How to use Yoast SEO – the ultimate guide

In this guide, you will learn how to use the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin.

Maybe you have just created your blog or have an old website but not getting enough organic traffic because of proper SEO knowledge. Definitely, you are not the only one facing this issue, many marketers and bloggers find it difficult to solve.

You might also have heard some experts talking about Yoast SEO in their search engine optimization tutorials. I know most of you will be wondering what this tool is all about.

So in this content. I will explain what Yoast SEO is all about. Then give you a step-by-step guide on how to use this wonderful WordPress plugin to implement your website SEO.

What is Yoast SEO?

Every WordPress website owner needs to install an SEO plugin if they really want their site to rank well in search engines. So Yoast SEO is one of the most popularly used search engine optimization plugins in WordPress. This plugin is widely used is because of its user-friendly features and simplicity in implementation.

1, Related keyword

If you are using the free version then you are limited to use one focus keyword in your content. But the premium version gives you access to add more related keywords to your main focus keyword.

For instance. If your main keyword is “blogging” you can also include ‘bloggers’ as a related keyword to reach a wide range of audiences.

2, Find top-ranking keywords

The Semrush tool in Yoast SEO helps in getting the data about your keyphrases. Improve the performance of your content by including the related keywords people are typing in the google search bar. Related keyword feature is only available for premium Yoast users.

3, Internal linking

Internal linking is very important in boosting your site ranking because it helps to make search engines better understand your website structure.

It can be very annoying to add links by yourself but with the help of the internal linking feature in premium Yoast SEO. The work will be easier. The feature analyzes your content and suggests links related to the post you are writing.

4, Works in any WordPress editor

If you are not familiar with the new block editor in WordPress. Yoast SEO will guide you in properly optimizing your content.

Even in the classic editor, the plugin will still help you to improve your post. Yoast SEO also works well in Elementor.
There are many Yoast SEO plugin features and benefits on their official website.

How to install the Yoast SEO plugin

To be able to use the Yoast plugin, you have to first install it on your WordPress website. So simply login to your WordPress dashboard and Go to the “Plugins” tab, then click on “Add New”.

add new plugin in wordpress

On the right-hand side of the screen, you will find a search bar. Then type in Yoast SEO to install it directly from your admin panel

install yoast seo

You can also download the Yoast SEO from the WordPress directory and upload it manually to your WordPress website.

To do this, click on the “Upload Plugin” at the upper-left on the screen. Then select the plugin zip file you downloaded to your computer.

upload yoast plugin

Once you are done installing the plugin, you will see a blue button tagged “Active” click on it. After it has successfully activated, you can now use it to optimize your website.

Now let’s get started on how to use the Yoast SEO plugin to optimize your website to gain search engine ranking.

How to setup Yoast SEO

Most people think this plugin is hard to use because of the multitude of settings that come with the plugin. I know as a beginner. The settings may be hard for you to understand. But this free guide will help you use it like a pro. So read to the end so that you will learn how to optimize your website to rank higher in search engines.

1, General Settings

Yoast SEO - general setting

You can access the general settings by navigating to the Yoast SEO Dashboard, after that, click on the “General” tab at the top. From there you will see some of the default settings.

Your info

Yoast SEO - your info

The “Your info” tab, is where you will adjust your website name and also give an alternative name for the site. You will also add a company or a person, which will help to increase your search engine presence.

Webmaster Tools

Yoast SEO - webmaster tool

If you are using Google Webmaster Tools and any of the tools listed above you can link your accounts to their section.

These tools help to show you the analytics data and insight into how your website is performing on different search engines.


yoast security setting

If multiple authors have control in your blog, this setting will help you limit access to post customization. Activating it only allows those with administrative permissions to be able to set redirects, canonical URLs, and noindex settings.

2, Title and Meta Optimization

Yoast SEO - title and metas

This part is where you will optimize the Titles and Meta section of your website. The adjustments you are going to make here will influence what your website and post will look like when they appear in the search engines.

This setting will help increase your search engine click-through rates. You can adjust the setting by navigating to Yoast> Titles and Metas.

