I’ve written multiple times about the importance of blogging. With this in mind, if you’re blogging incorrectly, then all of your beautiful words are wasted (much like a child reading Pablo Neruda). In order to gain the most from your blog, you need to optimize your posts for search engines. Installing a Yoast plug-in makes this a lot easier. Also, here are some helpful tips on how to write double green Yoast blog content:
See what I just did there? Besides writing an overly-used comedy phrase, I used a subheading. A subheading is title for a small section of a longer piece. Subheadings are important for our attention-deficient brains. They point out what a paragraph is about, so that even a user skimming the blog can get an understanding of the information presented. I know, I know, users never skim your blog. Regardless, subheadings are a good tactic to incorporate into your web writing because they often get caught by search engines’ spiders.
It means exactly what it says. Your focus keyword is the word or phrase you want search engines to zero in on. In other words, which word or phrase do you want your page to rank for? Wait, how do I choose my focus keyword? There are two ways you can approach this. First, think about how you as a customer would search. What would you type? Also, you can use Google Analytics’ search queries to see what your website visitors are using to search for your website. With Alexa and other voice-controlled search engines slowly becoming the norm, consider using more “long-tail” (multiple words or a phrase) for your focus keyword. People now search as if they’re having a conversation with Alexa. Also, make sure you use your focus keyword within the first paragraph of your blog. Additionally, your focus keyword density (how often you use the keyword based off how many words are in the blog) is important. Use your focus keyword at least 3 times for a 300-600 word post.
Ignore that voice in your head that says, “But I got them to my site, why would I want to send them to another one?” This voice is wrong (just like it was wrong when it told you it was OK to eat that third slice of pizza). You need to use outbound links (links that send you to another website). Outbound links act as a summary for your blog, and they let search engines know what your writing about. Also, they let you network (hey, Shout Me Loud!) with people writing similar content. Finally, make sure you use inbound links and internal links too. Inbound links are a link from a traffic source sending website traffic to your site, while internal links send visitors to another page on your website (hint: I used one at the beginning of the blog).
The Yoast plug-in does a great job of telling you how your writing is making it harder for people to digest your content. Here are some tips to improve your readability:
Use the Active Voice Instead of the Passive Voice: Keep the subject of your sentence (who or what is performing the verb) the focus. Here is an example: your car is destroyed by a fire. The active voice reads “The fire destroyed my car.” The passive voice puts to focus on the car instead with “My car was destroyed by the fire.” As a fun game, comment with examples from this blog of passive voice (do as I say, not as I do).
Keep It Short, Stupid: This famous Composition 101 advice holds true for web content. Keep your sentences short (under 20 words). Long sentences are harder to read. After all, these are blogs, not The Sound and the Fury, so keep it short, stupid.
Use Transition Words or Phrases 30% or More: Another Comp 1 staple of advice. Use transition words to introduce new ideas. Your content flow improves greatly by using transitions. Therefore, your blog should contain at least 30% transition words.
These are several tips on how to write double green Yoast content. There are other factors that are involved (such as writing short paragraphs), but following these guidelines will get you a double green on the Yoast plug-in. How do I know? Well, this blog is a double green. Excuse me while I go brush my shoulders off.