5 important use of Yoast SEO Plugin on WordPress
Yoast plugin is perhaps one of the top 10 WordPress plugin with millions of installs. This free and premium plugin enables admins to easily do Search Engine Optimization even without much knowledge of how SEO works.
This plugin comes with lots of functionalities, Here are 5 important use of yoast SEO plugin.
Submit XML sitemap
The Yoast SEO plugin can be used to easily submit sitemap without having to pass through difficulties faced with most sitemap generators. Sitemaps are structures that enable search engines to better understand the arrangement of a website and what pages can be displayed on search result.
To submit sitemap;
- Create a search console account.
Consoles are used to monitor the performance of a website on search engine like Google, Yandex, bing, yahoo etc. The most popular is the Google search console.
- Create a Google search console on google.com/webmasters/
- Verify your website/property
After adding your url, you will be required to verify property. There are many options available here ( HTML file upload and other alternate method of html tag, Domain name provider, Google analytics and Google tag manager)
Preferably, use the html tag option where you will be required to place a certain code at the header of your WordPress site. Install “header and footer plugin“, this plugin will enable you easily place the meta tag code without having to edit website code.
Submit XML sitemap
The next step after verifying website/property is to submit sitemap.
- Visit the “XML Sitemap” menu on your Yoast SEO dashboard. Sometimes this feature is hidden until it is enabled via General ==> Features ==> XML sitemap.
- Copy the ‘sitemap_index.xml‘ to your search console dashboard ==> crawl ==> Sitemap ==> Add/test sitemap
- Paste sitemap_index.xml just after the root domain “yoursite.com/sitemap_index.xml”
You have now successfully submitted sitemap.
Preview of your page in Google
With Yoast SEO snippet editor located after your draft content, you can see through the eyes of the Google user: what will your post or page look like in the search results and on mobile screens. You can easily edit the SEO following SEO meta
Slug: slug is the url of your page
Meta title: This is the title of your page/post and exactly how it appears on search engine
Meta description : This is a short description that hint search users on what the content of your page is all about.
Add focus keyword
Keywords are phrases or words that appear on your post and could be a part of what people are searching on Google. Example “Yoast SEO Plugin” can be said to be the keyword of this article.
Below the meta you will find a text-box to include focus keyword on your post. You can add up to 5 focus keywords with the premium version of yoast,
Below the focus keyword are suggestions of your SEO improvement. The analysis rates your SEO on the scale of poor, good and excellent.
To improve SEO analysis;
- Use a shorter slug that contains the keyword and avoid stop words.
- Use the required length of title and also include keyword on your meta title
- Your description should be detailed enough to contain the keyword and important phrases.
Add images to a post with alt attribute and caption
- Add internal and external links with the right keyword.
- Add focus keyword and include keyword in 2 out of every four heading.
- You post should be at least 300+ words
Improve Search Appearance
With yoast SEO plugin, you can easily choose a title separator, edit home page title/meta description and choose content types that you want to appear on Search result.
You can also “Remove the categories prefix” to make them shorter and better. Instead of having www.yoursite.com/category/you/, you can strip the categories to have www.yoursite.com/you/.
Edit Social Media title and descriptions
Sometimes when you share website for others to see on Facebook, it might show an undesired image/ title.
Yoast SEO can be used to enhance the way root domain/directory ( www.yoursite.com ) appear when they are shared on Facebook thereby making the site look more professional with a customized title and image.
This also applies to to other social network like Twitter, pinterest and Google+.
Example; in the image above which is different from the title. You can resolve this Facebook image issue from Yoast SEO Menu ==> Social ==> Facebook ==> Front Page Setting ==> Add custom title and description and upload image
You also get full control over how your page appears in the search results, on Facebook and on Twitter. So you’re sure it convinces people to click through. This feature is available on the Yoast SEO premium.