Welcome, 2018! And welcome to our first release of 2018: Yoast SEO 6.1. This is the first in a long line of new versions to be released in this new year. Yoast SEO 6.1 is mainly a bug fix release that makes sure that your favorite plugin runs like butter. Find out what’s new!
Over the course of 2017, we significantly enhanced and improved our SEO plugins. Yoast SEO, in particular, received great new features, including several tools that help you build a solid site structure. You can read more on that in our looking back on 2017 post.
2018 is filled with great plans, so we’re very much looking forward to the new year. We can’t say much yet, but there is one thing that is on everyone’s mind: Gutenberg. Rest assured, we’re going to make an excellent integration with Yoast SEO. What’s more, we’re actively helping to improve Gutenberg itself. Stay tuned!
Enhancements and bug fixes
In building software, there’s always something to improve. Sometimes we spot issues while using our plugins, but most of the time regular people like yourself will find something to improve. We’re thrilled with feedback as it gives us a chance to improve things that bother people.
Translating Yoast SEO
One of the main selling points of Yoast SEO is its fully localized interface. Almost every part of it is translatable. Our community happily lends a hand to translate the plugin into a huge number of languages. Yoast SEO is currently available in 34 locales. In Yoast SEO 6.1, we’ve added even more translatable strings so people can translate every nook and cranny of the plugin. Want to help translate? Go to Translate WordPress and join in!
Update to Yoast SEO 6.1!
This first release of 2018 fixes several bugs and introduces a couple of enhancements that make Yoast SEO easier to use. We’re looking forward to what the rest of 2018 will bring and hope you’ll join us on our adventure. Remember, you can shape the future of Yoast SEO as well. Join our GitHub community and suggest feature enhancements or submit bugs. Thanks a bunch!
A year always seems like such a long time. But whenever we reach the end of one, we tend to say: where did it go? That’s definitely the case for developing and using software. We’re so invested in Yoast SEO that we sometimes forget when we added a feature because we use it so much. So, now’s the perfect time to give you a brief overview of the evolution of Yoast SEO in 2017. Enjoy!
2017 started off with a bang: we added a mobile version of the well-known snippet preview and full support for the German language. We all know mobile has only gained importance this past year and will continue to be essential. Just look at Google’s decision to switch to a mobile-first index sometime early next year.
A strong focus on site structure
The overarching theme of Yoast SEO in 2017 was site structure. We wanted to give you a set of tools to improve your site structure since site structure is one of the most overlooked, but critical parts of SEO. We wanted to build tools that are easy to use and extremely valuable. We’re happy to say we’ve succeeded! During the year, several improvements to current tools and new additions turned Yoast SEO into a fantastic tool to improve your site structure.
Vastly improved internal linking tool
It all started in Yoast SEO 4.0, in December of 2016, when we launched the initial version of the internal linking tool. So what does the internal linking tool do? While working on your post, our internal linking tool will give you suggestions on which posts you could consider linking to because they are about related topics. Linking to these posts will help you create a better site structure.
To quote our CEO Joost de Valk:
“The internal linking tool is one of the most powerful tools we’ve ever built, and it keeps surprising me. I love it. In its current form, it’ll allow you to improve your site structure by the bucketload, just by suggesting posts to link to. I am very excited about where it will go from here!”
During the year we added several new languages to our roster. Besides English, we added full support for German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and French in 2017. Yoast SEO has full knowledge of these languages so the internal linking tool and readability tools can give solid advice tailored to those languages. In 2018, more languages will follow. Our linguists are even looking into complicated languages like Japanese.
Text link counter
As we all know, links – both internal and external – play an important role in SEO. This year, Yoast SEO received several tools that help improve your linking strategy. Since 4.7, for instance, we check the text to see if you’ve added links. If not, the SEO content check will give you a red bullet. If all is well, Yoast SEO will suggest relevant links to other articles you’ve written, and you can just copy and past a new link in your article.
The text link counter, introduced in Yoast SEO 5.0, works in the post and pages section of your WordPress backend. In two columns, you’ll see how many incoming and outgoing internal links an article has. This functionality is very actionable. If you want to improve your site structure and your SEO, the text link counter will help you do that. You can go through your post with few links and improve your site’s structure step by step.
