Blogging For SEO: How To Use The Yoast SEO Plugin For Your Blog (Part 4)

First impressions matter a lot to Google. So, how do you make sure your blog post includes all the “right stuff” to be considered properly optimized? Answer: Make is easy on yourself and get an SEO Plugin!

The Basics Of How To Use Yoast SEO Plugin For Your Blog

I like using Yoast because it has easy-to-understand little indicator lights that let you know how good your on-page SEO is. The main SEO touch points you want to make sure you do a stellar job writing include:

  1. Title Tags
  2. Focus Keyword
  3. Meta Descriptions

Here’s what the Yoast plugin looks like when you’re optimizing a blog:

(click on the image to enlarge it)

How To Use Yoast SEO Plugin - Chow Communications

How To Use The Yoast SEO Plugin – Chow Communications

What Is A Title Tag In Yoast?

A title tag is a clear, concise, and accurate description of what Google and viewers can expect to find on the specific web page in question. In this case, it would be your blog. Title tags are displayed as the bolded blue link on SERPs (ie. search engine results pages) and, in combination with the meta description, provide a preview or “snippet” description for the web page it’s linking to. And, always be sure to include a keyword in your title tag. As always, this keyword should accurately describe what the page is all about.

Besides your amazing content, title tags are viewed as one of the most important on-page SEO elements on a web page and actually show up in 3 main places:

1. Browser Tabs

2. Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) 

Title Tags and Meta Descriptions in a SERP  - Chow Communications

Title Tags and Meta Descriptions in a SERP – Chow Communications

3. External Websites

Where Title Tag's and Meta Description's Show Up - Chow Communications

Where Title Tag’s and Meta Description’s Show Up – Chow Communications

As you can see, the title tag shows up in a lot of very important places and serves as a point of reference for relevancy in the minds of your viewers and for search engine rankings. The optimal length of a title tag should be anywhere from 50-60 characters. I normally try to keep the length under 55 characters just to make sure Google actually displays the data I want them to without cutting anything off.

What Is A Meta Description In Yoast?

A meta description works in a similar way to title tags except they’re longer (anywhere between 150-160 characters) and hold less importance to search engine rankings. BUT…meta descriptions are incredibly important in encouraging click-throughs in a SERP. In other words, I want you to think of the meta description as a kick-arse, one-line sales pitch that’s both related to the page’s content AND will get people to click on your link to take them to your website. Advertise, sell, and promote specific content you’ve generated or benefits you can provide to your ideal target client – let them know right away whether the given page has all the information they’re looking for in spades!

What Is A Focus Keyword In Yoast?

A lot of people think they need to be optimizing a post for more than one keyword. Au contraire.

I want you to think of the focus keyword as the MAIN topic of your blog post. When you write a blog post, that post will only explore ONE topic in detail, correct? HINT: The answer is Yes! Yoast will then take this focus keyword and use it to analyze the overall SEO “quality” and relevancy of the post.

The cool thing about the Yoast keyword input field is that it will actually HELP you figure out a good choice for your chosen keyword. Visualize this and see the below screen capture: If you start typing in a keyword, Yoast will immediately open a drop down menu with suggestions. Where did these suggestions come from, you ask? They’re actually loaded from Google Suggest and has the ability to “predict” what your ideal target client would see if they also enter the search term into their Google search bar. See the comparison here:

What Is A Focus Keyword In Yoast - Chow Communications

What Is A Focus Keyword In Yoast – Chow Communications

Title tags and meta description work in tandem to create something called a snippet preview. The big blue link in a SERP is usually the title of your post. The short description that appears below it is the meta description. Does the meta description impact your rankings? Maybe. But, like I said earlier, what it really does is increase your chances of click-throughs. So, be sure to do a good job writing out a short and succinct meta description that accurately describes the solution to the problem your ideal target client is looking to solve. It’s all about the sales pitch and perceived value.

Now that you’ve figured out how to use the Yoast plugin to search engine optimize your blog, let’s learn about where the best places are to publish your content for MAXIMUM SEO Benefit. See you at my next blog!