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Ultimate 2019 Yoast SEO Guide

There are many SEO tools and plugins on the market today, it’s ridiculous.

Many offer a wide range of services and capabilities, but today we’re focusing on the 2019 Yoast SEO guide.

What Is The 2019 Yoast SEO Plugin?

There are many SEO tools and plugins on the market today, it’s ridiculous.

Many offer a wide range of services and capabilities, but today we’re focusing on the 2019 Yoast SEO plugin.

What is the 2019 Yoast SEO plugin? 

This popular plugin helps you get more visitors from Google and Bing, attract more visitors from social media, increase your readers’ engagement, and so much more.

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How Do I Download & Install The Yoast SEO Plugin?

In your WordPress Dashboard, click the “Plugins” tab on the left-hand side.

On the next screen, choose “Add New”.

By default, the “Akismet” and “Hello Dolly” plugins are installed but those two can be deleted if you choose. I recommend deleting them for cache storage sake.

On the next screen, you should see a “Search Plugins” field on the right-hand side. 

Type in “Yoast SEO” into that search bar and a list of suggested plugins will be provided. 

Click “Install Now” on the plugin highlighted by the red box. 

View the image below for reference:

Add New Plugin Yoast SEO - 2019 Yoast SEO Guide - Four Peaks SEO

After clicking on “Install Now”, click the same button again when it says “Activate”.

You will be redirected back to the Installed Plugins screen after activating the plugin.

Once the plugin has been activated, click the “Settings” option.

General Yoast SEO Setup 1 - 2019 Yoast SEO Guide - Four Peaks SEO

In the “First-time SEO configuration” field, choose the “configuration wizard” option. The configuration wizard should now look like this:

Choose the purple “Configure Yoast SEO” button to start the configuration wizard.

  • Environment: Choose “Option A” for now.
  • Site Type: Choose “A small offline business” or whichever best suits your company type.
  • Company or Person: Choose “Company” and enter the name of the company. You can upload a company logo here or you can do it later – your choice.
  • Social Profiles: Self-explanatory – Enter in the URL’s for any company social media accounts.
  • Search Engine Visibility: I recommend changing only the “Projects” option to No.
  • Multiple Authors: Leave as default “No” for now.
  • Google Search Console: We can ignore this for now.
  • Title Settings: I recommend leaving as default as shown until later.
  • Newsletters: We can ignore this for now.

Keep clicking next to ignore the next sections until you get to the “Close” button. 

After hitting the “close” button, you’ll be redirected back to your WordPress Dashboard, specifically the SEO Plugin tab.

2019 Yoast SEO Plugin Features

Let’s continue setting up your Yoast SEO plugin. 

Next to “Dashboard” is “Features”. You can enable or disable a few features from this list. By clicking the question mark next to each feature, you can learn what each one does. 

For now, use the guide below for which settings should be turned ON or OFF:

SEO Analysis: ON

Readability Analysis: ON

Cornerstone Content: ON

Text Link Counter: ON

XML Sitemaps: ON

Ryte Integration: ON

Admin Bar Menu: ON

Security: No Advanced Settings For Authors: OFF

Want to learn more about all of their features? Check out Yoast SEO’s official website!

Webmaster Tools

Arguably the most important section for this plugin is the “Webmaster Tools” section. You can use the boxes below to verify with the different Webmaster Tools. This feature will add a verification meta tag on your home page. If your site is already verified, you can just forget about these. Since this one isn’t, let’s go ahead and verify it.

NOTE: Before we do anything with this section, let’s first set up your Google Analytics account. 

Once you have set up your Google Analytics account, let’s continue.

Google Search Console Setup

After you have completed setting up your Google Analytics account, navigate back to the Webmaster Tools section in your Yoast SEO plugin.

In the Google verification code area, click the “Google Search Console” link; a new tab will open in your browser.

Choose the “Google Analytics” option and click the red “Verify” button.

Google Analytics - Google Search Console - 2019 Yoast SEO Guide - Four Peaks SEO

Google Search Console Setup Continued

After verifying your account, click the “Search Console” sub-tab in your SEO Plugin tab on the left-hand side in your WordPress Dashboard.

Click the “Get Google Authorization Code” tab.

A popup window will appear.

Choose the email address associated with these accounts. 

On the next screen, click “Allow”.

A code will appear in the next screen. 

Copy and Paste that code into the “Authentication” field.

On the next screen, choose the “profile” or URL the code will belong to from the drop-down menu and click “Save Profile”.

View the image below as reference:

Google Search Console - Save Profile - 2019 Yoast SEO Guide - Four Peaks SEO

That’s it for the 2019 Yoast SEO Plugin setup!

Easy, right? Very easy!

You can navigate through all of the settings in the plugin and change them to what suits your website best.

How Do I Use The 2019 Yoast SEO Plugin?

Once you have the Yoast SEO Plugin downloaded, installed and all your settings are in place, it is time to start putting the plugin into action.