Orphaned content filter
Orphaned content, you say? Yes, orphaned content is content on your site that doesn’t get any links from other parts of your site. Content that doesn’t get links will stay undiscovered by visitors and search engines. But if a certain article is important to you and you want it to rank for a specific keyword, you need to link it in your site structure. In Yoast SEO 5.6, we added a filter that finds these articles so that you can quickly remedy this situation and add these valuable articles to your site structure.
Checking and optimizing cornerstone content
While and finding and creating relevant links to your other content is crucial to building a solid site structure, there was another piece of the site structure missing: cornerstone content. Cornerstone content pieces are those articles on your website you’re most proud of. They reflect your business, communicate your mission, are thorough and extremely well written. These are the articles you would like to rank high in the search engines.
To help you determine what those articles are, we introduced several cornerstone content features. First, there’s the cornerstone content check in Yoast SEO 4.6. By marking an article as cornerstone content, this article receives priority over a regular article. These articles are analyzed more thoroughly to increase the chance of them popping up as must-link articles.
In Yoast SEO 4.8 we expanded that feature. Since then, we analyze your cornerstone content following a particular, stricter set of specifications. These checks will help you build killer cornerstone articles. Among other things, we now check if a cornerstone article has 900+ words and if the keyword is in at least two subheadings. All this will help you to improve your most important content.
This suite of site structure tools gives you everything you need to improve your site structure. Use them!
So what else was new?
Besides helping you fix your site structure, we did loads of other cool stuff. Let’s go!
Our redirects manager is one of the most important tools in Yoast SEO. It helps you redirect anything you ever wanted. This year, we improved it drastically, with new filter options and a long-awaited import/export from/to CSV. You can analyze your redirects in a sheet, make edits and import it again.
Yoast SEO was always an on/off affair. There was no way to give site editors, for instance, access to selected parts of the plugin they need to do their work. Since Yoast SEO 5.5, that is now possible! Expanded in 5.8, SEO roles and capabilities give site managers to chance to fine-tune who gets to access what in Yoast SEO.
Tune Yoast SEO to your liking
Getting lost in all the Yoast SEO settings? Don’t need the readability analysis? Just want the basic settings? No problem, an ever-increasing number of features in Yoast SEO gets their own on/off toggle. Keep your workspace clean and focused.
At Yoast, we care about a lot of things, but two things in a very particular order: user happiness first, developer happiness second. A user is happy when he or she has a fast, easy to install, secure content management system like WordPress to build a site in. A developer is happy when he or she can use a modern language and modern tooling to build software with. That’s why we started the Whip project in March of 2017. The goal of this project is to steer users and web hosts away for unsupported PHP versions like 5.4 and move them towards the fast and secure PHP7.
Full support for ACF
2017 was also the year of an awesome collaborative effort: The ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO plugin. The Advanced Custom Fields plugin makes it easier to add custom fields to any WordPress site. Custom fields are used to extend WordPress. People use them to build tailored solutions to, often, complex problems. The ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO plugin makes it possible for Yoast SEO to work inside custom fields. By using this plugin, you can use the SEO and readability analysis features of Yoast SEO to check your writing and SEO score, even if they live in a complex custom field.
Vastly improved code-base
Yoast SEO for Magento 2 & TYPO3
Yoast was built for an open source world, and we’re branching out to other open CMSes. This year, we introduced the Magento 2 and TYPO3 communities to the pleasures of working with Yoast SEO. Together with our development partner MaxServ, we built tailored plugins for these popular platforms. We’re already looking where to go next.
Ending 2017 with Yoast SEO 6.0
In a year spanning more than 30 releases, the last one was maybe the most talked about. Not that we introduced a killer new feature or did something awkward. No, it was all about Google’s decision to move from 160 character meta descriptions to 320 character descriptions. This caused quite a stir and people were quickly asking whether Yoast SEO would follow suit and let people use all those characters. In Yoast SEO 6.0, we expanded the length of descriptions. We, however, are still researching what this decision means for the advice we give our users.
Thanks to you, our beloved community contributors
In the end, we couldn’t have done it without you. We love getting input, feedback, bug reports and features requests. Almost every release featured a community contribution, either bug fixes or improving the flow of our plugin. We love getting these suggestions, and we love to see how much thought and care people put in their work. Collectively, we make Yoast SEO better and better!
We’ve got loads of plans for the new year, but first, we’ve got to get a new speed bump out of the way. You know that word? It starts what a ‘G’ and ends with ‘utenberg’. Yeah, Gutenberg is going to take up a lot of our time. We’re pretty optimistic about the project, and we are doing our best to help improve where we can. We’re investing loads of time and manpower to get Gutenberg off the ground and make a killer integration for Yoast SEO. Stay tuned; you’re bound to hear a lot from us in 2018!
