How to Give Your SEO a Boost with Yoast SEO (Part 1)

Better WordPress SEOAs web writers, we know SEO is important.

Fortunately, when we build our websites with WordPress, there’s a massive amount of SEO help available with the Yoast SEO plugin — and even more when you upgrade from the free to the Pro version.

Because the plugin is so robust, it’s easy to feel a wee bit intimidated when you’re first learning to use it. I’m aiming to reduce that intimidation factor for you in this series of articles.

In this first one, we’ll go over how to install the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress site, and the initial setup.

Note that screenshots are for WordPress 4.7.1 and Yoast SEO 4.1 — the most current versions as of this writing.

Before You Install…

If you haven’t already set up a Google Analytics account and Google Search Console, this would be a good time to do so as you’ll need your Google information to set up the plugin. Here are some basic instructions from Google on setting up your Analytics account and setting up Search Console.

Also, set up Bing webmaster tools, and Yandex webmaster tools if you expect your site to be popular with the Russian-based search engine. (If you’re an English-speaking web writer in a Western country, signing up with Yandex isn’t necessary.)

Install the Plugin

Here’s the simplest way to install the Yoast SEO plugin.

  1. Log into WordPress and select Plugins/Add New.
  2. Type Yoast SEO into the search box. The plugin you’re looking for should be the first one in the search results.
  3. Click the “Install Now”
  4. You’ll see the button change, and after a second or two, it will turn blue and the words “Install Now” will change to “Activate.”Activate it from here, or from the Plugins


As soon as you activate the plugin, you’ll notice a couple of new things in your Dashboard.

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.


    • It does not let you know as you write. But if you tell it which keyword is your primary focus, it will evaluate you work and you can use its feedback to make it stronger.

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