SEO is a long-game. Google keeps moving the goal post. Keyword research is time-consuming. But that’s no excuse for not following best practices on your site.
Install Yoast, and make the little circles go green. It’s just a guide, and you don’t have to do everything it says, but at least use it as a learning tool. You can iterate and refine later.
I’m going to show you a really quick tutorial of how to get started using Yoast. Over here on my left, I have a page that I filled out, that I’ll just copy and paste from. And over here on the right is a totally blank page. Basically the whole idea behind Yoast is that you want to make all of the red lights turn into green lights. So down here we have a whole bunch of red lights and as we add our content, we’re going to hope that they turn green. And if they don’t, they’re going to give us the exact things that we need to do to make those lights turn from red to green and get us optimized for SEO.
The very first thing that you need to do is enter in your focus key phrase. That’s basically just the key word or key phrase that you want to rank for in the search engines. I’m going to add Yoast tutorial and when I come down here, we’re already going to see that we have two green lights just from adding that. It’s going to say, “Good job on the key phrase length and previously used key phrase. You’ve not used this key phrase before.” So without even knowing a whole bunch about SEO, it’s telling me, hey, you don’t want to overuse key phrases or keywords throughout your site.
It’s super educational. You can dive a whole lot deeper if you want. They have links to all these things. If you click them the Yoast site is just got pretty much everything you’d ever want to know about SEO, so it’s great.
We’re going to keep going up here. One of the best practices I know for sure is that you want to definitely add your keyword into each one in your title. So let’s go ahead and click that, paste that and see where we are. It says “SEO title with good job.” So it likes that as well.
And then we’re going to start adding some more content. I know over here I’ve already got stuff I can copy and paste. Down here it says, “Hey, you’ve got an outbound link,” that’s great because what I did up here was I linked to Yoast, but if I go over to this readability tab, it says that I’ve got passive voice. If I toggle this off and on, it shows me right where that is. Get your feet wet is passive voice. So I’m going to change that too … dive in.
The thing about this is please keep in mind that they’re just guides, that you can definitely use a judgment call and not do everything they say. One of the things that they always say is to make sure that your key phrase is at the beginning, I don’t think that’s really necessary. But the point is it’s educational and it’s definitely showing you if you’re doing something really egregiously bad for SEO.
Another thing I just want to go over real quick is this pretty cool feature where this is showing you preview of how you’re going to show up on the search results page. If this gets cut off, I’ll show you down here … I think I have it over here. I’m just going to copy and paste this again for speed. If I go in here, that turned green, so it likes the length, and then this is what it’s going to look like.
The point is, don’t be overwhelmed. Use it as a tool. Use it to just make sure you’re not doing anything horribly wrong and get started with it. Dive in later if you want. If you want to know what the Flesch reading ease score is, go over to the Yoast page and learn all about it. I just don’t have a whole bunch of time and I just want to make sure everything is as green as it can be within reason. But it’s a really great tool. Don’t be overwhelmed. Use it as a starting point and then dig deeper if you feel that you need to.