Yoast SEO Plugin: How to Use it to Optimize On-Page SEO for Your Site

Good day, Justin here! I’m just gonna run through in this post quickly how you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to optimize the on-page SEO for your site. So I’ve just got a post here that I created in the past called the 7 Step SEO Checklist. It’s a post where I went through and created a checklist that’s easy to follow and you can make sure that you’ve got all the important parts of your on-page SEO setup correctly for the search engines.

I do this using this plugin here called WordPress SEO by Yoast. It’s really good for a few different reasons. Firstly, it forces you to select a focus keyword for your site and that’s pretty important.  That’s something that the other SEO plugins don’t do and it’s something that a lot of people don’t do with their SEO. It’s really important that you focus on one keyword per page. It also shows you here a snippet of how your site is going to look in the search engines. This is great because it gives you immediate feedback on the things that you’re altering in the plugin. How that affects how your site will display in the search engines.

The first thing is once you’ve selected your focus keyword, you can see that it tells you whether or not you’ve  got this focus keyword in different sections of your post that are important. You can note here, it tells you how many times. It’s important that you don’t need in there any more than once. The ideal that you have it in there once for each of the different sections but there’s no need to have it any more than that. In fact, you don’t need to have it in every single section.

So we just go through the different sections. First is the article heading. That’s up here. That’s the title of the page that displays as a heading for the article. It will also control the default page title as well. But then, that’s the next section, page title. You can then come down in the plugin and alter how that page title will display in search engines. You can see here that if you just add a bit of text, it’s altering how it displays in the snippet.

 The next thing is the page url. You can see this here is the url of the post. The web address is post after you created it. Just scroll up here to the permalink. I actually edited this before but we can change this to 7-step-seo-checklist then just press ok. So that just alters the last section of your permalink. It hasn’t updated the old one here but you can see how if it will display. If you refresh the page, it will update the changes that you make.

Next section is this bit here which is saying that this post is categorized underneath the online marketing strategies category on my website. And you can control that over here. Here’s the categories section and you can select a few different categories, add new categories if you want. This will really depend on how your website is set up so it’s probably best to talk to the person that sets up your website about what sort of categories you should be choosing and how that will affect your navigation and also SEO, how that’s set up.

The other thing is the tags. I’m mainly using tags for navigation so select SEO here. What it actually means is that it is a copy of posts under the SEO tag, under the SEO category and under the online marketing category. So there’s three copies of these posts out on my website. I’ve set up my website so that the search engine doesn’t really rank each of those copies. It just selects one of these copy and that’s all that it takes. It’s important to talk to the person who set up your website about that sort of thing. That’s how you control the middle part of your permalink.

Then the next thing is your content. If we just scroll up, you can see here I’ve got seo checklist the keyword. It’s in there once in my content and it’s actually part of my link to do the PDF download but it’s not in the content anywhere else. However, I have a lot of keywords in here that are very similar: SEO title, SEO plugin, SEO value, keywords that talk about metadata and SEO factors. These sort of things. All of these sorts of related keywords will still be helping the relevance of our primary keyword but we’re not trying to necessarily rank all these different keywords. We’re just gonna select the one we are gonna rank as our main focus.

The last thing is the meta description in terms of this little checklist. So this controls how your page will display in the search engines. So we just have a look here. There’s a little description underneath the listing. It’s important that you write this for the people who are searching. Your meta description should include the keyword in there once that are bolded. However, it’s not important to have that anymore once. If you don’t have it there, it’s not the end of the world. You can still rank that page for that keyword. It just helps to have that in there. It’s most important however to make the description appealing and write it for the person who is searching. So someone who is searching for an SEO checklist, my listing will say Click here to grab a free copy of our SEO checklist, the easy way to make sure your site has the right SEO to be at the top of search engines. That will appeal to someone who is looking for an SEO checklist so they are more likely to click on this as opposed to the next guy down who might have a description that’s just randomly grabbed out a section of these website and doesn’t really talk to him directly as a person.

After you’ve done that, the next part of the SEO plugin here is we’ve got the meta keywords. So in days gone by the technique that was sort of done by everyone is you stuff in as many keywords as you want in the meta keywords section. That’s really not effective. It’s a waste of time. It confuses the search engines because Google doesn’t place a lot of weight in that anymore because people abuse it. The essential function of this is to tell the search engine that this is what my post is relevant to. If you list a whole lot of different stuff, it’s not really gonna understand exactly what your page is relevant to so this page is relevant to SEO, SEO checklist and Search Engine Optimization. I put it there in different variations just to make it clear what you saw what it is about. You’re not looking in to stuff keywords there at all. That’s pretty much all you gotta do for your Yoast SEO plugin.

The next thing they do have however is they do have page analysis. It gives you some tips on ways you could be improving your on-page SEO. While some of it is handy, it’s not necessary to do each of these things necessarily. It might just give you a little bit of help. I checked it out and it’s not really important. It says the keyword doesn’t appear in the first paragraph of the copy but that doesn’t bother me at all. That’s something that was given a bit more weight if the keyword was at the top. I don’t think that’s as relevant these days. It gives you some ideas and if there’s something standing out or done wrong, it’s cool to have this function. There’s an advanced section here. That’s for the more technically inclined for setting up search engine optimization but you don’t really need to worry about that. If you just stick to this section here, that will keep you pretty well-optimized. And if you have any questions about this, just feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help you. You can even comment on the post below here. Cheers!

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