Today we released our new Yoast SEO for WordPress training. This online course will help you use Yoast SEO to its fullest potential. In this course we’ll train you on how to use all of the functionalities of our plugin best. And the most exciting news is, we decided to reduce the price of this online course! The old version was $99 a year and this new course will only be $39. Here I’ll explain why we decided to reduce it so drastically.

Get the Yoast SEO training Now$39 for course, certificate and badge

Get the most out of Yoast SEO, learn every feature and best practice in our Yoast SEO for WordPress training! »

Yoast SEO for WordPress training Info

SEO for everyone

The mission of Yoast is SEO for everyone. We believe the web will benefit from all people having an equal chance in the search results. Great ideas don’t always come from large companies but are created everywhere around the world. That’s why we believe that every idea should have a fair chance in the search results.

When developing our products, we always keep our mission in mind. That’s why we recently decided to make some big changes in our plugin. We noticed that some settings in Yoast SEO were hard to explain to a non-tech audience. In the 7.0 update of Yoast SEO we tried to make the plugin more user-friendly for everyone.

Creating high quality SEO courses

The Yoast SEO plugin covers most of the technical SEO challenges of a website. But to seriously compete with the large players, every website owner still faces numerous challenges. Our online courses are designed to help people conquer those problems. They’ll teach you everything there is to know about SEO and provide practice to improve your skills.

We are currently updating and improving all of our online courses. We’ve hired an amazing team that’s working full time on creating videos, texts and assignments that’ll help you understand SEO. The new course is suitable for everyone. We’ll start out with the very basics of the plugin and gradually explain everything you need to know.

Reduced prices

Using the Yoast SEO plugin to its full potential will allow everyone to have a fair chance in the search results. That’s what ‘SEO for everyone’ is all about. But not everyone will have enough money to buy an expensive plugin training. That’s the reason why we reduced the price of this one. We hope more people will be able to buy it and profit from it. We would love to give it away for free, but the salaries of our Academy team just need to be paid as well. The training will get regular updates. As the interface of the plugin changes, we’ll record new videos. (We’re already dreading the Gutenberg update, as that’ll really have some impact on the number of videos we’ll need to record).

Get the Yoast SEO training Now$39 for course, certificate and badge

Conclusion

We reduced the price of our plugin training because it will allow more people to use Yoast SEO to its full extent. For the exact same reason, we improved the course, making it suitable for everyone to understand the ins and outs of our plugin.

And we’ve got some more news for you. We’re currently working on a new FREE online course. It will be an introductory course to SEO and we’re planning to release it somewhere in May of this year.

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The post Why we reduced the price of our Yoast SEO for WordPress training appeared first on Yoast.

If you want to use the Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin to its full potential, you obviously need to know exactly what it can and can’t do. The release of Yoast SEO 7.0 at the beginning of March introduced many changes to the Yoast SEO plugin. Because of all these changes, we’ve decided to completely rebuild our Yoast SEO for WordPress training from scratch. Check out what’s new and make sure you’re up to speed with the latest developments in our plugin. And, perhaps the best news, we’ve lowered the price. So get it now for only $39!

Get the Yoast SEO training Now$39 for course, certificate and badge

Get the most out of Yoast SEO, learn every feature and best practice in our Yoast SEO for WordPress training! »

Yoast SEO for WordPress training Info

What will you learn?

The new Yoast SEO for WordPress training contains ten modules which follow the same approach we took when improving the plugin itself. We think SEO should be actionable and understandable for everyone. That’s why we start this course with three modules in which we go into SEO and the practical use of our plugin.

We kick off with a thorough discussion of what Google does, and what SEO means to us. Then, we discuss what the plugin can and can’t do. After that, we start exploring the plugin from the perspective of the daily user. Where can you find Yoast SEO in your WordPress backend? What options does the Yoast SEO meta box offer? What nifty and simple tools can you use to make quick progress towards ranking number one?

Only after you have gotten to known the plugin itself will we explore the settings that are the linchpin of our plugin. In modules four to ten, you’ll learn how to make sure what parts of your site are shown in the search results. You’ll learn how make sure you get those nice big Twitter images which catch your audience’s eyes. You’ll learn how to check whether Google has found any errors on your site, and how to fix them! In other words, you’ll learn everything you need to be able to maximize your chances of ranking with the Yoast SEO plugin.

