WordPress is a popular platform for creating websites with powerful functionality. However, simply launching your site is not enough. You need to publicize it to attract visitors, and one of the best ways to do so is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a technique that focuses on improving your website’s visibility in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). When your pages rank high in search results, users are more likely to see and click on them.
Search engines serve millions of users per day who seek answers to their questions. If you want your site to provide those answers, it helps to use SEO effectively. Since search engine crawlers don’t understand what’s written on your website, they need as much help as possible to ascertain what it’s about and how to display it in SERPs. This can be done by adding a suitable focus keyword, making your content readable by humans and crawlers, and offering a solid hierarchy within your content so crawlers can map your content efficiently.
WordPress offers many tools that can help with SEO, but Yoast SEO is one of the most comprehensive plugins available. It enables you to optimize your content to be more search engine-friendly, all from your WordPress dashboard. The plugin scores your content in two areas: Readability and SEO. Readability judges how easy your content is for humans to read, while SEO looks at how well your site is optimized for search engine crawlers.
Yoast SEO works on a traffic light system: Green (Good), Orange (Ok), and Red (Needs Improvement). Each specific metric within the two categories is also scored in this way, meaning you’re able to see at a glance where your optimization efforts are needed. What’s more, many of the metrics include advice for improving your score, and in-post highlighting of any problem areas.
Here are three simple tips for using Yoast SEO to bolster your search engine rankings:
1. Add a Focus Keyword to Attract the Right Traffic
A focus keyword is the collection of words you want your page to rank for in search engines. It should be researched rather than guessed, and it’s important to get right since it directly affects how people will find you. To make the most of this strategy, you can also use long tail keywords. These are specific phrases that offer low competition in search engines – meaning that the right choice could net you serious amounts of traffic.
To set a focus keyword in Yoast SEO, navigate to your desired post, then scroll down to the Yoast SEO meta box and enter your keyword into the Focus Keyword field. You’ll see a number of lights activate, indicating you can now optimize your content further. Also, don’t forget to add your keyword to the post’s permalink.
2. Include a Meta Description to Describe Your Post
A meta description is the text that appears below the blue link in a Google search. Its function is to compel visitors to click through to your content, so it’s yet another crucial SEO aspect to get right. The are many characteristics that can help you create a good meta description. To summarize, your meta description should be around 135–160 characters in length, match your content, and not be misleading.
To add your own meta description, navigate to the Yoast SEO meta box in your chosen post, and click on the Edit Snippet button. Once you begin to type in your meta description, you’ll see a bar start to fill up. This bar will turn red if your description is too long, orange if it is too short, and green when it is at a good length.
3. Improve Your Content’s Readability
Quality content is important for SEO, so its readability is paramount. In Yoast SEO, your content’s readability is judged on a number of metrics, and scored based on the traffic light system. The analysis may seem overwhelming at first, but not everything has to be addressed in order to get a green score. The most important aspects include section length and sentence length and structure.
In today’s competitive market, SEO is more important than ever. Done right, it can help you increase your site traffic. However, it can be a little confusing at first, so you may want some help to ensure your optimization efforts will be effective. With an SEO plugin – such as Yoast SEO – you can optimize your content for search engines without worry.