How To Choose Focus Keywords In Yoast’s SEO Plugin

By | August 11, 2019

this is Tom dupuis in this video I’m
going to show you how to choose focus keywords in Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin,
so when you edit a page or post and scroll down you’ll see the co-ceo box
right here and the first step is to select a focus keyword and the next step
is to optimize the content so it’s actually a little more tricky than it
sounds if you’ve done this before you’ve probably experienced this you set your
focus keyword use it in all the right places maybe use the page analysis and
social tab to further optimize the content make sure your content is really
good you publish the page wait wait wait and then you don’t rank high in Google
and you’re wondering what you did wrong so I will go over the gist of it but if
you want to stick with me throughout this whole video I’m going to go over
some a little more advanced strategies to help you select better focus keywords
and rank higher so I would definitely recommend creating a keyword list
instead of just selecting these on a per-page basis by creating a keyword
list you can plan what content is going on your site and your blog posts if you
decide to research keywords for your blog posts but I’m going to do an
example you’ll want to go to and if you are creating a keyword list I
would open up a Google Doc or related program so you can write those down but
I’m just going to use a Chicago photographer as an example so if we’re a
Chicago photographer and just type in Chicago photographer we can see that it
shows up in Google right here Chicago photographers okay so we can add that to
our list because if it shows up in Google autocomplete we can assume it’s
being searched for I’ll just do a Chicago photographer we have headshots wedding and baby we have portrait family and nanny and
this is assuming these are all services that we actually offer so now that we
did the non plural version and found all the most relevant phrases we can do the
plural version so now we can see wedding baby family engagement senior we have
wedding baby family we don’t have engagement we have family so we’ll just
add senior to that so now we have bloat both the plural and non plural versions
the next thing we want to do is do a little fill in the blank trick so we can
see wedding family we have those headshot fashion ordure I don’t know if
that’s the right pronunciation the headshot fashion and Brodeur so we have
headshot we do not have fashion and we do not have this weird word that I can’t
pronounce we do have engagement and wedding so now
we’ll do the non plural version and see if there’s any other ones that show up
we have baby and newborn so those are pretty much the same keyword so we don’t
we don’t want to include the same keyword over and over if you see a
Chicago wedding photographer and wedding photographer in Chicago those are
essentially the same word so only include one variation in your list so we
have maternity nanny maternity and children’s we have nanny we do not have
maternity and we do not have children’s all right so now we can do the
fill-in-the-blank method here and see that okay we have professional but we’re
not that’s an adjective that’s not really anything to do with the type of
service we offer so we don’t need to do that but we can try you know blank
photographer in Chicago so we just want to try different variations of that
phrase professional best cheap average cost of winning photographer in Chicago
that might be a good blog article so we’ll go ahead and add that to our blog
post keywords and we can even you know do cost of photographer Chicago cost of
wedding photographer in Chicago so those would essentially be the same so you can
get some blog post keywords but I think you get the gist of it try out different
plurals different word ordering and using that this fill-in-the-blank right
here and you can place it on any part of the phrase to have Google fill in the
blank and that’s how you can get your keyword list going but that won’t cover
everything so we really want to be thorough and find out all the phrases
that people are searching for so to do that go to Google Keyword planner and
you will have to sign up with an adwords account to use this tool but this will
tell you the actual number of monthly searches people are searching for a
particular keyword and it will tell you additional keyword suggestions once
you’ve signed up for Adwords then go here and start with a broad phrase
probably your main keyword or whatever it is I’ll just do a Chicago
photographer and then in this include option I want to do Chicago
photographer so you always want to start with a broad phrase if you get too
specific you won’t get many results so now I’ll just click get ideas and I want
to make sure I’m on this keyword ideas tab so for now I just want to look at
the keywords to see if I missed any so I’ll look here Chicago Prague refer have
all these have all these I do not have food I do not have event or commercial
so I’ll go here can add food event commercial architectural photographer if
I even do that editorial photographer I’m not going to go through this whole
thing but you get the idea just go into the keyword planner and you
can use these filters right here to narrow down your results and you just
want to scroll through these and make sure you didn’t miss any key words you
can use this to go to the next page people are searching pet photographer
even that’ll be our last one I guess so once you do that the last tool I want to
go over is hub shot web grader and the main reason I use this is to get
competitor ideas so if you have some competitor websites out there you can
actually extract their full keyword list using this tool so maybe you can just go
to a few websites open them up go to hub shell web grader and then go
here and submit so little it’ll take a little bit to generate a report I definitely would not use a music thing
