According to Forbes, content is king and always will be. If you have any part of your business online, you need to make sure you have content that attracts your audience.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is no longer a guessing game nor is it simple. Instead, it's become a long list of strategies that online marketers use to get more visitors to a website.
One of the best ways to optimize your site is through a tool known as Yoast. Keep reading to get a Yoast SEO training guide so you can start giving your site a boost in the search engine rankings.
What Is Yoast SEO?
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that has a free and premium version. It's designed to help you optimize every piece of content you create so that search engines are more likely to find it.
In this guide, we're going to show you how to set up Yoast SEO with your WordPress site and give you a list of tips and tricks so you can get the most out of it.
How to Use Yoast
Setting up Yoast is a simple process that only takes a few minutes.
From your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins and click on "add new." There, you can search for Yoast SEO and click "Install now" once it comes up. Before installing, make sure the company is "Team Yoast" to ensure you're installing the correct plugin.
Once it's installed, you can click the "Activate" button to complete setup. Now, you should see "SEO" with Yoast's symbol in the left sidebar of your dashboard. Click on it to open Yoast.
The first time you install it, you'll then want to go into the Configuration Wizard. Simply answer the questions to ensure you're getting the most out of this plugin.
As you create content, you should see the Yoast SEO plugin beneath the box where you type. There, you can add a focus keyphrase, an SEO title, a slug, and metadata.
Yoast SEO Training Tips and Tricks
Once you've gotten Yoast installed, there are a number of things you can do to make sure you're maximizing it. These can all be done on the free version, so you can try it before you make the leap to premium.
Start With Your Keyphrase
Every time you create a piece of content, you should start with a specific keyword or keyphrase you want to target. Then, the entire piece of content should be centered around that keyphrase.
Know Where to Place Keywords
Once you have your keyword or phrase, you can start working on the content. Keep your keyword in mind and make sure you include it in the introduction, conclusion, and at least one header.
You also want to be sure to use alternate keyword phrases that are similar to your main keyword to avoid stuffing your post with the same keyword since search engines frown on this.
Yoast Premium is particularly great at helping ensure you have your keywords well-distributed throughout the content and that you're also using enough alternative phrases.
Find the Right Word Count
Yoast recommends having at least 300 words in every post. We recommend you worry less about how many words you have and more about whether or not you've thoroughly covered the topic and provided value to your readers.
Search engines look for high-quality content. That means something different for every topic. Some can be covered in less than 1,000 words, whereas others will need 8,000 or more.
Create an Eye-Catching Title
One of the other places you should have your keyword is your main title.
Since this is often what will determine whether or not someone clicks on your post, take a few minutes to make sure it's eye-catching and clearly states what your content is about.
As you're working with your keyword, don't forget about adding both internal and external links to your piece of content. These will help boost your SEO rankings and is something the Yoast plugin will count for you.
Internal links go to other pieces of content or pages on your website, and external links will take visitors to other websites. Both let search engines know you're providing valuable information to your readers.
Fill Out the Metadata
Metadata may not be seen by your audience, but it will be read by the search engine bots as they index your content. For that reason, it should be an essential part of your SEO strategy.
Work your keyword into the metadata and write it as a summary of your post that's intended to get people to click and read the rest of it. Be sure to have a good hook in there and keep it short and sweet.
Add Image Alts
Often called "alt text" for short, image alternative attributes are rarely seen by your audience but always seen by search engines.
Because search engines can't identify images, you need to add this text to let image searches know what the picture is of. Many people skip this step which makes it even more important for getting ahead in the SEO game.
Make It Readable
Don't forget to check Yoast's readability analysis as you write and before you publish your content.
Your goal with every piece of content should be for people to read it. However, if you have large blocks of text and numerous long sentences, it can be difficult to read. When somebody is on mobile, it's even harder.
Keep your text broken into smaller paragraphs without making them too small and use simple language whenever possible to ensure your audience can easily read what you wrote.
Check the Analysis Results
Always read through Yoast's analysis of your content before you publish it. Your goal should always be to have the green light, an easy way to know you followed all of these tips and tricks.
If you don't have a green light, keep working on your post until you do. Your search engine rankings will soon start to reflect that effort.
Want More SEO Tactics?
With this Yoast SEO training guide, you'll be well on your way to improving your search engine rankings so you can start bringing in more traffic to your website.
If you want more SEO tools, tricks, and guides, be sure to check out our blog. It's full of information that will help you take your online business to the next level including our list of six easy SEO tactics that you can implement today.