Get the Yoast SEO training Now$39 for course, certificate and badge

New course

We want to make this quite clear: the new Yoast SEO for WordPress course is a completely new course. We’ve recorded sixteen videos which show you exactly how to use the plugin. Moreover, we’ve recorded new screencasts for every single tab of the settings. The videos are also accompanied by brand new reading materials, so you can always go back to quickly check the specifics. What’s more, our recent switch to Learndash has allowed us to devise meaningful questions in which you can actually practice the tips you’ve just received!

Lowered price

Is that all? No, the best is yet to come. Because we want everyone to be able to become a Yoast SEO plugin expert, we’ve made the new and improved Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin training much more affordable to boot! The new course will be available for only $39, or $29 when you bundle it with our Premium plugin.

Get Yoast SEO Premium and our training Now$128 $118 for our Premium plugin and training

Learn why we decided to reduce the price for our course or learn more about this course here.

The post Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin training: Better than ever & reduced in price! appeared first on Yoast.

Facebook can be a vital source of traffic for your website. Recently, however, Facebook announced that pages of business, brands, and news outlets would become less important in the news feeds of Facebook users. This could lead to a decrease in your views on Facebook and, therefore, in the traffic from Facebook to your website. What should you do if the traffic from your Facebook page is decreasing? Last week, I already mentioned the importance of SEO. But what else could you do? Here, I’ll share another five strategies to deal with decreasing traffic from your Facebook page.

Optimize your site for search & social media and keep it optimized with Yoast SEO Premium »

Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

Why would the traffic decrease?

Facebook argues that users want to see the content of their friends and families, rather than news and the content of brands in their news feeds. That’s why Facebook is rolling out a big update in which the posts of friends, family and groups become more important and the content of businesses, brands and media will become less important.

Read more: ‘Changes in Facebook make SEO more important’ »

5 strategies to deal with decreasing Facebook traffic

If you notice a sudden drop in reach of traffic from Facebook to your website, don’t panic. Your competitors will probably notice a similar drop. I really think search will become more important, if Facebook will send less traffic to website. People still want to find that present for their mom, or that skirt to wear to a party. If Facebook does not show those in their timelines, they’ll start to search for it in Google. So reinforcing your SEO strategy will be very important. But what else should you do?

Engaging content

Facebook wants to show users content they care about. Content their friends care about. If your content gets a lot of engagement, it’ll probably do better in the news feeds. You should try and get people to share or comment on your Facebook post. But you shouldn’t go overboard; Facebook does not like it when people are pushed to share or comment. Writing high-quality content, content that people want to share with their friends is a good strategy.

Personal accounts

Brands and businesses are not always the most inspiring channels to follow. Lots of people do not want to follow a corporate account. They want to follow real people. Instead of focusing on your corporate Facebook page, you could also focus on spreading the word on the personal Facebook pages of colleagues and employees. Of course, they’ll have to be up for that. And, you should make sure that these personal Facebook pages keep their character.

At Yoast, we have lots of colleagues who are enthusiastic about WordPress and SEO. They often share the SEO posts Yoast publishes on the Yoast Facebook page. That’s a great way to increase both engagement and a  bigger audience.

Influencers

Another way of keeping up the traffic on Facebook is through influencers. Influencers are people who have a lot of followers. They usually post about a specific topic (fashion, celebrities, food). You can reach out to them and ask them to post something about your business on Facebook. For some influencers, you’ll need a budget. For others, offering them your product or service could be enough. Reaching out to (influential) people can be a good way of increasing your reach and traffic on Facebook.

Advertising

The changes Facebook is making will affect the organic (that is the non-paid) reach.  Advertising on Facebook is of course also a possibility. Advertising isn’t that expensive, and you can choose which audience you want to reach (people who like your page, people who do not know your business). I think advertising is a great way to stay visible on Facebook. For a few dollars, you can increase your reach. Make sure you spend your budget on well written, high-quality posts.

Other platforms

If Facebook is giving you a hard time, you could also focus your energy on alternative platforms. Instagram is a good alternative, especially if you’re focusing on a young(er) audience. Don’t forget to check out snapchat either.

Twitter and Pinterest also remain popular. And what about Reddit? It’s hard to say which social media will be most suitable for your business. That depends largely on your business and the preferences of your audience.

Facebook traffic decreasing

Businesses and brands will probably all notice differences in organic reach on Facebook. How significant these differences will be is hard to say. To make it even more complicated, Facebook also changed the way they measure organic engagement. It’s a good idea to keep looking for alternatives for your Facebook-marketing. Investing in SEO seems like an excellent idea! But advertising, writing engaging posts, influencer marketing or other platforms could be great options as well.

