A single tool that helps your content rank higher in search results.
In my most recent newsletter below, I shared the name of a single website tool that takes care of all your content SEO needs.
This month, we’re going under the hood to take a peek at how to make your content work even harder for you by optimizing it for search.
Content search engine optimization (SEO)
Investing in content SEO results in publishing content that increases your ability to attract the right readers as well as your odds of landing on Google’s page 1.
That’s because several things are going on:
- The existence of content itself is valuable because Google views sites with a higher number of pages and posts (with appropriate lengths of quality content) as potentially more authoritative and trustworthy.
- Keywords and phrases appear within the content itself and its metadata.
- Google wants to direct searchers to easy-to-consume, well-written, original content. Long-form content (1,200+ words) adds authority and credibility to your site.
The “art” aspect comes in when good content writers understand how to use SEO tactics strategically while still maintaining the natural sound and flow of the writing. In other words, no keyword stuffing or awkward phrasing just to cram keywords into the headlines and titles.
Disclaimer: You can and probably should hire a professional to do a full SEO review of your website. You also want to invest in professional keyword research and analysis.
But on a smaller, day-to-day scale, there is a tool that steers your content SEO for you. Use this WordPress plugin fully and well, and you’ll publish content that Google understands more clearly and more readily ranks higher than un-optimized content.
The WordPress plugin that magically optimizes your content for search engines is:
The Yoast plugin reviews the content on your website page or blog post, then offers suggestions for improvements to make your site more appealing to Google as well as your readers.
Suggestions are made based on industry standards (determined by testing and analyses of what works and what doesn’t) and the keywords and phrases you tell Yoast to focus on in that particular page or post.
Why use Yoast for Content SEO?
I’m not getting paid to recommend Yoast. These are not affiliate links. I get nothing whether you buy Yoast SEO Pro, stick with its awesome free version, ignore me completely, or send me an angry email telling me to stay out of your business.
It all pays the same – $0. (Though the last one will cost me an agonizing 4th-degree ego burn.)
Below are two links to everything you want to know about Yoast, how and why it works, and how to achieve its highest and best use.
Other SEO plugins like Yoast do exist. All in One SEO Pack has been around longer and is just as popular. I’ve found All-in-One to also be beneficial and easy to use. Here’s a helpful comparison between the two.
I’ve simply stuck with Yoast because I trust them. I get their newsletter, and I feel as if I know them better. (That’s how it’s supposed to work!)
Yoast’s Features – Should You Go Pro?
I’m not saying you have to buy Yoast’s pro version. I’m not saying you shouldn’t, either. Yoast’s pro version is absolutely worth the investment because it gives you insights you just can’t get from a free version of anything.
But Yoast’s free version is plenty robust. With it, you’re still going to rock your content SEO pretty hard. Its features include:
- Optimize your page or post for one keyword or phrase. (Pro lets you optimize for more than 1 keyword).
- Preview your page or post as it will appear in Google’s search results.
- Readability check that tells you where your writing stinks. (This was highly annoying for me at first, but I grudgingly admit it did slightly improve my writing over time.)
- Set a category for your post and determine the taxonomy of all your pages.
- Set canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content issues.
- Yoast SEO (and its kin) take away the awful task of needing to monitor and adapt to Google’s algorithm changes and search analysis updates. Yoast has skin in the game — paying subscribers — so it’s critical they continue to do this to provide real value.
More Details About Yoast and How it Works:
Written by yours truly (no, wait, I mean me), on my website for general copywriting services, which is what I used to do before I fell in mad love specifically with legal vendors. This is the post I would’ve have written here if I hadn’t already written it there.
Straight from the horse’s mouth. Understand content SEO and how Yoast’s features work on your site and with search engines. Also, learn how to use Yoast to its fullest. This truly is an “ultimate” guide with links to even more information where appropriate.