Want to learn how to make your site rank high? Get better at SEO and practice your skills in a fun way? We think our Yoast Academy SEO courses are exactly what you need, but maybe you’re not so sure yet. You can now try them out, for free! You can get free access to some of our lessons now to test if our SEO courses fit your needs. What are you waiting for? Get your free trial now!

How do I get a free trial?

Just go to my.yoast.com and create an account, if you don’t have one yet. Log in and go to courses. You’ll see an overview of all the SEO courses we offer. You’ll notice a purple label saying that a free trial is available:

free trials of yoast academy SEO courses

Click on ‘Start free trial’ and get a taste of the SEO training you’re interested in. Not sure which training you’d like to take? You can check out a lesson of all courses with the ‘Free trial available’ label.

Which lessons can I try?

All of them! For instance, you can try a sampling of our Basic SEO training, the Yoast SEO for WordPress training or Structured data training. Basic SEO is a must-take training if you want to learn about all aspects that influence your site’s rankings. The Yoast SEO for WordPress training focuses on how to configure Yoast SEO to get the best out of it for your website. Our Structured Data training is what you need if you want to get those coveted rich results that make your page stand out in the search results.

Is it for me?

Everyone can try out these SEO lessons from Yoast Academy. Even if you’ve already bought a course or if you did the free Yoast SEO for beginners training you can try out another one. Just log in to MyYoast and see if that other SEO training meets your expectations.

Why should I try an SEO training at Yoast Academy?

SEO experts and educational professionals develop our courses. This means we know all about creating websites that rank and how to teach you how to achieve that. We know what kind of issues you encounter as a website owner, and we love to help you develop the skills to overcome these. On top of that, our quizzes are just plain fun. Even SEO experts can enjoy our courses. So what’s stopping you? Try a free trial lesson now!

Let us know!

Did you check out one of our lessons? We’d like to hear what you think. Enjoyed it? Or left with some questions? Drop them in the comments below!

The post Try your free SEO lessons today: Yoast Academy trials available now appeared first on Yoast.

A redirect happens when someone asks for a specific page but gets sent to a different page. Often, the site owner deleted the page and set up a redirect to send visitors and search engine crawlers to a relevant page. A much better approach then serving them an annoying, user experience breaking 404 message. Redirects play a big part in the lives of site owners, developers, and SEOs. So let’s answer a couple of recurring questions about redirects for SEO.

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1. Are redirects bad for SEO?

Well, it depends, but in most cases, no. Redirects are not bad for SEO, but — as with so many things — only if you put them in place correctly. A bad implementation might cause all kinds of trouble, from loss of PageRank to loss of traffic. Redirecting pages is a must if you make any changes to your URLs. After all, you don’t want to see all the hard work you put into building an audience and gathering links to go down the drain.

2. Why should I redirect a URL?

By redirecting a changed URL, you send both users and crawlers to a new URL, therefore keeping annoyances to a minimum. Whenever you perform any kind of maintenance on your site you are actually taking stuff out. You could be deleting a post, changing your URL structure or moving your site to a new domain. You have to replace it or visitors will land on those dreaded 404 pages. If you make small changes, like delete an outdated article, you can redirect that old URL with a 301 to a relevant new article or give it a 410 to say that you deleted it. Don’t delete stuff without a plan. And don’t redirect your URLs to random articles that don’t have anything to do with the article you’re deleting.

Bigger projects need a URL migration strategy. Going from HTTP to HTTPS for instance — more on that later on in this article, changing the URL paths, or moving your site to a new domain. In these cases, you should look at all the URLs on your site and map these to their future locations on the new domain. After determining what goes where, you can start redirecting the URLs. Use the change of address tool in Google Search Console to notify Google of the changes.

3. What is a 301 redirect? And a 302 redirect?

Use a 301 redirect to permanently redirect a URL to a new destination. This way, you tell both visitors and search engine crawlers that this URL changed and a new destination is found. This the most common redirect. Don’t use a 301 if you ever want to use that specific URL ever again. If so, you need a 302 redirect.

