Conquering SEO is one of the things you will most often hear about as a blogger. A lot of money is spent trying to master it. I don’t claim to be an expert, nor do l want to be one, truth be told. You may or may not want that either. What you do want however, is to have a fighting chance when it comes to competing with the big boys online. This post will help with the basic things that you should be aware of when writing a blog post with the aid of Yoast SEO plugin.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a way of getting free, organic traffic to your website. Remember me mentioning how you want to rank as high as possible on Google or other search engines in the previous post?. The further down you are on the totem pole, the more likely that your article will never be found. Understanding and implementing SEO is best left to the professionals. The free version of Yoast can help you tap some free traffic if you use it right. You should have installed the Yoast plugin on your dashboard.
Go to your “Y SEO” button on the dashboard and click on “Titles and Metas” submenu. Go to your Homepage tab. On the first line, enter your website name. Describe what your blog is about in a concise way below the name. “A blog for new bloggers blah..blah..” or something like that. It takes a day or so to start showing up.
Click your social media handles tab and update those. Everything else, you can look through, but l would leave them in default mode.
This post is really about using Yoast in a post. After you are done writing your post, go to the bottom of the page under Yoast SEO. You will see the analysis. Green is your friend 🙂 . The first thing to do is make sure your permalink is as you like it. We went over that in the last post. Type in your focus keyword so it can get analyzed. You can then go down each line and try to fix some of the problems.
Try to go for a “Longtail Keyword”. These are keywords that are longer and more specific. They don’t get as much traffic, but they convert at a higher rate because people are searching for that phrase and you rise to the top faster. For instance, take the title of this post. If l had left the title as l originally wanted – “Yoast SEO for Beginners”, I can promise you even without looking at Google that l would never rank. There are too many companies and blog posts vying for the real estate and as a new blogger with no authority, it’s not going to fly. Naming it “Bare bones Yoast SEO for new bloggers” is a Longtail keyword. I know there is lesser competition and so l have a higher chance of being on the first page or second. If you’re a new blogger, chances are what you type into google would be something like my title and you would click my article to get the relevant information. There are software you can purchase to help with finding the right keywords. Google has Google Keyword Planner you can try, but l understand they are making changes.
Edit your Snippet: Make sure to change your meta description. As a default, it’s the first words of your post and will cut off after 156 characters. Change it to a description of the post as this is what gets displayed in the search engines.
It is almost impossible to get all green check marks. Follow the prompts as much as you can and you will be fine. The readability score for me is always red 🙂 . Yoast seems to think that most people are writing for little kids or something. I wish they would remove that function.
When you get the SEO green light, you’re good to go!
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I hope this bare bones introduction to Yoast SEO is helpful to you. Thank you for sharing. As always, constructive comments are welcome.