How to Improve SEO With Yoast
Search engines are increasingly driving the digital economy. Almost 93% of all web traffic comes from search engines. Globally, Google accounts for 76% of all desktop search traffic and 86% of mobile. To tap into these lucrative reserves, you will need to optimise your website and content for search engine algorithms. Learning how to improve SEO will make it easier for search engines to index and serve up your site, dramatically improving your chances of connecting with your ideal customer.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is a process which increases the traffic a website receives from organic search engine results. There are several ways to do this. Search engines such as Google and Bing closely guard the criteria that they judge websites against. However, quality content, valuable links and strong keywords consistently improve where a site ranks in search engine results pages. Optimising pages, images and content are important if a search engine is to rank a website highly.
Why use SEO in my Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the term used to describe the production of valuable content to drive profitable consumer action. This, combined with the technical processes involved with SEO, supercharges a business’s marketing potential. Neither content marketing nor SEO is as effective in isolation. Combine the two to attract increasing numbers of highly intentioned customers.
We’ll give an example to explain this in practice.
Let’s say a bespoke jewellery company is looking to boost online sales. Their content marketing plan involves writing blog posts about jewellery trends and frequently asked questions. Articles they produce include ‘How to Get Rings Sized’ and ‘The Latest Engagement Ring Styles’. Within the articles, they reference their products and services and provide links to their new range of engagement rings. The content is well-written, informative and enjoyable. Once the articles are edited and perfected, they post them to their website and wait for their traffic to skyrocket.
But nothing happens.
The content is of high quality and directly related to their business, so what’s the catch?
It hasn’t been optimised for search engines!
This means that whenever a potential customer is searching for ideas on engagement rings, the search engine is not recognising and serving up the jewellery brand’s website. Without SEO, they aren’t positioning themselves in front of their target audience and will lose out to their competitors.
Where to Start With SEO?
To improve search engine rankings, you need a combination of tools, software and expertise. There are several ways to make your site and content more attractive to search engines.
If you think this sounds complicated, don’t worry. SEO is a huge field and can be complex, but there is a range of plugins and software packages that can do a lot of the technical hard work for you. That’s where Yoast comes in.
At Ingeniums, Yoast is a tool we use to help optimise our content and satisfy search engine algorithms. It’s an easy-to-use plugin that saves us valuable time. However, integrating SEO and content marketing is still an involved, challenging process that requires expertise. Using an agency gives you the benefit of a skilled team of SEO and writing experts that can deliver high-quality, optimised content.
What is Yoast?
Yoast specialises in optimising WordPress websites for search engines. Yoast has a range of plugins available including WooCommerce SEO, Local SEO and Video SEO. All of their plugins are created to improve website ranking across Google, Yahoo and beyond. Their number one product is the all-in-one premium tool, Yoast SEO. It is this that we will be discussing in detail here.
At Ingeniums, we work with local and national companies to create innovative content that connects. Yoast SEO is an important tool that we use every day to optimise each piece of content for search engine success.
There are free and premium versions of the Yoast SEO plugin. Both versions help you rank for a specific keyword, improve readability and input all the technical information needed to describe what your content is to search engines. While the free version does a great job, the premium version provides a range of additional extras that are well worth the investment. We go through exactly how to improve SEO with Yoast below.
How to Improve SEO with Yoast
The Yoast SEO plugin analyses your posts in real-time as you write in WordPress. Whether you like to write your posts in the classic editor or the block editor, Yoast’s suggested edits, tips and technical requirements all appear on the screen for you to incorporate as you go.
Achieve Perfect Keyword Density
When combining content marketing and SEO, generating a list of keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for is a great place to start. Not only does it give you article ideas, but by assessing the data available you already know what people are searching for.
As you create a new post in WordPress, input the keyword or phrase you are targeting into Yoast. The plugin will then assess your content to check whether you are using it enough and in all the right places. It’s important to mention your keyword just the right amount so that it’s obvious to search engines what you content is about, but still reads naturally.
Yoast Premium goes one step further and lets you optimise for related keywords. This means that all variations, including plurals, synonyms and even different tenses, are included in your keyword optimisation. This improves your search engine performance and helps your writing sound natural.
Input Valuable Links
One of the factors search engines use to ascertain the quality of your page is how valuable the links connecting to it are. Yoast prompts you to include both outbound and internal links. The internet is one giant web of interconnected pages. It is the interconnectivity that makes it easier for search engine crawlers to recognise and index your site. Internal links help search engines understand how your site works as a whole and connect individual pages. Underusing internal or external links can lead to your pages becoming ‘Orphan’ or ‘Dead-End’ pages. Search engine crawlers can’t get to or from these pages, so they never appear in any results. By connecting to external sites with outbound links you are improving SEO for everyone, as well as directing your reader to valuable resources that support your copy.
With the free Yoast plugin, you manually create internal links to the rest of your content. Yoast Premium goes one step further and includes a feature that prompts you to make internal links as you write. The plugin analyses your previously published articles and blogs and while you’re writing a new piece it automatically suggests where you could include links to your most relevant published content.
Keep Visitors Onsite by Improving Readability
It’s not just technical SEO that Yoast helps with. How long someone stays on your page impacts your search engines ranking. If people are clicking on your site only to bounce straight back to the search engine results page, this will damage your ranking over time. Yoast provides advice on improving the readability of your content to make it easier for visitors to absorb.
After analysing your copy, Yoast creates a Flesch Reading Ease score which gives you a solid indication of how easy or difficult your copy is to read. There are prompts to improve your writing with more subheadings, transitional words and better use of the active voice. Backed by scientific research, Yoast’s advice makes your writing more attractive to the online reader as they scan your page.
At Ingeniums, we understand how important it is to keep copy clear and concise. Even when discussing a complex topic or building on a previous article, it’s important to present information with clarity. Yoast’s readability tips help you to keep it simple, yet effective.
Optimise Page Data with Google Snippets
Image alt attributes, meta descriptions, slugs – to the uninitiated these words make little sense. The truth is you don’t have to be a technical expert to improve your SEO. Yoast makes it incredibly simple to tick all of the technical boxes you need. By following the clear prompts, you can input all the data necessary for search engines to easily understand your page. You can customise the page URL, edit the search engine snippet and provide Google-friendly descriptions for all your images.
See Through the Eyes of the User
The free Yoast plugin lets you see through the eyes of a Google user. Using the snippet editor you can choose exactly how your page will look in the search result pages on both desktop and mobile views.
If you invest in the Premium option, you can also check what your page will look like when shared on Facebook or Twitter. Set a template to streamline the process if you post to social media often.
How to Improve SEO – The Easy Way
This article is just a brief overview of Yoast’s key elements; we could write endlessly about all of its additional features. It is an incredible tool for writers, marketers or anyone looking to use search engines to connect with their target audience.
Should you wish to learn more about a particular topic, Yoast provides a wealth of extra information and writing tips on their website. They even include handy links within the WordPress plugin, so you can educate yourself on the go.
The Ingeniums use Yoast every day to assist with technical optimisation and content clarity, but it is just one part of our broader SEO and content marketing process. We have a talented team of copywriting and search engine experts working together to create high-ranking, engaging content that’s a joy for audiences to read. If you have any questions about our production process, the tools we use or what we could do for your business, drop us a message.