A 302 redirect is a so-called temporary redirect. This means that you can use this to say this piece of content is temporarily unavailable at this address, but it is going to come back. Need more information on which redirect to pick?

4. What’s an easy way to manage redirects in WordPress?

We might be a bit biased, but we think the redirects manager in our Yoast SEO Premium WordPress plugin is incredible. We know that a lot of people struggle to understand the concept of redirects and the kind of work that goes into adding and managing them. That’s why one of the first things we wanted our WordPress SEO plugin to have was an easy to use redirect tool. I think we succeeded, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Lindsay recently said:

The redirects manager can help set up and manage redirect on your WordPress site. It’s an indispensable tool if you want to keep your site fresh and healthy. We made it as easy as possible. Here’s what happens when you delete a post:

  • Move a post to trash
  • A message pops up saying that you moved a post to thrash
  • Choose one of two options given by the redirects manager:
    • Redirect to another URL
    • Serve a 410 Content deleted header
  • If you pick redirect, a modal opens where you can enter the new URL for this particular post
  • Save and you’re done!

So convenient, right? Here’s an insightful article called What does the redirects manager in Yoast SEO do, that answers that question.

5. What is a redirect checker?

A redirect checker is a tool to determine if a certain URL is redirected and to analyze the path it follows. You can use this information to find bottlenecks, like a redirect chain in which a URL is redirected many times, making it much harder for Google to crawl that URL — and giving users a less than stellar user experience. These chains often happen without you knowing about it: if you delete a page that was already redirected, you add another piece to the chain. So, you need to keep an eye on your redirects and one of the tools to do that is a redirect checker.

You can use one of the SEO suites such as Sitebulb, Ahrefs and Screaming Frog to test your redirects and links. If you only need a quick check, you can also use a simpler tool like httpstatus.io to give you an insight into the life of a URL on your site. Another must-have tool is the Redirect Path extension for Chrome, made by Ayima.

6. Do I need to redirect HTTP to HTTPS?

Whenever you plan to move to the much-preferred HTTPS protocol for your site — you know, the one with the green padlock in the address bar — you must redirect your HTTP traffic to HTTPS. You could get into trouble with Google if you make your site available on both HTTP and HTTPS, so watch out for that. Also, browsers will show a NOT SECURE message when the site is — you guessed it — not secured by a HTTPS connection. Plus, Google prefers HTTPS sites, because these tend to be faster and more secure. Your visitors expect the extra security as well.

So, you need to set up a 301 redirect from HTTP to HTTPS. There are a couple of way of doing this and you must plan this to make sure everything goes like it should. First, the preferred way of doing this is at server level. Find out on what kind of server your site is running (NGINX, Apache, or something else) and find the code needed to add to your server config file or .htaccess file. Most often, your host will have a guide to help you set up a redirect for HTTP to HTTPS on server level. Jimmy, one of our developers also wrote a guide helping you move your website from HTTP to HTTPS.

There are also WordPress plugins that can handle the HTTPS/SSL stuff for your site, but for this specific issue, I wouldn’t rely on a plugin, but manage your redirect at a server level. Don’t forget to let Google know of the changes in Search Console.

Redirects for SEO

There are loads of questions about redirects to answer. If you think about it, the concept of a redirect isn’t too hard to grasp. Getting started with redirects isn’t that hard either. The hard part of working with redirects is managing them. Where are all these redirects leading? What if something breaks? Can you find redirect chains or redirect loops? Can you shorten the paths? You can gain a lot from optimizing your redirects, so you should dive in and fix them. Do you have burning questions about redirects? Let us know in the comments!

Read more: ‘How to properly delete a page from your site’ »

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Keyword density is the number of times your focus keyword occurs on a web page, compared to the total text of that page. If you write a post for your blog, you should have thought about what keyword you want to rank that post for. In our Yoast SEO plugin, that keyword is what we call the focus keyword. If you have a text that is 100 words and 5 of those are your focus keyword, your keyword density is 5%. Is it that black and white? In a very strict world, that would indeed be the case. But Google is smarter than that. In this post, we’ll discuss a number of things you need to take into account when checking keyword density for your pages.

