Last Updated on October 22, 2021 by scottkandh
Update: 10/14/2021 – When I wrote this post, Use Yoast to build your SEO I hadn’t known about Rank Math SEO. Yoast SEO is not a bad program, it’s actually quite good to start developing your website structure. But I would highly recommend that after you’ve built your website’s site structure that you make a switch from Yoast SEO to Rank Math to even further develop your SEO and improve traffic to your blog.
I’m adding this note because today I found a graphic that I wanted to add to this post that I’ve just discovered. I was wanting to stress that using SEO is very much like the game of Clue and that’s what this graphic does. In addition I had mentioned that SEO is like a game of Trial and Error. In the near future, I’m going to be having a Blogtober post that features some of my favorite Infographics that all have one thing in common. That is that they all are centralized around ways to grow your blog (or start it). By reading the SEO Clues within the Infographic below you’ll stop your SEO from being SEO Trial and error.
One of the steps listed below in the Infographic really stands out which is Step #2:
“Gather vital evidence with an SEO audit. If your website has domain issues, low-quality links, or indexing errors, your search engine rankings will suffer – even if you are targeting the right keywords. Conduct a thorough SEO audit to eliminate these suspects and uncover vital clues to understand your audience’s needs. For more information on how to conduct a “thorough” SEO audit, please see my post 14 Programs to run an SEO Audit.
Use Yoast to build your SEO
I’m writing this blog to develop a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) checklist for WordPress blogs to prevent you from practicing SEO Trial and Error. That way when your using Yoast, users won’t have to resort to using it SEO trial and error methods. I researched several different websites and within this checklist I have tried to pull it all together in a reader’s digest condensed format.
“What do leaders (and bloggers) have in common?
Effective leaders (and bloggers) are made, not born. They learn from Trial and Error, and from experience.”
Importance of utilizing SEO.
Get started early!
To get a high ranking on Google, taking the steps to work on your SEO is extremely important.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-stop method to putting everything all into one place. It’s going to take a lot of effort on your part. It’s my hope that this checklist (Free SEO Checklist items) will benefit you and bring more people to your blog so that you won’t have to experiment with SEO trial and error. Here are three Free beginning SEO courses. Yoast is a good program but it’s not going to work all by itself.
I’d prefer that bloggers don’t have to resort to using SEO trial and error methods and can get the maximum use out of Yoast (better yet, I highly recommend Rank Math).
Most importantly, Yoast is a good program but trying to find out where to put this information into the Free version of Yoast is not easy to figure out.
Free SEO Checklist
Here are some suggestions that were written for the program of Yoast SEO so that you don’t have to rely on SEO Trial and Error. Although written for Yoast SEO, most of these processes are very similar to Rank Math.
Keywords and Keyword phrases
First, find relevant Keywords – free keyword tools (in no particular order)
- LSI Graph – limited to 3 queries per day
- KWFinder by Mangools – limited to 3 queries per day.
- Thesaurus – to find related and similar words.
- Keyword Tool.io
- Google Trends
Secondly, focus on using your keyphrase used in your introduction.
Thirdly, update your Metadescription: Click on Edit Sniplet (located on the left side) to edit the metadescription (this requires installing the Yoast SEO plug-in).
If it’s not visible, click the down arrow on “Google preview”. The length of the metadescription has up to 156 characters available, use the space and shoot for more than 120 characters. Use the space.
Use Keywords in Title, Description, and 1st paragraph
1. Make sure the topic is clear immediately.
2. For the best SEO results write the exact match of your keyphrase in the SEO title, and put the keyphrase at the beginning of the title.
NOTE: This is probably the most overlooked and simplest things to fix. In Yoast, click on Google preview. Where there’s a button with Title is where you type in the name of your Title page. If everything else is done already, you should get your green button.
Forth, update the slug. Keyphrase in slug: This is something that I need to personally work on to get a better understanding of a slug. Check out the video on the hyperlink regarding slugs.
- Keep your active voice to less than the recommended 10%.
- Structure your post with Headlines and Internal links
- Use of no-follow links – they shouldn’t be used. Note: To identify if there are any no-follow links on your website? Go to: https://varvy.com/tools/linkcount/
- Optimize images title and Alt – Text. Click on the gear (Settings), then go to the Block tab (to the right of Document). Click on the image to type in the alternate text.
- Optimize on-page imagery optimization with Optimole plug-in. It runs seamlessly in the background.
- Use of Categories: Minimum of 5 to 10 well-structured categories. Categories provide clarification of your site’s structure.
- Include at least 2 images on every page of your website. Use proper file name etiquette for images. Rename the image before it’s uploaded (i.e. Pinterest Artwork.jpg instead of IMG052.jpg.
- At least one External Link to A High Authority Source
- At least one Internal Link to another page on Your Website. Check out LinkWhisper.com for the free plug-in that will help to automate making internal links on your website.
- Shorten any lengthy paragraphs. People don’t like long pieces of text.
- Word Count – Pages / posts not less than 500 words. The number of words in Word gets displayed in the bottom left hand corner next to page x of y.
- Goal to shoot for is between 1,000 and 1,200 words. It’s okay to go over, Google appreciates detailed articles. Focus on providing quality content not quantity.
- Does your page have no images? To give your page a boost, add an image, preferably 2 images.
- Have at least one Social Image within Your SEO Plugin (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
- Install the plug-in Google Analytics for WordPress by Monster Insights to see how visitors are directed to your website and to keep ‘em coming back.
Google Analytics will provide (as of 7/23/2020) – feedback for this blog that’s been running for three weeks and growing. Below are the stats.
- Sessions: 324
- Page Views: 664
- Avg Session duration: 1 m., 21sec.
- Bounce rate: 63.89
Certainly, Pinterest users should sign up for the 5-day Pinterest Challenge to boost your Pinterest traffic and simultaneously your blog.
To summarize, review your SEO Analysis and your
Readability Analysis with the Yoast Plug-in.