Imagine you have a website but you don’t have any idea about SEO. But you’ve heard about Yoast SEO it’s a great tool for effortlessly optimizing your site and its pages for Google, Bing, and Yandex. So the only thing is to install Yoast SEO and follow the instructions. While it’s unlikely that your website will be right at the top of Google within a week, our plugin helps you to optimize for search engines, to improve your chances to rank. It does that well, but it still needs your input.

Yoast SEO explains the basics of SEO as covered by plugin. Let’s go through the steps every user should take when trying the Yoast plugin, and take the first steps in optimizing your site.

beginner‘s guide to Yoast SEO

In this post, we’ll show you some important things we think you should use or configure. Yoast plugin has quite a few settings, so it’s good to know which you should configure first. If you have a site-specific question about a particular setting in the plugin let us know in the comment section

Discussion points

Yoast SEO

  • Configuring Yoast SEO: configuration wizard
  • Using the Yoast SEO meta box
    • The readability analysis
    • Snippet preview
    • SEO Analysis
  • A bit more advanced: Yoast Dashboard
    • Search Appearance

Configuring Yoast SEO: configuration wizard

The configuration wizard guides you through several steps that help you configure our plugin to suit the needs of your site. Even if your website has already been around for a while, you can still run the wizard every now and then. Just to make sure your settings are up to date. Each step of the wizard includes questions, the answers to which will determine particular settings.

yoast seo configuration wizard 1

Using the Yoast SEO metabox

Beginner’s guide to Yoast SEO should extensively cover the metabox. The Yoast SEO metabox will help you optimize your content as you’re writing it in the backend. If you’re using the Block Editor, you’ll find it on the right side of the editor, as well as underneath the editor. Here, two of them will discuss here.

  • A tab where you can insert the word or phrase you want to optimize the page for – the focus keyphrase. This tab also includes the SEO analysis.
  • A tab for the readability analysis. The checks in this tab help you write the best copy you can, so you can serve your audience great content.

Let’s go through the checks in each tab,

The readability analysis

The first step in optimizing your post or page is making sure it’s nice to read for your audience. SEO is one of those areas where content is indeed king, they provide a convenient readability analysis for all of you. That’s because we understand not everyone has the skills to easily create readable content. Use the readability analysis when you’re writing a new post, or directly after.

Now let’s see readability analysis

Why is readability important?

If you’re going to write website content, you need to understand that online and offline writing are two different things. While you take the time to sit down and read the great stories in books, or the articles in magazines, you tend to quickly scan, process and use the things we read online. This post is not a page in a book. It’s information for you to process like most online pages are, and they wrote Yoast readability analysis with that purpose in mind.

Snippet preview

Yoast provides an editable snippet preview. In the Block Editor, you can find it near the top of the sidebar, or underneath the editor. The snippet preview shows you how the Yoast plugin displays your page to Google and other search engines. In easy words, it gives an idea of how your site would appear in the search results.

In the snippet preview, you can set a meta description. Make an effort and write a meta description that reflects what your post or page is about. Let people know they will find what they’re looking for on your site and entice them to visit your site. There’s no guarantee that Google will display your meta description in the results pages. But if the meta description you add here is very good, you’ll increase the odds.

SEO Analysis

The next step is optimizing your content for your focus keyphrase to rank in the search engines. You can enter your keyphrase at the top of the ‘SEO’

Entering a key phrase here doesn‘t guarantee that you’ll rank for that keyphrase. Unfortunately, Yoast can’t make that happen for you. What you can do, is evaluate how well your content is optimized to rank for that specific keyphrase.

Does every light need to be green?

No, not every bullet in the SEO analysis has to be green for your post or page to rank. Similarly, getting your post ‘all-green’ in no way guarantees that it will rank. While it’s tempting to simply aim for all-green bullets on every post or page without working on other aspects of your SEO, that isn’t the best SEO strategy. Proper keyword research always comes before getting green bullets.

Yoast Dashboard

There is so much more you can do with Yoast SEO. You can access and change many settings of the plugin in the Yoast Dashboard. There’s usually no need to change anything. Especially if you’re an inexperienced user, it’s wise to stick to the settings you set in the configuration wizard.

Search Appearance

If you go to Yoast > Search Appearance, you can adjust how your site appears in search engines. Take the ‘Title Separator’, for instance. In the configuration wizard, you can choose whether you want a dash, or something else. But, if you change your mind later, you can always change it.

search appearance yoast seo

You can change, among other things, how our plugin sets up your titles and metas. Go to the tab ‘Content Types’, where you will find the default template we use for your post titles. It’s good to know it’s there and realize what you can configure.

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