4 Must-Use Features in Yoast for SEO in your WP website

Feb 9, 2022 | SEO Tips, WordPress Wednesday

If you’re using #Yoast in your #WordPress website – these are a few features you need to take advantage of. These are in the Free Yoast plugin for WordPress.

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– Hey y’all, welcome to another WordPress Wednesday. We’re looking at Yoast, the WordPress SEO plugin with over 5 million active installs as of today. If you are one of those amazing 5 million using this free plugin inside your WordPress website to boost your SEO, I’m going to explain a little bit further about the plugin and I’m gonna highlight four major must-use features. Let’s get to it.

Hey y’all, my name is Kori Ashton and you have found a YouTube channel dedicated to all things WordPress. I wanna walk us through the power of Yoast, which is a free SEO plugin inside of WordPress. Now, let’s all level-set expectations here. Adding this free tool to your website is not the instant magic sauce for boosting your rank. What Yoast really does is it allows us to kind of look at our pages and our posts and all of our content with a measuring stick, basically a light system of green light, good, orange light, needs some work, red light, not so great. And having those different options there lets us visibly see potentially the way search engines might approach our pages and our content. So thinking about it in that sense, let’s think about four things that we should be using inside of this plugin to boost our SEO.

Okay, I’m assuming that you’ve already got it plugged into your website, you’ve you’ve already activated Yoast, and when you’ve done that, now you’ve got this, living over here on the left side of your dashboard, you’ve got your SEO tab sitting there. Clicking on general takes you to the first must-use feature that I believe is really important when you come in here, and this really is one of those things that allows you to kind of do some quick housekeeping in this tab. So inside of the general tab, there are two areas I want you to look at. I want you to be sure that all of these are toggled on or off to what you would allow or want to have happening on your website. You can see that some of these are premium, so if you upgrade to the pro version, you can toggle those on or off. But the most important one that I see on here really is this XML site map. That allows your website to instantly have a site map for search engines and it’s a really, really great thing, so please be certain that that is toggled on by default whenever you launch Yoast. That should be on. But just general housekeeping, run over there, be sure that’s toggled on so that you’ll have that site map. The thing to note is this. When you click on this little tiny question mark here, check this out. It’ll tell you that it’s actually enabling the XML site map and it will give you the link to it. You can click on that. It’ll open up and show you your site map and you can then take that URL. I’m gonna lower this down just a bit here. Let’s see if I can lower this down for you. Hang on, I want you to be able to see the of top that. There you go. And check out that very, very top up there. Do you see this? You can take that link right there, put it in your footer, link to it as your site map, totally for free. You don’t need another plugin to make that happen.

Number Two
The other area inside the general tab that I want you to look at is webmaster tools. Again, this is just general housekeeping that you need to do when you first set this thing up. And if you’ve been running this for a while, you can still come in here and make some of these changes. The one I’m interested in most, of course, is Google here. You wanna be certain that you have verified your website inside of the search console. You can click on this little link, jump over here, and be certain that you have in fact verified and you’re good to go. Why is that important? Because Google will actually show you reports if your website is functioning properly or not, if there are any issues, any errors, any security risks. Anything like that, Google will send you a report totally for free. The second thing I wanna show you is over here on the left side, again, go into the search appearance section. Let’s go in there and I wanna show you two quick, again, kind of housekeeping things that you can do. Right here, this knowledge graph and schema.org block, just go ahead and fill that out if you can. Add in a name and, if you are an organization or a person, add in your logo right here and get all that set up and that will really help inside of the knowledge graph. It’s just another little boost on your SEO.

Number Three
Awesome, all right, number three must-use feature inside of Yoast. I’m gonna take you now into an actual post or a page. This is applicable, either spot. I want you to see right away on this far right side over here underneath my picture. Can you see this line of red lights? Okay, that’s the red light/green light type of visual aid that helps you understand how well a search engine might be able to read your content. Red, obviously, not that great. So we really wanna work on getting these to a green status. So how do I do that? Well, it’s certainly not magic like that, but let me show you what this looks like and how you might be able to move from red lights to green lights inside of your WordPress website. Let’s go in and edit a post and what I’d like you to do is go down to the Yoast section on that page or post. Again, this works either way. This is where you’re gonna activate all this goodness to get those lights moving to green. Now, I’m not gonna walk you through a full tutorial on how to use Yoast right here. I’m talking to those who are already using it. If you’re interested in learning how to set this up, again, I have a different video. This video is gonna keep us on track thinking about what are some things that might be newer that you didn’t know lived here. This is number three. Go into this social section right here, this little tab right here, fill this out. Have you ever shared a post or a page on Facebook or on Twitter and it gives you this wonky image or it gives you this really weird description? Well, you can by default set right here unique conversations, unique images, unique call else to action, all regarding this page, this post, this link, this one bit of content on your website. So super cool to do. You can select the image, add in the title, add in the description, and when anyone shares this content out there, it’ll have this uniform conversation. So this is a really cool tab. Again, this is something that you do for every page, every post as a part of your publishing process.

Number Four
And I’ve saved number four for the readability tab. Now, many of you have commented to me that this is the most frustrating thing because you try to get green on both. You try to go for green on the SEO side and you try to go for green on the readability side. I really hope that y’all will take time to learn why the Yoast plugin tells you that this page might be red. Sometimes it’s simply because you have a lot of jargon on there and it’s fearful that your audience won’t understand the language that you have there. Potentially you have elongated sentences and maybe your structure isn’t really friendly for those who might wanna just skim down your page. So I want you to look at this readability tab and go through these clicks here and understand why it’s giving you the rating it’s giving you and see if that feels right. You might be able to learn here and understand your writing style. You might be able to get some aha moments as to oh, my goodness, I didn’t even realize I was presenting my content in a way that my audience might not understand. But then you have to measure that up against the true state of awareness of your audience. If they’re coming into your blog because they completely understand what you’re offering them for information or education, then they’re going to be looking for that more advanced conversation that might have a lot of jargon. But if their state of awareness is total beginner level, then you are going to need to try to reach for a green light here and just follow through these steps that explain to you what the problems are and see if you can start to tweak and adjust your content so that you can move the needle a little bit and help Google, and any search engine for that matter, better understand your content. Y’all, be sure to like and subscribe because every week I’m right here, helping you improve your online marketing. And if you loved this video on Yoast, I have an entire playlist dedicated to this incredible plugin. I will walk you through the installation, all the way through setting it up. So please take a look at that playlist. I’ll put the link above up here and in the description box below. I hope to see you next week. Please stay safe. Bye, y’all.

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Hey Y’all – Thanks for watching. Each week I’m creating videos just like this one to help you improve your online marketing. Be sure to subscribe so that you get access to each video. If you have questions about a process, product, or service that I’ve mentioned in a video, please reach out directly to the authors of that item first. If there’s a question about something specific I’ve shared, comment in the thread and I’ll reply within a day or two.

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From freelancer to entrepreneur to c-suite, Kori Ashton has spent over twenty years in the digital marketing space. She built up a WordPress agency that sold in 2017 and spends most of her time now growing her new company Press Happi and consulting with industry brands and agencies on improving your customer retention with persona-driven development.

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