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Yoast SEO Cheatsheet – Print this out

Yoast SEO Simplified

Yoast SEO Author

Joost de Valk

If you’re wondering why there’s an article on an SEO plugin in a marketing blog, it’s because blogging has become such an integral part of a business website that either you’re already blogging or you’re thinking about it. And there’s no point in spending untold hours writing a blog or maintaining a website if no one is ever going to see it, so you have to get involved with search engine optimization.

Every time Google makes a change, they throw a scare into the SEO community, but it’s clear they’re just trying to keep the cheaters off the playing field. Those of us who are trying to deliver valuable content to our readers are actually being rewarded by Google with this last change, so no worries! However, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t all fighting to get ranked higher in the searches.

I use WordPress SEO by Yoast to help me correct any deficiencies in a post before I hit the PUBLISH key. If you haven’t already downloaded Yoast’s free and easy-to-use plugin, you’ll want to do that right now. Then just print out the list below as a cheat sheet to make the best use of each field, fill out your Yoast info right below your post, and check through all your fields to make sure they’re the best they can be. Yes, this list prints out correctly, and it works best if you just highlight the table and right-click on “print.”


This is what the search engines will see first – it’s a combination of your title, your URL, and your page/meta description. Yoast helps you by putting it all together so you can visualize whether it is REALLY valuable – you can usually improve it by rewriting using the info below. The example of a snippet for this post is just below this table.

Page Title

(SEO Title)

One of the MOST important parts of your post’s SEO

  • Use your primary subject (keyword) in the title, preferably at the start
  • Keep it short – over 70 characters may be truncated

Page URL


When you write your title at the top of your post, the URL is automatically generated (short for Uniform Resource Locator, which means the address where your post can be found on the web). HOWEVER, it’s a machine function and doesn’t always understand what’s important – it often shortens your title and may leave out key words. Edit your URL to be sure your keyword/ subject is prominent. Test it and your short code to be sure the changes haven’t screwed up the address.

Page Descriptions

(meta descriptions)

This is what explains to the search engines (and searchers) what your article’s content is all about. This line is what shows up when you link to Facebook and other social media, so think about what you would write to explain why someone needs to read your post and will find it valuable. It should be accurate but enticing. Use your keyword at least once – twice if it sounds natural.
Body HeadingsH1 – Heading 1 – should be at the top of your article, slightly different than the overall title of your post, but still using your subject keyword. Headings get lots of the search engines’ attention. H2’s can emphasize your main points and helps focus the readers’ attention where you want it. I like to use color for the headings to help the reader focus on what’s important as well as for SEO.

Body Copy (content)

Google’s newest algorithm is looking at your content for value. Use your keyword(s) when you can, but only when it sounds natural to do so. Stay on subject. Come up with something original if you can, or use someone else’s material (curating) when you feel it is valuable AND you give full credit and a link.


When you insert an image, it asks you to give some info like image title, caption, alternate text and description. Give your image a title and description that use your keyword….but make the wording sound logical. A caption can also be helpful when it has your keyword in it — keep it under 120 characters though.

Internal Links

If you have additional information elsewhere in your own site, you can offer a link to your reader to save them frustration in finding it. Many experts are saying to make the links “nofollow” links instead of “dofollow” because the search engines may think you are being too self-serving. It’s probably best just to do what’s best for your reader and forget about trying to make fakey links that no one needs.

External Links

If you know there’s a really valuable site that your reader should visit for more information, Google may reward you for being so nice as to give the address IF it is for a well-rated site. However, usually do you want your readers to leave your site?

Snippet Example: (my keyword phrase is “Yoast SEO”)
(page title)  Yoast SEO Cheatsheet – Print this out – AdHelper
(URL) Adhelper.biz/yoast-seo-cheatsheet
(Meta Page Description) This Yoast SEO plugin cheatsheet gives more info about each Yoast field so that your SEO is topnotch. Print this out!

After you complete the “General” Yoast information and save your draft, you’ll go to Yoast’s second page, called “Page Analysis” with red and green balls telling you exactly what to change to improve your post. These first two pages of Yoast are all you really need to know to make a great start at your SEO. The plugin has some advanced settings that you’ll want to study in the future, and if you want to have different meta descriptions for Facebook and Google you can, but the simplicity and feedback of this great piece of programming will be of enormous help right from the start to get you noticed and ranked.

Many thanks to Joost de Valk and his team for their excellence. There are a huge number of classes, videos, and books on Yoast SEO, many at the Yoast site. I also stumbled across a really valuable blog that you might like called WPBrix that has a free book on WordPress and a bunch of blog articles on the advanced functions of the Yoast SEO plugin.

Thanks for reading! Won’t you please share this post with your friends who are in the early stages of blogging?

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll like Blogging Tips for Fun, Fame and Profit,
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