How to Use Yoast SEO & 5 Reasons You Need It

Posted April 18, 2016 by lockhartbecca in Blogging Tips / 9 Comments

Want to drive more traffic to your blog? Do the terms SEO and organic search scare you? They don't have to with the Yoast SEO plugin. This something you NEED for your blog. And I'm going to show you exactly how to set it up with my FREE guide featuring over 50 screenshots! - unboundpages.com

If you’ve been around the blogosphere for a little while you’ve probably heard the term SEO. Or maybe you haven’t and this is your first time stumbling across this little acronym. Well stay where you are because these three letters mean something extremely important for your blog. Not only am I going to teach you what SEO is, I’m also going to teach you how to use Yoast SEO to increase your rankings with Google.

 

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is vital to growing your organic search traffic.

 

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Search engine optimization? Organic search? These terms are so technical and I can’t do it. That’s what I thought when I first started looking at SEO. It seemed so complicated and I’m not going to lie to you, it is. However, there’s one tool that makes it easy for even the most SEO challenged person – like me when I first started out. And today, I’m taking it one step further and making it even easier for you. Because at the end of this post, I’m going to give you a FREE comprehensive guide (26 pages with over 50 screenshots!) on how to use Yoast SEO, an epic tool you need in your life – from set-up to use to maintenance. But before we get to that we need to talk a little more about SEO.

 

What is SEO?

As I said before, SEO stands for search engine optimization. Basically it’s how Google finds your site. When people find your site through a Google search that’s called organic traffic and it’s an awesome way to get new subscribers. Ever wonder how people get their site to come up on page one of the Google search results? It’s because they have awesome SEO. If you don’t pay attention to this you won’t rank high with the search engines and nobody will know about your site. Obviously we don’t want that. We want people to find your site! So let’s learn how to use Yoast SEO to increase those rankings on Google so more people can read that content you work so hard to churn out!

 

What can SEO do for your website?

Drive more traffic! Increase ranking on Google! That’s it. That’s the key. Everybody wants more traffic. More traffic means more visitors to convert to subscribers. Meaning a bigger email list. Meaning more potential customers to sell to if you’re trying to make money.

 

Great SEO = more traffic = more visitors to convert to subscribers = more customers = more money

 

Why wouldn’t you want to work on making your SEO the best it can possibly be?? This is a no-brainer people. You need it. Your website needs it. Your business needs it. And while SEO might not be the funnest topic when it comes to growing your blog and/or business it’s a necessary one that you shouldn’t overlook. And once you learn how to use Yoast SEO you’ll be able to SEO the hell out of your website in your sleep.

 

Aspects of SEO

Keywords

Keywords are tiny little nuggets that tell Google what your blog post is about. Think about when you go to Google something. Maybe you’re looking for more YA fantasy books. You would probably type in “best ya fantasy books”. Those are keywords or a keyword phrase as some call it.

 

Setting your keyword and picking a great keyword or phrase is one of the most important things you can do in terms of SEO.

 

And guess who lets you do it right from your post screen? Yoast SEO.

But how do you find good keywords? I always think about what I might be googling to find information on the topic I’m writing about. So for this post I might be looking for “wordpress seo plugins” or “how to use yoast seo”. You want your keyword to be general, yet specific at the same time.

You don’t want to be so general that your post gets lost in a sea of similar posts. I wouldn’t make the keyword for this post “seo”. That would be way too general. Be specific to your audience, but not so specific that nobody will find it.

You can also use different programs to look up keywords like Google Keyword Planner. I also will start typing a search into Google and see what auto-populates in the search bar below. Those will give you some great hints about what people are already looking for.

Keywords aren’t just for your blog though. They’re used everywhere. Alt tags in images, Pinterest descriptions, tweets, even Facebook posts. Everything that has a search function is using keywords. Once you use my guide to learn how to use Yoast SEO, you’re going to be able to set your keyword directly from your post editor screen. It’s that freaking easy.

 

Post Layout

Writing one long block of text is terrible for SEO. The cute little Google bots that are crawling around don’t like to read that. They want organized, clean pages. So if you write huge long paragraphs it looks clunky. Use heading tags to organize your post and break up the text with a healthy amount of images. People are visual and so is Google. It likes to see images on web pages not just text.

That being said, you also need enough text. Really short posts or posts with all images won’t do well with the Google bots because it doesn’t look like you wrote anything. There’s not enough content for Google to determine whether or not you should rank high in their search engines. You can write long-ass blog posts like I do. In fact, those long posts are great! Chock-full of information for your reader. Just make sure to break up your text with heading tags, images and enough paragraph breaks. Once you learn how to use Yoast SEO you’ll get reminders in your post editor screen to tell you what you’re doing wrong!

