Optimize Your On Page SEO With Yoast SEO
On page SEO is very important. From ensuring your content is keyword optimized to adding meta tags to your pages, it’s important to follow certain guidelines to ensure your pages rank better in search engines.
One of the many advantages of blogging with WordPress is the ability to extend your website by simply installing a plugin. And in this post, I would like to tell you about one amazing plugin that helps you optimize all your content to get your posts ranking higher in search engines.
This plugin helps you optimize your posts by giving you a “rating” for each post, and listing tips that will help you better optimize your content. You are also able to use your focus keywords more effectively thanks to this plugin.
On Page SEO
Before I introduce you to the plugin, let’s take a quick overview of on page SEO. On page SEO involves optimizing the content ON your website in certain ways. By doing this, you can increase the ranking of your content, and website, in search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.
On page SEO includes optimizing your content with a focus keyword, optimizing the titles of your content, as well as the body of your content. This also involves adding appropriate, keyword optimized tags to your page so search engines know what your page is about.
Now on to the plugin.
Yoast SEO is a very popular WordPress plugin, used by thousands of blogs. This plugin has helped many people, including myself, rank posts and pages higher in search engines. And the best part is – it’s super easy to install and super easy to use. The plugin gives you clear instructions on how to optimize your content – these instructions are easy to follow and helps you improve the optimization of your on page SEO.
Yoast SEO Features
Let’s take a quick look at the features Yoast SEO offers WordPress users.
- First of all, this plugin helps you write better optimized content, and helps you fully optimize your entire website’s content. Yoast gives you a preview snippet with various tips to help you optimize your content. This feature is extremely useful as it helps you optimize your content for a specific focus keyword, and will tell you exactly what to do in order to rank your post better in search engines.
- The full page analysis will also help you optimize the body of your pages, including the headings, meta title and meta description.
- This plugin will set up meta tags for you, and allows you to manually specify them if you want to. Meta tags gives your page a better chance to rank high since it gives important information to search engines.
- XML Sitemaps is another great feature of Yoast SEO. The plugin will generate your XML sitemaps, which will allow search engines to crawl your website faster. Yoast SEO will also notify Google and Bing about updates to your XML sitemaps.
- This plugin can also help you optimize pages by adding breadcrumbs to your pages. a Useful feature that helps with on page SEO.
- You can use Yoast SEO’s built-in editor to directly edit your .htaccess and robots.txt files.
- Social media is now a vital part of any website. Yoast SEO will automatically optimize your pages and add the necessary tags for social media optimization.
- You can also import SEO settings from a variety of other SEO plugins directly into Yoast SEO for an instant setup.
These are only some of the amazing features offered by Yoast SEO. The best part is – the basic plugin (which gives you everything you need to get started) is 100% free! In this post, I will show you how to install Yoast SEO and how you can get started with this plugin to help with your on page SEO.
On Page SEO + Yoast SEO
We’re now moving on to the installation of this plugin. I’ll also show you some screenshots that will give you an idea of how powerful Yoast SEO is when it comes to on page SEO. To install and setup this plugin on your WordPress powered website, simply follow the instructions below and you’ll be ready to start writing better content in a couple of minutes.
The first step is to install the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress website. It doesn’t matter what type of website you have – you can definitely benefit from this plugin. Remember that Yoast SEO helps you optimize pages as well as posts, so you can optimize the on page SEO of any type of content you post on your WordPress website.
To install Yoast SEO, log in to the admin dashboard of your WordPress website. Next go to “Plugins” > “Add New” and search for “Yoast SEO”.
Once you’ve searched for “Yoast SEO”, click the “Install Now” button at the first result which reads “Yoast SEO”. After installing, you should click the “Activate Plugin” button to activate Yoast SEO on your website.
You’ve completed the first step. Great work! Now let’s move on to setting things up.
Configure Yoast SEO
It’s time to set up Yoast SEO to ensure you take advantage of all the features the plugin offers. I will guide you through the different setting pages.
To access Yoast SEO settings, simply click on the new “SEO” option in your left-hand menu. This will take you to the main General Settings page. This will also expand the Yoast SEO menu for easy access.
The main General settings screen gives you an option to start an introduction tour, view the latest changes in Yoast SEO, and lets you restore the default settings. You can explore the plugin via the tour if you want to, and you can view the changes introduced with the latest update to the plugin. If you make any errors or mistakes while configuring the plugin, you can also restore the default settings.
