Hey guys, in today’s post, I’m sharing how SEO can be easy for everyone thanks to this must-use and free plugin. This post is about “How I Hurt My Ability to Rank Higher in Google by Not Using This Simple SEO Tool Sooner.” This is day 4 of 5 of my current blogging series for My Top 5 Blogging Mistakes. Hopefully, you guys are learning a lot from these posts.
Why You Should Care about SEO
SEO is search engine optimization. For my non-technical friends, I realize this may sound scary. But trust me, there’s nothing to fear.
In fact, you should learn a bit about SEO, because improving this will increase your blog’s traffic through search engines like Google.
If you want to get traffic from Google, you’ll need to rank high. According to this 2017 Forbes article on Search Results Rankings:
According to Moz, the first page of Google captures 71% of search traffic clicks and has been reported to be as high as 92% in recent years. Second-page results are far from a close second coming in at below 6% of all website clicks.
Furthermore, you need to include ads and searches without clicks in the equation. Only 15% of traffic clicks on an ad or tries a different search. The remaining 85% clicks on results, according to Zero Limit Web. However, this does not mean that you necessarily have a good chance of receiving any of this traffic if you appear on the first page. You need to be near the top: The first five results receive 67.6% of clicks, whereas the remaining five just receive 3.73%.
I can tell you from checking my own traffic and seeing how my keyword ranking has increased or decreased, this sounds pretty accurate. I see a big difference between keywords where I’m #1 versus even #3.
Is SEO Hard?
SEO can be confusing. Oh yeaaa. This is partially because many search engines are intentionally vague about how their ranking works. How can you rank #1 on Google? It’s not like they’re going to tell you that. Lolz. It’s their secret sauce.
That being said, there are some general best practices. There are plenty of articles online that will tell you about them.
But make things easy on yourself by using this one, magic plugin.
This Plugin Makes SEO Simple: Yoast
Yoast is a funny name for a plugin. But this thing is not to be taken too lightly. This powerful tool is amazing at the free level, though you do get even more benefits if you get the upgraded version.
Personally, I’m still on the free version. But one of these times Yoast sends a premium discount code, I’m going to upgrade. It’s the least I can do for all the value its provided. In addition, I suppose, to telling you fine folks about it. PS: This post is not sponsored. I’m just sharing an awesome find I think you’ll like. For really-reals.
How Does Yoast Make SEO Simple?
I remember when I first heard about Yoast at a WordCamp. One of the presenters said he loved it because it made SEO so easy. “You just make everything green,” he said. I didn’t know what that meant until I installed Yoast for myself. It really is that easy.
You just make everything green
When you’re in the new/edit post screen in WordPress, after you’ve drafted your post, scroll to the Yoast section. Enter the key words* you’re trying to target and then check the colors.
You want all the colors to be green. If they’re not, follow the suggestions on each non-green line and edit your post until you make them green. Note: Sometimes I don’t make every single one of these green, but the more, the better.
*There are tons of posts about how to do keywords. It’s too much to cover in this post, but let me know if you want some tips to get started.
How I Hurt My Ability to Rank Higher
Once I started using Yoast, it was so easy to optimize posts for SEO. I went back and optimized posts/pages that were more popular. Or posts/pages that I wanted to rank higher. While it didn’t work for every single post I tried, I’ve found overall increased Google search traffic. And I’ve had some hits – see next section for examples.
If I’d been using this tool earlier, many more of my posts would already be optimized for SEO and would potentially be ranking higher and helping bring in even more traffic.
While I don’t have time to fix every single older post, I do continue to optimize older content, and I practice better SEO thanks to Yoast on new content.
My Best Google Rankings / Results
I rank Google page 1 and am even in the #1 spot (on average) for many strong search terms. These things change pretty frequently, but here are some from the past as well as current:
- “planner supplies”
- “healthy chai tea latte”
- “fun workout themes”
- “how to use washi tape in planners”
- “healthy hot chocolate recipe”
- “zumba convention”
Not too shabby, eh? And I’m pretty sure these successes are thanks to Yoast.
Where to Find How Your Keywords are Ranking
Hook your site up to Google Search Console. It’s a free tool created by Google. I use this to see which keywords I rank for. You can also add your site map here, which will also help.
Need more help with this? Let me know, and I’ll write a separate post.
Read More, Yo
Do you use Yoast? How do you like it? Do you think it’s easy to use?
Thanks for reading!