Keep reading: ‘Social media for small business owners’ »

The post What to do if traffic from Facebook is decreasing? appeared first on Yoast.

Allowing people to comment on your content is a great way to increase engagement and get in touch with your audience. So, it pays off to choose a good comment system that works for you. Besides the standard WordPress comment system, there are several other systems out there you can implement on your website so your readers can directly respond to your posts.

Optimize your site for search & social media and keep it optimized with Yoast SEO Premium »

Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

It’s good to keep some things in mind when selecting what comment system you want to use. Do you want integration with social media, for example? Do you want to be able to keep your comments if you ever need to change your comment system, and what features do you need? You may want more functionalities than WordPress’ standard comment system provides and therefore choose another system. But are there really no downsides to that, keeping the importance of site speed in mind? What about comment systems and SEO? Let’s get into this dilemma in this week’s Ask Yoast!

Max sent us his question on comment systems:

There is no question that the Disqus service takes a little while to load on a webpage. So, do these blog commenting services, like Disqus, affect SEO in some way?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

The impact of comment systems on SEO

“Do they affect SEO? Well, yes, they do. Because, in fact, they’re so slow to load that most of the time, what you see is that Google doesn’t load the content of those comments, and doesn’t use them to rank that page. Which might be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how good your comments are and whether your comments have a lot of content or not.

I personally don’t like these services because they slow down the page load so much and because they make it slower for people to be able to repond to your content, which is why, on yoast.com, we use the plain vanilla WordPress commenting system with some added features that are in the Yoast Comment Hacks plugin, which we’ve released for free on the repository. So that’s why we use that, and not any service like Disqus. But I know there’s a lot of fans of services like Disqus because of all the other features they have. So it’s a trade-off. We made our choice, you have to make yours. Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Maybe we can help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com.

Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: ‘How to handle comments on your blog’ »

The post Ask Yoast: Comment systems and SEO appeared first on Yoast.

As I wrote in my previous post, I blog about life as a mother. Did you notice that I never mentioned that it is ‘a blog about motherhood’ or ‘a mom blog’? It’s not that I don’t know the existence of these words in the English language: they simply don’t describe my blog. In this second post in my series on blogging, I’ll explain how to find the perfect niche for a blog.

New to SEO? Learn the Basics of SEO in our Basic SEO course »

Basic SEO training Info

Starting out

The blog you own now probably isn’t the blog you started out with at first. When I started my — mom — blog, I thought I could fill my blog with articles about pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. My categories were: ‘pregnancy’, ‘childbirth’ and ‘motherhood’.

Within a month of blogging, I noticed I had ten blog posts in the category ‘motherhood’, two in ‘pregnancy’ and one in ‘childbirth’. Continuing that way would make my site extremely unbalanced. Facing this SEO disaster waiting to happen, I displayed the best behavior I could: I stuck my head in the sand. Ostriches suddenly saw me as one of their own. This continued for another five months and until I gradually lost my joy in blogging.

I kept ignoring my site structure, as I didn’t believe this was my problem, even though there’s plenty of proof I was wrong. I went to a blogger conference, bought books about blogging and visited websites about blogging. Every time my enthusiasm spiked again, and I was ready to start. Ideas started to form, and I began to write, only to find out that during the writing process, my posts didn’t belong in any of the predefined categories. So, I created new categories for my new posts. A month later, I found that these new categories were, again, unbalanced.

Do you see the pattern I only came to see two months ago? My problem wasn’t that I didn’t know what I wanted to write about. I had tons of inspiration. My problem was that I kept thinking inside the box. The mom blog box to be precise.

Taking a step back

I sat down with my notebook and wrote down what kind of blog I wanted to write. Yes, I wanted to write about motherhood, but I also wanted to share quick recipes for parents who hate to cook, as I do. I wanted to write about personal experiences. But I also wanted to write about self-care and planners, because I love planners and notebooks. I wanted to write about so many things, that my head was exploding with ideas. I just wanted to start. The only problem was that my blog didn’t feel mine anymore. I feared I had to create a new blog with a new name, a new theme, and new business cards.