Yoast Academy is our online SEO courses platform. We’ve been working on our online SEO courses for almost two and a half years now. In 2017, we’ve added some new courses to the curriculum and updated some of the older content. More importantly, we’ve made big plans for new courses and formats for the new year! In this post, I want to look back at Yoast Academy in 2017. But most of all: I want to look forward to what’s just around the corner!
We’ve created some great new courses last year. We’ve released two technical SEO courses. Our Technical SEO course teaches you all the basic technical stuff one needs to know in order to do SEO. And, our structured data course helps you get those rich snippets in order so you stand out from the other search results. The heartwarming response we get from people taking our courses inspires us, even more, to invest in Yoast Academy. So in 2017, a fresh start has been made by changing to a different learning management system.
The learning environment we use for Yoast Academy has gone through the most significant change this year. Course structures were simplified so that lessons are easier to find and distractions are kept to a minimum. We also introduced a brand new customer portal this year, called MyYoast. Courses can now be accessed with a MyYoast account, which means no separate login is needed anymore. MyYoast also makes it a lot easier to manage different courses you have purchased, for example when appointing courses to specific employees.
Another change we’re pretty fond of is the greater range of question types now available for the end-of-course quizzes. This makes for a more meaningful learning experience, as you’re not just asked to repeat information. Some of the new question types require you to show you actually understand what you’ve learned. All in all, we’re off to a great start in making Yoast Academy even more awesome!
What to expect in 2018
This January might already mark the most significant change of the year when the Academy team doubles in size! Jesse and Martijn have been in charge of improving and creating SEO courses up till now and will be joined by two new members of Team Yoast: Maartje and Fleur. There is no shortage of ambition and inspiration for Yoast Academy in 2018! The changes made in 2017 enable us to achieve so much more in the future.
Our ambition is for Yoast Academy to be the go-to place for learning about SEO. Obviously, there’s a great deal you can learn from reading blog posts on SEO topics. We should know as we publish quite a lot of those! The online courses in Yoast Academy make you zoom in and focus on all aspects of a subject and help you understand them in a logical order. So, if you’re looking to learn the ins and outs of a specific SEO subject, Yoast Academy is your place to be.
With our team doubling in capacity and the preparations made in 2017, we’re ready to make some great changes to the Academy. We’re renewing parts of courses, adding new questions and of course: developing brand new courses. We can’t wait to show you and promise we’ve got news soon. See you in 2018!
With 2018 just around the corner, it’s time to look back at yet another amazing year at Yoast. We’ve made some excellent improvements to Yoast SEO and released a bunch of new awesome online SEO courses. Team Yoast has been to lots and lots of conferences. We’ll write separate blog posts to look back at all those things. But as a company, and an employer, Yoast has done a great many things in 2017 as well! Let’s take a look at everything that happened at the Yoast offices in 2017.
To give you an idea what Yoast looks like in numbers, we put a lot of them in an overview. The article continues below the infographic:
So many new colleagues
The biggest change in 2017 is the number of colleagues we have. At our office in Wijchen, we are now with 50 colleagues (and already doing interviews to hire more :-)). In 2017, we welcomed over twenty awesome new people at our Yoast office. On top of that, we hired six new support engineers from all over the planet! We also decided to sponsor two important WordPress icons –Alain Schlesser and Remkus de Vries-, to make sure they continue their awesome work for WordPress core and the WordPress community.
As our company is growing really fast, we organized lots of events to get to know each other. We have our famous ‘Know your colleague-quiz’, in which we ask all kinds of random questions (what’s your favorite color, what kind of sports did you play when you were a child) about all of the people at Yoast. The colleague that knew most answers (way to go, Ben!) won an amazing price. We also had BBQs, went cycling, bowling, celebrated birthdays, Sinterklaas and Christmas. And on December 27th, we’ll have our annual LEGO building day. We’re planning to build 100.000 bricks of LEGO in one day. That’s teambuilding at Yoast!
Our new office: building #2
As Team Yoast continued to grow, our Wijchen office was getting too crowded. We decided to open a second office (building #2) in Wijchen, just around the corner from building #1. There was a big celebration when we opened our new office. We drank champagne, did a real skippy ball race and a had running contest. It took some getting used to, but we’re now all taking frequent walks between buildings #1 and #2 for meetings, coffee or lunch. And, if construction goes well, in spring 2018, building #3 will be opened. The city center of Wijchen has a lot of Yoasters walking around!