on your website but anyway so it’s going to generate a report and it’ll tell you
three competitors keywords and you can get ideas from that so if you go here
you can enter up to four websites and click Submit once you do that you can
see a full keyword list and hub shout will tell you all the keywords this
website ranks for up to four websites so then you just want to go back into your
keyword list and get any ideas from your competitors so that really is the first
stage is just build an extensive list of keywords and now we can just you know
assume Chicago photographer this would be Chicago headshot photographer Chicago
wedding photographer and so forth so the next step now that we know our focused
keywords is to optimize the content for those phrases so the first step is and
content optimization is to create a new page for each of these you really don’t
want to target multiple phrases on the same page because Google is all about
relevancy if someone Google’s Chicago wedding photographer they don’t want to
read about Chicago fashion photography so you really need to create a new page
so you can do better keyword targeting so we’ll just do one for Chicago wedding
photographer go ahead and create a new page Chicago wedding photographer we’ll do caps to make it look nice and we’ll write all our content here then we
scroll down here so we’ll just set this focus keyword I already used it in the
article heading and page title so by default Yoast will use this as my SEO
title so the SEO title is the title tag that appears in search engines and the
URL and Meta Description also appear there but these are configured in your
yo settings so if you want to override those you can just do you know write
whatever you want we’ll write a nice Meta Description Dupuis is a
photographer photographer in Chicago a professional
wedding photographer and I would make this probably about 145 characters long
but don’t go over the limit or us will tell you and it will get cut off by
search engines so you can see that I used wedding photographer in Chicago but
yes does not pick it up because it’s not an exact match keyword Yoast will only
detect exact match keywords so if you use a variation like I did and your Meta
Description or somewhere else then don’t worry about it it’s still there you can
just ignore the fact that it says no so the page URL Chicago wedding
photographer that’s there we’ll write our content blah blah blah
tom is Chicago wedding photographer so generally my rule is to include the
keyword at two to three times in the content once and the beacon once in the
first one two three sentences and it doesn’t have to be an exact keyword
match like I mentioned whatever sounds the best what
doesn’t sound spammy you just want to make sure it reads well there we go so
I’ll just update this so Yost can actually detect everything I’m doing
we’ll scroll down scroll down so it says yes yes yes in the Meta Description no
but it’s actually yes so there’s a few other tips I want to go over when you’re
if you add an image to your page then upload the image with the keyword as the
file name so before you upload an image name the file name is the key word on
your computer then add media then upload it to WordPress and use it on that page
so by default that file name will be used as the alternative text and that’s
just a small ranking factor in Google but you can click on an image and edit
the alternative text right here so whatever you set that file name for the
image WordPress will automatically use that as the alternative text but you
want to make sure it accurately describes the image so let’s look at
this page analysis tab right here there are six words contain the content body
far too low I agree you should definitely add more content
to it no images appear on this page so we want to use a couple images maybe
just one but we also want to preferably use the alt text in the image as long as
it accurately describes it a meta description has been specified but does
not contain the keyword it actually does I already went over that meta
description is under 120 characters so you do want to make you meta description
I would say about 140 to 150 characters preferably and like I said that is the
part of the snippet that appears in Google so this really is the forefront
of your SEO your SEO title and your URL and Meta Description are what
appear in the search engines snippet no outbound links appear on this page so
part of content optimization is using a couple links on the page you don’t have
to do this but it does help so if I’m if I create a page this page on Chicago
wedding photography and then I create the page on Chicago family photography
and then I mention one another you know I mentioned family photography on this
page we also offer family photography and then I would just link this page to
that other page that I’ve already created so by interlinking your pages
and posts that is a good way to naturally build links to your website
and this piece of content will also rank higher because using links on a page is
a ranking factor you just want to make sure those links are useful really don’t
pay attention to search engines so much as ask yourself what useful information
do people want to see when they come to this page oh I wrote an article about
average cost of wedding photographer in Chicago that would be a good article the
link to because people might want to know the pricing no subheadings appear
like an h2 appear in the copy so an h2 is this subheading right here if we just
do h2 or h3 now these are all subheadings you know ography were the
best you don’t have to include the keyword in the subheading my general
rule is if it sounds spammy avoid it if it actually makes sense then you can
include it maybe once in one of your subheadings
keyword appears in the URL I’ve never used this focused keyword
four so like I said you don’t want to target the same keyword on multiple