I then talked to my colleague Patrick. Patrick is one of the SEO experts within Yoast. He answers a lot of SEO questions for our Yoast SEO Premium users — and our developers as well. I explained to him that I owned a mom blog, but wanted to write about more subjects. I wanted a lifestyle blog but focused on motherhood. As we talked, I had a newfound enthusiasm for my blog. I realized there’s one thing I had forgotten to do the past year: to step out of the box I created for myself. I still thought I had to blog about what I initially thought I wanted to blog about. Instead, I could stretch my niche as far as I could in the way I wanted to.

Stretching your niche within your current site

As I talked with Patrick, he told me that what I wanted, could very well be done. As my blog is still relatively small, there wasn’t a reason not to write about what I wanted to write about; unless I wanted to write about shovel machines all of a sudden. You would have to twist that subject really good to link it with family life as to not confuse your visitors and Google, unless you live in a shovel machine and bring the tiny house trend to a whole new level. If that’s the case, please drop your link in the comment. I would love to see those decorating tips.

With renewed energy, I faced the next concern. My blog name is a pun that could be linked to motherhood and has a spelling mistake by design. I worried that Google might not favor my articles over the articles of someone with the name ‘mom’ in their domain name. Or that Google already understood the joke hidden in my blog name and linked it to a mom blog forever. Fortunately, I didn’t have to ask this question at work and perhaps make a fool out of myself, as we already wrote articles about domain names — thank you Michiel for this one, you saved me from asking if Google is capable of getting jokes and puns.

It’s a relief that Google doesn’t rank based on domain names. But visitors do. If your domain name doesn’t match what your site is about, they might not visit again. If you have a really obscure name and tld, visitors might not even understand it is a valid URL. And if you have a site name or branding that doesn’t match your content at all, your visitors might not understand your site, and you will lose them.

Changing things around

As I’m still working on redefining my niche by writing down everything I want to write about and the corresponding categories that I might need, my site structure is rapidly changing. I switched blog posts from one category to another to see what structure worked best. My permalink structure was set up to display ‘category/post-name’ and let me tell you; I created 404 errors faster than you could say ‘Google Search Console.’ I cried, created redirects and visited the permalinks tab in my dashboard.

With fear for even more 404s, I changed my permalink structure from ‘category/post-name’ to just ‘post-name.’ I hid underneath my desk, muttered an uh-oh and carefully visited a blog post with the old structure. I expected a 404. I found that WordPress redirected this permalink structure without any problems at all.

My entire adventure of a wrongly structured site, 404 errors, permalink changes and feelings of uh oh and trying to understand Google led to finding my niche. I hope not everyone has to go through this fear. If there’s one lesson to be learned from my adventure: get your blog’s focus clear and then sit down for the right site structure. And whatever you do: don’t play with ostriches.

Keep reading: ‘Blog SEO: How to start a blog’ »

The post Caroline’s Corner: How to find a niche for your blog appeared first on Yoast.

One page websites have been popular for some time now. Basically, it’s your entire website on your homepage. It’s fancy, it’s streamlined. By dividing your homepage into multiple sections, and adding a menu that allows visitors to jump to the section they want to visit, you create an entire website experience on that one single page. Having just one single page also means that you probably need to rank that page for multiple keywords. And that’s where one page website SEO differs from regular website SEO: there are just fewer things you can optimize.

Optimize your site for search & social media and keep it optimized with Yoast SEO Premium »

Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

Why use a one page website?

Truth be told: I don’t like one page websites. There are a lot of people that like all their content crammed into one page, but I just can’t see the benefit of it. The page loads slower, there is less focus, I detest loading the JavaScript/CSS scripts that make unnecessary visual movements or automatic scrolling possible. Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing against having long pages. I love ’em and write ’em. But I’d like to keep these pages focused on one subject.

One page website SEO tips and tricks

Is there anything you can do to optimize your one page website for SEO? Of course, there is. There always is. I’m just not sure you’ll enjoy that single page website for your company in the long run. One page website SEO is tough. I think the only reason you’d want a website like that, is when you need to set up a quick promotional site. Say for a particular product or a temporary collaboration with another brand. In that case, you’ll be driving traffic from flyers, TV ads and the works, and are less dependent on search engines.

If you insist on using a single page website, you need to pay attention to the way you set things up.

Optimize per section

Before starting to write your content, you need to do some keyword mapping. As you have only one page to tell your story, group related content. Create a <div> or <section> for each keyword and assign a proper ID to it. If a section is about trimming hairy dogs, use trim-hairy-dogs as the ID, as this will be like the slug of that particular section. Your internal links on that page will link to example.com/#trim-hairy-dogs. Choose that slug wisely.

