Yoast

Yoast: The Easiest Way to Optimize Your Blog for Search

Because search engines like to see lots of relevant content on a company website, blogging is critical to getting found online. You can’t get found unless you optimize your web pages (including your blog posts), which is where Yoast comes in. This WordPress plug-in is the easiest way to optimize your blog for search.

Plus, it’s super easy to use – once you understand how it (and SEO) works. Since it was just updated, I figured it’s a good time to do another tutorial.

Yoast Basics

Yoast grades the various SEO elements on a page by assigning a color: Green is good, Yellow is OK and Red is poor. You want all – or most – elements to be green. Yoast also grades the entire page using the same system. Again, your goal is to be all green, because it means your page (blog post) is perfectly optimized and search engines can easily index it.

Let’s run through each area of Yoast.

Snippet Preview 

This is the first thing you see when you look at Yoast. It includes your SEO title and meta description, which is what shows up in search results. Both the title and description need to include focus keyword (more on that below).

The title doesn’t need to include more than the focus keyword, but you can add a little context too. For example, in the image above, you’ll see that my focus keyword is “direct mail” but I included “b2b company” in the title.

You don’t have a lot of room for the description so be a ruthless, yet creative, editor. What’s the top takeaway a reader will get from your blog post? Make sure it’s compelling. Tap into FOMO if you want!

Readability

The biggest elements to focus on here are the ones that are green. Subheadings, short sentences and short paragraphs are critical for a readable blog post (and most copywriting). Keep your content organized, clear and concise, and you’ll be golden.

I got dinged on passive voice, but for this blog post, it made sense to use passive voice in a few areas. One of my clients always gets dinged on the Flesch Reading Ease test, because of how technical his content is – and that’s exactly what his audience expects. So sometimes a bad score is OK – it really depends on your topic and audience.

Focus Keyword

This is where you fill in the keyword you want this blog post to be found for. If you don’t know the best keyword, do a Google search and see what keywords pop up for that topic. If it’s different from what you thought the keyword would be, be sure to go back and update your SEO title and meta description.

As you can see, a lot of elements are graded in this area. I didn’t want to shorten my SEO title, so that got a red. I didn’t want to move my keyword to the beginning of the title either, so that got an orange. But look at all the other greens! Remember, all green is your goal.

Try Yoast!

If you want to get serious about your visibility on the Interwebs, ask your web developer to add Yoast to your WordPress website. Optimize all your web pages, and then start working on your blog posts. When your website is optimized for search, you will begin to see more “organic” traffic – which means you’re much more visible online. Have fun!

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

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