Blogs are now an essential aspect of online success for businesses – but with budgets tight, many choose to write and upload articles independently. Whilst this is cost-effective, it’s not always efficient from an SEO-perspective. Fortunately, WordPress plug-in Yoast makes it easy for amateur bloggers to optimise text for Google and alternate search engine ranking. Whilst it’s not as failsafe as having professional support on board, it is an essential ally for business owners who are uploading blogs themselves. Here we explain why Yoast is so useful – and basic SEO guidelines.
Yoast is easy to use
Yoast is incredibly easy to use. It requires little to no training – as its interface is pretty self-explanatory. Sitting right at the bottom of the blog post composition page, it consists of a series of criteria. Each is accompanied by a ‘light’ that displays red for poor, amber for okay and green for good, indicating the quality of the SEO on the page. Some of the criteria may sound familiar or self-explanatory – others need a little research. But all are easy to understand and rectify, to ensure that every blog post you upload is working as hard as possible to drive traffic to your website.
Yoast introduces basic SEO principles – in an interactive way
One excellent thing about Yoast is that it introduces business owners to principles and certain disciplines of SEO in an engaging manner. Most of us learn better when we are actually interacting with something – Yoast displays results in real-time, enabling you to learn as you go along. You’ll soon get the hang of the way it works and what it asks for and fall into a routine for each post, addressing each point in turn. This helps you to then apply that knowledge and see how it correlates with the wider picture, and perhaps better understand the work of your professional SEO team. Sometimes the requests of your SEO company might seem strange – for example, a copywriter to put together lots of different descriptions for certain product groups. Yoast helps you to see where each aspect relates to your website as a whole, and how each element comes together to form a solid strategy.
How to get the most out of Yoast
It’s easy to use Yoast, but for those new to blogging, WordPress and the plug-in there are some handy tips and hints that can help get you off to a flying start. You’ll notice when using Yoast that the listed items gradually turn green once you’ve entered a focus keyword. It’s important firstly to make sure that your focus keyword is a sensible, logical one. For example, if your article is about different types of coffee, set ‘coffee’ as the keyword. If you’re covering several beauty tips, choose ‘beauty’. Make it as simple as possible.
Next, turn your attention to getting those red icons to turn green. This involves altering your title (keep it short, logical), the meta description (include your keyword at least once, preferably twice), and alt tags on images (they should match your focus keyword). Once you’ve done that, you should see that your SEO is green for ‘good’.