The Yoast SEO plugin is free and it does three very important things.
Firstly, it analyses each post and shows you how to improve your Search Engine Optimisation for the particular keywords you are targeting.
Secondly, it automatically creates an XML sitemap for your site (handy for the search engines and if you register your site with Google webmaster tools)
Thirdly (and most ninja) it allows you to add a custom image and description that will be used for Facebook, and also one for Twitter.
Why is this necessary?
If your post gets shared on Facebook or Twitter and you haven’t specified an image for them to use specifically, they’ll just grab one from your post.
When Facebook and Twitter display images, they crop them and scale them. The cropping and scaling process may cut off vital parts of the image and make it look strange.
Every different social media platform crops and scales images in a slightly different way, so an image that looks great in your post won't necessarily look good on Facebook or Twitter.
Yoast SEO allows you to create an image that fits the optimum display size for use on Facebook and also one that fits on Twitter – so your images will look great when your post gets shared.
How to install it:
On your WordPress menu, click on Plugins
Once it’s installed, you’ll be able to scroll down on each post or page and see the Yoast SEO window. (You can also access the plugin near the bottom of your WordPress Menu – it's called “SEO”)
The plugin has heaps of advanced functionality – in this post we're going to cover three functions: analysing your post content and updating you Facebook and Twitter images/descriptions.
To add your keywords and analyse your site content, type in your keyword:
To nominate your description and image for Facebook, select the ‘share' menu and make sure the Facebook tab is selected.
To nominate your description and image for Twitter, click on …
Installing and using the Yoast SEO plugin is one of my 5 ‘small changes – big results' easy ninja tricks for websites. It's all about simple tweaks that make a huge difference.
Want the whole list?
Until next time.