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Keyword density in Yoast SEO

In Yoast SEO free, we encourage you to aim for a keyword density of 2.5%. If 2.5% of your post is your desired focus keyword, your text will still be fairly natural to read. It won’t look over-optimized. The thing is, that in the end, you want to make sure your text is written for humans, not Google. If the keyword density of your text exceeds 5%, it will already start to look a lot like spam, or what we call keyword stuffing. It’ll start to look like it’s written for search engines more than your human visitors. Just don’t do that. This is why a keyword density of 2.5% is a nice indication of natural, yet optimized text as well.

Multiple keywords

Often, you’ll find yourself optimizing a text for more than one keyword. Especially long pages or articles can be used perfectly for multiple keywords. It’s usually hard to write two or three articles about similar keywords, so it makes sense to group these. Think along the lines of:

  • “SEO” and “search engine optimization”
  • “Review” and “Testimonial”

But also words that are a tad bit more unrelated. You might find yourself writing about a “forest” and want to include “trees” as well, for instance. The plural of a word is also something you could add as a focus keyword for your page.

Did you know that adding multiple keywords is a breeze in Yoast SEO Premium? You can add up to 5 (!) focus keywords instead of the single keyword you are used to in our free plugin! Get Yoast SEO Premium here.

When talking about keyword density, SEO and search engine optimization obviously mean exactly the same. Therefore, you should take this into account when checking keyword density for your post. If the keyword density for SEO is already at 2.5%, it would be unwise to add another 2.5% for search engine optimization. You are probably wondering how to check if Google considers two words the same or not: that’s simple. Google one word, and see if the other one is bold as well:
Keyword density: bold in Google

In this example, it’s clear that Google treats “SEO” the same as “search engine optimization”.

Synonyms

We’re so excited to let you know that synonyms are coming to Yoast SEO Premium! In one of the upcoming releases, we’ll allow for synonyms to be used to accompany your focus keywords. So, that means that besides the actual focus keyword, we’ll also let you to insert a number of synonyms, and we will adjust the keyword density calculation accordingly.

Imagine you are writing about forests. You might also want to use the word ‘woods’ to refer to the same thing. You can set ‘forest’ as a keyword and ‘woods’ as a synonym. In addition, you can also use the synonym field to add the plural ‘forests’. To set multiple synonyms, just separate them with commas.

Note that this does differ from the multiple keywords option. That option allows you to optimize for totally different words, whereas we will take the synonyms into account for keyword density and other checks in our plugin. For instance, synonyms are also used when we calculate topic distribution (more on that below).

Keyword versus topic

The terms we use in our plugin to refer to these checks, will differ, depending on which version of Yoast SEO you use. We’ll use the terms ‘keyword density’ and ‘keyword distribution’, as long as you don’t have Yoast SEO Premium and the synonyms feature. As soon as you have that feature, we will no longer refer to the ‘keyword’, but to the ‘topic’, being the keyword and the synonyms, when checking density and distribution. That brings us to the next new feature in Yoast SEO Premium: topic distribution.

Topic distribution

We will also add topic distribution to Yoast SEO Premium in that release! This is actually something we’ve been planning to add for a while. We can tell you that your page has 2.5% keyword density, but if your 2,500 words article uses your focus keyword and synonyms 62 times in just the first two paragraphs, your text will still look strange, right? If your article is about ‘plugins’, you’ll want to use that word throughout the article, not just at the beginning or end. That is why topic distribution is so important.

Just to be clear: we’re talking about topic distribution when you have included synonyms because we calculate the distribution of keywords as well as synonyms. When you don’t have synonyms, we simply calculate the keyword distribution for your keyword or keyphrase.

Keyword density is the basis

You’ll understand by now that keyword density is the basis of how well your post or page is optimized for a certain focus keyword. Keyword density, in our plugin or in one of the many tools available on the internet, will tell you if you’re over-optimizing your text or just not optimizing it enough. If you want to take it a step further and get closer to how Google sees your copy, synonyms and topic distribution will definitely be something to take into account too. Now go optimize!

