Whether you are a SEO professional in charge of a client’s site or own a personal blog, you should know a thing or two about Yoast SEO for WordPress. When it comes to working with a WordPress website, the Yoast SEO plugin is among the best tools out there. The reason why this is the case it pretty simple. It can help your rank your website highly in search engines – and that is the ultimate goal. Sure, your website won’t be at the top of Google within a week, but you’ll definitely be closer to your goal.

Yoast SEO is probably one of the most comprehensive WordPress plugins, besides, it is free. At least its most valuable functions are part of the free plugin. It is possible to purchase premium extensions for additional functions, though. You can easily install Yoast SEO on any self-hosted WordPress site.

Yoast SEO Metabox

Readability analysis

This is not a book you are writing – it is usually a shorter text whose purpose is to inform the reader. Therefore, readers tend to quickly scan the content they read online. So, you have to write your content with that in mind. Otherwise, the readers will immediately leave your site and that is something you want to avoid. You need to keep your website up and running. A post or page is well optimized only if it is easy to read. Since not everyone can produce content that is perfectly written and easy to process, the readability tab is there to guide you. You can follow your readability as you write, or after the content has been written.

  • The text should be readable to every reader, regardless of their education. The Flesch Reading Ease test shows whether your content is easy to understand or not.
  • Your pages are easier to scan if they contain headings and subheadings. Yoast will advise you to add some.
  • Similarly, your text will be easier to process if it is divided into shorter paragraphs.
  • Long sentences are also considered confusing, so the maximum recommended length is 20 words per sentence.
  • Three or more consecutive sentences that start with the same word are considered repetitive, which is why Yoast will advise you to mix thing up.
  • You should use transition words in 30% of your sentences, as they also make the text more readable.
  • Use of passive voice in WordPress websites is generally frowned upon. Yoast tolerates 10% passive voice.

Snippet preview

The snippet preview gives you an idea of how your website would appear in the search engine results. This is the place where you insert a meta description. The meta description should be a short explanation of what your content is about. Its purpose is to make searchers want to visit your website. Although your meta description may not be displayed on the search result pages, if it is good, it is more likely to be there.

SEO analysis

The SEO analysis evaluates how well the content is optimized for a specific keyword. It checks includes the following checks:

  • SEO title width – use a short page title to add a trigger for a searcher to click to your website. A good headline is key to writing a good blog or page.
  • Keyphrase in subheading – whether you have used the keyphrase is your subheadings.
  • Keyphrase distribution – your focus keyphrase should be distributed evenly throughout the text and used enough times, but not too often.
  • Internal links – link to at least one other page on your website in order to keep visitors on your website for as long as possible.
  • Outbound links – link to other, relevant websites that provide further information on the topic you are addressing.
  • Keyphrase in introduction – include your focus keywords in the very first paragraph to make the topic clear from the beginning.
  • Keyphrase density – as we mentioned, your keyphrase should not be overused, but it should be repeated a certain number on times.
  • Keyphrase length – four relevant keywords for your focus keyphrase would be ideal. A keyphrase that is too short would be too competitive, while a longer keyphrase is harder to optimize.
  • Meta description length – a meta description of 120-156 characters would be ideal.
  • Keyphrase in meta description – the meta description should also contain the exact keyphrase.
  • Keyphrase in title – ideally, you should use the exact keyphrase at the beginning of your title.
  • Keyphrase in slug – try to repeat your focus keyphrase in your URL – that is how Google likes it.
  • Previously used keyphrase – do not use the same keywords for multiple pages. Yoast SEO for WordPress will warn you if you have more than one post with a certain keyword on your website.
  • Image alt attributes – you should use images and implement the focus keyphrase in their alt text.
  • Text length – your content should be at least 300 words long.

Cornerstone Content

You can mark a page as cornerstone content in case it is the main page that addresses a certain topic/keyword. Yoast SEO for WordPress can help you make your best cornerstone articles thanks to a toggle in the Yoast SEO metabox you can use. However, implementing a cornerstone content strategy is a bit more complex, especially if you are an SEO beginner. For such advanced matters as well as website analysis and regular maintenance, you can always turn to experts, such as WP Full Care. We understand that not everyone is SEO savvy nor does everyone have the time and energy to deal with website optimization. That is why we have the pros. Still, knowing the basics of Yoast SEO is recommended for anyone who owns any sort of website. Therefore, we hope this guide was helpful!