With only a few weeks left until YoastCon 2017, it’s time we introduced another of our amazing speakers. Laura Crimmons is Communications Director at Branded3, an award-winning SEO and digital marketing agency in the UK. Laura herself also has an admirable amount of achievements and awards under her belt, for example being named PR Moment’s Young Professional of the Year 2017. At YoastCon, she’s going to talk about link building in a successful online campaign, and successfully structuring a link building campaign. We asked her a few questions about links and link building to give you a little preview!

Don’t miss the opportunity to see Laura in action! Get your ticket now for YoastCon 2017!
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Come see Laura Crimmons at YoastCon 2017 on November 2 »banner YoastCon

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background. How did you end up at Branded3? And what is the accomplishment you are most proud of while working at that agency?

My background prior to joining Branded3 was in PR; I did a PR degree and had some experience in more traditional PR agencies and in-house roles but it was always digital that appealed to me, so I decided to join Branded3. I joined about a week after manual penalties and Penguin first rolled out, so it was at a time when the agency (and the SEO industry as a whole) was trying to find its feet, with how to build links now that the old ways were (rightfully in many cases) being penalized. Thankfully PR seemed to be part of that solution.

You focus a lot on link building for larger clients. Link building, of course, is a science in itself. Could you share your tactics for starting a – hopefully – successful link building project?

The starting point always has to be the audience, and plenty of research. You need to understand:

  • Who is my audience?
  • Where do they hang out online?
  • What are they interested in?

From here you’re able to start brainstorming ideas that will engage the audience. At this point you should also have started to develop a list of sites that will be your targets for link acquisition.

Links are still incredibly important, even in this day and age. Anyone is looking for high-value links from relevant sites in their industry. What are your favorite tips for getting these kinds of quality links?

We use PR as a way to generate these kinds of links i.e. working with journalists who usually work for higher quality sites (publishers) than say bloggers who would generally have lower quality domains.

That said, there are lots of other high quality sites that you can attract links from without PR, for example by looking at any genuine resource sites in your industry that link to competitors but not you.

Every site-owner needs to gather links and local business owners would probably benefit even more for good links. Could you explain the impact of link building for local SEO?

Link building is important for local SEO in the same sense that it is for any SEO, however, when specifically looking at local SEO we place more emphasis on citations, data accuracy and proximity.

Do you see the importance of links changing anytime soon?

We all know that search engines have been trying for years to decrease their reliance on links as a ranking factor. But they haven’t got there yet and I don’t necessarily see that happening in the next year or so.

Even if they do manage to find a way to determine a site’s authority better than links, I still think the practice of Digital PR/Content Marketing that we do now for link acquisition will remain important, as it goes beyond just acquiring links. It’s about building brand awareness, affinity and ultimately does play a part in assisted conversions.

Why shouldn’t people miss your talk at YoastCon?

I’ve spent the last five and a half years working in link acquisition and have had a lot of success over that time gaining links from some of the biggest publishers in the UK and globally. So anyone that wants to up their game or learn some tips would probably take something away from it.

Get your ticket for YoastCon 2017 now!
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Read more: ‘YoastCon 2017: Practical SEO’ »

The post Laura Crimmons on link building appeared first on Yoast.

In these last few releases of Yoast SEO, we’ve been focusing heavily on internal linking. Linking your posts in a sensible manner helps build a solid site structure, which, in turn, makes your site easier to understand for both humans and machines. Yoast SEO 5.6 brings another new tool to help you find content to link to: the orphaned content filter. Orphaned content is content that doesn’t have any links pointing to it. Here, I’ll explain why we added it to Yoast SEO 5.6 and how you can use it to improve your SEO.

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

Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

Yoast SEO Premium: Fix orphaned content

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. This happens a lot, even on Yoast.com. It’s easy to forget all those articles you wrote. 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. No links? No rankings.

But finding those orphaned articles is not easy. No one knows every link in every article. That’s why we’ve built a new tool for Yoast SEO Premium users that lets you find these posts with the touch of a button. Just go to your posts overview in the backend of WordPress and click ‘Orphaned content’ in the top bar. Now, every article that hasn’t been linked to will appear in the list. You will even receive a notification when Yoast SEO discovers new orphaned content. Go through the list and fix those links!

The orphaned content filter is a new feature in a line of tools that help you to build a great site structure. We all know it is imperative to have a well-thought-out structure to your site so users and search engines can understand it quickly. Improving the way you link your posts and pages together, helps improve your rankings. Use the Yoast SEO text link counter, internal linking suggestions, and cornerstone content features to find relevant posts to link to and to add focus to your internal linking strategy. Want to use all these extremely helpful tools? Buy Yoast SEO Premium now and you’ll get access to all of them and much more, like 24/7 support.