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

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With one of the two flagship WordCamp events taking place this month, as well as some important WordPress project announcements, there’s no shortage of news. Learn more about what happened in the WordPress community in June.


Another Successful WordCamp Europe

On June 14th, WordCamp Europe kicked off three days of learning and contributions in Belgrade. Over 2,000 people attended in person, with hundreds more watching live streams of the sessions.

The WordCamp was a great success with plenty of first-time attendees and new WordPress contributors getting involved in the project and community. Recorded sessions from the 65 speakers at the event will be available on WordPress.tv in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out the photos from the event.

The next WordCamp Europe takes place on June 20-22 2019 in Berlin, Germany. If you’re based in Europe and would like to serve on the organizing team, fill in the application form.

Updated Roadmap for the New WordPress Content Editor

During his keynote session at WordCamp Europe, Matt Mullenweg presented an updated roadmap for Gutenberg, the new content editor coming in WordPress 5.0.

While the editor is in rapid development, with v3.1 being released this past month, the team is aiming to ship Gutenberg with WordPress Core in August, 2018. This is not set in stone — the release date may shift as development progresses — but this gives the first realistic idea of when we can expect the editor to be released.

If you would like to contribute to Gutenberg, read the handbook, follow the Core team blog, and join the #core-editor channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.

WordCamp Incubator Cities Announced

The WordCamp Incubator program helps spread WordPress to underserved communities by providing organizing support for their first WordCamp. The first iteration of this program ran successfully in 2016 and empowered three cities to start their own WordPress communities.

This year, the Community Team is running the Incubator program again. After receiving applications from 104 communities, they have selected Montevideo, Uruguay and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia to participate in the program. Both cities will receive direct help from experienced WordCamp organizers to run their first-ever WordCamp as a way to help their WordPress community get started.

To find out more about the Incubator program follow the Community team blog, and join the #community-events channel in the Making WordPress Slack group.


Further Reading:

  • The WordPress community of Spain recently received an award for being the best open-source community in the country.
  • This month, WordPress reached the milestone of powering 31% of websites.
  • WP Rig is a brand new tool to help WordPress developers build better themes.
  • Block Unit Test is a new plugin to help theme developers prepare for Gutenberg.
  • Near the end of the month, Zac Gordon hosted an online conference focused on JavaScript development in WordPress – the session videos will be available on YouTube soon.

If you have a story we should consider including in the next “Month in WordPress” post, please submit it here.

Affiliate marketing is a means to monetize your blog or website. You can recommend products on your site with a trackable link from your affiliate partner, or put that link in an ad. If someone clicks on the link and buys a product through your site, you’ll get a commission.

Especially if your site has many visitors and high credibility, you’ll have a good chance that your audience is willing to follow your recommendations. Still, it’s definitely a good idea to give some thought to how you implement affiliate marketing on your site. For instance, do you write blog posts to promote affiliate products, or create seperate pages? And if you choose the latter option, what’s the best way to do that? Let’s discuss in today’s Ask Yoast!

Davide Roccato emailed his question on the subject:

I want to create a number of landing pages on my news blog, targeted for affiliate marketing. What’s the best way to do this from an SEO point of view? Should I create them as pages or should I create a new custom segment so these are parallel to my blog post and pages?

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

The best way to create landing pages for affiliate marketing

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“Honestly, from an SEO point of view it doesn’t really matter. What works best for you in the backend it’s probably what works best. The only advantage that a custom post would give you is that you’d have a separate section in Yoast SEO to set the titles, a separate XML sitemap so you can see their indexation in Google search console a lot better, so you’d get slightly better handling on the SEO side. But I don’t think that it has to be a problem so just choose what works best for you. Good luck.”

 

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Perhaps we can help you out! Send an email to ask@yoast.com, and your question may be featured in one of our weekly Ask Yoast vlogs.

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 the Yoast SEO plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: ‘How to cloak your affiliate links’ »

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Last week, Google announced a new feature in their knowledge panels. You’re now able to verify your branded or personal panel and add or change some of the information in it. But what exactly are knowledge panels? Are these useful? Should your company have one?  I’ll tell you all about it in this post!