On this screen, you can choose to allow the plugin to force re-write titles or not. Automatically the plugin by default will re-write the titles, so you don’t have to adjust the setting.


home page yoast setting

Adjusting the ‘Title template’ to look like it is on the image is very good. It will enable you to have more space to optimize your title and make your title more attractive and clickable in search results. Adjusting the meta description will also make it show up if your home page appears in search engines.

Post Type

yoast post title

The ‘Post Types’ allow you to adjust how the post and page titles show in the search results. I recommend you adjust your ‘Title template’ to look like the one shown on the image.
It is also recommended to have your post title first, followed by your site’s name.



By default, WordPress creates some taxonomies. So you will not need to create another one because the current title format for these sections should be fine. But I suggest you switch the ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ sections to noindex. This will stop Google from indexing these pages in search results.


yoast archive

This part will allow you to adjust the titles that appear for your archive pages if you enable them. You will find out few different types of archives that are created by WordPress such as author archives, date archives, special pages, and 404 pages.

To decrease the chances of duplicated content repeating, I suggest setting ‘Author archives’ to Disabled and noindex. Do the same for the ‘Date archives’, which do not provide you any value in search engines.

3, Social

yoast social media

Social media will play a great role in your SEO now and in the future. The plugin integrates almost every existing social media platform. from the main screen, you will see where to enter your profile URLs for any kind of social media network you are presently active on.


yoast facebook

From the Facebook tab, you can set up your Facebook Open Graph metadata. You can also get more options for configuring your Facebook from the WordPress editor. if you already have a Facebook page. You can add your Facebook Admin to get more insights about your page traffic.


yoast twitter

You can change how you want the Twitter card to appear when you share a post, you can configure this setting from the Twitter settings tab. Enabling ‘Summary with large image’ converts well than just choosing the only title.


yoast pinterest

Pinterest also uses the same Open Graph data, just like Facebook. You have to enable Facebook meta information to enable Pinterest to work. when you are done, then you will confirm your website with Pinterest.

4, XML Sitemaps

For proper optimization, XML Sitemaps helps to effectively index your content on Google and other search engines. It works as a road map for search engine bots to crawl your website and know when you update your site.

yoast xml sitemaps

Enable the sitemaps from the first screen. Then you have to click on the ‘XML Sitemap’ box and copy and paste that link into your Google Webmaster Tools account. This linking will enable the Google search console to have access to your site data.

This basic guide is for beginners, for an advanced guide you can visit the Yoast SEO website for the proper lessons.

How to use Yoast SEO on post and page

Yoast SEO works perfectly well when it comes to optimizing your website post and page.
Now that you have completed the basic settings, you will see how to use Yoast SEO to optimize each post and page you have created. This method will help create a better onsite SEO. it will be hard at first but when you perfect it, then the work will be easier.

Posts and pages optimization

You will see a box called Yoast SEO at the bottom of every post you create. This box enables you to properly optimize each part of the content you create around a specific keyword.

The job of the Yoast analysis tools is to analyze the post you have created and provide recommendations to optimize each post around a keyword you are targeting.

Yoast snippet editor

yoast snippet editor

From the Snippet, the editor is where you will edit all of the post information that will appear in the search engines. It gives the opportunity to optimize your post for both the readers and search engine bots. The analysis tool makes it easy to craft a friendly-SEO title, slug, and meta description.
If you are creating the post snippet, the green dot means the optimization is good.

Focus keyword

Yoast SEO - focus keyword

The Yoast focus keyword and analysis section are where you will enter the keyword you are targeting. If you see more green dots, then your optimization is good.


Yoast SEO - readability

The readability section is where you will see how easy it is for your readers to digest your post. If your content is easy to read then the site user experience will improve the SEO rankings by boosting the time spent on the site. Then decrease the bounce rates.

Categories optimization

You can optimize your category pages around targeted keywords. If you followed this tutorial from the starting point, then you might have understood the basics of page optimization.

You can optimize the category page by following the post-optimization process. Be sure to optimize your SEO title, slug, and meta description. And also follow the focused keyword analysis to get more green dots.

Popmati Emebu

Entrepreneur, Writer, Digital Marketer, Web Developer, Insightful Teacher and Blogger...

This Post Has 3 Comments

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