SEO Success Breakdown: A Guide to Yoast SEO

Welcome back to the “Plugin Deep Dive” series! In this edition, we’re tapping into the mysterious world of SEO Success and shining a spotlight on the Yoast SEO plugin. If you’ve wondered how to get your website noticed by search engines and reach your target audience, this guide is for you. Now, we’re going to peek behind the curtain of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), break down the essentials, and learn how Yoast SEO can be your noble steed on this journey.

Disclosing Magic Tricks - SEO Success is Within Reach

In this post, we’ll dig into the specifics of how Yoast SEO works, but first, let’s address what SEO is. Put simply, SEO is like a digital map that guides search engines to virtual locations (such as your website). It’s the art and science of optimizing your online content to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). The reason this is important is because there is so much information out there. Too much information, really. Consequently, landing on the first page of google search is like having a flashing marquee sign pointing to visitors to your business.

SEO spelled out in letters that resemble a marquee sign that represent SEO success

Navigating the Rocky Terrain of the SEO Landscape

At its core, SEOs magic are keywords. These are the magic words and phrases that web surfers type into search bars. This means that keywords are the link that connect an internet user to the content they’re looking for. However, it’s not as simple as stuffing keywords everywhere. Rather, they must be strategically positioned in your content, meta descriptions, and URLs. For this reason, thorough keyword research is vital to your overall SEO strategy.

The Power of Meta Descriptions

Next, lets chat about meta descriptions. You know when you google something, and you can see a little preview of what the content promises to be? That’s the meta description. For this reason, crafting a compelling meta description that includes your focus keyword significantly increases the chances of users clicking through to your website. Yoast SEO makes this easy by offering a dedicated field to write and optimize your meta description.

Well crafted meta descriptions support SEO success. Images shows a meta description on a google search result.

On-Page Optimization: Yoast SEO’s Secret Sauce

Next, let's discuss one of Yoast’s best features - the on-page optimization. Rather than guess if you're hitting the requirements, there are visible instructions that tick off one by one as you fulfill each to improve SEO. As you can see in the image, this provides you with real time analysis and suggestions to improve your keyword use, readability, and inclusive language. Which is a nice dose of instant gratification….who doesn’t love green lights?!

Yoast SEO offers an on-page analysis for SEO Success.

Your Roadmap to SEO Success with Yoast

Now that you've learned the basics, are you ready to leverage your newfound SEO knowledge? You’re not alone! Follow the steps below to get started with your SEO strategy:

  1. Install & Activate: dash on over to your WordPress dashboard, search for the Yoast SEO plugin, install & activate it.
  2. Keyword Research: identify relevant keywords for your platform. Think about what problems you’re solving for your potential clients, what they may search for when they’re looking for the service you provide. It’s helpful to keep a document that lists your keywords, once you start writing stuff down, you’ll identify synonyms and additional words and phrases.
  3. Optimize Content: as you write, the plugin will provide instant feedback. Aim to achieve a green light for each SEO rule to ensure your content is optimized.
  4. Meta Descriptions: craft compelling meta descriptions that include your focus keyword and entices user to click your page or post!
  5. Readability Matters: pay attention to Yoast’s readability tab. Once again, the plugin offers real time analysis to ensure your content is clear and concise to keep your readers engaged.

Final Thoughts: Your SEO Success Awaits

Generally speaking, SEO might seem overly techy and overwhelming, but with Yoast SEO as your guide, you’ll be well equipped for success. Accordingly, as you continue creating valuable content and optimize it with your focus keywords, meta descriptions, and on-page analysis, you’re setting the stage for SEO success. Meanwhile, you'll be improving your SEO knowledge and skills. You'll have improved search engine visibility and increased website traffic in no time.

Stay tuned for more insights and practical tips in our Plugin Deep Dive series. If you missed the intro, you can catch it here: 5 Must-Have WordPress Plugins along with the first installment on WP-Optimize and the second installment on Wordfence. Additionally, if you’d like to read more about Yoast SEO, check out this article. Finally, remember, that there are tons of plugins out there (it's what makes WordPress so flexible and fun) I’m just covering a few. Feel free to explore and research what works best for you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at hello@paintcreekdigital.com