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Learn how to use Yoast SEO Plugin—one of the best plugins for WordPress! Even though I consider myself pretty advanced in SEO knowledge, I find myself using Yoast on every single one of my blog posts because it’s so darn easy and useful.

Why You Should Use Yoast SEO Plugin

  1. It improves your SEO, so your blog posts rank higher in Google search
    If you know NOTHING about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), then you need to install WordPress SEO by Yoast. It makes it easy even for beginner bloggers to optimize keywords in their blog posts, so they rank higher in search results.
  2. It’s the easiest way to enable rich pins for Pinterest
    Setting up rich pins for your Pinterest account helps your pins stand out and get more repins because they will have the title of the post beneath them. To do this, you have to edit code on your WordPress blog—UNLESS you have WordPress SEO by Yoast. The plugin, though obviously made mainly for SEO, also allows you to manage some social media components.
  3. It’s the easiest way to set up Search Console for Google Analytics (so you can see search terms!)

Wait…Do I Have to Pay for Yoast?

Nope—it’s free! There IS a paid version you can upgrade to, but I find that the free version is enough for me.

How to Install Yoast SEO Plugin

Step 1: Log in to your WordPress dashboard ad go to Plugins > Add New

How to Use Yoast SEO Plugin - Install plugin

Step 2: Search for “Yoast SEO”

Step 3: Click “Install”

Step 4: Click “Activate”

You’re done! Now let’s move on to how to use it…

How to Use Yoast SEO Plugin Keyword Feature to Improve Your Blog SEO

Step 1: Before writing your blog post, choose a keyword (ONE word or phrase only) to type into your “Focus Keyword” bar

How to Use Yoast SEO Plugin - Choose a focus keyword

Step 2: Write your blog post naturally, and try to be as helpful as possible. Be mindful of the keyword, but don’t keyword stuff!

While you do want to include the keyword frequently, you don’t want to do it in a way that sounds unnatural. Keep the keyword in mind and fittingly weave it into the post. BUT number one priority is to try to write a post that thoroughly answers the question or problem you’re addressing.

In the example, this question you’re answering is “When’s the best time to buy a flight?” Imagine you are the reader. What questions does she have? What objections might she have? Write a post addressing every one of those.

Step 3: Scroll down and look at the Yoast SEO Plugin box. Fix anything that is not a green light

When you’re finished writing, you can scroll down and see your “score.” Yoast SEO details each reason a light isn’t green. That allows you to easily spot where you could improve SEO in your post.

The red light is on because…

You might need to add keywords a few more times in the paragraph, or add the keyword to the URL itself.

Step 4: Your goal is to see that green light that says “SEO: Good”! 

Victory! When you see that icon light up green, your post is SEO friendly and ready to go!

Yoast SEO Plugin Is Awesome, But It’s Not Perfect

While the Yoast SEO Plugin is super helpful and I recommend it, it should NOT be the only SEO effort you put forth on our blog. It’s not going to catch everything.

Getting traffic from organic search is a critical component of your blog strategy.

  • Take the time to educate yourself about basic SEO techniques, and apply them throughout your blog.
  • Invest in a premium keyword tool like Jaaxy or SERPstat.