Let’s start by creating a blog post. 

Click on “Posts” from the menu on the left.

Then, click on “Add New”.

Enter any title you’d like for your blog.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’re going to use a current blog post of ours called “Social Media Tips for Small Businesses”. And we’re going to use the keyword “social media tips”, but you can use whatever keyword you’re going to use for your blog post.

Before moving forward, I do highly recommend getting the Elegant Themes/Divi Builder but it isn’t required if you have a different builder or are using the classic editor.

If You’re Using The Divi Builder

Click on the Purple “Use The Divi Builder” button to activate the Divi Builder.

Now, on the right-hand side of your screen, you will see more widgets appear. Change the settings to as follows:

Divi Page Settings > Page Layout: Full Width > Post Title: Hide

Below the Divi Builder, you will see the Yoast SEO plugin “workbox”. As you can see from the image below, we filled out each section according to what our post goals are. We will go over each one in this 2019 Yoast SEO guide.

By default, each section will be blank and the “Readability analysis” box will have a red face. However, we have already wrote a blog post for this example but you can still follow along all the same.

Yoast SEO Box Preview - 2019 Yoast SEO Guide - Four Peaks SEO

 

 

Under the “Publish” widget, go ahead and click “Save Draft”.

Focus Keyphrase

The “Focus Keyphrase” is the keyword or key term you would like to build your content around, what you want to rank your blog post for. In the above example, we used the key phrase “social media tips” as that is what we want this blog post to rank for.

In this “Snippet Preview” section, you will find the Post Title and Meta Description fields. Click on “Edit Snippet” to edit these fields.

Yoast SEO Snippet Preview - 2019 Yoast SEO Guide - Four Peaks SEO

 

 

Per the example, we used “social media tips” as our keyphrase and we added a title and meta description. The keyword or keyphrase must be included in the “Slug” section. When the keyphrase is added, you will see said keyphrase in bold inside the meta description of the snippet preview. When users search for social media tips and see the bold keyphrase in the meta description, they’re more inclined to click on that link thus becoming a “visitor” on the blog post and/or site.

NOTE: Use the title and meta description character length bar to judge how engaging your meta description will be. It’s useful for not only determining description and title length but whether if it makes an impact for conversions.

When you’re done entering all you need, click on “Close Snippet Editor”.

Now is the time to add content to your blog post.

Once you’ve written your blog post, come on back to this 2019 Yoast SEO guide.

Oh, You’re Back? GREAT! Let’s Continue!

Here is what a completed and optimized blog post should look like, according to the Yoast SEO plugin:

Completely Optimized Blog Post - 2019 Yoast SEO Guide - Four Peaks SEO

 

 

Yoast SEO Plugin Problems

I’m sure you’re asking yourself “What do I do if any of these are not green?” That’s a great question! Because it happens to everyone when they’re first using this plugin.

There are 3 categories in each section here: Problems (Red), Improvements (Orange), and Good Results (Green).

Each category will have its own section for easier viewing.

More often than not, you won’t always get all 14 green lights on the first try.

Let’s take a look at the two most common analysis errors when optimizing a blog post.

Keyphrase In Title

The keyphrase in title assessment checks if you have used your keyphrase in the SEO title of your post or page.

What’s The Fix?

Our original blog post title was “Small Business Social Media Tips”. After changing the blog post title to “Social Media Tips for Small Businesses”, the Improvement “error” disappeared and turned green. What happened? Simply moved the focus keyphrase to the beginning of the blog post title.

Keyphrase In Introduction

The keyphrase in introduction check assesses whether or not your focus keyphrase is in the introduction of your text.

What’s The Fix?

Make sure your focus keyphrase is either in the first sentence of your blog post or within the first 150 words. Think of this section as the synopsis on the inside or back cover of a book you might be interested in reading. It must be compelling and relevant to your reader.

The rest of the analysis results are practically self-explanatory and easy to follow.

For more information on each Yoast SEO analysis, use this guide.

Two of the most common analysis questions I get asked is “how many links are too much or too little?” and “How long should my content be to avoid ‘thin content penalty’?”

When it comes to links, I highly recommend following the 3:1 ratio. For example, there should be 3 internal links and 3 external links.

And your content should always be 300 words or more in order to prevent the search engines deeming it as “thin content”. However, if your content is high-quality and valuable both to the reader, then 300 words or less can rank well.

Conclusion

Follow these steps in the 2019 Yoast SEO guide above and I’m sure you will have great success navigating the Yoast SEO plugin.

Thank you for enjoying my 2019 Yoast SEO Guide.

Do you have any tips to add?

Let me know in the comments!

Download FREE Sales Boost Guide

Are you not getting enough web traffic, conversions, or sales? We’ve been there, too! Download our FREE “7 Sales-Boosting Steps for Brick & Mortar Businesses” guide today to discover how you can easily boost your sales through the 7 simple and proven steps!