What is Yoast and what does it do? Yoast SEO, best known as just Yoast, is a WordPress plugin designed to make onsite SEO simple for WordPress users. How to download and install Yoast on WordPress If you’ve already installed Yoast on your site and you just want tips on how to set it up and use it, skip down to “Setting up Yoast.” If you don’t have Yoast on your WordPress site, let’s get started. If you go back to your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see Yoast SEO in your left side bar under “SEO.” The next step is to set up Yoast and learn how to get the most out of your new plugin. If you were, Yoast makes it simple to import those settings. Yoast wants to know what type of site this is: I am going to choose the first option because we’re setting up Yoast for a site that’s live on the internet. In this case, the site is for a company, so we’ll choose that option. Using Yoast Most WordPress users see Yoast in action when they’re publishing a new post. If you have the paid version, you’ll see a tab to add additional key terms. In general, however, you want the reader to see all of your well-thought-out SEO title.
For many site owners, SEO seems overly complex. That doesn’t have to be the case.
While there’s plenty of value in hiring a highly skilled SEO expert, there is also plenty you can do on your own using well-built SEO tools and customizable content management systems.
Today, I want to talk about the perfect marriage of those two — WordPress and Yoast SEO.
If you want a powerful, customizable, and easy-to-use platform to host your website, you don’t have to look any further than WordPress.
In fact, every day more than 500 brand new websites are created with it.
Learning how to use WordPress is fairly simple, which lowers the barrier to entry for many would-be publishers or site owners.
WordPress uses open-source software, which means it’s highly customizable because programmers from all over the world can create plugins.
These plugins allow you to customize your WordPress site in a variety of ways, including:
- Adding social share buttons
- Getting stats about shares
- Checking comments for spam
- Creating image galleries and slideshows
- Optimizing for search
And many, many more.
Here are a few of the most popular WordPress plugins:
You can find the most popular plugins by going to your WordPress dashboard, then clicking Plugins > Add New > Popular.
Now that you understand what WordPress is and how plugins can help you get the most out of the platform, let’s talk about Yoast SEO.
This plugin is super powerful and if you aren’t already using it, you’re missing out.
What is Yoast and what does it do?
Yoast SEO, best known as just Yoast, is a WordPress plugin designed to make onsite SEO simple for WordPress users.
Their tagline is “SEO for everyone” and the plugin really is for anyone and everyone, no matter how well they understand SEO.
One of my favorite things about Yoast is it makes SEO simple and doesn’t require you to know how to code.
The plugin walks you through every step and uses easy-to-understand color codes to show you where there are issues. Then it tells you how to fix those issues.
Here’s an example of what the plugin looks like in the backend of your WordPress site:
I’ll get into how to download it and set it up a bit later, but I want to show you what it looks like now so you can see how simple it is.
There are two versions of Yoast — one is free and one requires payment. For most smaller sites, you can easily get what you need from the free version. Larger or more technical sites will benefit from the pay version.
Both versions offer:
- The ability to adjust your SEO title, URL slug, and meta description
- Optimization tips for SEO title, URL slug, and meta description
- A preview of how your post will show up on mobile and Google search results
- An analysis of keyword usage
- An internal link counter
- And a readability check
- A redirect tool
- Internal linking suggestions
- Social sharing previews
- The ability to focus on multiple keywords
SEO can be complicated and even overwhelming if you’re just getting started. You might be tempted to skip SEO for now, but that would be a huge mistake.
You’ll find that Yoast is simple to use, but I’m going to walk you through each step from the very beginning.
How to download and install Yoast on WordPress
If you’ve already installed Yoast on your site and you just want tips on how to set it up and use it, skip down to “Setting up Yoast.”
If you don’t have Yoast on your WordPress site, let’s get started.
The first step is to log in to the back end of your WordPress site.
This will take you into your WordPress Dashboard. Click on “Plugins.”
Next, choose “Add New” from the drop down menu, which will take you to, essentially, a plugin store.
Type “Yoast” into the search bar in the upper right corner.
Click the “Install Now” button in the right corner of the plugin.
Because WordPress is open-source software, you should always be careful when downloading plugins. Anyone can create them, though WordPress does do a pretty good job of monitoring them.
Make sure to check the reviews and look for recent updates to ensure any plugin you install is still supported.
After you click “Install Now,” WordPress will download and install the plugin.
It will then request that you “Activate” the plugin.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you are good to go.
Congrats, you now have Yoast SEO installed on your WordPress site.
If you go back to your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see Yoast SEO in your left side bar under “SEO.”
The next step is to set up Yoast and learn how to get the most out of your new plugin.
Setting up Yoast
Now that you’ve installed Yoast, you can start using it to leverage SEO to build traffic to your content.
The first step will depend upon if you were using another SEO plugin before installing Yoast.
If you were, Yoast makes it simple to import those settings. If not, skip this section and go straight into getting your settings set up.
So, if you were using another tool, go to SEO > Tools > Import and Export.
Then, select Import from other SEO plugins.
You will see that you can select the settings for a few other SEO plugins, including All-in-One SEO, wpSEO, and Woo SEO Frameworks.
Check the box of the SEO tool you were using and click Import. Yoast will automatically import all your settings, including things like your default XML sitemap settings or a default title template.
NOTE: The import function is only available for paid Yoast users. So if you don’t see the option, it might be time to upgrade.
If you weren’t using another SEO tool, you’re starting with a clean slate.
Even if you imported your settings from another plugin, I recommend going through all the settings below so you can get the most out of Yoast.
Let’s look at how to get all those new settings set up and figure out what they all mean.
First, click on SEO in your WordPress sidebar. This will take you to your Yoast dashboard.
Here you will see any major SEO problems as well as any new notifications.
We’re going to start with the Configuration Wizard, which will walk us through the settings step by step.
Click on the General > Configuration Wizard to open it.
You will be given the option to configure it yourself or pay for a configuration service.
We could pay someone, but what’s the fun in that?