Last updated on August 1st, 2018 at 06:24 pm
How to use Yoast SEO Plugin, find out everything you need to know to optimize your blog posts. As a blogger, it’s extremely important to learn how to optimize your posts.
Are you a new blogger who is confused with all the blogging terminology floating around? Maybe you’ve Googled “how to get more blog traffic” and now you’re left feeling hopeless.
Growing a Blog Is Hard
You’re not alone, starting a blog is the easy part. If you still haven’t started yours, I’ve written an awesome step-by-step tutorial that will show you exactly how to start your own blog.
If you’ve started your blog and are struggling to grow it. First of all, I’d like to say congratulations. Starting is the first step.
Now that you’ve started the hard part is growing it. I’m NOT saying that you won’t grow your blog. I’m just saying that you can’t expect it to happen overnight.
Download This Post and Read it Later
Of course, you won’t get traffic to your blog if you didn’t actually take the time to do some research on the keyword. So before you pour your heart and soul into writing amazing keywords.
Make sure that you’re taking the time to do your keyword research. When I started this blog, I was lazy and didn’t do proper keyword research.
In the Meantime
If you’re just starting a blog, it’s going to get a little frustrating to write blog posts that no one shares, comments or engages on. You’re not alone, we all go through this.
Whatever you do, don’t give up. It takes time to get Google to start indexing your site so people can start finding it. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do other things to grow your blog and start driving traffic.
I suggest that you start learning everything that you can about Pinterest. It does come with a little bit of a learning curve, but if you start using it correctly.
You can get quite a bit of traffic while Google is taking time with your ranking your blog.
Once you install the plugin, you’ll want to make sure that you set up the general settings for your blog.
Instead of writing a step-by-step tutorial on the general setup, here’s a great tutorial that will help you set up the plugin the right way.
Follow that tutorial to get the general settings setup. Once you get that taken care of, I’ll show you how to use Yoast SEO plugin to optimize your blog posts.
This will help you out so you can improve your chances of getting better rankings in the search engines.
Optimizing Your Blog Posts
You might have heard so many bloggers talking about Search Engine Optimizing (SEO) your blog posts.
But what does that mean? You’re not alone, it took me a long time to figure out what it meant to optimize your blog posts.
The cool thing is that it’s not as challenging as you might think. In fact, I am going to show you one of my favorite plugins that helps me optimize my blog posts before I hit publish.
I’m going to show you exactly what I do with each and every post I write. Use this as a guide to help you get started.
Before Writing a Blog Post
Hopefully, you have taken the time to do some keyword research that will help your readers find you.
If not, I have a tutorial that shows you the method that I use to help me find keywords for my blog.
Of course, there’s no right and wrong way to find the right keywords. The important thing is to make sure that you’re taking the time to do some keyword research.
Otherwise, you’ll just end up writing a bunch of blog posts that no one even cares about.
Once you have found your keyword it’s time to get your blog post optimized and written.
Which Plugin I Recommend
Using the right plugins can make your life as a blogger easier. I’ve written a blog post that shares the 7 free plugins that will help bloggers succeed.
Every blogger who wants to make sure that their posts are optimized should be using the Yoast SEO plugin. It’s a free plugin that will help ensure that your blog posts are optimized.
If you have absolutely no clue what SEO is, I recommend downloading the Amazon Kindle app and reading everything you can get your hands on.
Here’s a great article that can help you get started with the basics of SEO.
Now it’s time to start getting our first blog post ready to get out there to the world.
How to Use Yoast SEO Plugin
If you don’t already have the Yoast SEO plugin installed, you’ll want to do that. I’ve written a post that will teach you everything about plugins, just in case you’re not sure how to install one.
I won’t be covering how to find or install a plugin on this post.
This is What I Do
These are the exact steps I take every time I write a new blog post. There are several different ways to learn how to use Yoast SEO plugin, feel free to do what works for you.
Just like growing a blog, you have to find what actually works for you. Remember, just because someone does something one way, doesn’t mean that’s the only way to do something.
As an entrepreneur, you need to continually experiment with things until you get the results you desire.
Getting Your Blog Post Ready
As soon as I know what keyword I am trying to optimize my blog post for, I’ll add it directly to the Yoast SEO plugin.