That section needs content and a heading and as we think of all these sections as “pages”, you should add an <h1> tag to these sections. That indeed means multiple H1s per page, but hey, you wanted an unfocused website.

If you use images, optimize image file names and ALT tags per section as well.

Optimize page speed

This one is vital for your one page website SEO: optimize page speed. It’s even more critical if you have a page like that since you are serving all kinds of different sections with possibly all types of different layouts and design elements, so your page doesn’t look like a Word document, right? Most of these elements simply take time to load, and you want to optimize that. Here are some articles that will help you optimize speed.

One page website SEO: Add fresh content

Fresh content for the win

You are probably still not convinced that you’d better create multiple pages on your website. But you will understand single page website SEO is pretty hard and limited. You have one page in search result pages, one canonical link, one page that needs to rank for everything you want to rank for. Fresh content, dynamic content, is always a good idea and it is possible on a one page website. Rewrite your sections now and then to align them with current events, for instance. If your website is set up once, and never changes, you have this one static page that needs to do all the work. Changing its content from time to time will certainly help.

One more thing: Analytics

It is possible to track internal links on that page: track per section. But that’s fairly hard for the average Google Analytics user. And Google would rather track per page as well, judging from this article. This is yet another reason why I don’t like one page website SEO. It’s harder to implement SEO recommendations and harder to analyze your efforts.

Come to think of it; it’s probably your PR agency or sales department that likes that one page website so much. So please, please reconsider setting up a page like this. It’ll make your SEO so much easier.

Read more: ‘Why every website needs Yoast SEO’ »

The post Optimizing a single page: One page website SEO appeared first on Yoast.

If you promote your website on Facebook, perhaps you’ve noticed some changes in the last few weeks. Or maybe you read about it online. Facebook changed its algorithm; messages of businesses and news outlets will become less important. In this post, I want to explain the consequences of the changes in Facebook’s algorithm. On top of that, I want to propose some strategies to cope with these changes and perhaps a sudden drop in traffic. My favorite strategy? Invest heavily in SEO.

Learn how to write awesome and SEO friendly articles in our SEO Copywriting training »

SEO copywriting training Info

The Facebook algorithm changed? Why?

Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the changes on January 11th of this year. He writes:

“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Zuckerberg states that Facebook users want to see the content of their friends and families in their news feeds, rather than that of news outlets and the content of brands.

It’s one of the reasons why Facebook is rolling out a big update in which the posts of friends, family and groups become more important and the content of businesses, brands and media will become less important. That would imply that brands, businesses and media will have a harder time reaching their followers. Their posts will have fewer views and less reach.

What do we notice so far?

It’s hard to say precisely to what extent a drop in organic reach for brands and businesses already took place. It seems like a drop in referrals to media-sites did happen. Media sites seem to get more traffic from Google now than from Facebook.

Blog posts from social media experts (e.g., AgoraPulse; Hootsuite) give the impression that a drop in organic Facebook reach is or will also be happening for brands and businesses. That could well be the case. Reading the announcement of Zuckerberg would imply that especially those brands and companies that have little interaction with their audience will be shown less in the news feeds of their followers.

To make matters more complicated, Facebook also changed the way they measure and report organic reach in the newsfeed. That makes it extra hard to assess whether or not the organic reach of your page has changed.

Read on: ‘How to optimize your Facebook reach’ »

What’s next?

For some websites, this could be a big deal. If you get a lot of traffic from Facebook, this algorithm change could decrease the amount of traffic you’ll be able to attract to your website.

But, to reassure you all: don’t panic. Your business is not the only one that’ll encounter this change. We all have to deal with it.

Some coping strategies

Investing in high-quality and engaging content on Facebook is a good strategy. If your followers reply to your posts and tag their friends, Facebook will probably show your post to many more people. And of course, you can always advertise on Facebook. Advertising on Facebook isn’t that expensive and will allow you to reach your audience, even if your content is not that engaging.

Invest heavily in SEO

In my opinion, the best response to a possible change in the Facebook algorithm is to invest in the SEO of your website. If Facebook is no longer the most important source of traffic to your website, other sources will become (relatively) more important. If people do not see the posts of your business or brand in their news feed, they’ll probably start searching for your products somewhere else. And Google (or another search engine) is the number one candidate for where people will search.

Let me explain how this works by introducing Jane:

Jane is a child psychologist. Her clients come from her local community. She has an active Facebook page. She posts little stories about her clients every day. This Facebook page brought her new clients. People started following Jane; they liked her posts, her tips, and her stories.  When their children needed counseling, Jane was the first one to pop into their heads. Her Facebook posts made sure that Jane’s practice was top of mind. 

