Yoast is a WordPress plugin that helps you to optimise your site for search engines such as Google and Bing.
It is very easy to use with a mountain of information available to you if you wish to delve into any of their varied options further.
Readability and SEO Analysis
- Readability is all about making your post presentable in a number of ways. Such as using headings to organise your information. Yoast also gives pointers on how to structure your sentences and paragraphs. This is not everyone’s cup of tea but can be quite useful if you want to rank with a search engine.
- The SEO – Search Engine Optimization area is all about just that. Looking at your keywords and post description. It also checks you have used alt tags on your images and other fun techie stuff.
All the posts highlighted above are simple how to help guides I have written recently – so check them out if you need guidance in these areas.
There is no point me going over the same ground as the linked posts above cover. However, Yoast do update a lot so I am going to have a look at a couple of options I didn’t discuss in my original posts that may interest you.
As mentioned above I have already written during the A to Z about keywords and wrote briefly about this particular facility that I think is relatively new. Let me explain…
There is a box to in which to inform Yoast what your chosen keyword/phrase is. Then they check if you have used it enough times etc. and tell you. In the paid version of Yoast you get to enter extra keywords – in boxes. But the thing is you don’t need the boxes to include valid keywords in your article. Simply make sure while writing you slip one in that works as part of the sentence. To be honest you probably do this anyhow. If you are writing about root vegetables then you will more than likely mention words like carrots and parsnips without thinking about it. These are related keywords.
Now there is a free option in Yoast where you can check what are the best related keywords for your post. Go down to the end of your post narrative where it says Yoast SEO. Once you have entered your keyword or phrase – in the focus keyphrase box – click on the tab below – Get related keyphrase. Then a pop up will appear with various phrases that may well work in your post. See image below.
I also tend to make the words I have used frequently in my writing, such as keywords and related keyphrases, tags. That also helps search engines classify your work.
The next option I want to talk about has been available for a while and even though it is under the advanced setting there really is nothing advanced about it. Once you can see your Yoast SEO, as in the image above, scroll down a little until you read – SEO Analysis. Then click on the arrow next to Advanced. It should open up so you have a few options. See below.
I sometimes use the bottom two options.
Breadcrumbs are basically a trail that tells the reader where on the site they are. It is easier to show a picture.
The above image can be seen when you click on my post from yesterday. The breadcrumbs follow the words – You are here... It tells you that the post titled – Blogable A to Z ~ X is for XML sitemaps -is in the blogging category and that can be reached from the homepage. Now that is quite a long title. If I had wanted the title to appear shorter in the breadcrumb above – or indeed use a completely different title, then that would be written in the “Breadcrumb Title” box you can see in Figure 2. In this instance I could have defined the title for the breadcrumb simply as – X is for XML sitemaps.
A canonical URL tells google if this content appears elsewhere and that you want the other URL to be the one that is searched and prioritised. This may happen if you have two posts the same, in different places.