It is estimated that there are 64 million websites that use WordPress as a content management system (CMS). In addition, approximately 650 new WordPress websites are added every day, which can use 50,000 available plugins to further improve your website. The most popular WordPress plugin was written by a Dutchman named Joost. He developed the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress to optimize websites for search engines. But what is the Yoast SEO plugin, how does it work and how can you get started with it?
The Yoast SEO plugin has 5 million active installs and has been downloaded more than 350 million times. These kinds of figures do reflect the popularity and therefore relevance of the plugin for WordPress. As mentioned above, Yoast SEO is used by small entrepreneurs or SEO specialists to optimize websites. There is also a Yoast SEO Premium plugin for WordPress, which gives the user more extensive options to optimize the website. It is important to mention that the Yoast SEO (Premium) plugin is a tool for optimizing landing pages or news items. The plugin assesses the content on the pages of your website and determines whether it can be further improved. In addition, the plugin contains a number of other very useful functionalities, but more about that later.
If you have never used the Yoast SEO plugin before, it will take some extra time to install the plugin for WordPress. Installing the plugin can be done via a clear step-by-step plan on the Yoast website. After installation, the user can make the default settings for the plugin. The plugin itself comes with a pop-up message and helps you to define the different settings. After the user has configured everything, the plugin can be used in daily activities, such as writing SEO texts.
The question now rests a bit about how the Yoast SEO plugin helps you and works in carrying out daily activities. The main function of the plugin is that it will first read and remember the written content on a landing page, blog, article, news item, services page, etc. The Yoast SEO plugin has then determined what the written content is about and how it is structured. The plugin also analyzes, for example, the specified description of a landing page. In addition, many other factors are measured and assessed.
Ultimately, the goal of the plugin is to give the user advice about the optimization of the content based on SEO criteria. For example, the Yoast SEO plugin knows how often a search term should appear in the content, whether the description of the page matches the content and what the ideal title length and meta description are. Based on this, the plugin sets an SEO score and readability score. A green dot indicates that everything is correct, an orange dot means that the score is OK and a red dot means that improvement is needed.
There are many different factors and components that the Yoast SEO plugin uses. However, after installation there are only a few things that you as a user should take into account or can use. The Yoast SEO metabox is actually the only thing you still use every day in the backend of WordPress. The Yoast SEO metabox gives a representation of what your rich snippet will look like in search engines. In addition, the plugin gives a readability score of the content on your page.
The Yoast SEO plugin includes a number of automated technical SEO improvements. Two of these are the canonical tags and the meta tags. These technical aspects of the plugin support the search engines in rating your pages. In this way, the plugin also helps your website in technical SEO area.
Canonical tags are also known as canonical URLs, rel canonical or canonical tags. These help search engines find the most relevant version of a page. A canonical tag is an element that is placed in the source code of the website. A canonical tag tells search engines like Google under which URL a particular page should be displayed in the search results. With a canonical tag one can therefore indicate which page and URL are the most important.
Learn more about canonical tags!
Meta tags are also elements that can be placed in the HTML code of a page. These support the search engines and are therefore not visible to users. Meta tags can be used to let Google know whether a page can be made visible or invisible. If Google cannot read a page through meta tags, it will not be shown in the search results.
Third, the Yoast SEO plugin develops automated XML sitemaps. XML sitemaps show the structure of your website to search engines. Automated XML sitemaps allow search engines such as Google to understand your website faster and easier.
Finally, the Yoast SEO plugin includes a special feature that allows it to manage data management in an innovative way. Within WordPress, the plugin collects and stores data from, for example, your website visitors. Due to the innovative way of data management, the loading times of your landing pages and therefore website are faster.
It has already been mentioned in the beginning, the Yoast SEO metabox. After writing content, you can use the Yoast SEO metabox to determine how your content scores in terms of SEO and readability. An important part of this is entering your focus keyphrase. Your focus keyphrase should actually describe the topic of your content. So it is very important that your focus keyphrase contains the keyword for which the page is written.
With the Yoast SEO metabox, it has become a lot easier to write consistent snippets for your different pages. The Yoast SEO metabox provides a representation of what your rich snippet will look like in Google search results. Here you can enter your focus keyphrase, indicate the SEO title, see the slug of your page and enter the meta description manually. This way you can ensure that your rich snippets stand out in the search results and are always consistent in terms of SEO and readability.
Finally, we briefly discuss the extension to the plugin for WordPress, namely the Yoast SEO Premium plugin. The Yoast SEO Premium plugin gives the user even more options to optimize the content on your pages for search engines. For example, there is the possibility to expand your Yoast SEO with news SEO, video SEO, local SEO and WooCommerce SEO. These all help you to optimize the content of, for example, news and videos. In addition, the Yoast SEO Premium gives you a view of what your page will look like if it is shared via social media platforms. And you get more insights into using synonyms and related focus keyphrases.
Do you have a WordPress website and could the content on your pages also use a better SEO score and readability score? Feel free to contact us or drop by the office for a cup of coffee. Convident’s online marketers are happy to help you and improve the outcome of your Yoast SEO plugin!