The change in Facebook’s algorithm changes a lot in the way Jane got her clientele. Perhaps her Facebook posts will be shown less to her audience. People are still in need of a child psychologist, though. But if they do not find one in their news feed, what will they do? 

When in need of a child psychologist, people start to search for one elsewhere. They could turn to Google and search for ‘Child Psychologist.’  Jane, therefore, needs a kick-ass website with a proper SEO strategy to outrank her competitors. 

If businesses and brands get less attention in the news feeds of their users, traffic from Facebook to their websites will decrease, just as it did with the news. Google could become (relatively) more important.

Conclusion

I think it’s a bit too early to understand the changes in the Facebook algorithm fully. We’ll need some time to do some proper testing and research. I do think businesses and brands will get less attention in the news feeds. I just don’t know how significant the changes will be. It’s frustrating too. The only thing you CAN do is to make sure your website is awesome. Invest time in writing excellent content and create things people want to come to your website for. While doing that, don’t forget to make sure people can find you in the search engines. Time to set up that impressive new SEO strategy!

Read more: ‘Social media for small business owners’ »

The post As Facebook’s algorithm changes SEO becomes crucial appeared first on Yoast.

Making your website rank high can be a challenge. Making your international sites rank high can be an even bigger challenge. There are just a lot more things you have to do for multilingual SEO: create content for different markets, set up sites for those markets and implement hreflang, just to name a few. Plus there are additional choices you have to make. Like this one: on which domains will you publish your internationalized content? Here we’ll list the most common options you have, and we’ll help you decide on the best option for your situation. 

Optimizing your site for multiple languages? You need our Multilingual SEO training! »

New: Multilingual SEO training Info

ccTLD, subdomain or subdirectory?

Let’s say you own a site for your business in the US: myepicbusiness.com. You’re expanding to Australia and want to create multiregional websites. In general, you’d say, there are 3 options for your internationalized content to reside:

  • on a country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD): myepicbusiness.au
  • on a subdomain: au.myepicbusiness.com
  • on a subdirectory: myepicbusiness.com/au

All options have pros and cons, and it all depends on your business which one will suit you best.

ccTLD

Do you have a large multinational business with lots of resources? Then, a country code domain, like epicbusiness.au is a good option for a multiregional site. It’s the most effective way of telling Google and your audience which country your targeting.

However, it also means you have to acquire the domain and have to build up domain authority from scratch. Domain authority means that Google knows your domain epicbusiness.com and sees it as a trustworthy source. A ccTLD, like .au, will not profit from the domain authority of your .com domain.

Before you choose a ccTLD you should always properly investigate if it’s worth investing a lot in that market. You should only decide to go for the ccTLD if there are enough opportunities for growth in that country and if you have enough resources to exploit them. In general we’d say: if your .com domain ranks high and your marketing budget is limited, choosing one of the others probably is the better choice.

Subdomain or subdirectory

If the ccTLD isn’t the right choice for your business, you’ll have to choose between a subdomain or subdirectory. In that case, what would be the best choice: myepicbusiness.com/au or au.myepicbusiness.com?

Even though you might suspect differently, Google will not see a subdomain as the exact same domain. It’s not exactly clear how Google sees it, but it’s clear the domain authority of myepicbusiness.com won’t completely flow to a subdomain, like au.myepicbusiness.com. This means you can’t take full advantage of the domain authority you’ve built up for your .com domain. So in this case we’d advise to pick a subdirectory, like: myepicbusiness.com/au

Countries with multiple languages

There are countries that have two – or more – official languages. If you want to target audiences speaking multiple languages you’ll have to create multilingual sites. This will force you to make even more choices for your domain structure. In Canada, for instance, there’s a French speaking part and English speaking part. What if you want to show the French and English speaking part of Canada a different website?

ccTLD

Let’s say you’ve got a major business and plenty of resources, so you’ve selected the ccTLD. This means that for Canada you’ve chosen myepicbusiness.ca. In that case you can easily add two language variations as a subdirectory to your site:

  • myepicbusiness.ca/en
  • myepicbusiness.ca/fr

Subdirectory

If you’ve chosen to place your Canadian content on subdirectories, you could best create the URLs below. Do remember to refer to the language first and then to the country:

  • myepicbusiness.com/en-ca
  • myepicbusiness.com/fr-ca

If you want to dive deeper into this matter, we’d advise you to take our Multilingual SEO training. In this course we explain in more detail which pros and cons there are, how you can do your geotargeting well, how to easily create awesome copy in different languages and other important stuff for international SEO, like implementing hreflang. Check it out now!