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What is a knowledge panel?

Knowledge panels contain information about businesses or people. Such a panel appears on the right in the desktop search results. It contains information about the company, for instance when the company was founded and where the company is situated. A panel also contains pictures.

There are two types of knowledge panels: local panels and branded/personal panels. Google calls both of these knowledge panels, but the process of verifying them is totally different. For the local panels, verification was already possible through Google My Business. The new feature actually only applies to the branded/personal panels.

Why should we care about knowledge panels?

If you want to be found on your brand or business name, a knowledge panel is really useful! If Google decides to show your knowledge panel,  you pretty much dominate the search results on the right side of the screen in desktop search. In mobile, the knowledge panel will appear between other results but is pretty dominant as well. A knowledge panel will thus make sure your company or brand will stand out in the search results when people are specifically searching for it. That’ll give you lots and lots of clicks. And this makes sense too: if people are searching for your brand name, they want to find your website.

How do you get a knowledge panel for your business?

As with other types of search results, Google will decide whether or not it’ll show a knowledge panel in the search results. If you’re a local business, you can do some things to increase your chances to rank with a knowledge panel. For the branded and personal panels, it is much harder to obtain such a knowledge panel.

Local panels

If you want a chance of Google displaying a local panel for your business, the first step is to open a Google My Business account.  You’ll then be able to verify that you are the owner of your business. After that, you can add or edit all relevant information about your business, such as address information, opening hours and photos.

In the end, Google will decide whether or not to show a knowledge panel. Relevance, distance, and the prominence of the business are all important aspects for Google in determining if it’ll show knowledge panels. Making sure your website is really awesome and working on a high-authority domain could enhance your chances.

Read more: ‘Improve your local SEO with Google My Business’ »

Branded/personal panels

It is not possible to apply for a branded or personal panel. Google will decide whether or not your brand is worthy of a knowledge panel.  If your brand has enough authority, a knowledge panel will appear. Brands and people who have Wikipedia pages, often have knowledge panels as well. For Yoast, we do have a knowledge panel.  Joost de Valk also has a personal knowledge panel. I do not have a knowledge panel. I’ll keep working on that level of authority.

How to verify your panel

So, Google’s news from last week was that people could now verify their brand or personal knowledge panel. Verifying is not all that hard. If you have a knowledge panel, make sure to verify it. Follow the steps Google has outlined for you in this article. You need to log in to your Google account and sign in to one of your official sites or profiles to get verification for your business. For Yoast, it was pretty easy.

Once verified, you’ll be able to make changes in the knowledge panel and make sure it looks the way you want it to look.

Conclusion on knowledge panels

Knowledge panels are a great asset to have in the search results. For local panels, you should make sure you’re doing everything you can to get a knowledge panel. For branded or personal knowledge panels, it is much harder to influence your chances of getting one. It all depends on your level of authority, and that’s something that probably won’t be fixed overnight.

Keep reading: ‘Ultimate guide to small business SEO’ »

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The snippet editor is one of the core pieces of technology in Yoast SEO. It helps you build snippets that truly stand out in the search results to get you traffic. To make this vital piece future-proof and to update it with new features, we needed to rebuild it. In Yoast SEO 7.7, you’ll find the result of that. Plus, a new and incredibly easy way of working with snippet variables.

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The new snippet editor in Yoast SEO

The new snippet editor offers a much better user experience. Editing your meta descriptions and titles is a breeze and checking how it all looks a joy. It’s robust and easier to use. You’ll notice it right away when you open a post. Heading over to the Search Appearance settings (Content Types, Archives or Taxonomies), you will also see the editor pop up. There, you can now visually edit the appearance of your snippet variables. More on that later.

new snippet editor yoast seo 7.7

While preparing for Gutenberg, we are steadily rebuilding all parts of the Yoast SEO interface in the JavaScript library React. This makes it easier for us to port different parts to Gutenberg and to do awesome new things with those parts.

Improved mobile snippet preview

Improving the snippet editor also made it possible for us to enhance the mobile snippet preview. It’s much more accurate and closely matches what Google shows. We now default to the mobile snippet preview. In addition, we take a critical look at how long the title that we show can be. For this, we use the longest possible character count available on all platforms.