Bring your parents to work day
To many of the activities we undertake at Yoast, we let people bring their partners and children. Most of our colleagues do not have families of their own yet. Some of them even live with their parents. We therefore decided to organize an event, to which everyone could bring their parents: ‘bring your parents to work -day’.
We showed the parents around, told them what we’re working at and explained about our products and the growth of our company. It was great fun to meet everyone’s parents. Next year, we’ll definitely organize another ‘bring your parents to work-day’. We’ll do a bit rebranding and make it an even more inclusive event: the ‘bring your family to work-day’. Some of the little brothers felt left out ;-).
5 years since Yoast hired first employees
In 2012 Yoast hired the first employees. Most of them still work with us today. That’s so very special to us! Of course Michiel started out as an employee in 2012, but quickly became one of the co-owners at Yoast. Mijke and Erwin were our 3th and 4th employee’s in 2012 and celebrated their 5th anniversary at Yoast this fall. We gave them special editions of Newton’s cradle to put on their desk. These cradles should remind everyone how much we love and value the people that work at Yoast. We hope they’ll all celebrate their 5th anniversary with us!
One of the biggest highlights of 2017 was the second edition of YoastCon. It was so very awesome! The venue was gorgeous and we had some great speakers on stage! Most of team Yoast really enjoyed performing our ‘Yoast dance’ on stage too. And the afterparty!
It was great that part of our support team travelled to the Netherlands to attend YoastCon. As they live so far away (The United States, Philippines, Bangladesh) we communicate with them over Skype. It was great to meet them in person and show them some sights in the Netherlands. We’re already planning our next YoastCon in early 2019. Definitely stay tuned!
Teaching children how to code
2017 was great fun
For Yoast, 2017 was a great year! We had lots of fun! Fun building our plugin and the My Yoast platform, fun developing online SEO courses, writing blog posts and shooting video’s. Time for 2018!
2018 is approaching rapidly. Time to look back at yet another awesome year at Yoast. A year in which we attended quite the number of conferences. In this post, we’ll give you an impression of a few of the conferences we have been to, cities we’ve visited and friends we’ve made! So, without further ado, these are the events we attended in 2017. Bring on 2018!
As always, the new year hasn’t really started until we had our infamous Yoast New Year party. Turning the office into a dance hall, we partied with our closest friends as only Yoasters can party!
There ain’t no party like a Yoast party!
As always, the first conference of the season was PHPBenelux in Antwerp. We’re regulars at this conference because it always offers excellent talks by renowned speakers, amazing socials, and a unique theme. This year our developers when into ‘space’ to learn all about PHP.
While we mostly go to WordCamps to share knowledge and to meet our old and future friends, customers and business partners, attending other conferences usually has a slightly different goal; to learn. That’s also why one of our developers and our linguist (this early in 2017 it was still singular) attended CLIN27/CCL25. This conference about Computational Linguistics brings the best speakers in the field on stage.
Have you ever heard of TYPO3 Camp? Neither had we until we joined our friends at MaxServ for a weekend at TYPO3 Camp in Venlo (NL). We learned that this developer-aimed conference offers great developer talks, even if you don’t do TYPO3!
Omar presenting at TYPO3Camp.
Time for a WordCamp! Four of my colleagues flew to London for WordCamp London. This two-day conference, preceded by a contributor day, usually draws attendees and speakers from all over the world. WordCamp London is easy to travel to (and from The Netherlands even fairly cheap). Live captioning, chill-out rooms, three tracks, and a legendary party, what else would one need?
Our next stop was Iceland. Joost went to the Reykjavik Internet Marketing Conference (RIMC), an annual conference on everything internet marketing where all the world-famous marketers go to. Joost went, spoke and aced his keynote.
On 7 and 8 April 2017, we attended the second WordCamp Torino. A year earlier, WordCamp Torino was the very first Italian WordCamp in a very long time. Its success motivated other Italian communities to organize other WordCamps, leading to an unprecedented growth of the Italian community. And that was obvious in 2017. WordCamp Torino completely sold out and had an extensive and very successful contributor day.