You’ll notice that on my Yoast SEO plugin, I have the option to add an additional keyword. This is because I am using the premium version of the plugin.
Don’t worry, I actually never try to optimize my blog posts for more than one keyword. So you’ll be fine with the free version.
Google Meta Description
Next, you’ll want to set up your Google Meta description. This is what is going to show up in the Google rankings.
You’ll want to make sure that you add your focus keyword here. I always make it a point to add my keyword at the very beginning.
Just like when you’re trying to rank on Pinterest. You want to add your keyword at the beginning and then everything else at the end.
Adding Your Meta Description
You’ll need to click on Edit Snippet. Once you do the meta description box opens up and you can add the description you want to show up in the search engines.
Make sure that you add your focus keyword. You’ll notice that I added the keyword towards the beginning.
Focus on business in the front and then conversational on the back. The important thing is to make a meta description that makes people want to click.
Don’t worry, if you struggle with writing great meta descriptions. You’ll get better as you continue writing blog posts. Here’s a great article that will show you some good and bad examples of meta descriptions.
Writing the Blog Post
Now that you’ve taken care of the SEO part of the plugin, it’s time to write an amazing blog post for your readers.
As you know, I am a huge a huge advocate of writing long-form content. I decided that in my second year I was going to use long-form content to help me grow my blog.
Since January, most of my blog posts are over 2000 words long. When I first started my blog, my posts were around 1300 words long.
I’ve noticed that my long-form content does a lot better. Of course, this won’t work for every niche.
You’ll need to test things out and see which articles your audience responds to best.
How I Optimize My Blog Posts
Whenever I write my blog posts I always make sure to add my focus keyword in the very first paragraph.
Next, I make sure that I use the focus keyword in an H2 heading. Then I will use the keyword a few times throughout my article.
I know you’re thinking, how many times should I use the keyword throughout my article? Honestly, I don’t pay attention to how many times I use it.
Don’t Keyword Stuff
I’m not sure how many times you should use it. Just make sure that you’re not keyword stuffing and making your content sound like crap.
As long as I get the green light from Yoast SEO, I am happy. You don’t want to be accused of trying to over optimize your blog posts.
That could eventually lead to trouble from Google. You also want to make sure that you’re using LSI keywords throughout your post.
Where I Add My Keywords
We all know that adding your keywords to your blog posts is necessary, otherwise, how will Google know what you’re trying to rank for?
There’s a fine line between letting Google know which keywords you are trying to rank for and just stuffing your articles with your keywords.
Here’s How I Do It
I use the keyword in my Permalinks and use the SEO friendly permalink structure. Then I always make it a point to add my keyword twice in the blog post, I’ll add it to the:
- very first paragraph
- the last paragraph
- Use it once in the blog post using the H2 heading
Basically, those are the only places that I use my keywords in my blog post. Yes, you will want to make sure that you use your keyword when you are optimizing your blog posts.
You just don’t want to keep stuffing your blog posts with your keywords. Instead, you want to make sure that you are using LSI keywords.
For this, I use LSI Graph to help me find some LSI keywords for my blog posts. Basically, it all comes down to writing content in a conversational tone that your target audience enjoys reading.
If you can do that, you’ll be fine. Don’t stress too much on SEO. If you use these tips, you’ll be fine and before you know it, you’ll start to see your organic traffic continue to climb.
I’ve written a new eBook called JumpStart Blog Traffic that will walk you through step-by-step on how I do keyword research, which has saved me tons of time.
Don’t make the same mistake that I made when I first started my blog. I wrote several blog posts on very competitive keywords that will never get ranked on the first page of Google.
Don’t Be Scared
Honestly, it takes time to learn how to properly optimize your blog posts. As long as you’re NOT keyword stuffing your posts, you’ll be fine.
You can always go back and optimize your old blog posts. The point is that we all start with absolutely zero SEO knowledge.
It takes time to learn how to do these things, especially, if we’ve never done it before.
The thing that has helped me understand how to use SEO (besides buying courses) is to read everything that I can get my hands on.
SEO has changed from when I first started using it in 2009. However, the Moz Blog is awesome and will teach you the right way to do things. You also want to read everything that you can on the Yoast SEO Blog.
The most important thing that you need to remember is that it takes time for SEO traffic to start kicking in. So whatever you do, you need to give it time to see the results from your hard work.