Multiple countries with the same language

But what about using one website in the same language for multiple countries? Can’t you just use the same English website for, for instance, Australia and the UK?

Country websites or language websites?

If possible, we’d recommend creating different sites for different countries, even if people are speaking the same language. Although it might require more resources, it will be easier to target that specific market with the right content. Things that can differ from country to country are the local vocabulary, contact information, product availability and the currency. If you don’t create different content for the countries you’re targeting, users might get confused about what service and products you deliver in their country.

So this means that, in case of the example above, you’d choose myepicbusinness.com/uk and myepicbusiness.com/au Or, if you have enough marketing capabilities, you could use myepicbusiness.uk and myepicbusiness.au.

Don’t forget hreflang!

If you’re targeting multiple countries with websites containing content in the same language you should never forget to implement hreflang! With hreflang you’ll tell Google which of your websites should rank in which country and for which language. On top of that, it will prevent duplicate content issues, which is almost inevitable if you target countries with the same language. 

Optimizing your site for multiple languages? You need our Multilingual SEO training! »

New: Multilingual SEO training Info

TL;DR

Choosing domains for internationalized content on your site can be a challenge. If you have a large marketing budget you should choose ccTLDs for every country your target and build strong domains for each country. If you’re not capable of doing that, you should choose subdirectories. In case you target countries with multiple languages, you can create subdirectories for each language in a country. In general, always choose country sites instead of language sites to target your audience with the right content and to prevent confusion. And, don’t forget to implement hreflang!

Read more: ‘How to create SEO friendly copy in a foreign language’ »

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Two weeks ago, we released one of our most significant updates yet: Yoast SEO 7.0. This release featured some much-needed spring-cleaning and a wholly revamped XML sitemap experience. In it, the focus is much less on the sitemap as it is on easily getting indexed what you want to get indexed. Yoast SEO 7.1 — out today — builds on that release with fixes and enhancements.

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

First up: support for Portuguese

As you know, Yoast SEO understands quite a few languages. While most of the content checks work for every language, there are instances where the checks are language-specific. The list is pretty impressive right now and keeps growing. We support English, German, Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish in various degrees. Today, we’re adding a brand-new language: Portuguese.

More than 200 million people speak Portuguese natively, making it the sixth most popular language in the world. Thanks to our friend Dilmar Ames, we have now taken the first steps towards full support for Portuguese. While it’s still early days for the content analyses, the insights and internal linking suggestions features in Portuguese are fully developed. Users of Yoast SEO Premium can enjoy these two great features to enhance their posts and improve their site structure.

Also, we fixed a couple of other language-related issues. For instance, we added a filter to mark Spanish sentences as non-passive when certain exception words occur between the auxiliary and the participle. The list of exception words includes all forms of the copula ‘estar’.

Enhancements

Besides expanding our knowledge of the world’s languages, we’ve also improved the plugin in various regards.

Importing from other SEO plugins

Yoast SEO 7.1 now detects if you can import data from other SEO plugins data. It allows you to import this data on the Import from other plugins page. After importing, you can check whether the import was successfull and then delete the data. To help you set up your titles and descriptions correctly, we decided we should not import title & description templates from other plugins. You can run the configuration wizard to set up your templates properly.

Filters and variables

Thanks to Akinori Musha, we’ve added support for a new template variable %%archive_title%%. This gives access to the utility function called get_the_archive_title() which gives a nicely localized title for the current archive page.

We’re now providing developers extra context if they want to replace posts and taxonomies. To do this, we’ve added an additional argument to wpseo_replacements filter. This makes it possible to access post, taxonomy or term instances when applying the filter.

To top it off, we’ve removed the Facebook Insights functionality as it’s no longer supported. Plus, we’ve increased the height of the meta description box so it matches the maximum amount of characters without needing a scrollbar.

Fixing bugs

Coming from such a big release like Yoast SEO 7.0 there are always a few bugs to fix. Thanks to our awesome GitHub community, we were able to track and fix quite a few of them. Let’s go over a couple of them. For instance, we fixed a bug where the rewrite rules weren’t correctly removed after stripping the category base. This resulted in 404s. Now, you can safely remove /category/ from your URLs again and it should correctly update itself.

