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Blogging 101: Yoast SEO Plugin

Welcome back to our 2nd installment in our Blogging 101 series! In case you missed it, check out Blogging 101: Google’s Keyword Tool to catch up on where we are. Today, we will be discussing the Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress. WordPress is not only a great blogging platform, but what we use to build our clients websites on. It’s user-friendly and easy to update, manage and customize. We’ve tried many plugins that WordPress offers to boost website traffic for our clients. All have proven helpful yet one stands out: the Yoast SEO Plugin. Not only is it effective but it’s so simple to use and work with! We wanted to share another secret to success with you that you can start working with today. How cool is that? While there are many ways to get in-depth and complex with Yoast, we decided to make it as simple as possible for you to get going with your SEO plans.

A Simple Guide to Using the Yoast SEO Plugin:

Complete Your Keyword Research: As stated in our previous post before you share your content with the world, correct keywording for your post is a must. With Yoast, you need to have your “word” or “phrase” decided on before you start working with it. Once you have that done, it’s time to making the most of Yoast! Fill Out the Yoast “Form”: Below, you will see what the Yoast form will look like under each of your blog posts before publishing. There are several tabs and boxes to fill with information. It may look intimidating, but the first step is to fill the first tab out.

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First, put your keyword or phrase into the Focus Keyword box.

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Next, select an SEO title. This may be the same or different from your post title and here’s why: your post title may already have the keyword you’re using it it or it may be a trendy, fun title that wouldn’t get much SEO “juice”. If it’s already keyworded you can copy/past the original title into the SEO Title box. If that’s not the case, creating a separate SEO Title will allow you to keep your “fun” post title but still generate traffic. See below for an example of a normal title vs. an SEO title:

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Next is the Meta Description. This is a short summary of the blog post that will appear under your SEO Title on search engines. We generally include our keyword and encourage readers to “read on” and click our link to gain traffic. You really can’t go too wrong with this part, just keep it short, simple and catchy.

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This is what the Snippet Preview looks like and shows you how your post will display in searches:

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Once you have this all filled out, green and red wording will appear under your Focus Keyword box informing you of where your Focus Keyword appears in your post for SEO purposes. As you can see below, our URL doesn’t include the keyword we chose. It’s simple to edit your URL to include this by going to your post title and clicking “Edit”!

Screen shot 2013-04-18 at 1.51.28 PMThen, you can click your “Page Analysis” tab that reviews your entire post and gives you the green, yellow and red lights on certain areas of your post. Take a minute to read through these and use them as a guide to improve your post even more. Some things can’t be avoided, while others you can take the extra time to work on.

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If you want a different Meta Description to appear on Facebook or Google+ you can click the Social Tab and fill it out accordingly.

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Finally, in the upper right corner of your screen where the Publish box is located, Yoast has a handy SEO “light” that will, again, either appear green, yellow or red according to your optimization efforts. Always look for green before your hit publish!

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This is a basic guide to the Yoast SEO Plugin and by no means shows you all that this thing can really do! We hope that this guide will help lead you in your SEO efforts and with practice, help you increase traffic to your blog!

In our next post, we will work on optimizing the photos you use in your blog – stay tuned! Missed a previous Blogging 101 post? Never fear! Blogging 101: Google’s Keyword Tool Blogging 101: Resize a Photo for Online Use Blogging 101: Optimize Photos Interested in help with your company’s blog or website? SocialNicole is here to help!Contact us today! Want to see us blog about something specific in our Blogging 101 series? Share below! 

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