An overview of Yoast SEO for beginners!

Yoast SEO

There are some things you can’t prepare for, as we’ve learned over the previous year and a half. When it comes to your website, though, you can plan and optimise for how people will perceive your material.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can provide your site and its content a significant boost. When it may appear to be yet another thing to learn while attempting to construct and maintain your website, or even a fee to a freelance specialist you don’t necessarily want to pay for, this is not the case. You may obtain a good understanding of SEO and learn how to improve your site’s search results in a short amount of time.

For individuals who are new to SEO or wish to brush up on their skills, I’ve put together my best possible analysis as a starting point. While this post focuses on WordPress sites, most of the material below may be applied to other platforms as well, such as sites built using React, Squarespace, or a Shopify eCommerce site.

In this article, we’ll cover: 

  • What is SEO?
  • How site design impacts SEO
  • What is Yoast SEO and how does it work?
  • SEO best practices

What is SEO

SEO, in its broadest meaning, is the process of a search engine’s crawler or bot indexing your website. This essentially means that it will read the contents of your website, down to the words on the page and internal and external links, and give that information back to the search engine in question (this is usually Google, however, other search engines such as Bing will crawl your site from time to time too).

Holistic SEO is the practise of enhancing your site’s search engine ranks naturally, without doing anything illegal or harmful that might lower your overall ranking. This tutorial will solely focus on holistic SEO, attempting to steer you away from various shortcuts that may decrease your position in the long term.

You write, construct, and create content for the user using SEO; you don’t create content solely for the sake of ranking. With this in mind, if your user count is low, you have a high homepage hit rate but a low page transition rate, or you simply want to improve the aesthetic appeal of your site, I recommend taking the time to either fix it yourself or engage a professional to do so.

How site design impacts SEO 

The information you write, the photographs you upload, and the products you offer all play a role in how enticing your site is. If you don’t feel comfortable or have the funds to hire a developer, I recommend learning how to use a theme builder. While these aren’t a complete substitute for a professional developer, they can assist folks (with little to no programming skills) who want to renew their websites with a little effort.

Flywheel has a collaboration with Divi to help with this, but you can also use Elementor, Site Origin, or any of the other theme builders to help you revamp your site.

One thing to watch out for when it comes to smart design is dead redirects. You can remove content, move it, rename it, or rebrand certain pages as your site grows. One thing that truly grinds Google’s wheels, much like dropping a fresh ice cream cone on the concrete, is indexing a site and finding an image link, page link, or internal link that suddenly doesn’t lead anywhere. Search engines despise 404 links and will actively penalise your site if you have too many of them for an extended period of time. Learning how to use a redirection plugin is a useful habit. There is a 301 redirection feature in Yoast SEO Pro, however there are many of free plugins that can perform the same thing.

Make it a practise to redirect every known broken link to a live page, which will eliminate 404 errors and make it easier for the crawler to access the directed content.

What is Yoast SEO and how does it work

Yoast SEO is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin, with over 500,000 installations throughout You can enable a full array of tools for adding and changing keywords at the bottom of your page or post editor (by default, this is Gutenberg; however, if you’re using a theme builder tool, it may be farther down the page). Some of the dialogue options you’ll have, as shown in the photographs below, are modifying and inputting your keywords, synonyms, Yoast’s site analysis, and a few other useful tools.

Yoast offers both a paid and free version of their plugin, so I’d look into which one best meets your current and future needs. The free version should enough for most individuals, but the screenshots I’ve included are from a sample page with the pro version linked to the site:

The user experience is just as important for SEO as it is for making your site pleasant. Users will intentionally leave a site that isn’t intuitive or easy to use if it isn’t intuitive or easy to use.

SEO best practices

Because SEO is such a vast issue, I’ve created a list of best practises to keep in mind when auditing or writing content for your site. There are many best practise activities you can take, but for the SEO rookie, or editors and writers that need a little help, these are the ones I would recommend.

SEO best practices: 

  • Avoid the use of black hat SEO practices
  • Invest in internal linking
  • Look out for malware
  • Keep performance and speed top of mind

Avoid black hat SEO practices

My first piece of advice is to stay away from black hat SEO tactics. Also known as spamdexing, this is the practise of using unlawful services or technologies to increase the rating of your website. Having bot visitors browse a site in the hopes of fooling Google into thinking it’s a high-traffic site deserving of a higher ranking in whatever category your website is focusing on is an example of this.