How much time, well that’s a different story. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how long it will take you to start getting organic traffic.
All I can say is that if you keep doing keyword research and writing amazing content that your audience loves.
You will start to get some organic traffic. It just isn’t going to happen overnight.
Yoast SEO Readability
Next, you’ll want to pay attention to the readability score on your blog. Yoast SEO makes it easy to do this.
Scroll down to the Yoast SEO section on your blog post. You’ll see the Readability tab.
Click on the tab and you’ll be presented with a bunch of things that you can do to improve your readability score.
One of the most important things to remember when writing your blog posts, is that you want to keep it in a conversational tone. Yes, it’s important to optimize your blog posts.
But you don’t want to make the mistake of writing blog posts that are just written for the purpose of ranking high in the search engines.
You may have also read online that your content should be written in an 8th-grade level. Here’s a great article that will provide you with some tips on how to write content that’s easy to consume.
I love it when I am able to get a green light on both the readability and the SEO tabs. The truth is that I don’t always get the green light on readability.
If I don’t see the green light on readability, I’ll spend a little bit of time running through the checklist to see if I can improve it.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work for me. Instead of spending a bunch of time trying to get the light to turn green, I’ll just publish it as is.
I’m not sure if this hurts my rankings or not. But personally, I don’t want to waste a lot of time trying to fix the readability score.
The social tab allows you to upload the image you want to share on Facebook. If you’re like me, you don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t upload an image that you can use in case you promote your blog posts in Facebook Groups.
I always make it a point to make sure that I add an image that will be used for Facebook. You also have the option to a Facebook title and description here as well.
If you want to see what your image will look like on Facebook, you can test it out on the Facebook debugger.
Other Social Media Channels
You’re probably thinking, what about Twitter and Pinterest? How do I create the images for those social media networks and where do I place them?
Well, I personally use the Social Warfare Plugin to help me with my social media images. This plugin makes it easy to create the images that you want to be shared on the other social media images.
I’ve written several tutorials that will help you get a better understanding of whether or not this is the right plugin for you.
Related posts on the Social Warfare Plugin:
- Is Social Warfare the Best Plugin?
- How to Create Your Pinterest Images
- Social Warfare Plugin, Why I Use It and Setup And Customization Tips
- How to Set Up The Free Social Warfare Plugin
The last tab inside of your blog post is the advanced tab on the Yoast SEO plugin. This is where you can set the post to index or no index.
Personally, I never touch this tab when I am writing a blog post.
I’ve used it before on my pages. For instance, if I create a new page but I don’t want it to be indexed by the search engines, I’ll go into the advanced tab and change it from index to no index.
Final Take Away
Writing blog posts takes a lot of hard work. Not to mention after you write your posts, you have to get out there and do everything that you can to get the word out about it.
Don’t make the mistake of writing blog posts that no one is looking for. Do everything that you can do to write about things that people are looking for.
While you can’t force Google to rank your blog posts on the first page of Google. Anyone who tells you that they can ensure that your blog post will rank on the first page of Google is lying.
As long as you’re writing great content that helps your readers and solves problems. You’ll be fine.
People will share your content on social sites and help you spread the word about it. Over time, you may get lucky and get some first page rankings.
Just remember, it takes time for Google to start ranking your site. So don’t expect to write a new SEO optimized blog post today and expect it to rank tomorrow.
I’ve heard that it can take up to 6 months for Google to start sending you some love. So keep doing your part of writing amazing content and focusing on other promotional measures while your blog grows.
Hand Picked Articles for You
- How to Grow A Blog What I’m Focusing On My Second Year
- How to Confirm Your WordPress Blog On Pinterest With Yoast SEO
- The First Blog Post Is the Scariest Why You Need to Do It
Are you using the Yoast SEO plugin for your blog? Has it helped you with the growth of your blog? Let me know, I’d love to know if you love this plugin as much as I do.
Recommended Blogging Resources:
- Free 12 Day Blogging Bootcamp
- Article about using Yoast SEO for optimizing your blog posts and how to do it.
- SEMRush Free Trial to Gather Low Competitive Keywords
- Quiz: Which theme is best for your blog?
- If you want to build an email list and send newsletters, I recommend ConvertKit (starts at $29)