Learn to write for the Web with WordPress and the fabulous Yoast SEO Plugin.
In my previous post I attempted to impress upon you the need to understand how to write for the web.
Inquisitive types may now be wondering:
Yeah sure okay fine … I need to write quality content for actual people, which is also designed for indexing by search engines but …
How do I know if my web page is optimized for Google and other search engines?
I am so glad you asked.
If you have a self-hosted (that’s the fancy, fully-customizable version) WordPress site, you can install the FREE Yoast SEO plugin and it will literally show you how to write for the web.
A plugin is a piece of software that can be added (plugged in) to a WordPress site in order to extend functionality.
I love this plugin. It’s a very powerful tool for making a Google-friendly website.
Once you install the plugin on your site, the editing section of each page/post will have a multi-tabbed window where you can enter various keywords, and see how well your page is optimized for those words and phrases.
My post is rated as “good” for the search phrase “How to write for the web,” which is no surprise since that’s the title of the post.
The text in your links and in your text headers is the most important text, and you can think of the title of your page/post as the most important link and the most important text header on any given page/post.
Writing a page/post title using the actual phrase potential customers or desired readers might use, such as How to find the best web design firm in Los Angeles, can be a simple yet powerful technique in connecting with the right people.
As you can see in the screenshot below of the general tab of the plugin, my prior post is well rated for “How to write for the web” even though the actual phrase isn’t in the body copy.
The plugin recommends I consider adding the phrase “how to write for the web” to the body copy so the search engine will feel even more confident that the page is about that topic.
But as we know, if I include my phrase too many times, it may be seen as “keyword stuffing,” and therefore my page may be demoted or not shown in the search results.
The page analysis tab of the plugin is also quite exciting!
It tells you specific things you could do to improve the page/post for a particular word or phrase.
One easy thing I can do is add an alt-tag to any images within the post.
Alt-tag text should be between 5 and 15 words. I like to think of it as a tweet that tells any non-visual readers — whether human or search engine — what the image contains.
The alt-tag text for the image above is “Yoast Analysis for WordPress Learn make a Google friendly site.” It’s an accurate description, and it contains the phrase “Learn to make a Google friendly site.”
The plugin also gives the readability of my writing a rating using the Flesch–Kincaid readability standard.
As search engines become ever more sophisticated in their goal of providing the best results for any search conducted, more and more factors need to be considered. Web marketing is a moving target.
As for the post you’re reading right now, the Yoast plugin informs me that the post title is too long. In this instance I’ve decided I’m okay with that. If you know the rules, once in awhile you can break them.
This post just scratches the surface of all the amazingly helpful things the Yoast SEO plugin can do. I strongly recommend you check it out and start learning how to use your web presence to achieve your goals, impress your friends and vanquish your enemies.