Today’s search engines are based on a plethora of algorithms. Google, for example, updates its crawler algorithm on a regular basis. While we don’t have access to the details of the method they use, we can get a sense of how frequently they change. To avoid black hat SEO and crawler abuse, they do this (nearly at random). The last thing we want is for Sam’s really awesome cola company to replace Coke in Google searches for “Thirst Quencher”!

Keyword stuffing, for example, is an example of black hat SEO (writing a really thin, vague post, but then in your SEO management settings, cramming as many keywords into a post as possible). If you use Instagram, you can see examples of this if you ever come across a bot posting. In order to help a post trend, they use a lot of hashtags that are somewhat relevant.

Hide your links or content on the website is another example of black hat SEO. This is accomplished by concealing particular paragraphs in CSS and displaying them off the page. Technically, the material still renders, but as a user, you don’t see it.

Invest in internal linking

A second suggestion is to devote a significant amount of time to what is known as internal linkage. Your material will inevitably grow as your site grows, whether it’s a recipe site, a blog, or something in between.

Going back into old posts and linking to more relevant, current stuff is an excellent habit – and the same applies for new ones. This is a fantastic healthy practise for your site if you link back to prior content to reference certain articles or opinions.

Why? As I previously stated, search engines use crawlers to index your site and provide the information back to them. Internal linking aids the crawler in indexing your site more quickly by letting it know where fresh and old material can be found.

Consider it a game of snakes and ladders, with you as the crawler on the board. When you land on a snake or a ladder, you move faster up or down the board than if you were simply rolling the dice. The crawler is in the same boat. After it analyses the link, it will go to the internal page you linked to and begin indexing, or re-indexing, that page, allowing your newer, most up-to-date information to appear on Google sooner. Consider it a way to improve the relationship between your content and your audience.

Internal linking is defined in a great article from Yoast SEO’s training database. This is also worth reading because it explains the distinction between internal and external linking.

It’s simple for SEO posts to say things like “simply publish good content, and you’ll eventually rank better,” but as we all know, that’s not always the case. However, I’ve noticed that many people neglect the ease and efficiency of incorporating the right keywords in their writing.

Look out for malware

Malware is one thing to keep an eye out for on every website. Malware comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, forms, and functionalities, but its general purpose is to disrupt the user’s experience on the site. Aside from keeping your WordPress version, theme, and plugins up to date, it’s also good reviewing your site from time to time to make sure there isn’t any malware causing you or your users any problems.

A typical piece of malware seeks to steal your primary domain and redirect it to another malicious service or website, which is triggered by a variety of vulnerabilities. This type of infection is clear to Google after they index the site; however, other sorts of malware designed for a specific goal (such as harvesting user information) may be less obvious to the user but still visible to Google.

When a search engine learns of an illness, it will take efforts to quarantine the site in its own way, such as ranking it lower in search results. The site will eventually be ranked quite low and will be very difficult to recover from if it is not cleaned and returned to an uninfected state. As a result, it’s critical to keep everything on the site up to date, if only to avoid any future hassles.

Keep performance and speed top of mind

Another consideration is the performance and speed of your website. Slow sites are more difficult for Google to index, and their crawler won’t stay on your site all day to index it — there’s too much of the internet for it to crawl to spend that much time on one site.

Keeping your site up and running rapidly, your page load speed snappy, and your time to first byte (TTFB) under 500-800ms can assist users get to your site, load it quickly, and see your information immediately.

Your ultimate goal should be to make your page interactive within the first three seconds of it loading, allowing them to interact with your content before leaving.

Flywheel has a performance team that can help fine-tune the site from a server viewpoint, but a poorly created site is still a poorly built site at the end of the day. While employing a developer to help improve your site may not be an immediate remedy, it will, in the end, help you generate more legitimate traffic to your site.


Overall, SEO optimization is about improving your site’s user experience rather than making it search engine friendly. When striving to attain the top position on a search engine, this is frequently disregarded, and the content suffers as a result.

I hope that with these helpful recommendations and assistance, this post can serve as a springboard for you to move your site in a positive path for the rest of the year and beyond, not just to help Google index your site better, but also to help you create amazing content.

Need help with getting your business found online? Stridec is a top SEO agency in Singapore that can help you achieve your objectives with a structured and effective SEO programme that will get your more customers and sales. Contact us for a discussion now.