Ever wondered how to SEO blog posts using Yoast SEO?
I wrote a little cheat sheet for one of our website support customers this week called “How to SEO blog posts”. They have the Yoast SEO plugin installed on their website, but they weren’t sure how to use it. Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress. It works really well, so it’s worth taking the time to get to grips with it. So I thought I would share some of my tips with you on the blog.
If you have Yoast SEO installed on your website, when you start writing a blog post, you will find their SEO box which helps you to make sure the post will do well in Google search results.
The SEO box is right underneath the larger text area where you write your blog post content.
There are a couple of tabs there:
- One tab where you can insert the keyword (or phrase) you want to optimize the blog post for (focus keyword), in this case: “beginner’s guide to Yoast SEO.”
- There’s also a tab that says Readability, but you can ignore that for now.
On the tab where you can insert that focus keyword, the system will tell you via a traffic light system if you have used that focus keyword the right way in that specific post.
In the image below you can see some of the different characteristics of your text that get tested:
My top 10 blog post SEO tips
These top 10 tips will help you with how to optimise blog posts using Yoast SEO.
- Use the SEO box!
Whenever you write a blog post, use the Yoast SEO box to optimise your post. It will tell you what is good (and bad) about your post from an SEO perspective. Aim for green. Amber is OK. Even red is better than nothing! You can see which posts are optimised from the all posts page.
- Write lots
If you want your page to rank for a specific keyword, you should write at least 300 words about it. Otherwise, it may be considered a ‘thin content’ page by Google, and you want to avoid that.
- Add a meta description
The meta description is vital because it appears in Google search results as grey text. It will invite visitors in Google to your website. Use the focus keyword and make it enticing to click.
- Use your focus keyword early and often
You want to make clear right from the start what the page is about, so start adding the focus keyword from the beginning. Try to include the keyword throughout your text, but make sure it sounds natural.
- Add links
Encourage people to stay on your site by linking to other useful site pages within your blog post. At the very least, invite them to contact you by linking to the contact page at the bottom of your post. Links to external sites also help, but make sure they open in a new tab, otherwise people will leave your site. The list of posts has a column showing you how many links are in a post.
- Page title
Make sure your page title invites people to click on it from Google. Include the keyword in your page title.
- Don’t use the same keyword twice
The SEO box will warn you if you write more than one post about the same keyword. When this happens, be sure to use a variation. Otherwise Google won’t know which page to send a searcher to.
- Add categories & tags
Use the box on the right to add some relevant categories to your blog posts. These are high-level categories. You can also use tags if you want to index certain things that are not categories.
- Use headings
If you want something to stand out, select a heading from the dropdown list above the text box. It’s much better than using bold, because Google knows that headings contain important information.
- Use alt tags for images
Google can’t “see” images, so if you add a picture to your blog, fill in the alt tag box on the image to describe what it shows.
More information about SEO
I hope this article will help you with how to SEO blog posts using Yoast SEO. For more information about our SEO services, please visit our SEO page.