WordPress’ Yoast is a plugin that can help you optimize your website content. Yoast creates fields on the back end of your website where you can identify keywords and write metadescriptions. Metadescriptions are the little narratives that show up on search engine results pages (SERPs) right below the link to your website. You can control these, so why wouldn’t you? Think of these as little customized promo spots. Make it easy for yourself and use the power of Yoast to optimize your web content.
Yoast will help you optimize your website content
After you’ve written your landing page content or blog, scroll down to the Yoast fields and identify your focus keyword and write a metadescription. Now scroll down and see how you did. Yoast rates your effort for its search engine optimization (SEO) value and readability. Green is good. Red sucks.
Now go back and make corrections. You’ll find that this gets easier. I generally write my content, then go back and retrofit it.
- Your focus keyword is critical.This word/phrase should be integrated throughout your page/blog. It should be in the page title, the first and subsequent paragraphs and in your subheads.
- No keyword stuffing allowed. Beginning with the Mobilegeddon algorithm change in 2015, you now have to have something to say. Google hates it when you fill a page with meaningless keywords.
Yoast doesn’t stop with keywords; it will also help you:
- Identify readability. For maximum understanding, we should be writing at a fifth-grade level. Yoast gives us a readability score, and most of us fail.
- Get in the habit of using short, crisp sentences. Break long sentences and paragraphs into short, crisp ones. Use short words and subheads. Make it easy for a reader to scan your subheads; together they should tell a story.
- Header evaluation. Yoast will let you know if your headline is wider than the viewable limit. If your title has a bunch of skinny letters, you can use more characters than if it has a lot of fatter, rounder characters.
- Metadescriptions. These should include your focus keyword and be within 156 characters.
- Internal links. Including an internal linking strategy on your website is a great way to encourage readers to stay on your site and drill down through your pages.
- Images. Every page should include an image. There are four fields that are associated with each image—title, caption, alt tag and description. Fill these in and use your focus keyword.
One more thing: Search engines love long posts
Keywords are about, well, words. You can’t rank if there’s no content. The longer your posts, the greater your chances of appearing in search engines—they have more clues to identify what your posts are about. An ideal blog post should have around 1,000 words to ensure enough keywords for ranking.
Frankly, the prospect of coming up with a 1000-word blog on a regular basis is terrifying. But do think about 300-words as a minimum standard. If you’re writing something about which you’re knowledgeable and passionate, this shouldn’t be paralyzing.