If your business is already up and running with a brochure website, you should be prepared with all the tools to allow you to grow your website through effective digital marketing. In this guide, we will explore how Yoast SEO can help you in growing your online presence.
What is Yoast SEO?
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that allows you to control aspects of your onsite SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) such as title tags and meta descriptions. Yoast allows you to see a traffic light system for an analysis of your page’s SEO and the readability of your content.
Different versions of Yoast provide different levels of functionality. The latest versions of Yoast allow the implementation of Schema data, full control over your site’s breadcrumbs, advanced CML sitemaps, and the ability to set canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content.
How can Yoast SEO help my business grow online?
Ensuring that your website is well optimised for SEO and as user friendly as possible is vital to keep ahead of your competitors. Studies show that the top three positions in the SERPs (search engine results page) result in nearly 40 percent of all click-throughs, while up to 30 percent of the remaining results on Page 1 don’t get clicked at all.
Websites that are fast-loading, secure and easy to navigate around should have the edge on their competitors in the SERPs, but a lot of small businesses are let down by a lack of quality content about their services, sector or their products. Using Yoast as an SEO guide for optimisation and readability tips, you will begin to start using Google’s best practises to make your content more likely to rank, as well as making your content more user-friendly and digestible.
Making the most out of your content using Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO has a variety of features available to help users optimise their websites. Take a look at each of these in our guide to learn how to get the most out of your online presence.
Traffic Light System
When Yoast is active on your WordPress website, you should see a traffic light style system on your Posts (News/Blog) and Pages. This gives you an SEO and Readability score.
- A grey colour indicates Yoast SEO doesn’t have any information available for that page. In this instance, check your focus keyword isn’t empty.
- A green colour indicates the page is good from an SEO perspective.
- An amber colour indicates that there are improvements that can be made to improve the page.
- A red colour usually indicates there are some significant problems with your page or content.
By going through your pages and looking for any red or grey scores, you can begin to prioritise pages and posts that require a refresh.
Focus Keyphrase & SEO Analysis
Your focus keyphrase should be the term you want your page to rank for. Yoast will use this keyphrase as an SEO indicator and give you feedback based on your content so you can optimise your content to be search engine friendly.
You can see here in our blog about Accelerated Mobile Pages, we are scoring green for this keyphrase. Yoast’s suggestions usually look at and make recommendations based on:
- Page or post length
- Keyphrase density
- Inclusion of keyphrase in introduction, subheadings, URL/Slug and meta description
- Meta data and title tag length
- Internal and outbound links
Ideally, you want to have as many green scores as you can on your pages and posts, but often you don’t need to have all your pages marked as green. For pages such as your contact page, often you will not have less content on this page so this may not be optimised with outbound links, meet the suggested 300 word count or include the focus keyphrase ‘contact’. So, remember to keep it natural- Yoast is taking an extremely objective look through your content, but you should be writing your content to be read by your audience instead of search engines.
Meta Data and Title Tag Snippet
The snippet editor on Yoast SEO allows users to edit the page meta data and view how this looks on Google’s SERPS. You can also preview your page on mobile and desktop view. The snippet tool also provides a red, amber and green signal which advises how long your title and meta description should be.
Although WordPress sites pull through this information automatically if you do leave Yoast blank, it’s always best to optimise your content and how it pulls through to search engine’s where possible. We have some best practise advice for when it comes to writing meta data for your posts and pages.
Your title tag is the title of your page, or as Yoast call it your SEO title. You have a 55-60 character limit for your title tag. The best way to write your title for both search engines and a user experience perspective is the following:
Page or Post Title | Keyword or Service Industry | Brand Name
By following this method, you can show your users the title of the page, your industry and the type of service you are offering and then your brand name so users can associate this page with you in the results page. This method helps to increase brand awareness and improve SEO results.
Meta Descriptions are the description of your page. This is important when your content is displayed in the search engine results page, you can show the user that your page is relevant to their query so they can choose the best result. Meta descriptions have a 155-160 character length limit.
The best practise method for writing a meta description for your page is to write an overall summary of your content or your topic with a call to action such as “Click to read more” to encourage users to visit your website to continue reading.
We hope that reading this guide has helped you to understand more about the WordPress Yoast tool and have gained the ability to optimise your onsite content. If you want more help understanding Yoast SEO, or if you are struggling with online visibility with your current website rankings, get in touch with our team today to find out how we can help you increase your enquiries.