Yoast: Onsite SEO for Everyone
Onsite SEO is one of the ways websites and blogs can prime their content to appear at the top of relevant searches. For people that use WordPress, Yoast is a plugin that makes it easy for bloggers to improve their SEO. It is easy to use and learn Yoast without having a previous knowledge of SEO techniques. The primary features of Yoast are Readability scoring and SEO scoring. These features give specific feedback on how well your blog post or page is readable or optimized and tells you exactly how to improve it. Follow Yoast’s stoplight of helpfulness you will be on your way to amazing onsite SEO.
Having clear, easy to read content will not only make your readers like you more, but could have a positive affect on your search engine rank. Yoast’s readability function will tell you what problems, improvements, and good things your blog post has going for you. Follow the improvements and problems Yoast mentions to improve your readability to bring your score to green. Some things Yoast recommends include using transition words, short sentences and paragraphs, word count, and general reading ease.
Follow the instructions as well as you can, but keep in mind that your posts may not always follow every aspect of readability. You may have posts that are “harder to read” due to your preferred voice, or the kind of material you write may require longer paragraphs or complicated sentences. As long as you generally stick to the Readability improvements and aim for at least a yellow score, your blog will benefit.
SEO and Keywords
With the free version of Yoast, you are able to choose one focus keyword for each of your blog posts. Input your chosen keyword and let Yoast again tell you what to do. This includes basic writing techniques like including your keyword in the title, subtitles, and body text. It also includes incorporating internal and outbound links into your post.
Internal links are hyperlinks that send readers to relevant content within your website. For example, you might put a link on the word “cats” that leads to a blog you wrote on your new kitten (you’re welcome for that link). These internal links strengthen the rank of your website, especially if some of your pages have a higher rank than others. External links are hyperlinks that link to websites other than yours. Maybe you used a great source in your blog or there’s a relevant news article that relates to your post topic. Connecting your site to prominent sites that search engines consider reliable can improve your site’s rank.
Finally, Yoast lets you edit the SEO title, slug, and meta description that are used in the search result snippet. The key to editing these well is making sure your titles and descriptions are the optimal length for viewing as search engine results. You should also include your keyword in these segments. Of course, try to avoid overusing your keyword. No one wants to read a blog where every other word is “programmatic,” right?
Follow these and whatever other instructions Yoast gives you, and tweak and edit until your SEO score is also a cheery green (for good). With minimal effort, your WordPress site can have onsite SEO that will improve your rank on search engines and increase the number of people that see your site.