Revamped snippet variables

You can automate some of your SEO work by using variable templates for your titles and meta descriptions. This way, you can use some existing content, for instance, an excerpt, or a focus keyword and have these filled automatically. What’s more, if you have a WooCommerce store and run Yoast SEO for WooCommerce, you can automatically fill in the product’s sku, brand and price. You can find the list of all supported template variables in our Knowledge Base.

The snippet variables in Yoast SEO are very powerful. While you can do awesome stuff with it, most sites will probably be fine using the well-thought-out default settings we provide. Previously, these variables looked kind of scary with those %% signs and lack of visual feedback. Testing various snippet variable setups meant a lot of switching between browser tabs to see the rendered end result. We’re now changing that!

Introducing the new snippet variables in the Search Appearance settings

As I said, the new snippet editor lets us do cool stuff. It made it possible for us to revamp how we use variables for titles and meta descriptions to make it instantly understandable for non-experts. This leads to huge usability benefits and a truly enjoyable user experience.

search appearance snippet variables yoast seo 7.7We’ve opted for sensible defaults fit most sites fine — for instance, for the SEO title: Title, Page number, Separator and Site title —, but you can change these if you really want. We’ve made a handy button called Insert Snippet Variable to quickly add the requested variable. You can simply pick the variable from the dropdown menu. The same goes for the Meta description field where you can automatically generate — parts of — your snippet’s meta description by adding variables. You can set sitewide variables for meta descriptions and titles in the Search Appearance settings, but you can always override them on a per post basis in the post editor.

The last thing we’ve opted for in the new snippet editor is to change how the meta description preview functions when there is no handwritten meta description. We no longer mimic Google by showing a part of your content, but explain what Google does instead. Hopefully this will remind you to write those killer meta descriptions.

Check your Search Appearance settings

It’s always a good thing to dive into the settings of Yoast SEO regularly to see if everything is still perfectly set up for your site. Definitely take a look at the new Search Appearance settings page and check the different tabs to see if there’s anything to improve. While doing that, you probably discover a new setting or feature from time to time, like setting template using the new snippet editor.

Cool community contributions

For Yoast SEO 7.7, we reviewed several community contributions. There were a couple that made the cut this time. First, Laurent helped us improve the lists of French transition words, stop words, and function words for use in the readability analyses. Thanks to Matteo, we have now added support for JSON-LD breadcrumbs. You can switch on the breadcrumbs setting and see the necessary code for it generated in the source code.

Last but not east, we’ve added a wpseo_attachment_redirect_url filter to allow changing of the target redirection URL for attachments. This may be necessary to restore the redirect to the parent post. Thanks to Alex Kozack for this one. If you also have a bug, patch or feature request, please raise an issue over on the Yoast GitHub account.

Update now to Yoast SEO 7.7

There you have it: Yoast SEO 7.7 is available to all. It’s a great release with lots of new stuff to discover. The new snippet editor makes for a great user experience and the revamped template variables can give your productivity a big boost. Check out the new and improved tools and update to Yoast SEO 7.7 now! Or check the changelog here.

Read more: ‘Why you should buy Yoast SEO Premium’ »

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Don’t you ever just wonder which pages people look at after they land on your site? How do people click through your website? How do they navigate? Questions like these can be answered with the use of Google Analytics. In this post, I want to show you a very cool feature called: Users Flow.

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What is a Users Flow?

Google Analytics is known for sharing loads and loads of data. In reports and in graphs. But there are some places in Google Analytics where you can find a visualization of data! Exciting! Users Flow is one of them. Let’s check Google’s definition of a Users Flow:

The Users Flow report is a graphical representation of the paths users took through your site, from the source, through the various pages, and where along their paths they exited your site.

And here’s how it looks:

Users Flow in Google Analytics

You can find the Users Flow in the Audience section when you scroll all the way down. Now, by default the starting point of the User Flow is Country. And if this demographic is important for your business, this is an interesting report. You can analyze if people from other countries have different navigation styles. Something to take into account if you have a multilingual site, for instance.

