features to improve your writing and help you rank as well as possible on the search engines. If you’d like to learn more about them or other WordPress functionality, follow our blog.

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