What is SEO?
If you’re reading this and you have no idea what SEO even means, then I’ll help you out. SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. It encompasses all the methods that help your site improve its rank in search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo). Some of these methods include getting links to your site, page speed, adding title tags, meta descriptions, meta keywords, etc. In the past, you had to do everything the hard way. You had to know all the different codes to put in your header to make sure Google had a good meta description and keywords. Now, with the help of WordPress SEO, you don’t have to know ANYTHING… well, almost anything.
Using WordPress SEO by Yoast
When you first install the plugin, it will add a new menu item to your WordPress dashboard. This is where you can set up the SEO Title and meta description for the home page and also all the defaults for pages and posts. WordPress SEO will also set up your XML Sitemaps for you. Once that’s done, I highly recommend you get a Google Webmaster Tools Account and go submit them. Another thing this section is good for is setting up social media. WordPress SEO let’s you set up how a link to your site on Facebook will look. All you have to do is grab your URL and plug it in to a Facebook post. Facebook then goes and grabs the best picture, title, and description it can find. But, it doesn’t always display the picture you want. That’s what the Social section is for. It gives you full control over any link to your site on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Aside from the amazing SEO Dashboard, WordPress SEO also adds a SEO section to each post, page and category. This new section allows you to add the SEO title, meta description, and meta keywords for that specific page or post. Once your done, it gives you a preview of what it will look like in a Google search. In my opinion though, the MOST IMPORTANT thing WordPress SEO does is analyze your page for proper SEO.
The way this works is you put the keyword or keyword phrase you are trying to optimize for in the Focus Keyword box. As you type, it will give you more suggestions on popular keywords related to yours. After you enter your keyword, all you have to do is click the Page Analysis tab at the top. It will then grade you with green, yellow, and red dots on how well you optimized your page. Do your best to get green in all the categories, but don’t feel too bad if it doesn’t happen every time. You can have a few yellows and still get a “Good(Green)” overall rating (next to the Publish button). I’m actually pretty proud of myself because the article you’re reading right now is one of the few on this website that has gotten green in every single category… I’ll give myself a pat on the back from you.
There are many other amazing features in the WordPress SEO Plugin that I’m leaving out of this article, so I highly encourage you to download the plugin and take the tour. You’ll be amazed how easy SEO is with WordPress SEO.