You can see the starting page, the first interaction, second and so on. The green is the number of sessions on that page, and the red is the number of drop-offs. Please note that it shows relative numbers, not actual numbers.

The User Flow has some awesome options:

  • Selection a dimension of your choosing;
  • Adding a segment;
  • Highlighting traffic from a specific segment.

Dimensions in Users Flows

You can imagine that the reason people visit your site can differ, it can differ per source, per campaign and so on. You can analyze the intent people have with Users Flows. For instance, you can expect people that come from an organic search to have an informational search intent; they’re looking for information. People coming from social, perhaps they’re looking for amusement. And people coming from a campaign you’re running, you probably want them to convert. You can select a lot of dimensions in the Users Flow, allowing you to analyze traffic from different sources, landing pages and so on.

dropdown section of Users Flows in Google Analytics

What does the chart tell you? Do they behave like you expect/want them to behave? And if not, ask yourself how you can optimize their flow. Before you look at the chart, think about how you want them to behave first.

Adding a segment

Not only is it interesting to check how people behave from different sources and so on, but it’s also interesting if you can specify that group of people. For instance, analyzing the behavior of New visitors and then analyzing the behavior of Returning visitors.

Adding a segment for Users Flow in Google Analytics

You can also compare the visitors that converted with visitors that didn’t convert. Analyze their paths and map out the navigation. Perhaps you can optimize your navigation options?

You can think of a lot of options to analyze here; you can go totally crazy! So think about what kind of questions you want answered before going actually crazy :-)

Highlighting traffic

The Users Flow is a lot to take in. And for the ease of your own eyes, viewing just one flow can be helpful, it’ll probably help you with analyzing as well.

Viewing one segment in Users Flows in Google Analytics

You can click on every item to view the segment only or to highlight traffic. Last but not least, you can export the Users Flow to a PDF file so you can share it with someone you think will find it interesting.

Conclusion

Using User Flows will help you understand how people navigate through your website and gives you information on how to improve your navigation. It’ll give you insights into how effective your sources and pages are. It’ll show you where people drop-off. And by specifying the Users Flow further, you can see if some sources or campaigns are more effective than others. Of course, place the information in your own context. Check what the goal is of the source of campaign or what you’d like to investigate before you draw conclusions.

Read more: ‘Tracking your SEO with Google Analytics’ »

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YoastCon 2019 is going to be epic. On February 7 & 8, we’re hosting Europe’s best SEO and marketing conference in the Netherlands! It’ll take place in the Vereeniging in Nijmegen, just around the corner of our Yoast offices. Let me tell you all about our amazing speakers and the chock full schedule we’re currently working on. You do not want to miss this!

Buy your ticket before July 1 and get it for 449 euro instead of 499 euro.

Get your YoastCon early bird ticket nowOnly €449 (ex VAT) incl. exclusive gift

Speakers

We’re still working on our schedule, but we can already confirm some amazing speakers. Rand Fishkin (founder of Moz and Spaktoro) is going to keynote at YoastCon 2019. Els Aerts (of AG consult) and Purna Virji (of Microsoft) also promised to come as well. And what about Geraldine DeRuiter (of Everywhereist) and our very own Joost de Valk and Jono Alderson?

Hot of the press: Aleyda Solis (European Search Personality of 2018, founder of Orainti and blogger for Moz and Search Engine Land), will take the stage too! Get to know all YoastCon speakers.

Schedule

We want to give a stage to the very best of the SEO industry. We’ll have 9 awesome keynote speakers (two of which we’re currently persuading to come and speak for you!).

In addition to listening to these world-class keynote speakers, you can join in three rounds of practical workshops. We’ll offer workshops on the Yoast SEO plugin, site structure, keyword research, SEO copywriting and reviewing your own website. Workshops will be offered both in Dutch and English. Team Yoast will prepare and lead the workshops. As the groups will be small, you’ll have lots of opportunity to ask practical questions.YoastCon2019 schedule

Call for speakers

We still have room in our two-day schedule to fit even more awesome speakers! Are you an expert in the field of SEO, marketing, UX, copywriting or development? Let us know and apply to speak at YoastCon 2019. We’re looking for speakers to shine on our stage! Check out our call for speakers for more information.

