Search engine optimization (SEO) used to be something I thought only the geeks could do … it was certainly never anything I could do myself, or even understand if I wanted to be perfectly honest. Until now! The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress (formerly known as WP SEO) is free, and makes optimizing your blog posts and pages super easy.
With its easy to use interface, Yoast takes the mystery out of SEO so just about anyone can optimize their blog posts and pages for better searchability.
The plugin interface has 4 main tabs: Readability, Keyword, Social and Advanced.
The current version of Yoast is based on a score of Green, Yellow and Red. Just like a stop sign. The goal is to get the best score you can without stuffing your content with too many keywords. Sometimes yellow is just as good as green from a Google standpoint.
Readability: this area shows how readable your content is. The idea is to craft your content so someone in grad school can read it, but that doesn’t mean you want to compromise your “voice.”
Keyword: this section is based on the focus keyword you chose, and lists all of the key areas in your post or page that have an impact on your SEO score, and rates each area with a red, yellow or green dot – Red being bad and Green being good. This makes it super easy to know where you need improvement.
Social: [represented by the strange little icon below the stop sign] This area lets you change things up and use different titles and descriptions for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ if you prefer not to use the SEO title and meta description on the General tab. It even gives you the option to upload or provide the URL to an image of your choice if you want to override the images used in the post.
Advanced: [represented by the gear icon] I have to admit this area is still a little too techy for me. It covers Meta Robots and bread crumbs, so I leave it alone.
There are other, more comprehensive settings in Yoast that go far beyond the interface you’ll find on each page or post that cover everything you need to fully optimize your WordPress site. And while what I’ve shared here certainly doesn’t constitute a complete SEO solution, it gives you a head start and a leg up toward getting your content more visibility with the search engines.Create graphics to fit all social media platforms & add to Yoast SEO plugin for better results.Click To Tweet
If you want a better understanding regarding how to optimize your WordPress site, and the full scope and benefits of using the Yoast SEO plugin, I strongly recommend taking a look at the DIY SEO for WordPress course, taught by MaAnna Stephenson (BlogAid). This course will take you step by step through setting up the SEO for your site. Just scroll down on the page and click on DIY SEO Course for more details. It’s very reasonably priced, and is more than worth every cent! You also get a bonus SEO workshop, so it’s more than a good deal!
Of course … if you don’t want to get into the techno-mumbo-jumbo of search engine optimization yourself, you can always have someone on our team do it for you. Just contact us to schedule a quick call to see if we’re a good fit!
Also published on Medium.