WordPress Plugin feature: Yoast SEOSeptember 14, 2016 - By Shaun Buckle
One thing that’s crucial to any website is how it performs in a Search Engine.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) isn’t a small task and isn’t something you can just do once. SEO can be improved in a plethora of different ways but many of them can be done on-site. If your website is built in WordPress, Yoast SEO can help anyone manage their SEO themselves.
The Yoast plugin comes in a Free and a Paid version but we are going to take a look at some key features of the free version.
Yoast SEO: What is it?
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that can be installed for free and helps you optimize your page’s content, image titles, meta descriptions and much more.
The plugin reviews the content on your page and scores your content for SEO and also Readability. It bases your SEO Score on some of the following:
- If and where the keyword appears in the title.
- How long your title is.
- The amount of follow links and no follow links.
- The recommended amount of words.
- Amount of keyword appearances.
- If images appear and if they have alt tags.
- Keyword density.
- Where the keyword appears.
- If the keyword appears in the meta description.
- Custom meta description analysis.
- Keyword appearing in the URL.
- If you’ve used this keyword before.
If your website isn’t built in WordPress you can still analyse your website’s content using this handy tool.
You can see the score this article got below on the right hand side.
Post titles and meta descriptions
Yoast SEO allows you to set templates for the titles and meta description for all your posts and pages. You can also use the meta box to optimise the title and meta description for each page and post, to target the keyword you are trying to hit in a Search. Using the Snippet Editor you can see exactly how your post or page will appear when it shows up in a Google Search.
Entering the keyword you are trying to hit in Google into the Focus Keyword box and the plugin will show how the search result looks when someone searches for that term. It will also analyse your title, meta description, and content for this keyword and show you where you can improve.
Yoast also includes all the meta data needed to go into your code so that Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter give you a ‘rich snippet‘ of content like the one below.
Another thing the plugin can setup for you is an XML Sitemap which is important for telling Google what pages are on your site and how often they are updated. If you haven’t already, register your website with Google Search Console and submit your sitemap. The Yoast plugin makes the creation of the sitemap as simple as, well… doing nothing. The plugin does it for you. You can view the sitemap for our website that was generated by the plugin here.
That was just a quick look at some of the features the free version of Yoast SEO has to help you improve the onsite SEO of your website. If you need help setting up Yoast SEO on your WordPress website or are looking for a new WordPress build, feel free to get in touch here!