alpha pixa logo

How to use Yoast SEO for page titles and meta descriptions

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links. There is no extra cost to you and in some cases you may receive a discount – win/win!

So, you’ve got a new website and you know that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is important. If you’re handling website updates and creating new blog posts yourself, you’ll want to understand how to use Yoast SEO – a PlugIn that may have been delivered with your new website.

1. SEO/Page title

The title, the contents of your page’s title tag, is one of the single most important factors for ranking in the search results. Not only is it the literal title of the tab or browser window, it’s also the first line people see in the search results. This is set for you automatically by the PlugIn, but you can override it if you wish, by simply typing in the “SEO Title” field.

2. Meta description

The meta description can be used by search engines to show in the snippet, it’s the black piece of text shown beneath the URL. The meta description is usually only used when it contains the keyword the searcher was searching for. So, use the meta description field you find in the Yoast SEO plugin to write a meta description. Make sure it entices the reader to click through and make sure that it contains the focus keyword of your post or page at least once.

a screenshot from the Yoast settings showing SEO Title and Meta Description

3. Focus keyword

The focus keyword is the keyword that you want your page to rank for, so when people search for that keyword, they’ll find you. In Yoast SEO it has its own input field. The plugin evaluates the page’s content and provides feedback on how to improve the content for that focus keyword.

4. Image optimisation

An often overlooked part of WordPress SEO is how you handle your images. By writing good “alt tags” for images (alternative descriptions) and thinking of how you name the files, you can get yourself a bit of extra traffic from the different image search engines. You should also bear in mind that image alt tags are important for blind and partially-sighted visitors, who use special software called a screen reader, to interpret your website and understand it. So, if you are adding images to blog posts, name them appropriately and give them a meaningful description in the alt tag.

5. Learn more

I have only covered the most basic principles here. The creators of Yoast SEO provide excellent documentation and I would recommend browsing the following:

About the Author

Victoria Bennett

Victoria is a technology consultant and founder of Alpha Pixa. Her specialist expertise includes Wordpress, WooCommerce and SEO.