Install and Setup Yoast SEO Plugin
Many WordPress users choose Yoast SEO plugin for their blog’s complete SEO solution. The plugin provides tons of features and options which makes managing a site’s SEO as simple as it could be.
The best thing about the plugin is its already configured to fit the needs of your site. Simply check these settings below.
Install the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast
Before you could use the plugin, it has to be installed and activated first.
Login to your WordPress Site
Configuration and Settings
Familiarize yourself on this page to learn more about the plugin
Your Info Option
Titles and Metas
Keep the setting for General and Homepage Tab
Post Types Titles & Metas
It is recommended to change the title template to the actual title element only. Remove the rest of the components.
Simply add the URLs and Twitter username for the main social profiles of your site.
This image and description will be used when someone shares the homepage of your site on Facebook.
This image will be used for all articles that do not have a thumbnail or any other image in it.
It is very important to use sitemaps for it helps get your site indexed quick and easy. If this functionality is enable, the plugin automatically generates a sitemap and updates it with every changes or adding of new content. Then it pings search engines after XML is updated.
Make sure this functionality is enabled.
The rest of the settings are configured already so all you have to do is leave those as it is.
How to Optimize your Blog Post
After installing Yoast SEO Plugin and configuring, the plugin serves as an SEO checklist every time you are planning to publish a post. It’s a good practice to complete first your post in a word-processing application and paste it on wordpress. After doing so, the next step is to follow the optimization tips below.
Important note: It is alright to optimize(edit) old post, but make sure not to change the URL. This could result to the old URL to become an invalid page and this will not look good in the eyes of Google.
Step 1: Choose the Right Focus Keyword
Before you continue, please check this post first: Keyword Research
A focus keyword is the text you expect that people would use to find your post. Since you are just starting your blog, it is best to pick a long tail keyword. With this, you have a better chance of ranking higher in Google SERP.
Step 2: Write a Meta Description
In creating meta description, be sure not to exceed 155 characters or else, it would not look good in SERP since the description is incomplete. Like the sample on the image below.
The description should look complete like this.
Also, do not forget to include your focus keyword on the meta description.
Step 3: Craft a Catchy Title
The right title is one that is human readable yet catchy. Your ultimate goal is to make sure people who see your post on the SERP would actually click it. And, don’t forget to include your focus keyword within the first 70 characters.
For more info about Titles and Meta Description, see this post: How to Write Title Tags and Meta Description
Step 4: Optimize your Image
Make sure all your images have Alternative Text which includes the keyword you are optimizing for.
Step 5: Check the Yoast SEO Page Analysis
This part gives you a suggestion on the things you can do to optimize your post. See which suggestions you can implement right away. Following everything on the list is not necessary, but the more you can follow the better.