What is Yoast?
Yoast SEO is one of the most widely popular WordPress plugins around and it’s easy to understand why. Yoast is a powerful tool that can help you make your site as search-engine-friendly as possible. Below we show you how to use Yoast and what you can do to help improve your SEO.
Using Yoast SEO
Yoast will be set up and ready to go out the box for all Horizon customers, firstly go to the left-hand side menu on your site’s admin dashboard and choose 'All Posts' or 'All Pages' to see a list of all your pages/posts. You should be seeing a column marked 'SEO' & 'Readability score' on the right-hand side of the screen.
This column shows a dot indicating how Yoast SEO has rated that page. Yoast SEO uses a pretty simple system for rating a page’s SEO friendliness.
- A grey dot means Yoast SEO doesn’t have any information available for that page
- A green dot means the page is good
- A red dot means there are some significant problems
- And a yellow/orange dot means there’s room for improvement
If you’re in the process of going through all the pages or posts on your site and optimising them, this column can be very helpful because you can sort pages/posts based on that column, making it easy to identify which pages need attention.
Optimising Yoast on each page
The 'SEO' tab is where you can write that page’s title and meta description and specify which keyword you’re targeting. When you set your focus keyword, the plugin will take a look at the page’s content, title, URL, meta description, and heading and let you know how many times your targeted keyword is being used. That way, you’ll know if you’re using your targeted keyword enough or if you might be keyword stuffing.
What is the focus keyword/keyphrase?
The focus keyword – or keyphrase – is the search term that you want your page to rank for most. So when people search for that phrase, they should find you. Yoast SEO has its own input field for this. The plugin evaluates the page’s content and provides feedback on how to improve the content for that focus keyphrase.
Setting a meta title & description
When you click edit snippet you will now see SEO title & Meta description, here you can add a custom meta title and description.
The meta description is an HTML tag, which looks like this in the HTML code for the page:
<meta name="description" content="A page's description, usually one or two sentences."/>
The purpose of a meta description for your page is simple: to get someone searching on Google to click your link. In other words, meta descriptions are there to generate click-throughs from search engines.
The 'Snippet Preview' area is an awesome tool. It lets you see what your title and meta description will look like so you can make sure nothing important is being cut off.
This will give you some specific feedback on just how search engine friendly your page is or isn’t.
Yoast will give you feedback based on factors like if you’re using your targeted keyword too much or not enough, whether or not you have images or outbound links, how long your content is, if you’ve used a keyword before on another page, and so much more.