When you create a WordPress or if you want to improve your SEO, the first plugin you will find on Google is Yoast SEO . Very useful for your WordPress site, it will allow you to quickly boost your SEO.
Find here the few steps to know to configure Yoast SEO, use the tool, exploit its results and thus boost your SEO.
1. Configure your Yoast SEO plugin
Beforehand, be aware that you can completely install the plugin on an already active WordPress. You will then have to go through the “import from other SEO extensions” step at the start of the configuration.
To get started, download and install the extension from the WordPress extension store. In free or paid format, it can meet the needs of both personal blogs and the most complex media site. If your blog is an integral part of your business, we recommend the premium version.
Then follow the setup wizard for about ten steps. This mainly involves filling in contact details, the type of content you want to index, the contributors to your site, etc.
Complete the process by connecting your Google Search Console account and your social networks. It will save time later!
You will then have completed the basic configuration with the major features enabled by default. For example, Yoast SEO will automatically update your sitemap whenever new content is published.
2. Use Yoast SEO in practice while writing
If you are aiming for the top spot in search engines , we advise you to follow Yoast SEO’s recommendations step by step.
It’s simple, analyze during your writing or at the end of the article the quality of SEO directly in your content. The plug-in is presented as a checklist:
- All items for improvement are orange and red. An overview (accessible by clicking on an “eye” pictogram to the right of each item) allows you to go back to the sentence or paragraph that is causing the problem;
- The validated criteria have the lights on green;
- An overall rating rates your page as a whole.
Finally, in the “all articles” view of WordPress, you will be able to have a quick overview of the improvement work to be prioritized according to the color of the pellets.
Yoast therefore has the advantage of varying the focal length flexibly: from the precise sentence that is a little heavy or repetitive which poses a problem to a more panoramic view of all of your articles already written. A genius, we tell you!
In fact, not quite: you or your editor could completely carry out this work of continuous improvement of readability by hand, of incessant proofreading of articles in order to track down syntactic awkwardness, vocabulary to be refined… But that would take months! And then, there could be cases where the logic of French grammar and the logic of SEO would diverge. Indeed, not only does Yoast save you a lot of time, but it also integrates what it has identified as being decisive criteria for Google’s crawler robots when indexing your site.
The readability of your article is evaluated by a score out of one hundred, based on a ratio of number of words per sentence and number of syllables per word.
This calculation of “Flesh” allows you to know if an 11-year-old child could read your text or if you have to be a qualified academician! It is of course obvious that this is an analysis of form and not of substance.
Here, your interest in terms of SEO and your interest in terms of attractiveness to human readers actually come together. A structured and unambiguous text will be explored more quickly, and therefore valued by Google’s spybots.
The same for human readers: keep in mind that the Internet is by nature a nest of distractions, the average time of sustained attention does not exceed ten seconds.
It is therefore essential to grab this fleeting attention with short, effective sentences that are well linked logically between them. Also, keep in mind that 50% of current queries are done on smartphones, to the detriment of desktop computers. And the average real attention span of a reader on a smartphone is even more reduced… especially since the format is also reduced: make way for short sentences, resolutely!
In this same spirit of global clarity, Yoast does not forget the global scale of the text either, since it monitors the length of each paragraph, and offers to shorten them with an intermediate title if a paragraph exceeds 300 words.
Yoast SEO will encourage you to write short sentences and multiply logical connectors such as: “Firstly”, “On the other hand”, “In addition”, “To conclude”… The ratio of 30% is difficult to achieve but you have to try to approach it.
In addition, you can also program the detection of words that come up too often: a red dot appears when three consecutive sentences begin with the same word. The passive voice is also one of the editor’s potential pet peeves.
Indeed, who says passive voice says text heavy, impersonal and not very dynamic. Yoast therefore recommends a maximum of 10% of sentences in the passive voice, and tells you, with a dot and underlining of the faulty sentences in support, how to make the active voice triumph. We can see that these are precious tools which, if they do not replace the original creative work of the editor, are on the other hand a precious asset for him to improve his writing.