To further explain the concept of orphaned content and how to fix this with the help of Yoast SEO, Marieke wrote a post that tells you all about this new feature.

orphaned posts Yoast SEO 5.6

Redesigned Yoast SEO help center

We like to help you do your job and we’re always improving how we do that. Today, we’d like to introduce our new and improved help center in Yoast SEO. The help center is available in every page of Yoast SEO. The little ‘Need help?’ button is easy to find. Click on it to open the revamped help center to find a drop-down screen with three tabs. Sometimes it has extra tabs, like on the Titles and Metas settings page.

The help center always shows a tutorial video relevant for the page. In addition, there’s a search bar for our knowledge base and a link to a form to request help. Searching our knowledge base surfaces an incredible amount of answers to many problems people often run into. This new help center makes it easy to find the kind of answer you need. And don’t forget, if you have a Yoast SEO Premium license you can contact our awesome support team anytime you wish!

Yoast SEO new help center

search knowledge base

kb refresh in Yoast SEO

 

Update now

In Yoast SEO 5.6 we’ve introduced a great new feature, the orphaned content filter, and a brand-new help center. In addition to that, we’ve fixed several bugs and improved various parts of the plugin. We hope this version of Yoast SEO will make it even easier to improve your site structure. Now, get to work and start giving those orphaned posts the links they deserve!

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

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We’ve got good news for site managers and site owners: Yoast SEO 5.5 now supports SEO roles. It’s no longer all or nothing for users of Yoast SEO because two new roles with several capabilities let you make more deliberate decisions about who has access to what SEO settings in the backend. By using a WordPress permission plugin, you have even more fine-grained control over roles and capabilities. Let’s dive right in!

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

Managing SEO roles with Yoast SEO 5.5

The most prominent feature of Yoast SEO 5.5 is SEO roles. Let’s say you have editors working on your site and you want them to be able to manage redirects for themselves. Previously, these editors had to ask you as a site administrator to do this for them because they didn’t have access to the redirects manager. Now, you can grant them access to these particular parts of the plugin. Two new roles, the SEO editor and SEO manager, make for a much more flexible solution when working with multiple people on your site. The administrator can determine who gets to see and do what, while the users get the tools they need to do their work.

I’ve written a separate post explaining the SEO roles in Yoast SEO in more detail.

Other new features

SEO roles are just one of the new additions to the plugin. Yoast SEO 5.5 is a massive release, with loads of great stuff. Let’s look at a couple of highlights.

Redesigned dashboard widget

Your WordPress dashboard should give you important information at a glance. Our old dashboard widget was in desperate need of a new coat of paint and an overhaul of its contents. The new widget now shows you how your SEO is doing. You’ll see how many posts have good SEO score and how many are just OK or which ones don’t have a focus keywords attached to it. Keeping up with our SEO articles has become much easier since we’ve added links to the most recent posts on yoast.com.

Redirects manager access, plus redirects filter

The redirects manager in Yoast SEO Premium also has a new role within the plugin. Premium users can now make the redirects manager available to other contributors, without them having to have special access. It’s even available in the menu!

We’ve added something else to it: you can now filter redirect types in the redirects manager. This way, you can quickly find all your 410 Content Deleted redirects, for instance, and manage them in a jiffy. If you’re not using the redirects manager, you’re missing out on a killer tool that’ll save you loads of time and headaches.

yoast seo 5.5 filter

Focus keyword export

Last, but not least in Yoast SEO 5.5 Premium: Focus keyword export! Select the data you need – keywords, URL, readability score and/or title – and you’ll get a file with an excellent overview of how you use focus keywords on your site. You can quickly see which posts or pages need work! And yes, this works for content that has multiple focus keywords as well.

Update now!

Yoast SEO 5.5 is chock full of new features, enhancements, and fixes. This post doesn’t nearly describe all the changes in this release. We’re very proud of the new SEO roles as these will make site managers much more flexible in permitting users to various parts of the plugin. We hope you like this new feature as much as we do. Happy updating!

Keep reading: ‘Why every website needs Yoast SEO’ »

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“SEO is more about being in ALL the right places at the right time.” That’s how SEO and internet marketer Roy Huiskes describes the importance of a complete online presence. He has worked in the business since 2003 and consulted for several big brands. With loads of experience in CRO, analytics and all aspects of online marketing, he’s one of the best SEO experts in Europe. So it goes without saying that we’re delighted to announce he’ll be joining our panel discussion at YoastCon. To top it off, he’ll also give a hands-on workshop on keyword research!

Want to take your own keyword research to the next level? Sign up for his workshop! Get your ticket now for YoastCon 2017!
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You’re an SEO and online marketer. Do you feel these are still two separate areas, as SEO is becoming more and more about optimizing your complete online presence (including social media etc)?

