Reality Blog: How to Use Yoast SEO to Optimize Your Web Pages

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Yoast SEO is a popular WordPress plugin, designed to help you optimize web pages for SEO.

How do you use it and what does it do?

This is the first of a two-part series on the Yoast SEO plugin. Today we’ll look at the features that help you optimize your copy for SEO. Next time we’ll look at some other useful features of Yoast.

Before we do, there’s something we need to clear up.

Understanding Yoast SEO’s Limitations

When you install, activate, and use the Yoast SEO plugin, it will look something like this.

An Overview of the Yoast SEO Plugin
This is what Yoast SEO looks like on WordPress.

You fill in the Focus Keyphrase (keyword), SEO Title, Slug, and meta description fields. Yoast displays a sample preview (or snippet) of what your page might look like in a search.

Now, it’s easy to think Yoast SEO tells the search engines, “Hey, look over here. This is the keyword for this page” and the search engines would say, “Great, thanks. When someone searches for this keyword, I’ll show them this page.”

But that’s not the case.

Instead, Yoast simply checks off the Focus Keyphrase against a list of SEO best practices.

Yoast doesn’t care what your keyword is. It simply takes the keyword (focus keyphrase) you nominate and helps you optimize the copy for that keyword.

Yoast does not tell the search engines, “Page X is optimized for Keyword Y.”

The search engines figure this out for themselves. They crawl the page and decide what keywords are the best fit.

Yoast SEO is a tool, just like a headline analyzer app is a tool. You tell it what keyword you want to use and it tells you if the page is optimized for the keyword. It doesn’t have any influence over the search engines… if they decide your page is optimized for some other keyword, then there’s nothing Yoast can do about it.


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Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

Andrew has traded the daily grind for a life on the road. He loves the lure of Australia’s wide-open spaces, solitude and isolation. Andrew and his wife Peta are experienced remote travelers, living the simple life on the road. They travel, work and live in their 4x4 truck camper. Andrew plans to build his Money-Making Website Top Wire Traveller to the point where it provides a regular income... enough to sustain their lifestyle on the road.

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