Your Yoast SEO Guide: How Much Should You Care?

06/25/2021 | , ,

yoast - Google Search - Google Chrome 2021-07-16 1

SEO is everything and everywhere for business owners these days. After all, SEO is an extremely important tool in order to drive traffic to your website, attract new customers and grow your business. One of the more popular SEO plugins is the Yoast SEO plugin, let’s go over how much your Yoast SEO score really matters.

What is the Yoast SEO Plugin?

Yast says that its SEO plugin will make it easier for your website to meet the highest technical SEO standards and gives you the tools you need to make your content reach the basic rules of SEO and readability. Yoast can be installed on any self-hosted WordPress website. There is a free version available as well as a premium version.

Yoast will not complete the entire SEO process

If you think you won’t have to do anything in terms of the SEO process by simply downloading Yoast, think again. Yoast is simply a tool that lets you insert basic SEO elements but it won’t help with SEO optimization because it doesn’t give users the option to find and target the appropriate keywords, link building or any of the off-page SEO elements. Instead, what Yoast does is evaluate everything on keyword repetition which can sometimes lead users to have a false sense of security.

Limitations of Yoast

  • If you use a preposition, conjunction or any type of stop word with your keywords, Yoast will not recognize it.
  • Readability with Yoast is not the most reliable. It’s best if you write directly for your audience and not for Yoast.
  • Yoast is not connected to Google, so while it has tools to help boost your search engine ranking, they are not directly linked to Google.
  • Keyword “stuffing.” Since Yoast’s algorithm depends on keyword density, once you choose a keyword Yoast will tell you it is not appearing enough in your content. What then happens is you insert the keyword all over the place and stuff your content with it and suddenly your content sounds un-natural and it is obvious that you are stuffing the keyword in it.

What does Yoast measure?

Yoast’s main function is to indicate what you’re doing wrong within your content, what keywords you’re repeating more than necessary and from there Yoast will make suggestions for you to improve those areas. Yoast does help make your WordPress site friendlier to search engines and it suggests post optimizations for search traffic and search rankings, all of which will help boost your SEO.

An SEO Analysis

Yoast is a good idea for people just getting started with SEO and it can be valuable to teach you the SEO ropes. Later on, you will need to adopt a more thorough SEO strategy that will analyze all of your pages, optimize them and dive into why you aren’t getting clicks on specific pages on your website and so much more. If you are just getting started and aren’t quite ready to dive into a full SEO strategy, YOAST can help you:

  • Get a high number of impressions on Google’s SERP 
  • Rank for specific keywords
  • Get more clicks 
  • Get successful conversions
  • Attract potential leads

Using Yoast

Once you have downloaded and installed the Yoast SEO plugin you will see green and orange circles on the right side of your pages and posts on your dashboard.

These columns show you your SEO and Readability score that Yoast has given to the posts on your page.

  • Green dots represent good scores
  • Orange dots represent an OK score but there is room for improvement
  • Red dots represent notable SEO problems
  • Grey means there is something missing and Yoast is unable to provide a score

These indicators are very helpful, especially for SEO newbies, who are trying to improve their website’s SEO.

Yoast SEO plugin options

Yoast also has an SEO meta box where you can regularly interact and use the plugin. It helps you assess and optimize your content for search engines by:

  • Analyzing the readability of your content according to a search engine’s point of view
  • Allowing you to optimize your content so that it appears appropriate on different social media platforms and search engine

Your Readability Score

Your Readability Score is completely different than your SEO Score even though readability is part of your Yoast score, there is no direct correlation between readability and SEO or page ranking. Yoast provides this score simply to inform writers on how easy-to-read and digest the content they are creating is.

Common readability recommendations are:

  • Make sure sentences do not contain a transition word or phrase
  • Text on consecutive sentences should start with the same word
  • Flesch Reading Ease test results : difficulty of reading
  • Subheadings do not exceed 300 words
  • Ensure paragraphs are not too long
  • Ensure sentences contain more than 20 words
  • Avoid passive voice

Keyword Mapping: Taking Yoast SEO recommendations to the next level

The most successful SEO campaigns incorporate keyword mapping in order to get the most out of Yoast SEO recommendations. You can start this process via keyword research, determining the highest value search queries that users will use to find your products and services. These will then become your focus keywords to apply to Yoast SEO. The keyword map aligns the most important keywords for your site with the content required for each. This could mean that you need to restructure existing content or write new content centered on your focus keywords.

In closing, we think that Yoast is a great starting point. It can be a really beneficial tool for people just diving into the deep and flooded sea of SEO. But, as far as long-term results and strategy, you are going to need something a little more intricate and complex in order to remain competitive in today’s SEO world. Remember, Yoast will not increase your site rank on search engines but it will give you accurate feedback about your content from the perspective of the user and search engines.

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