Contributor day at WordCamp Torino 2017
Choosing which events to attend can be a real challenge. Especially with the number of WordCamps, even close to home. This means that we sometimes have to disappoint conference organizers, who really personally invite us to attend, or even speak at, their event. And sometimes we just have multiple events in a single weekend. This happened on April 20th – April 23rd. First, we attended Meet TYPO3 Rotterdam in the Rotterdam Zoo, a TYPO3 conference aimed at marketers. The next day, we went to both WordCamp Vienna and ReactNL.
Oh by the way, did you know that we released the very first version of Yoast SEO for TYPO3 at Meet TYPO3 Rotterdam? We did! Joost de Valk (our CEO) and Richard Haeser (lead developer of Yoast SEO for TYPO3 at MaxServ) pressed the button in the Shark Room.
Events in Q2
Meet TYPO3 in the Shark Room of Rotterdam Zoo.
Meanwhile, we launched Yoast SEO for Magento 2 which is why we just had to attend Meet Magento. This one-day conference in Utrecht is a real multi-track conference. It gave us a nice insight into the Magento community, and we got to meet quite a few people we already knew from the PHP and WordPress communities. It seems we’re not the only company bridging communities, which is a good thing!
The final conference of the first half of 2017 is the biggest European WordCamp of the year; WordCamp Europe. 30+ speakers, 50 organizers, almost 200 volunteers, and close to 2000 attendees traveled to Paris for the WordPress Community Summit and WordCamp Europe. And you know what, WordCamp Europe was HOT. No really, it was literally hot. That’s why we’re happy we brought our Yoast fans to Paris. Within a day, we saw so many people use them like their lives depended on ’em. Even the men and women on the live captioning team were waving all the time…
After a nice and long vacation we kicked off our conference season with a WordCamp very close to home; the very first WordCamp Nijmegen! Yoast has been actively involved in this WordCamp. We provided an organizer, several volunteers, two (!!) speakers and a whole lot of attendees. Marieke shared her knowledge on writing, and Michelle helped the attendees prevent common SEO mistakes. Both talks were very well-received!
Despite Rule of the Internet #22 and #23, not everything on the internet is copy/pasted. Some of us are really into creating new content. That’s why Erwin and Tim went to Playgrounds 2017. They’re responsible for creating all the images you can find on yoast.com, in our products and in the presentations we give. There they were introduced to new techniques, tools and a LOT of new ideas!
A busy end of the year
November, nearing the end of the year and the holidays, so time to slow down. Hah! No way! At Yoast, we celebrated our most conference heavy month of 2017. With ten events in just 30 days, November rocked!
The first event of November doesn’t need a lot of introduction, as we assume you’ve all heard about YoastCon. Our very own one-day SEO conference featured top-notch speakers from the SEO world, and local talent hosting sold-out workshops. More than 350 attendees saw Joost’s keynote, followed by a blazing fast, insanely inspiring talk by the Belgian Karl Gillis. For the sad few who’d to miss YoastCon we published the videos. You can find them on our YouTube channel.
And in true Yoast style, we ended YoastCon with an epic afterparty. A party that everyone involved will remember forever. We’re not going to tell you too much, but let’s just say that you never want to miss a Yoast party.
Just a couple of days after YoastCon, Joost hopped on a plane to keynote at Pubcon in Las Vegas. Pubcon is one of the largest, if not the largest, SEO and online marketing conferences in the world. His key take-aways were shared on twitter a lot.
For the first time in a long time, Yoast attended a WordCamp in Asia. Our support engineers Michael and Jerlyn went to WordCamp Manila to meet the local community. And just a couple of weeks later, Jerlyn and Rumejan, also a Yoast support engineer, went to WordCamp Kuala Lumpur to promote our brand and have a good time with the local community.s
Meanwhile in Europe, we attended WordCamp Cologne, WordCamp Milano and Conversion Hotel. And we have to tell you about Conversion Hotel as it’s special. Conversion Hotel is a 3-day conference organized on one of the Dutch islands. Nope, not Aruba. Not Sint Maarten. It takes place on the beautiful island Texel. The conference focusses on growth strategies, conversion (what’s in a name), copywriting and psychology. An original way to kickstart your conference? How about teaching all attendees a Haka?
Learning the haka at Conversion Hotel 2017
Our linguists, Manuel and Irene, went to the 16th Dutch-Belgian Information Retrieval Workshop in November. This very technical conference focussed mainly on topics like information search and the automated generation of recommendations, from music to e-Commerce.
