Improving Blog Posts with Yoast SEO

It’s days like today when I’m grateful for my Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress.  That’s right, today it’s really great to have an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO working for me!  You see recently a member of our Mastermind group challenged us to a 30-day blogging initiative.

The Challenge!

As I understand it, the idea is for each of us to write a blog post every day for 30 days.  That’s quite an endeavor!  We all own our own businesses and like most other small business owners and entrepreneurs we already wear multiple hats.  Adding the task of producing a blog post every day for 30 days is quite the challenge.

Start Blogging

The gauntlet had been thrown down so who was I to shirk from the challenge?  I logged into my website, Added a new Post, and started this blogpost.  The Yoast SEO plugin installed on my website is my ever present helper as I blog.  Here’s a screen shot of what it looks like:

Screen Shot of Yoast SEO in action

Screen Shot 1 – Yoast SEO

As I’m typing, Yoast SEO gives me a quick critique in the right pane, letting me see the Readability and SEO ratings at a glance.  These two indicators give me a quick look at how I’m doing as I write.  Readability is noted as “Needs improvement.”  Since no SEO keywords have been set, Yoast reports “SEO: Not available.”

 

Yoast SEO Tracks Every Detail

I can watch the right hand pane for the quick indicators, but more detailed information is provided in the panel below the writing pane.  The Yoast SEO plugin quickly assesses my writing and lets me know, in detail, what needs to be added or improved. I already added a Focus Keyword and it’s obvious I need to a Meta Description as well.  I added Alt Descriptions to my images because Yoast SEO indicated Alt Descriptions were available for  images.  While reviewing the details I noticed the Slug of the page is too long so that needs to be shortened.  At this point, the only thing that’s really “right” with the blog post is the Title.  Well, I’ve got to start somewhere, right?

Yoast SEO provides more detail below the writing pane

Yoast SEO lets you know how your snippet will appear to search engines

I added the Keyword “Yoast SEO” and the plugin shows I’m doing better!  Now I need to add a Meta Description and then work on Readability.

A Good Snippet is Essential

A good Snippet preview and Meta Description are key to getting your message out there to be found by Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.  It looks like I’ve done a pretty good job with both of those because the plugin’s traffic light just turned green.

Yoast Meta Description

Yoast reminds you to add a good Meta Description

 

 

With a green light for the Keyword and SEO portion of my blogpost I can move on to Readability.  Let’s see how things are looking at this juncture.  Whoops!  Readability is RED.  Not good.

Readability tracking points with Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO tracks Readability too

The first issue Yoast notes for Readability is the absence of subheadings.  Adding subheadings is easy so I added four to this blogpost and the red indicator disappeared.  Now on to address the rest of the issues.  The next red indicator is “Passive Voice,” followed by “Transition Word.”  A good thing to do here is to review the copy and change wording to make some of the sentences “Active Voice.”  While I’m doing that I’ll be watching for “Transition Words” too.

Transition words were fairly easy to add but the “Passive Voice” is still a problem.  Passive Voice isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the Yoast SEO plugin suggests a maximum of 10% of sentences written in Passive Voice.