pages you’re better off creating one really awesome piece of content with
properly optimized everything here and just doing a really good job at that one
piece of content rather than creating a bunch of pages targeting the same
keyword and like I said you only want to target one keyword per post and page the
page title contains the keyword phrase at the beginning which is considered to
improve rankings so maybe you have you know this is in the beginning but maybe
for an article or something you don’t have your keyword in the very beginning
it’s not that big I would just write however sounds nice to your audience you
know on my article right here my keyword was Yoast focused keywords and I
actually ranked pretty high for it I think I’m the third result right here so
I didn’t even use an exact match in my and my SEO title right here so you can
see I have three knows but my SEO title actually kind of does include the
keyword Yoast focus keywords I just chose to wrote a nice heading in it
because it sounds nice and you’re better off doing that at least for your blog
articles just make sure headings sound nice and
as long as you have the keywords you know somehow in there that’ll that’ll be
fine the page title is more than 40 character isn’t less than the
recommended 70 the keyword appears in the first paragraph of the copy so like
I said include a include your keyword about two to three times in the copy
once in the beginning and you’re good you also want can use this a social tab
right here so when this piece of content is shared on Facebook Twitter
or Google+ then you want to make sure that that image formats properly since
each of these social networks have different dimensions so you do well need
to create a new graphic for each of these social networks but it will
improve your that’s a ranking factor first of all and it does improve your
branding I guess you could say if your content is shared of properly and it
looks good and people are more willing to share it so Facebook it has the
dimensions here Twitter dimensions are here Google+ so you’ll basically just
want to have your graphic designer or if you’re a graphic designer
create an image for each social network and then upload them here if you want to
override the how your SEO title and meta description look on Facebook Twitter or
Google you can also do that using these fields so there are some basic rules to
focus keywords that I just want to go over if your I made this little chart
right here if you’re targeting a small town the keywords are going to be broad
so since there’s less people in that town there’s not a lot of people your
keywords are going to be broad like Lake Bluff Apple repair and the number of
keywords are going to be low if you’re a large city like Chicago your keywords
are going to become more specific because there’s more people in Chicago
which means more searches which means more keyword opportunities more keywords
in your keyword list so while you can do Chicago Apple repair you’ll also want to
Google your more specific services to see if those show up as well national
keywords are going to get even more specific like MacBook Pro water damage
repair and the number of keywords is going to be high so I know this can be a
little bit to take in but I would start by just going through each of your
different products and services so like I did with
the photography go through each one test it out in Google autocomplete and
keyword planner to see it if people are searching for that phrase if they are
add it to your keyword list get additional ideas from keyword planner
and hub shot web grader and start building your keyword list target one
keyword per page and start adding that content to your site the last thing I
want to go over is keyword competition so when you’re doing your keyword list
and you create all these phrases I’m not going to make you sit through this but
you know these would be Chicago headshot photographer Chicago wedding
photographer you know just so you know you want to research the competition in
Google so Chicago photographers we are I know it’s going to be very competitive
because there’s so many out there same thing with wedding and the more
specific you get the less competition there’s going to be and this really
applies mostly with national phrases so I’m just going to go over us you
probably don’t need to do this if you’re targeting localized keywords but if
you’re targeting national keywords there are ways to learn the competition in
Google so I just use this example how to get out of debt I don’t really even have
to Google this to tell you its competitive it’s a very common phrase
there’s a ton of results I already know I’m probably not going to rank for it
but I’m just doing as an example you can look at the number of results that show
up the extended listings indicate higher competition you want to avoid competing
with large websites like Forbes credit com Wikipedia if you can find the exact
results that you’re looking for if you ha to go out of debt and there’s a lot
of articles on how to go out of debt then that’s another indicator and if you
actually click some of these links and lo
through them and the content is very thorough and they do a good job then
they’ve already spent a ton of time creating the content and you’re going to
create need to create even better content to outrank them so those are
just some indicators of keyword competition for national phrases and
that is really it I have a lot of here’s one more if you do find one with a lot
of competition the best strategy is to go into Google autocomplete and select a
more specific phrase so the more specific the phrase is like how to get
out of debt without bankruptcy instead of just how to get out of debt this is a
much more realistic keyword that we can rank for so I hope you found this video
helpful I did write an extensive article about this otherwise if you have any
questions leave me a comment and I hope you have the best of luck with your SEO