The 10th conference we attended in November was a special WordCamp. This first edition of WordCamp Utrecht was held in the venue where WordCamp The Netherlands had been for quite a few years (until 2015). It felt so familiar that people felt at home quickly. We attended and helped out as speakers, volunteers, sponsors, and attendees.
And now it is December. When you’re active in WordPress, the one event you have to follow in December is WordCamp US. Not just because it’s one of the biggest WordCamps in the world, but also because it’s where the State of the Word is held. In this annual presentation, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg reflects on the past year and looks forward to what’s coming in WordPress.
And what’s a better way to end our conference year than by going to the eternal city? Jimmy, Patrick, and Andrea went to Rome’s first local WordCamp where they enjoyed a great event and, almost equally important, the local culture and cuisine.
When in Rome, pose with a Roman (Andrea) at the Coliseum.
Missed us in 2017? Don’t worry! If anything, our conference year will be even more busy in 2018! And if you want to know where to find us, regularly check our calendar.
We’re quickly nearing the end of 2017. These final days of the year are for contemplating, thankfulness and optimism about what’s ahead. While we’re looking back at this past year – which has been incredible for us -, we wanted to present for your reading pleasure: the twelve most read posts of 2017. A super powerful collection of SEO knowledge. Time to start the countdown. Happy reading!
We often get questions about redirects and the redirects manager. Not many people know the difference between all these codes like a 301 or a 410, so we set out to remedy that. This post gives you an overview of what a redirect is and which one you should use when. We hope this makes it a bit clearer.
11: How to use the content & SEO analysis of Yoast SEO
The content and SEO analysis is a core feature of Yoast SEO. Many users will spend most of their time in the post editor, fixing the readability and SEO-scores of their articles. Doing so improves the findability and readability of your articles. This article shows you how to use it to its full potential.
Write for your user and use language they can understand. It’s advice you hear all the time; but what does it mean and how do you incorporate it into your work? In this post, Marieke presents five great tips to improve that next blog post you are working on.
9: Image SEO: Optimizing images for search engines
Part one of our Image SEO series; part two is even higher on this year’s list. Over the years, we’ve seen how vital site speed has become. One of the first things you should do to make your site faster is to optimize your images. Seems like a no-brainer, but people still seem to forget. This post explains how you so go about that.
Many WordPress users seem to struggle to make sense of the robots.txt file and how it influences SEO. Well, this post explains what the best practices are for your WordPress robots.txt. Also, Joost describes how the robots.txt file was used some years ago and how it works today. A must-read!
rel=canonical is an important tool in your SEO toolkit. It helps you determine which version of identical or similar url’s Google should index. If you’re not using it, you might be confusing Google with duplicate content and ultimately, competing with yourself. In this ultimate guide, we’ll teach you everything about rel=canonical.
This is the one that started it all. Joost’s original WordPress SEO article still draws lots of visitors and rightly so; it’s an impressive piece of work. In it, you’ll find loads of tips and tricks to make your WordPress site awesome, for both visitors and search engines. Haven’t read it yet? What’s stopping you? Read it!
Image SEO can have a significant effect, not only on your rankings but accessibility as well. By adding the correct tag content to images, you describe what’s in them so search engines and screen readers can identify it. Find out how you can improve your image SEO.
Together with the page title and structured data, the meta description is one of the few tools you have to make your site stand out from your competitors in the search results. You have to write an enticing text that makes it impossible for potential visitors to resist your site. How? Well, you can read all about it in this article.
It’s quite hard to pick a great and fitting focus keyword. Finding the right keyword might be the missing link for your SEO efforts. Joost de Valk wrote an excellent post on how to find the perfect focus keyword. He even gives you tips on how to get a sense of the search volume you can expect for a particular keyword.
2: Practical tips to set up a clear text structure
You guys love practical tips. Most of the posts in this top twelve set out to answer your questions. This post surely delivers those answers since it has been in our most-read lists for some time. In this article, Marieke shows you how to create a structure in your text that makes its message clear and easy to understand.
In 2017, we added lots of site structure features to Yoast SEO. One of the focus points was cornerstone content, i.e., the most important content on your site. These articles define who you are and what you offer and should, therefore, receive special attention as these are the magnets that pull in traffic from search engines. This post explains everything about cornerstone content.
The end of the year is coming up fast. Today is the day we’re releasing the last update of Yoast SEO in 2017. It’s been a wild ride this year and we’re already working on big plans for 2018. But first, Yoast SEO 6.0. And yes, we’ve heard you loud and clear; we’ve extended the meta description length to 320 characters.
