UPDATED: My Love Affair With Yoast (aka Writing SEO-friendly Posts) + LinkOkay
Okay, so that sounded romantic, LOL! You get the idea, though, right?
Just a bit of a background: when I started blogging, I didn’t think much about putting it out on the world wide web. After all, my initial idea is that a personal blog is, well, personal.
When I got to learn search engine optimization (SEO) the first time, I haven’t thought of applying it in how I write my blog posts. It was only in 2009 when I realized that, hey, I can — and should — do SEO on my blog. That time, I had a post that got into Google search result’s first page. I thought that was pretty interesting. And that WordPress’ (I was hosted on free WP back then) tags did an awesome job putting me there.
Seriously, that “Tags” part? Fill it out. 😉
Eventually, since my work entailed writing SEO-friendly copy and articles, I adapted that writing style when blogging. Put keywords in the post title and tag, and then publish.
Now that I’ve gone self-hosted, I took advantage of WordPress’ flexibility. One of these is the plugins to use. I’ve heard of Yoast for a while even before getting a self-hosted blog, so I thought maybe I can use that.
I liked that Yoast allows me to customize my meta titles and descriptions, and the slugs or the URL extensions. But what I most love about Yoast is the keyword and readability analysis it has.
Take a look at the analysis my post has up to this point:
The Readability part is helpful for me as a writer. It keeps me alert if I’ve written too many passive sentences or too much fluff. And it helps me write in a more concise manner, too. Sometimes, I have a bit of a challenge in using transition words since there would be times I won’t use it (like when doing bulleted lists). Also with the Flesch score. I feel that’s important because it lets me know if the post I did is easy for other people to read.
The Keyword/SEO analysis is also something interesting for me. It tells me if the keyword density is okay, if the metas are good, or if I need to put outbound links. Since I’m in an industry where I churn out copy for websites, it’s like I’m doing some kind of practice when writing my blog posts.
It’s a good thing the websites we make at work are based on WordPress, and the SEO person we have here also uses Yoast. 🙂
I love Yoast SEO; I believe it helps get my blog out there on Google. And it helps me improve my writing.
To be honest, I’ve used another SEO plugin for WordPress when I had some problems with Yoast before, when my posts metas appeared even when I’m at the home page. So I uninstalled it and installed another plugin… but it didn’t feel right (naks, relationship lang?!). While I can edit the posts’ metas and slugs, it didn’t give me the analysis for readability and SEO. Plus, I felt like Yoast helped my posts become more SEO-friendly and searchable in Google. So I went back, re-installed it, and used it again. Fortunately, it worked like a charm this time.
See, like a love story lang, diba? You’ll always come back to the one you love. Chos!
I’m thankful that I’ve found Yoast SEO. And I definitely recommend it to every blogger who wants to write Google- and SEO-friendly posts.
And yeah, at this point, my Readability and SEO scores are green and good. Yay!
Using Yoast when creating posts isn’t the only way to improve a page or site’s SEO. I also learned that it’s important to check on the sites linking back to you. Yes, backlinks. As MOZ explains, backlinks serve as a “vote of confidence” to your site, that you provide relevant and authoritative content to your audience.
I must admit, since I started my blog as a personal one and positioned it as a mommy blog, I don’t have much backlinks other than those that I’ve exchanged with or posted comments on. I don’t market my blog much since it’s not like a news type or informational blog. But hey, maybe I should be doing that, you know?
Getting backlinks or link building is a tedious task, more so checking each link to see if these backlinks are helpful for your site. But there are tools to help you out, and one of those I discovered recently is LinkOkay.
LinkOkay is an app that lets you monitor your site’s backlinks for better SEO and ranking. Looking at its features, the app allows you to add all backlinks in one sheet and it fetches the data about the link automatically. In short, you just have to enter the link and LinkOkay will do all the work for you.
One thing that seems interesting about LinkOkay, besides the auto-fetching of link data, is the daily check done for all links. The app re-checks the important attributes of the backlinks every 24 hours, no manual prompts needed.
For those engaged in link building on their websites, LinkOkay seems to be a good option. Will still check how much this would cost. Right now, you have to send your email on their page at www.linkokay.com to join the waitlist. But this looks really interesting; who knows, I might be needing this in the near future.