There was also a weird issue where you enabled the Show blog page in the breadcrumb settings, it’d be disabled and vice versa. Previously, it showed the wrong breadcrumb path when using a static blog page and Show Blog page is set to hide.

There were some performance issues reported with the release of Yoast SEO 7.0.2 which we fixed by improving WPSEO_Options::get. This is the main function we use throughout the plugin to fetch settings. This is only a small sampling of the work that went into Yoast SEO 7.1. For a complete list of all the fixed bugs, please check the changelog.

Update to Yoast SEO 7.1 now

Coming hot on the heels of Yoast SEO 7.0, 7.1 packs quite a few enhancements and bug fixes. These fixes improve the way the plugins function and increases stability. We’re still actively cleaning up our plugins to make sure they are lean and mean. So, don’t forget to update!

Read more: ‘Why every website needs Yoast SEO’ »

The post Yoast SEO 7.1: A língua Portuguesa appeared first on Yoast.

Anchor text is the visible and clickable piece of text in a link. The text appears in a different color and is often underlined. If done right, this indicates what’s behind that link. Getting your anchor texts right increases the chance of someone clicking on your link. It also provides context for search engines.

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

What does an anchor text look like?

The anchor text describes the article and entices you to click. Even search engines get that the linked article is relevant because both the URL as well as the anchor text appears to be in order. Let’s say you want to learn something about anchor text. [What is anchor text] exactly? You see that I naturally linked to the article you are reading now.

What does an anchor text look like in HTML? The first piece of code is the URL, while the second part describes the link. This is the anchor text. See below:
anchor text example

Different kinds

Anchor text is relevant for both your internal links and your incoming external links. External sites that want to link to your content can do so in various ways.

  • Branded links: A link with your brand name as an anchor, like Yoast.
  • The URL itself: Just your site’s URL without a text, like https://yoast.com. Not that helpful in most instances.
  • Site name: written as Yoast.com.
  • Article title: Exact matching the article, like What is anchor text?.
  • Exact keywords: Your focus keyword/keyphrase as anchor text
  • Partially matching keywords: Using variants of your focus keyword to make a readable link.
  • Related keywords: Not a direct match, but a keyword or keyphrase that is closely related to the main one.
  • Generic links: Try to avoid these ‘Click here’ and ‘Read more’ links. Tell people what a link is about. Otherwise, they’re guessing.

Best practices for anchor texts

It’s not exactly rocket science because writing a relevant anchor text is common sense. A link must provide value for a user, and the anchor text is the most important way of conveying the value of that link. Keep it natural. Don’t make crappy sentences to put in your exact match keywords or keyphrases. If it doesn’t sound natural when you say it aloud, don’t write it. Also, don’t turn a complete sentence into the anchor text. Keep it condensed and easy to understand.

Don’ts in anchor texts

First of all, keep your links relevant. Don’t spam your anchor text and don’t use generic anchor text to try to get people to visit your link. Don’t stuff your anchor text full of keywords. You shouldn’t use a text that has no relation to the linked content. Whatever you do, don’t fool your users. Nobody likes this. This also goes for trying to get your site design to stand out from the crowd with a link that doesn’t look like a link. Keep the different font color and underline it. Otherwise, people will easily miss your link.

Of course, you don’t have much control over how other sites link to your site. You can, however, set up a link building strategy that has a bigger chance of getting those coveted relevant links with great anchor texts.

Internal linking and anchor texts

We all know internal linking is essential. Yoast SEO has an internal linking tool built in that makes it a lot easier to find related content to link to on your site. Whenever you add a relevant link to your article, you also need to think about the anchor text. By thinking carefully about how and why you link to these articles to improve your internal linking structure you can help both users and search engines to navigate your site better.

To make the most of internal linking try only to add links that add real value to users. Write great anchor texts for them, so readers know this link has been carefully selected to let you read on. Don’t link for the sake of it. Make it relevant and useful. And of course; don’t spam!

seo basics anchor text exact match example

An example of an exact match

seo basics anchor text freeflowing text

An example of a more free-flowing form of linking

This is anchor text

Anchor text helps both searchers and search engines determine if a link is worth visiting. Some people try to game this system, but you sure shouldn’t do this. Google has become pretty adequate at determining which links are unnatural and even harmful. So, keep it natural and relevant, and you should be good to go!

Read more: ‘SEO basics: What is a permalink?’ »

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