37 thoughts on “How To Choose Focus Keywords In Yoast’s SEO Plugin

  1. Tami Walker Post author

    very helpful, I watch it a few times to make sure I didn't miss anything. Using the blank in the google search area was a new one. Thanks

  2. Ashok Kumar Post author

    It's really a helpful way to choose keyword, thanks a lot for this nice video

  3. Lars Sanen Post author

    Well done Tom. Do you have any tips about ranking high without much text? I'll be actually use my website for photography in Holland, but I'll build it more like a portfolio. It would be weird to put a lot of text in it since it's about my photography. Your help would be very appriciated!

  4. Health Is Beauty Post author

    thank you soo much for this great video , i wanna ask you about ," i have keyword , how i use it in youtube please " ?

  5. Kristan Smith Post author

    It's pronounce "boo-dwahr". Or "boo-dwah" with a good French accent. It means "bedroom" as in "bedroom sexytime lingerie photos for your boyfriend" photography.

  6. Pamela Chollet Post author

    Thank-you so much for this video. This is the FIRST time I was able to understand the meaning and how to use focused keyword ! I can't tell you how happy you made me

  7. Prasad N M Post author

    Great video! Very helpful. But I'm stuck at a problem now. I added the focus keywords to some of my posts initially, but now I can't find the Yoast SEO box. When I "Edit" a post and scroll down, I see only Post Settings, Revisions, Comments and Author. I'm not sure what I did for this to happen. Any kind of help will be appreciated. Thanks.

  8. Margaret Spence Post author

    Excellent video and lots of content. Thank you for taking the time to do this, I've struggled to figure out how to use Yoast appropriately and in 24 minutes you cleared the cobwebs. Thanks again.

  9. Sara Miller Post author

    I don't have that SEO box….I have the plugin though.

  10. DBA Genesis Post author

    we have been trying to learn SEO for quiet a long time. Your video is amazing and cleared lots of gray areas. I need small help and would like to connect with you. There are few queries which I believe you can answer. Let me know your direct email or contact details and would like to even meet you online!

  11. Andreas S Post author

    I have Yoast SEO Premium and one has the option to choose multiple focus keywords. I know not to duplicate keywords on different pages, but do you know if there is a primary focus keyword, or do all have the same amount of pull?

  12. Ada Bain Post author

    This plugin help me a lot, thanks so much for doing it.

  13. anastasia felk Post author

    This is the best tutorial ever which combines keyword detecting technics AND integrating them in seo by yoast! Thank you so much!
    Berlin | Germany

  14. Aboutthe Blog Post author

    Thank you sir.After 6 month I just do ugly blogging because not know the value of keywords.

  15. Alysha Howlett Post author

    This video was so helpful!! Thank you so much for creating it!

  16. AbdelAziz HAFFAD Post author

    Thanks for this amazing video. I've learned so much informations about SEO optimisation with Yoast plugin.


    It is really worth video.
    I have only one doubt.
    for example, if there are 15 pages, the word "chicago photography" will be repeating for all pages, I mean the meta name, description etc. so will it be a problem for the website or google has no problem with that ?
    Your advise will really help us…

    Thanking you..!!

  18. DAN MCBEE Post author

    Great Job Darrell, very simple to follow and very useful, thanks a bunch

  19. Robert Kravitz Post author

    I've been hunting around and this is the best video on SEO I've found.  Thanks Tom.

  20. Arup Sikder Post author

    i m looking for this topic but i get only this video helpful to me thanks …..

  21. Bharat K Post author

    This is the best Video about SEO thank you sharing with us..

  22. Online Media Masters Post author

    Update Nov. 2016…
    1. Just spent 3 days and 20mg of adderall working on my new Yoast tutorial which includes the new settings (which I constantly keep updated and includes a zip file you can import directly to Yoast), newly released Yoast features, and new keyword research/content optimization tips
    2. Use Moz Keyword Explorer instead of Google Keyword Planner (free and doesn't make you sign up for AdWords plus has an option to group related keywords so you're not scrolling through the same ones)
    3. Use MozBar Google Chrome Extension to Google any keyword and see how competitive it is based on DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority) so you're not targeting super competitive keywords, but DO NOT forget to analyze search results yourself to see how "good" the content you're competing with is:
    4. Backlinko's infographic on "the anatomy of a perfectly optimized page" is more helpful than Yoast's green lights will ever be
    5. Not related to Yoast, but rich snippets are a big part of content optimization by enhancing snippets with review stars, recipe information, etc. Here's a tutorial:

    I also have a solid WordPress speed optimization guide (just as good as this video) which includes 30+ tips to make your site load faster

    See all my WordPress SEO / Speed Optimization tutorials:

  23. Tranter Grey Post author

    Why is there ever any talk of multiple keywords? For instance when you went on to talk about local vs national keywords and the number of keyword associated with them. I thought that you were restrained to using only one keyword per page. Is it simply a must to have multiple pages no matter how redundant just to increase the number of keywords?

    Sorry for the ignorant question. Just new to this stuff.

  24. Kaluvapalli Vimal Post author

    if I change my title in yoast plugin

    immediately it will change or it will take time

  25. LẮP ĐẶT HỆ THỐNG CAMERA QUAN SÁT 0902972692 Post author



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