At first, requests for improving readability by Yoast are numerous and sometimes tedious to satisfy, but as articles are written, the editor gradually integrates Yoast’s items and progresses on his own. unconsciously, to the point of sometimes producing articles on the first try only obtaining green dots validating their excellent readability.
The target query
This is a practice of on-page SEO: determining the target query, that is to say the main keyword that you are targeting in your page or article. It can be the name of your e-commerce product or a topic covered on your blog.
Yoast is a valuable assistant here, because it warns both of the too rare presence of the target query and of possible over-optimization (harmful practice penalized by Google spybots).
Yoast SEO will then look at its occurrence in your text and tell you if its frequency is good. He may for example advise you to add your keyword more at the beginning of the article and alert you if its density is insufficient.
The plugin will also scan your images to check your “Alt” text as well as the internal and external links essential for good natural referencing.
Are the keywords inserted judiciously? Are the image anchors well placed? Is your internal network solid? So many SEO angles of attack that Yoast has thought of for you…
Metadata editing: Title and Metadescription
This is one of the important good practices in SEO: your “ Title ” must not exceed 65 words (sometimes beyond 60 words, the text can be truncated). With Yoast SEO preview, you can see your simulated result right in Google results for desktop and mobile. Nothing could be easier to make the final adjustments and see the rendering in situ.
Yoast therefore easily helps you achieve, first, an optimal visual result when you appear in the search results page. Where more careless sites have not thought of their meta description in advance , Google will often display the beginning of the first paragraph of their site. But this content will not necessarily be the most relevant to describe them, and above all, it will necessarily be truncated, sometimes in the middle of the sentence.
Disastrous as a first impression! On the contrary, you know that you have to hit the mark from the first look with your prospects, and this first look depends on the results page, where the meta description plays a crucial role.
Yoast allows you to write a meta description message that stacks the right number of characters. Even more, it helps you insert the keywords while writing a dynamic, original and engaging message to stand out.
Yoast SEO will also tell you if you forget your main keyword or if it is placed at the end of your description or title. The plugin even offers template proposals to create readable and relevant hooks for Internet users.
Finally, amplify the virality of your content by optimizing with Yoast SEO, sharing tags on social networks (Open Graph Tags).
3. Analyze and use statistics
Yoast SEO offers analytics tools when your content is published. A feature allows you to view and improve the internal mesh of your WordPress site. The plugin also offers you indicators on your responsive on mobile, the loading time of your page and structured data (internal article link on the subject?).
Finally, work on your redirections easily in the event of a page deletion or when your URLs change with the Redirect Manager.
More than a time saver, Yoast SEO offers a real technical and intuitive assistant for your writing in WordPress. If it offers a paid version, be aware that the free version is already very effective. Analyze the results after installation, we guarantee that your SEO will be boosted!
How does Yoast SEO work on your content?
Very popular, with more than 8 million active installations, it is the number one WordPress plugin for SEO.
And it must be recognized from the outset that this reputation is not usurped… First, Yoast is practical by its status as a plug-in integrated into your favorite content management system: this allows you real-time SEO expertise in course of writing work, without having to go to another site.
Then, Yoast is intuitive and well thought out, combining the signals for a quick and synthetic view: indeed, it evaluates the different items both by an immediately understandable color code (red – orange – green), by a percentage (which gives a numerical indication finer than the colors) and finally by a textual appreciation (which gives concrete avenues for improvement).
So Yoast, a new miracle tool for SEO writing? Not quite: the catch is that Yoast SEO doesn’t work on its own. Like any good tool, you will have to spend some time on its configuration and learn how to use it for your creations and optimizations of pages and articles.
However, in SEO as elsewhere, few miracles but a lot of work… So think of Yoast rather as a reliable guide, who will be able to take over from you when you or your editor no longer see very clearly, will fall back into your “twitches” of language ( we all have them), lose sight of SEO in favor of a good word or a more literary approach…