The Yoast SEO plugin serves to technically optimize your website for higher visibility in Google.
With the help of this plugin, you can optimize your pages for:
Install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin:
Then, go to Pages/Posts and select the page or post you want to optimize.
Click on Edit for that page/post and scroll to the bottom of the page/post content. You’ll see the SEO section with 3 tabs for SEO, Readability and Social:
The analyses for each of these subsections include:
- Problems – aspects you have to correct (they are marked with red)
- Possible optimizations – aspects you can improve (they are marked with orange)
- Good results (they are marked with green)
You need to improve your content, so it scores as many good results as possible. Also, you should try to eliminate all problems.
To benefit from an SEO analysis, you have to fill in the blank space below “Focus keyphrase” with the main keyword of the page.
The criteria by which Yoast SEO analyzes your content:
- Keyword density – you can see if you have an optimal keyword density
- Internal links – the plugin detects if there are any internal links to other pages in the website (you should create an internal linking network)
- Outbound links – you should have external links in your content. Yoast SEO identifies if there are any, and signals it
- Keyword in title – the main keyword should appear in the page title
- SEO title width – Your SEO title will be the first thing potential visitors of your site see on the search results pages. To increase the odds of that happening, you want to make sure your title is compelling: enticing, not too short and not too long.
- Keyphrase in META description – the focus keyphrase should appear in the META description. It shows what the page is about, and it increases chances that your link in SERPs is clicked on.
- Keyword in introduction – Yoast SEO recommends that you include the keyword in the very first phrases of the page content. This serves as an indicator of what the page is about, and Google interprets it a relevancy signal.
- Keyword in subheadings – you should include your focus keyphrase in some of the page subheadings
- Image alt attributes – the alternate text of the images in the page should contain the focus keyphrase. Yoast SEO identifies if you have enough optimized alt attributes
- Keyphrase length – The keyphrase length assessment checks whether the focus keyphrase is present and whether it is not too long.
- META description length – This check measures the length of your meta description. It checks whether it is too short (less than 120 characters) or too long (more than 156 characters).
- Previously used keyphrase: the previously used focus keyphrase check assesses whether you’ve already used the focus keyphrasefor other posts or pages on your site. If you’ve used it for another post or page, you’ll get a red bullet as you should optimize only one page for one keyphrase.
- Text length – every page on your site needs to contain a certain amount of words to be able to rank. Yoast SEO analyses if there’s enough text in your page, depending on the page type: taxonomy page, regular post or page, cornerstone content page.
- Keyword in slug – The keyphrase in slug assessment checks if and how you have used your focus keyphrase in your URL.
Optimization of readability
The readability analysis indicates if the content is easy enough for users to read. Yoast SEO uses several criteria by which it analyses the reading difficulty level of your page:
- Flesch reading ease – the Flesch Reading Ease check returns a number on a scale from 0 to 100 — the lower that number, the harder your text is to read.
- Subheading distribution – the text should be well structured, so it’s easy to browse. You should organize your text content using H1, H2, H3, etc.
- Paragraph length – the paragraph length assessment checks whether your paragraphs are too long. The optimal length of a paragraph is below 150 words.
- Sentence length – the plugin assesses the length of your sentences. If more than 25% of your sentences is longer than 20 words you should shorten some of your long sentences.
- Consecutive sentences – the consecutive sentences check assesses whether your text contains three or more sentences in a row all starting with the same word.
- Passive voice – you should limit the use of passive voice to the minimum. This check identifies if there are any problems and you have too many occurrences of passive voice.
- Transition words – Transition words are words like ‘most importantly’, ‘because’, ‘therefore’, or ‘besides’. Using transition words well makes your text much more readable, as these words give direction to your readers. Yoast SEO checks if there are enough transition words in your text content.
Optimization for social
The social visibility report shows if your page/post is optimized for social media. The checks Yoast SEO performs:
- Facebook title, description and image
- Twitter title, description and image.