Search engine optimization is not an exact science, in fact, it’s an ever-evolving algorithm used to present the best website content at any given time. Tactics and methods that worked a few years ago are no longer enough – or even valid – to be sure that your website is appearing in search results pages.
Keeping up with search engine trends and tips can be a full-time job – just ask any SEO expert. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was helpful software that kept track of SEO for you so you could instead focus on your website content? Well, you’re in luck – there is! Tools like Yoast SEO help website owners improve their SEO without breaking their budget or devoting hours each week to website search engine optimization.
Welcome to the world of Yoast
As one of the most popular SEO tools, Yoast SEO is a simple, free to download WordPress plugin that helps users monitor their content’s SEO value at a glance. Once installed, Yoast SEO uses a red, yellow and green light communication system to quickly and easily rate how SEO-friendly your content is before you ever press ‘Publish’. As you would expect, a green light means that you are meeting all SEO requirements for increased visibility, a yellow light means that there is room for improvement, and a red light means that significant issues have been flagged that may actually be detrimental to your search engine optimization.
How to add Yoast SEO to your WordPress website
Simply log into your WordPress website with your username and password, and navigate to the Plugins option within the WordPress menu on the left-hand side of your screen. With the Plugins option highlighted, select Add New. Simply use the search bar to find Yoast SEO within the available plugins and press Install Now to get started. Yoast SEO will soon download and become active on your WordPress website.
When getting started with Yoast, it may be better to experiment first on a sub page of your website, especially within your blog. Typically Yoast SEO encourages longer snippets of content, like blogs or informational pages. You will notice when you prepare a page for publication that as you type, your SEO values will change across the top of your page as well as at the bottom. You can expand the Yoast SEO section at the bottom of the page to analyze the following factors:
- Keyword identification for both the page you are currently working on as well as the rest of your website pages.
- Images and both internal and outbound links.
- Readability based on the Flesch Kincaid scale and analysis of reading difficulty, active voice, and sentence length.
- The length of your page URL.
- Shareability factors for social media including meta descriptions.
Keep in mind that Yoast SEO is simply a tool designed to help, and will not always be 100% correct in judging what is best for your website. For example, when writing technical guides you may not want to adhere to readability suggestions due to the very specific nature of the subject matter. Also, you may want to publish a shorter article than Yoast SEO recommends. In times like these, always trust your judgment rather than a plugin, no matter how helpful. However, with some practice, you will soon become an SEO wizard with Yoast SEO in your toolbox.