Venue and ticket information

YoastCon will take place at ‘de Vereeniging’ in Nijmegen, a beautiful old venue nearby Nijmegen Central Station. Tickets are 499 euro – or 449 if you get them before July 1! – and include full access to all talks, three workshops, lunch on both days, coffee and drinks on Thursday night and Friday afternoon. We’ll make sure you’ll leave with lots of new ideas on how to improve your marketing and SEO strategy.

Get your YoastCon early bird ticket nowOnly €449 (ex VAT) incl. exclusive gift

More information?

Want to know more about YoastCon 2019? Read more about it on our YoastCon page. And, do not forget to check out our video impression of YoastCon 2017! That’ll get you in the perfect mood for the next YoastCon.

Make sure to buy your ticket before July 1 and profit from a 50 euro discount! And, make sure to reserve your hotelroom as well. Due to multiple events, hotel rooms are rather scarce during YoastCon. Don’t miss out and buy your tickets today!

See you at YoastCon!

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Yesterday, Yoast Academy released a new and improved Basic SEO course. But wait, didn’t Yoast release a free SEO for beginners course just a couple of months ago? Yes, we did. So what’s the difference? Doesn’t the SEO for beginners training also cover the basics? Why should you pay for access to the Basic SEO course if you can get all the good stuff for free? Great questions. I’ll tell you exactly what sets the two courses apart and why Basic SEO perfectly complements SEO for beginners. 

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

Basic SEO training Info

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What is the key difference between the courses?

Essentially, the SEO for beginners training answers the “what is…” question, and the Basic SEO training answers the “how do I…” question. The free course is theoretical, the Basic SEO course is very practical.

In the SEO for beginners course, for instance, you learn what keywords and keyword research are. In the Basic SEO course, we give you a step-by-step plan for a good keyword research strategy. We also provide a screencast in which we show you exactly how to set up a keyword research sheet.

After completing the SEO for beginners training, you’ll have a clear idea of what every aspect of SEO is and what factors you should take into account. You’ll be able to make some minor changes which will positively affect your rankings. After completing the Basic SEO training, you’ll be able to immediately make a lot of changes to your website and set up a proper SEO strategy. It really is the best way to make sure your SEO efforts are effective!

Are there any other differences between the courses?

Basic SEO contains two more modules and several more lessons. We go into off-page SEO, site speed, conversion and more. SEO for beginners doesn’t cover these topics. In the table below, you can find a breakdown of the differences between the two courses.

Differences Basic SEO course versus free SEO for beginners course

For more information on the exact contents of the Basic SEO course, visit the product information page. There is no difference in the quality of the courses (besides the fact that we’re trying to do better each time we develop a new training, of course). We value our free products as highly as our paid products.

Does the Basic SEO course offer enough exclusive material to justify the cost?

There are 20 new videos, exclusive to the Basic SEO course, as well as fresh reading materials and quizzes. That’s more than most of our other courses have! So you’re definitely getting your money’s worth. Of course, much of the SEO beginners training is great information to work up towards the practical tips in the Basic SEO training. Actually, we’ve added all the relevant materials you find in the SEO for beginners course to the Basic SEO course as well, so you can also take the Basic SEO course if you’re just a beginner.

But isn’t it annoying to have to take those lessons again? Don’t worry, we’ve solved this problem. If you’ve already finished the SEO for beginners course, the lessons you’ve already taken will automatically be completed in your Basic SEO course, as well. You don’t have to take these lessons again.

Conclusion

The Basic SEO course is essential for everyone who wants to get started on optimizing every aspect of their SEO. After taking this training, you’ll have an entirely new set of tools to start optimizing your rankings immediately. It perfectly complements the SEO for beginners training, too. If you’ve already taken the SEO for beginners course, that’s not a problem at all. It’s an advantage!

Get the New Basic SEO training Now$199 $169 (ex VAT) for course, certificate and badge

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