 

Meta Descriptions, Post Titles and URLs

A meta description is that little snippet of your post that will show up in the Google search results. With the Yoast SEO plugin you can change what that snippet will say. Utilizing your keyword or keyword phrase here is vital. You’ll notice once you do, that keyword will be bold in the snippet. It stands out to people now, showing them that your post is going to tell them what they want to know.

Your post title is another extremely important part of your SEO. Your keyword should be at the beginning of your post title if possible. You want your post title to grab your reader’s attention, convincing them to click through. So think about things that you normally click on. What is it about those posts that gets you clicking? I talked a little about post titles in my Canva tutorial. I really like list type posts. So things like “14 essential steps in my blogging process” or “blog graphic success in 5 easy steps“. These are clickable to me. They tell me how many steps I’m going to need to go through to reach my goal. And there’s something about the number that makes me want to know what those steps are. There are tons of blog post formulas out there you can use. I recently read an article that had 62 formulas to get your emails read. These formulas can easily be applied to blog post titles as well.

And finally your URL. WordPress gives you the opportunity to change your URL, but the Yoast SEO plugin also gives you this capability all in the same little box. I normally set my url to my post title, sometimes a shortened version if mine is too long. But always including my keyword or keyword phrase.

 

Okay we’ve learned a little bit about SEO. But you’re thinking it still sounds complicated right? It doesn’t have to be with this amazing plug-in.

Reasons You Need the Yoast SEO Plug-in:

No. 1: Drive More Traffic

The Yoast SEO plugin will help you drive more traffic to your blog. Do you honestly need another reason??? Who doesn’t want more traffic on their site?

No. 2: Yoast is Dummy Proof

Seriously you guys, this is one of the simplest plug-ins in the world to use. The set-up can be a little complicated, but that’s why I’m here. When you download my comprehensive guide at the end of this post you’re going to get all the information you need to set this up. Once it’s set-up it’s ridiculously easy to use, literally telling you exactly what you need to do to increase your SEO.

No. 3: Green Lights

If you do everything that the Yoast SEO plugin tells you to do, you’ll get rewarded with a pretty green light! I’m a very visual person so seeing that little green light turn on always makes me happy.

No. 4: Ability to Tweak Things

And by things I mean setting your keyword, editing your meta description, choosing the most SEO friendly post title & knowing when your keyword saturation is perfection. By keyword saturation I mean the number of times your keyword appears in your post.

No. 5: It’s Free

That’s right. It’s completely free. No credit card required. This is a tool that I would definitely pay for. There is so much value to using it and I guarantee it will help you increase your traffic and climb your way to the first page on Google search results once you know how to use it.

 

These 5 reasons are the only ones you need to start using the Yoast SEO plugin to drive more traffic to your blog.

 

How to Use Yoast SEO

Are you ready to dive in? Great! Just download my comprehensive guide (which honestly is basically a mini ebook) and start using the Yoast SEO plugin today! My 26 page guide walks you through the entire set-up process including bonus content like how to submit XML sitemaps to Google and Bing, all the way through to using it with every single post. I know 26 pages sounds like a lot, but that’s because I included over 50 screenshots so you can see exactly where you’re supposed to be within the plugin. Set-up can be a little tricky (not that hard, I promise!), but with this guide it will be headache free. You’ll have everything set-up in an hour and once your set-up is done, it literally does the work for you. Are you ready to learn how to use Yoast SEO to increase your traffic?

Do you think about SEO when drafting your blog posts? What tools do you use to help shoot your blog to page one of the Google search results? What SEO questions do you have for me? 

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9 responses to “How to Use Yoast SEO & 5 Reasons You Need It

  1. I’m like a total DELUDED GRAPE when it comes to stuff like SEO. Gahhh. I try to vaguely make my post urls at least something that’d be easily searchable. But other than that; I = clueless. I’ve signed up for your eresource and I’m looking forward to this. 😀

    • lockhartbecca

      I used to know nothing about SEO and when I was on blogger my god, my SEO was a mess. But since I started using Yoast, I’ve definitely seen an increase in my organic search traffic so it works! I hope you find the guide helpful! Let me know if you have any questions! 😀

  2. So handy, I’ve just downloaded your guide and it’s going to be my SEO roadmap! I do have Yoast but I don’t think I’m making I’m making the most out of it. I’m always confused about SEO for book review posts also, do you recommend just using the book title and author? Or what do you recommend?

    I currently use something like “The Last Days of Summer by Vanessa Ronan” but I think I could be doing better.

    • lockhartbecca

      Yay! I hope it’s helpful to you! There’s so much Yoast can do to help streamline the SEO process. Book reviews are really difficult to optimize for SEO. Your best bet is to make sure you’re including the book title and author in the image titles and alt tags and trying to spread them out throughout your post. There’s not really another good keyword for a review. You could try adding the word “review” into your keyword, but it’s a highly competitive space. Your best bet is to optimize your site for SEO in other posts and that should bump your reviews up as well.

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