If you’re in the content making biz, you’ve probably asked yourself what’s the best SEO plugin for WordPress? Sure, there are a lot of plugins available in the market. I even posted a blog before about the 77 plugins you should use in SEO. Check out that blog here.
So, how do you know which is the best? And is there something like an all in one SEO plugin in the market? And if there is, how do you use it? What we’ll be tackling in this series of articles are:
- which plugins are commonly used by website owners
- how to use these plugins
- how much will you pay for each one
Because let’s face it, if you’re an SEO strategist or plan to be knowledgeable in SEO, you need to learn which are the must-have plugins for WordPress and how to use it. Notice how I mentioned WordPress? Well, around 74,652,825 sites worldwide depend on WordPress, and I’m sure you use WordPress as well for your website.
Ask anything related to SEO through White Hat SEO Network by Chase Reiner!
Must-Have SEO Plugins for WordPress
The following are must-have plugins if you’re using WordPress. Whether you’re posting blogs for personal use or you’re running your own business, these are the plugins you need.
- Yoast SEO
- WP Fastest Cache
Why Yoast? In the word of WordPress and ranking plugins, Yoast is number one. And for a good reason, Yoast is one of the most used Plugin for Search Engine Optimization in WordPress. It gives you an almost complete all in one set of tools that you can use to make your content and website Search Engine Optimized.
Yoast is the original plugin for SEO on WordPress, and it has been the go-to Plugin for over ten years, it started in 2008 by the way. So, what features does Yoast have? And how can you use them?
- Advanced XML sitemaps that can be operated at the push of a button
- Allows control of site breadcrumbs and makes adding codes easy
- Helps avoid duplicate content
- A better template for meta titles and meta descriptions
- Analyzes content and SEO
- Has snippet previews
Yoast also offers support for Premium members, and they respond one on one with you if you have problems. Note that this service is given to those who bought the premium only, so it’s good to note that. Yoast also offers Github which fa forum for bugs.
How to Install Yoast from within WordPress
You can install Yoast directly from WordPress, and here are the steps you need to follow for a correct installation.
Steps in Installing Yoast Within in WordPress
First, Go to plugins. It is there at the dashboard of WordPress. I’ve boxed it in the picture so you can easily spot it.
Click add Add new, and you’ll see this. Type or look for the Yoast plugin from the different plugins available.
And the results will show the Yoast plugin.
I’ve already installed Yoast so it won’t show the install now but here’s a picture showing one that says install now.
Now click install now and wait for the plugin to install. You see the activation button replace the installing icon. Click Activate.
Find the Yoast Icon, you can find it in the top section.
Click it and look for the configuration wizard.
After finding the configuration wizard click it and wait for it to load. And you’ll see the Yoast SEO installation wizard.
Click configure Yoast, and follow through with the steps.
Pick between A and B, if your website is already live then click Option A. If it’s still in construction then click B.
Choose site type and click next.
If it’s just you making the website for let’s say leisure and hobby, then choose person but if you’re a company then select company. You have the option to include your company logo or image.
You can link your website to social media accounts that you have. But, note that it should be your business account, not your personal or private account.
Now in Search Engine Visibility, make sure to click yes on all the categories. Your website won’t show up on search engines if you click no, which defeats the purpose of you using this plugin.
The next would ask you if the authors contributing to your website is just you or do you have multiple authors. Now, I recommend choosing the single author option that way you can avoid having duplicate content on your website.
After you’ve made your decision about the number of authors, you will then proceed to the option of linking your website to Google Search Console. That’s if you have an account on Google Search Console.
Title Settings allow you to name your website; you can include bars such as this.
The second to the last step is the newsletter. You can opt to have a newsletter for sending news, freebies and offers to your customers.
After the newsletter, you will be asked if you want the premium if you haven’t bought it yet. As well as some trainings using Yoast that you will find useful if you’re new to everything.
And that’s it you’ve finished installing Yoast in WordPress.
Now, what if you don’t want to install Yoast while in WordPress? You have the option to install it manually instead. Here’s how.
Steps to Installing Yoast Manually
First, go to the Yoast website
Click on the Yoast SEO plugin.
And click download Yoast SEO Free or Get Yoast SEO Premium.
After you download it, you will get a zip file which you’ll extract to get this.
Upload the wordpress-seo folder to /wp-content/plugins/directory
After uploading it, you can now proceed to activate the plugin. You will then be brought to the Yoast SEO Configuration Wizard follow the instructions from above and your good to go!
Yoast SEO Functions
Yoast has toolset ranging from content analysis to SEO. And to give you a bird’s eye view of what you’re getting I divided the features into content and SEO.
Above you can see that Yoast analyzes the readability of the content you’re uploading. If it is easy to read, how many words, the sentence density, paragraph length. These all help in polishing your work before your readers see it.
You can also determine if some of your sentences are too long, plus you can check if the article you’re posting already has a similar article done. This is a good way for you avoid getting penalized by Google for duplicate content.
In the snippet preview, you can type in your meta title and meta description. And Yoast will help determine if your chosen meta title and description are good or not.
The slot for the focus keyword is given to you directly. You won’t have to do codes and other stuff to assign it. And the good thing is it analyzes your content if you included the focus keyword or not. It provides you with feedback that you can use to improve your SEO strategies.
The SEO analyzer also shows specific keywords that you use prominently in your content, which can be useful if you’re looking for more related keywords to put in your blog.
Now when you move to the general features of Yoast, which you can find here by the way.
You can see in the features tab, these set of functions. I’ll go over them one by one, so you get the idea about what they’re for.
- SEO Analysis – This feature, when turned on, gives you the SEO suggestions from earlier about your content.
- Readability Analysis – When turned on this will analyze your content and give you suggestions for improvements.
- Cornerstone Content – You can mark essential blogs you have that showcases what your whole website stands for, very useful in improving your site structure.
- Text Link Counter – This is helpful in enhancing your site structure. By helping your check the number of internal links, you have to a post.
- XML sitemaps – This is basically the map to your website. Without the XML sitemap, search engines will have a hard time crawling your site. And if a search engine cannot crawl your site, then it will have a hard time to understand your website structure.
- Ryte Integration – This feature checks your site weekly to see if it’s still indexable by search engines. And if it is not Yoast will notify you.
- Admin Bar Menu – When turned on this shows the admin bar which has a lot of useful links for any third party tools you can use alongside with Yoast.
- Security: No Advanced Settings for Authors – When turned off other authors besides you who have access to the site can remove or edit a post which is not theirs.
The webmaster tools allow your website to connect to devices like Google Search Console, Bing’s Webmaster Tools, and other search engines such as Baidu the Chinese search engine and Yandex the Russian search engine.
That way your website can appear on different search engines and not just Google or other English language sites.
Final Thoughts on Yoast
Yoast offers a diverse toolset for any SEO analyst and SEO strategist to use. Having that SEO edge is vital in making sure that your website is fully optimized for search engines. And a plugin that’s easy to understand and use removes the thorn of having to study complicated stuff just to get the tool to work. Yoast makes using the tool easy and user-friendly which is probably why it’s popular with WordPress users.
In the next article of the series, the discussion will be about: Smush and WP Fastest Cache so stay tuned.