YoastSEO is a popular WordPress plugin to help business owners self-optimize their websites for different search engines. Many consider it the #1 WordPress SEO plugin. The following information works with both the FREE and the PAID version of the plugin.
Initial view of YoastSEO scoring
The initial viewing of the YoastSEO scoring can be viewed in the WordPress ADMIN after you click Page or Post. When you are logged into WordPress as an ADMIN and click on PAGES in the dashboard. You will see 2 columns one with a Traffic Light (for YoastSEO SEO Rating) and a Feather (for YoastSEO Readability). The goal is to turn all the RED traffic lights to GREEN.
- A red traffic light means little to no adherence to the YoastSEO recommendations. (The page could be fine in Google’s eyes, but not in Yoast).
- A green traffic light means GREAT, you met most of the YoastSEO recommendation.
- An orange traffic light is “almost there”.
Basic SEO Guidelines that work with YoastSEO:
- YoastSEO asks you to identify 1 keyword. That keyword should be included in the Heading-1 (H1) and at least one Heading-2 (H2). It should be used (but not overused) throughout the content on the web page/post. NOTE: Search engines like Google will index each page/post of your website for many different keywords. The YoastSEO keyword is just a useful tool to identify a focus.
- Every page should be a minimum of 300 words.
- Every page/post should have one H1 (heading 1) and it should be unique across the website. Most WordPress themes will automatically make the page/post title a Heading-1, however, some themes don’t and you will have to assign it.
- Every page/post should have a minimum of 1 H2 (heading 2). It can be replicated across the website.
- All pages/posts should have at least 1 image. The image file name should be named something meaningful like bee-extermination.jpg – this is much better than pic101.jpg. Each image should have some text in the alt tag (this can be found on the right side of the editor in the “post” tab.
How to Use YoastSEO
The Title and Description could be displayed on the search engine’s results, so it is better if they describe what is on the page so that people click for more information.
Entering in data for YoastSEO:
- When you click on a Page or Post to edit it, scroll down to the Yoast SEO section.
- On the SEO tab the first thing you should enter is the “Focus Keyword”. The keyword can be a word or a phrase. It should be unique across the website (i.e. you shouldn’t use the same keyword on every page). And it should be used within the content of the web page or post.
- WP will automatically set up the SEO Title, but you can just re-enter your title (h1) of the Page/Post and possibly expand or crop it. The SEO Title should include the Focus Keyword. Note:
- Then enter the Meta Description. The Description should include the Focus Keyword.
- On Pages, The search engine might display the first photo that is on the page. Consider adding a Featured Image that is more representative for your listing on the search engines – i.e. that would be more relevant for potential customers – perhaps your logo. On most themes of WordPress the Featured Image will not be displayed on the physical web page, it will only show on the search engine results listing.
What if the YoastSEO Traffic Light is still orange or red?
Click on SEO Analysis. Yoast will give you some hints as to why your SEO traffic light is still red or orange. You might not have enough words on the page. You might not have any images. Or perhaps you didn’t use the Focus Keyword enough.
More information on www.Yoast.com