Let me get straight into the topic. Your blog is not ranked in search engines but your posts are. When someone inputs a search query, the search engine matches the word with the targeted keyword you have used in the post. Thus your post is ranked according to the keyword filtration. These targeted keywords are known as focus keywords. You cannot rank for all the keywords used in your post. You should use some focus keyword and that focus phrase should be used strategically so that you can rank for that particular phrase. Yoast SEO focus keyword provides us with some very useful data which we can use in our posts and analyse it while writing the post.
PLUGIN FEATURES OF YOAST
If you ask what is the best seo plugin for wordpress ? My answer would be Yoast Seo as it is a powerful plugin.
We can easily setup our social profiles with Yoast Plugin by putting the profile URL’s.
We can also generate yoast seo sitemap using the plugin for indexing our sites in search engines. Though we can manually create sitemaps for Google, Bing and other webmaster tools but Yoast provide the easy way to create sitemaps for images and videos as well.
We can verify our site with Search Console using Yoast plugin too.
There are many other important features as setting up Breadcrumbs, putting titles, meta and so on.
You can check the complete Yoast SEO tutorial to use all the features properly.
SETUP OF YOAST FOCUS KEYWORD
I cannot believe that Yoast is a free plugin. Though the Premium version is there. But we can do so much with the free plugin too.
Yoast provides a fantastic feature called Content Analysis of the post.
Let us take a look at the example.
I am writing a post about Colorful Butterflies.
Remember this is just an example so I have not done any keyword research before choosing my focus keyword.
I have chosen my Focus Keyword to be colorful butterflies in garden.
- Understand the Keyword Research Process to find the most searched keywords
- 5 Effective Free long tail keyword generator
Now click on Edit Snippet
By clicking on Edit Snippet you will be able to check the slug and write the Meta Description on your own.
It is the set of words which appears in the URL of your post. It is better to keep the slug short, sweet and meaningful.
What are stop words?
A slug may contain stop words. Stop Words are words which frequently appears in a writing as on posts or web pages which does not hold any significance in search queries. Google ignore stop words completely. So the stop words are usually filtered from search queries as they return massive unnecessary information.
Example of stop words: your, with, is , on, of , and, was, a
Do stop word hurts SEO?
What if Google starts showing results considering stop words? Can you imagine the chaos. Words like ‘your’, ‘the’, ‘with’, ‘in’ will appear in every article so how is it going to display the result?
So Google makes very low priority for this stop words, mostly ignoring them completely. It is much more interested in the other keyword queries.
Suppose my focus keyword is ‘ black paper for wrapping board’. If someone have to search for it, it will generally go as ‘black paper wrapping board’ as search keyword. So ‘for’ is generally ignored as search queries.
You ask yourself how many times you have entered search queries with ‘your’, ‘with’, ‘a’. In this case if someone is having focus keyword as ‘black paper wrapping board’ is likely to rank higher than with your focus keyword using ‘for’ in it. So, it does affect SEO.
But we cannot always avoid stop words as it will not make any sense in reading our URL. It will give a bad user experience. I personally have rarely avoided any stop words as I focus more on user ease of understanding.
You can read handling stop words by Yoast Seo.
Meta description is a very important feature so do not let the search engines to choose your meta descriptions. The starting lines of your post is usually taken by default as Meta descriptions. It is always wise to edit the snippet and write our own Meta descriptions.
Meta description is as important as the Title of the page; as it is visible in the search engines and makes your post clickable to the user. Meta description describes your web page and is one of the most important ingredient of On-Page SEO. Meta description should be very catchy and it should tell the readers about the post content.
The meta description is a ~160 character snippet, a tag in HTML, that summarizes a page’s content. Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched for phrase is contained in the description. Optimizing the meta description is a very important aspect of on-page SEO~ Yoast
CONTENT ANALYSIS DETAILS
This feature of Yoast Plugin gives plenty of useful information.
We can already see that it gives the keyword density, tells us if our meta description consists of the focus keyword and many more.
Let us check each point
Focus keyword contains stop word:
We have already discussed what is a stop word and whether to use it in our yoast seo focus keyword or not.
Text contains 124 words:
Long posts with 2000-3000 words are mostly successful. It is seen that long detailed posts are the ones which gets most number of shares in social medias.
On an average a post should consist of 600-700 words. Yoast plugin tells us that a post should contain a minimum of 300 words.
Focus keyword doesn’t appear in first paragraph:
Yoast SEO Focus keyword is the word or phrase which we are targeting for our post to rank in search engines. So, it is better if we use it in the first para itself as it will clarify the motive of our post and also increase our keyword density.
Images missing alt attributes:
Suppose you write about baking.
Someone searches for yummy cakes in image search or Pinterest and your image text describes it as picture003.jpg. So will it show up in the results? No.
So there comes useful alt text (alternative texts) which you can edit for each image.
Click on the edit tab. Now you can put your own alt text for best SEO practices.
You can check for best Image seo practises.
Slug contains stop word:
We already had discussion about the slug stop words.
0 no-followed links and 1 normal outbound link
No followed links are the links which do not pass any link juice to our site.
This page contains 1 normal outbound link means that the post has been linked to an external page.
Here I have given the link to ‘Yoast stop word handling page’. So it makes a normal outbound link.
Meta description contains focus keyword:
Meta Description has already been described. Use of yoast seo focus keyword in meta description is a good practice of On-Page SEO.
Length of meta description:
As said meta description is a 160 character snippet. Make the most out of it by writing some useful description of the post.
Focus keyword appears in sub heading:
We give sub heading to make our posts more organized. So when a focus keyword is used in the sub headings it clearly says that the focus phrase is an important part of the post.
Keyword density 1.6%:
1-2 % Keyword density is considered good by Yoast Plugin.
Page Title length:
Page Title length can consist of 140 characters. Beyond 140 characters it will be wider than the view-able limit.
You can write long post title and include your target keywords within the recommendable limit.
Focus keyword in URL:
Using focus keyword for the slug is definitely good for SEO. It helps search engines to filter the post for your targeted keywords.
Never used this focus keyword before:
You can write another post using same focus keyword to rank both your posts. But surely when you use it for the first time it is better. Using the same focus keyword for a 2nd post can cause duplicate content issue.
Avoid canonical issues for negative SEO.
Use of proper Yoast SEO focus keyword can add seo to wordpress and dramatically change your web page rankings.
It is not necessary that you should have green signal for all the points in content analysis. But make sure it does not effect the SEO ranking factors.