The Power of Yoast – the magical free SEO tool
I was listening to David Gray the other day, random I know but it’s 2020 –
“Saturday nights I’m running wild, All the lights are changing red to green”
It got me thinking. Everyone’s so worried about getting it all wrong all the time, that very few are making the choice to be active in showing up. To really go for it.
As your SEO Queen, I’ve made it my personal mission to share how you can use SEO in a fun and motivating way, which is why I like to say SEO stands for seeking exciting opportunities and guess what? You don’t have to be the next tech genius to be good at it.
So today I want to talk to you about…
the power of Yoast – the free SEO tool that you need!
Changing those little lights from red to green is what most of my clients now get fired up about (hence the David Gray connection)
Now, I know scrolling through Instagram is more a lot more sexy but here’s the thing – your dream clients are out there Googling your services or your products, but you’re not there. You’re nowhere to be seen, or you’re all the way down on page 22 of Google, if that.
So how do we get Google to know we exist? What is this magical tool, and do you really need it in your life?
What is Yoast – this free magical tool of which you speak?
It’s a free tool you can use for your website pages and blog posts, no matter the size of your website, no matter if you have one page or 100 pages, if you have no blog or many blog posts, it can help you.
Stop press: Yoast isn’t just for WordPress websites
One of the biggest myths about Yoast is that it’s only for WordPress websites which isn’t true. There is a version for non-Wordpress websites i.e. if you have a Squarespace website, a Wix website or Moonfruit or GoDaddy or anything else other than a WordPress website, and you can copy and paste the text in and it will still help you with your SEO.
The version for WordPress websites has two versions – a free version and a paid one. If you’re new to the SEO game, then the free version will do just fine. Don’t be tempted to spend £90 a year if you don’t have it right now as whilst it does have a lot of useful additions, the free version has the essentials, and whether you have been blogging for years or never blogged at all, the free version has what you need.
But what does Yoast do?
Well, Yoast basically gives you the matchy matchy ability that you need to connect with them so you’re on page one of Google. And when you’re on page one, you get the clicks you get the sales, you get a happier you.
Wait what? And it’s free? I know right?
How to make the most of Yoast
You need to understand that what you think people are googling to find someone like you and what they are in fact Googling are often two different things
How do you find the right keywords?
a) What do you sell?
List each service or product or product range or type or colour or season or location like town, city, country, state, county, village. e.g. Bath wedding photography, Bath engagement photography or baby slings, baby sling techniques, or teething toys or eco friendly cleaning products or whatever it is.
b) What is include in your service or product?
What is it made of, or what do you include? e.g. brand photography: brand shoot location, brand shoot outfits, brand shoot timings, brand shoot inspiration ideas
You can then use a tool like Keywords Everywhere which costs about 10USD a year to type in every single variation of the product, product range or service you’re selling and want to sell more of.
And then the tool comes up with approximately how many people in your country are searching for this that month. It’s approximate, it isn’t exact. Now make sure you set Keywords Everywhere to the country where you’re selling. If you’re selling to more than one country, you’ll have to do the keyword research more depending on your business goals, which service or product do you want to sell more of in which countries.
So by now you’ll have a list of keyword phrases (and no you can’t have too many) and the approximate numbers next to each of them. Choose the ones with the highest volume and let’s move to part two.
Come up with content ideas
You need to have content on your website i.e. writing text on pages, not just your gorgeous images and a blog where you publish blog posts (even if you start after today!)
If you’ve never blogged I’ve actually got a blog post on my site sharing 65 reasons why blogging is a good idea – SIXTY FIVE I hear you say – I know! Click through to read the full post but the key reason is?
It helps you add value! Thing is – No one cares that you blogged. They DO care about what they can gain / learn from you as the expert (i.e. you know more than them!) e.g. tutorials, experience, expertise – how to, five reasons to, five ways to, helps you repurpose / reshare your images.
Then consider, what’s happening with each season in your business or special dates like Christmas, New Year, halloween, summer holidays, National Cheese Lovers Day is in January and I am here for IT.
Have you blogged about your favourite projects, whether they happened this year or not? Have you blogged about the shoots, recapped your weddings / styled shoots from before this year if you haven’t done so much this year.
Have you told your stories? Talked about ideal clients from the past? Used their language to describe your work?
Go ahead and write down stories you can include associated with your content ideas
So you have part one where you figured out the keyword, and part two where you came up with the content ideas, what do you do now?
Where do you put the keywords?
You need to match up one of your keywords from your researched list (and yes, this can and does change over time, as your business goals and priorities change)
You can use Google’s free tool People Also Ask to know how to phrase the blog title + get more specific on the topic for your blog posts.
And add the one you’ve matched up with a page or blog post to your main heading of your page, the intro paragraph, ideally one subheading in your page as a foundation. The thing is, there are quite a few other places you can add it to and that is precisely where Yoast helps. Yoast will give you a green light if you’ve put the keyword in the right places and will make more suggestions if you haven’t quite got there, giving you an amber light or a red light. The number of people who get in touch with me to say ‘I’ve got a green light – hooray!” it’s a practice, but it’s well worth the effort.
Once you start using Yoast you’ll also see a box called SEO title and SEO description.
That is the text that appears in Google – the title + the short description of what you can expect when you click through on that link. Like a preview, or a trailer.
So guess what? You need to make sure to add your keyword phrase in there as well!
Now remember – Yoast is not Google. Yoast is simply a tool. Yoast doesn’t prevent your website from being seen. It’s simply a tool to help you be seen. You won’t go to Google jail necessarily, not unless you try and simply repeat the same keyword phrase over and over again, with very little content that’s valuable.
But what happens if you write a personal post, what is your keyword phrase?
I would probably not have a focus keyword phrase in Yoast if I write personal content and I’ll tell you why. Because you’re not doing it for SEO. You can still it everywhere on social media, you can still talk about your story, the reason why you’re doing this, personal challenges, whatever it is relevant to your business, and then you can still see traffic coming in on Google Analytics.
So give it a go, try doing the keyword research and then match it up to your pages, go stick on David Gray’s Babylon cos there’s a classic line where he’s clearly talking about Yoast – “Saturday I’m running wild, And all the lights are changing red to green” you’re welcome for that 2001 throwback.
This is a brief introduction, and if you want support, accountability and to dive deeper into this, come and sign up for the Blogging for Gold course waiting list, we’ll open again in the new year, you can sign up for the waiting list
P.S. If you liked this do come and check out the rest of the episodes here
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