These past few weeks there has been a lot of talk about Google’s decision to change the default meta description length to upto 320 characters. We’ve been testing how Google uses this, and we’ve been talking to Google representatives to make sure that we’re giving you the right options. With today’s release of Yoast SEO 6.0 (including the TYPO3 version, Magento 2 will follow soon), we’ve changed the meta description length from 156 to 320 characters. It doesn’t often happen that we need to change a feature in Yoast SEO following a change by Google.
Now, having double the characters doesn’t mean you should go back to your site and change all the meta descriptions on all of your pages and posts. No, that would take ages if you have many posts and in case you would – and you should – handwrite them all. Your rankings will not drop if you keep your meta descriptions the same. It is, however, a good opportunity to revisit them to make sure your site stands out in search results. While we’re still actively determining new best practices, there’s no harm in experimenting with this new meta description length.
Pick a couple of posts and pages first. Check if Google picks up your newly written meta descriptions. Do your own testing before you go all in and change everything. These longer meta descriptions give you enough room to show people what you’ve got, without giving away everything your article contains, of course. You still want people to click your search result, if that’s your goal.
Keep in mind that, most of the time, Google will lift a custom meta description from your site. There is not much you can do about it other than writing killer key paragraphs about your focus keyword in your content and try to get Google to use one of those. As I said, we’re monitoring what this change means and will report back with more solid data and advice in a couple of weeks.
An example of an expanded meta description edited by Yoast SEO. Shows up on Google.nl, but not in other regionals. Your results may vary.
We’ve made several other enhancements in Yoast SEO 6.0, including some community contributions. For instance, we’ve added support for custom page titles and meta descriptions on WooCommerce shop pages as suggested by Caleb Burks. Now, you can add custom metadata to your WooCommerce shop.
This makes Yoast SEO the final release of 2017. What a great year it’s been. Next week, we’ll publish several posts in which we look back upon the year. Of course, Yoast SEO gets its own post. Be sure to read it! Thanks for your support and we hope to see you again in 2018. Happy holidays!
When my colleagues asked me to name two of my favorite products for my birthday sale, I didn’t hesitate. Yes, our flagship product Yoast SEO is awesome, but I’ve always had a thing for small businesses and helping them optimize for Google. Two of our products that every small business owner should purchase, in my book, are our Local SEO plugin and our Technical SEO training. Let me explain why I think these two products should be in the online toolkit of every small business owner.
Local SEO plugin
Our Local SEO plugin is a necessity for every business owner that relies on visitors coming to a shop or showroom, office building or has other local ties. So, if your address matters for your business, you should definitely use this plugin.
When you install the Local SEO plugin, you can serve your address details to Google in the most convenient way possible (schema markup). In that same schema markup, you can display your opening hours. You can add Google Maps for your business in the blink of an eye, including the option to show directions. And, as the icing on the cake, you can setup and add a store locator to your website.
The thing that annoys me most in the whole web agency world, is when companies sell their clients services that their client probably won’t understand. SEO can get pretty technical at some point, and you, the customer, might come across terms that dazzle you. If you’re lucky, your web partner will tell you what it all means and why they have to spend billable hours optimizing it. But I have seen my share of website owners that simply assume the web agency is right. That stops now.
If you take our technical SEO course, you’ll be able to recognize all the technical ‘gibberish’. You’ll understand why these things are needed and might even be able to see if these are needed in the first place.
Of course, this course is also for you when you’re a web developer wanting to improve your technical SEO knowledge. Most customers expect you to take that role and to understand the things that are dealt with in this training. And with the 19% discount we offer today, chances are that your customer will otherwise outsmart you after taking this course :)
So, for my birthday, I basically picked a small business bundle that you will surely find beneficial. If you are serious about your website, and you should be, go and check out all the details and improve your website and SEO knowledge today.
While Yoast SEO is mostly known for its WordPress plugin, we are in the process of branching out. We support several plugins for other platforms, like Magento 2. One of those platforms, the large-scale open source CMS TYPO3, received a brand new version of Yoast SEO today. In Yoast SEO for TYPO3 1.3, you’ll find several fixes and enhancements that greatly improve the plugin. Find out what’s new!
Together with our friends from MaxServ, we’ve been steadily improving the Yoast SEO plugin for TYPO3. This popular and highly flexible CMS is widely used around the world, with a focus on European governments, universities and global brands like Airbus, Leica and Air France. Since April of this year, all sites running TYPO3 version 7+ can now enjoy an increasing number of the many benefits of working with Yoast SEO.