Let’s get started with the configuration. Click on the “Your Info” tab to fill out some important information about your website. This brings you to the following page:
On this page, you should enter your website’s name, as well as an alternative name for your website if you have any. You should also choose whether the website is operated by a person or a company – and fill out the additional details after choosing an option. Remember to click on “Save Changes” after completing these fields.
Next click on “Webmaster Tools” to enter some verification codes to help with your website’s SEO.
These verification codes help you easily identify your website at each of the services including Alexa, Bing, Google and Yandex. To retrieve your verification ID’s, simply click on each link, complete the process and copy/paste the code in here.
You can leave both “Security” and “OnPage.org” settings as they are. Move on to the next section of Yoast SEO’s settings – “Titles & Metas” – you can find this option in the left-hand sidebar menu.
Here you can set up different options involving the titles of your pages, and the meta tags generated by Yoast SEO. These settings are usually fine as they are once you’ve installed Yoast SEO, but feel free to take a look around. This will also give you an idea of how Yoast SEO will help you optimize page titles and meta tags.
Moving on to the “Social” option, you need to fill out your social account URL’s, and configure settings for different social networks. Be sure to complete this as far as possible as it will greatly help you with your website’s SEO and social presence.
Remember to visit the tabs for “Facebook”, “Twitter”, “Pinterest” and “Google+” specific settings as well. These are all vital to enhance the social share-ability of the content on your website.
You can skip the “XML Sitemap” section if you do not need the URL of your sitemap immediately. All the default settings are pretty much done-for-you, and will automatically generate your XML sitemap.
Next visit “Advanced”. The first page gives you an option to add breadcrumbs to your website – this is a really great feature and also helps with on page SEO. There might be a possibility that your theme doesn’t support breadcrumbs though – in this case you can follow the instructions given to integrate breadcrumbs manually into your theme.
If you need more information about integrating breadcrumbs manually, visit http://yoa.st/breadcrumbs .
Click on the tab “Permalinks”. Here you can configure different elements regarding your website’s permalinks (a.k.a your search engine friendly URLs). The only option I change here usually is the option to strip the “/category” from category URLs. This is quite useful.
You can basically skip the rest of the options as the default options Yoast SEO configures for you are usually great. You can connect your WordPress site to Google Search Console to automatically check for search errors and other Google related issues. To do this, simply go to the “Search Console” submenu and autenticate.
Taking Yoast SEO for a text-drive
You’ve successfully configured Yoast SEO to help you optimize your on page SEO better. Congratulations! You can now start to use Yoast SEO and write better content EVERYTIME!!
Let’s take the plugin for a quick “text-drive”. Go to “Posts” > “Add New” to start writing a new post. Then scroll down to see the new “snippet” widget added to the bottom of the “New Post” page.
If you look at the “Content Analysis” part, you can already see the amazing power of this plugin. It instantly tells you why the content in your post won’t rank – and what you can do to improve the optimization of your content.
To start off, you should enter your focus keyword. This should be the very first thing you do – before you even start to write the title of your post, add your focus keyword. Remember that SEO is all about optimizing your content, and using keyword to rank in search engines. So each of your posts or pages need to be keyword-optimized.
Once you’ve entered your focus keyword, the snippet will automatically start to update as you write your post.
Below you can see a screenshot of what the snippet looks like after I added a focus keyword and wrote a couple of words. I also entered a custom meta description.
As you can see here, the snippet tells me that I do not have enough words in the body of my post. It also tells me that no images appear on the page, and that the meta description is too short. Other tips such as outbound links, page title and subheading tags also appear. These are all vital tips that will help you improve the on page SEO of your content, and rank your content higher in search engines.
The red bullet points are the most important. Take care of them first. Then move on to the orange bullet points. Wherever you see a green bullet point, it means you did good!
If you look at the top of the snippet, you will see a small tab with the word “Content”, a bullet and your focus keyword. This is the overall quality of the content you are working on – think of it as your on page SEO score. Always ensure the quality is GREEN before posting content!
Start writing better content
I’ve shown you how to install Yoast SEO, how to configure the plugin and how to use it to write better content. Remember that the quality of your content is important, as well as the keyword-optimization rate of your content. Be sure to write good quality content that will give value to the reader, and always ensure that your on page SEO rating is green before you publish your pages and posts. Together Yoast SEO and these tips will help you write better optimized content, and will help you rocket up your rankings in search engines.
If you found this post useful in any way, please feel free to share using the social media buttons below. And if you have anything to add, or you would like to share your experience with Yoast SEO, please leave a comment.