Yoast Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


I began work on improving the Yoast Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ratings for the APSU GIS website.  My goal was to increase the readability and keyword ratings of existing content.  The Yoast Search Engine Optimization program provides suggestions on how to optimize your pages, posts and portfolios.  The great thing about Yoast is that the optimization standards remain the same regardless of what you are constructing.  Using the right keyword, optimizing your headings and constructing a well written snippet will greatly improve your SEO ratings.  I have found that improving the Yoast Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rating for new pages, posts and portfolios is far easier than editing existing ones.  SEO was more difficult to improve when using Fusion Builder.  I hope this post will provide some insight on how to increase the visibility of your page, post, or portfolio.


Begin by identifying a keyword.  This may be tougher then you’d first imagine.  Choose a keyword that has the potential to rank well.  An example would be Unmanned Aerial Platform versus Drone.  Which is more commonly used?  The Yoast site states that “you should always optimize a text for the words that are used most often by your audience.”  They state that you may have to use sites such as Google Trends to identify what people are looking for.  This may lead to the “Green Bullet” in Yoast, however Yoast.com cautions that the choice of keyword if far more important than the color rating.

Heading tags provide a means to create headlines.  These provide the Google search engine with information to understand the main topic of the content.  This isn’t a new concept and has been the recommendation for several years.

The snippet shows the summary text for your site once the search engine pulls the information request.  This is a short description of the site’s content.  This is a critical area for consideration.  It is the first thing a potential visitor will read about you site.  This snippet should contain the title/keyword and the description.  This is called the Meta description.  It has a simple goal, to get the reader to click you link.  It’s that simple.  The write-up is more challenging however.   Yoast provides the following guidelines for meta descriptions:

  1. Make the write-up between 135 and 160 characters
  2. Write it in active voice
  3. Ensure it contains a “Call To Action”
  4. Must contain structured content
  5. Must match the content
  6. Ensure that the meta description is unique


Other items to note

Yoast breaks your content down into two areas, readability and keyword ratings.  The readability tab focuses on the content structure, transition word use, length of sentences, passive voice, and Flesh Reading Ease.  The Keyword tab focuses on keyword use in title, meta description, images, and use in the content write-up to name a few.  The Yoast website provides a wide range of topics on how to maximize Yoast’s SEO abilities.


Understanding how your content rates in the Yoast SEO is an important step.  Working through the keyword identification and placement, use of standardized headings, and constructing a well phrased snippet greatly improves your content’s visibility.  Is the Yoast SEO step useless effort for content management?  Consider that failing to optimize your content results in less visibility and ultimately less people visiting your site.