The main focus of Yoast SEO for TYPO3 is bringing its world-famous content analysis to a new platform. The content analysis checks the text you write and gives you suggestions to improve it. You can also set a focus keyword, so you know exactly when the text is SEO-proof. There’s also a snippet preview on board that lets you see how your article will show up in search results. You can use it to improve your visibility by making it as enticing as possible.
Last but not least, TYPO3 users can now use the social preview feature to make the article or page ready for sharing on Twitter and Facebook. You can even add images if you want. While the Yoast SEO for TYPO3 does not contain every feature from Yoast SEO for WordPress yet, it is an extremely valuable tool to assess and improve your content. The plugin is a work in progress and will only improve in time.
New release: Yoast SEO for TYPO3 1.3
Today, we’re releasing the latest version of Yoast SEO for TYPO3. The MaxServ team did a wonderful job improving the plugin. They fixed a lot of bugs and enhanced the plugin where they could. Several memebers from the TYPO3 open source community contributed as well. Among other things, the notifications in the content analysis are better, and it is now possible to hide the analysis in the Page module as well. You can read the full release changelog over at the Extension Repository.
Be careful: by default, the plugin will disable the default title rendering of TYPO3 except on pages on which you disable the rendering of the title tag by the Yoast plugin. You can use the default title behavior on, for example, a detail page of a record so the extension developer can make sure the title of the record is used.
Try it now!
Yoast SEO for TYPO3 is out now, and you can get it at the TYPO3 Extensions Repository. Try it out and let us know what you think! As it is an open source project, you’re welcome to add bug fixes and suggest enhancements at the project’s GitHub page. We’re looking forward to your feedback!
A new release doesn’t always have to bring incredible features, as it can silently set the stage for bigger things to come. Yoast SEO 5.9, released today, is such a release. While this release doesn’t contain groundbreaking new features, it does provide an important new piece of the Yoast SEO puzzle for the future: we’ve rebuilt the content analysis in React.
While the content analyses itself haven’t changed, the way we present the results has changed in Yoast SEO 5.9. To improve the user experience and accessibility of the results, we’ve decided to group these into several groups: Good, Considerations, Needs improvements and Problems. These follow roughly the colors of the bullets from green to red. This allows you to focus on your most important SEO issues first.
By grouping the results this way, colorblind users, for instance, can easily discern the difference between the results. Also, every header is collapsible. You can get the green bullets out of the way to focus on the red ones.
Thanks to this new grouping of the results you get a more structured overview of the SEO of the piece you’re working on. Before, it was one big list that became more cluttered with every added check. Now, we’ve added a new focus to the analysis, making it easier to use. You’ll fix your SEO in no time!
Reactify all the things
Gutenberg forces us to rethink our product and the way we build said product. It brings us loads of challenges, but also opportunities to bring Yoast SEO to new heights. But before we can do cool new stuff, we need to format our work in such a way that we can easily adapt it to the new Gutenberg editor environment. We’ve already rebuilt several parts of Yoast SEO, like the Configuration Wizard and the Help Center, in React. This process will continue for a little while until every visual aspect of Yoast SEO is ‘reactified.’
So, what else is new?
Besides fixing a load of bugs in Yoast SEO 5.9, we’ve also added several enhancements that make the plugin easier to use. We’re also adding a new focus on our onboarding wizard that has helped so many first-time users set up their Yoast SEO install in record time. We’re now showing a notice nudging users to open the onboarding wizard when the plugin is installed for the first time. We’ve also made the ‘Next’ and ‘Back’ buttons in the onboarding wizard focusable, to improve accessibility.
We’ve also introduced the wpseo_add_opengraph_additional_images filter so you can add additional OpenGraph Images with a lower priority. The order in which you place OpenGraph images determines which one Facebook shows, which is usually the first one. This led to issues with WooCommerce SEO as their Gallery images always appeared on top. With the new filter, you can add additional images to the OpenGraph image list. These should not be shown as the default image, but you could use these for more advanced purposes. Some sites allow you to pick any image found in the list.
That’s Yoast SEO 5.9 for you! With this new release, we’re continuing the renewal of our foundation to make sure we can build an awesome new house in the future. We’ve also fixed loads of bugs and enhanced some parts of the plugin to make sure you can do work in the best possible fashion. Happy updating!