I never felt these were separate domains. From the first days, I’ve always seen SEO as understanding the consumer’s needs and creating value around that. Google only caught on to this later on, so tactics might have changed a bit, but the strategy of understanding the consumer’s needs is still the same.

Come see Roy Huiskes at YoastCon 2017 on November 2 »banner YoastCon

So, to answer the question: Yes, SEO is more about being in ALL the right places at the right time to get better results. There are quite a few cases that prove that the searches themselves and the connection between ‘brand’ and ‘top keyword’ are very relevant to increase your organic traffic. This can only be achieved by being a bigger brand.

You’ve once predicted the rise of local SEO. Nowadays, optimizing for local is very important. Any tips for local entrepreneurs on what to focus on?

Yes. It’s a very natural factor for Google to consider, especially with an 80%+ market share in the mobile market. People are looking for this information. In the English language, the ‘near me’ query is critical. While this could also work in the Netherlands, we don’t see similar behavior that often. Opening hours is quite remarkable though.

So, make sure you do your keyword research very well and not ‘globally’, but understand how the consumer searches in each country or culture. This is getting even more important if you consider the use of devices like Google Home, Cortana, Amazon Echo or Siri. This will probably result in a huge shift in the type of search terms people are using. Since these kinds of queries are on 20% already, this transition is something to focus on.

As a consultant working for major brands, you’ve seen lots of websites in your career. What’s the biggest mistake you think website owners make when it comes to SEO?

I’m not sure. It could be two things:

  • Not training the development teams well and in a more technical, advanced way
  • The lack of keyword/intention research and the unwillingness to make UX changes on this.

I think I’ll go with the UX though. I’ve seen a lot of quality, easy to understand SEO stuff be put away, in favor of all kinds of fancy-pants UX that nobody needed, often because of some CRO goal setting that wasn’t backed up by data.

SEO of the future: what should website owners focus on if they want to rank now AND in the future? Are there any important changes coming up that we should know about?

Well, I don’t believe in the mantra: ‘create for the user, and they will come’, although I do think you should put user behavior first. The users won’t come automatically after a reasonable amount of time. We need to do more work. Market your website properly, making sure people know what they can find, do and buy on your site, and what your brand stands for.

But it all starts with being clever about your target audience and their needs. So proper user research that focuses on intentions and keywords will teach you a lot about your consumers. Then start experimenting, learn more about your customers in A/B tests and help them in your journey to a better product that attracts even more happy users.

Why shouldn’t people miss your talk at YoastCon?

Well, how nice of you to ask, good question. The answer to the previous question is what I’m going to provide. Or at least how I’m doing that for my clients. I’ll teach you how to do proper keyword research, focus on intentions and gather all the useful data to make smart decisions.

Get your ticket now for YoastCon 2017!
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The post 5 questions: Roy Huiskes – Chapter42 appeared first on Yoast.

The developers at Yoast HQ are quite the busy bees. In the past few weeks, we’ve released Yoast SEO 5.3 – with some pretty cool features -, helped build a plugin that provides the ‘glue’ between two of the biggest WordPress plugins out there and launched an innovative new customer portal called My Yoast. After the dust has settled, it’s time to release the next version of our flagship plugin: Yoast SEO 5.4. Find out what’s new and what’s fixed.

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

Redirects in Yoast SEO Premium

The redirects manager in Yoast SEO Premium is pretty awesome, if I may say so. It helps you with everyday redirect tasks, so you don’t have to worry about this. So, whenever you deleted a post or change a URL, the redirects manager will ask you if it should redirect the old content to the new content. This way, visitors will never stumble upon pages that don’t exist anymore, resulting in the dreaded 404 error message.

In Yoast SEO 5.3, we added the possibility to export all your redirects in a CSV file. This file gives you a complete overview of all the redirects on your site. In Yoast SEO 5.4, we’ve made it possible to import a redirects CSV file. Now, you can make (bulk) changes to your redirects within that CSV file and import it again when you’re done. Changes will take place immediately. There are loads of scenarios where this will come in handy, for instance, when you’re rebuilding a site and want to replace the same redirects. You’ll find the import and export features in the Tools section of Yoast SEO.

If you want to learn more about what happens behind the scenes of Yoast SEO, you should join us at YoastCon. YoastCon is a hands-on conference that teaches you the ins-and-outs of SEO. Read more »

Technical improvements

Today’s releases mostly feature improvements that make sure that Yoast SEO runs like a well-oiled machine. To increase the performance of the plugin, we’ve replaced the use of `get_posts` and `get_children` by `WP_Query`. This release’s community input came from Saša Todorović – who has been very active lately – and Pete Nelson. The first proposed a fix to exclude archive pages from the sitemap, based on the noindex setting. The latter suggested a hook to disable the Twitter card.

Happy updating!

The updated Yoast plugins are now available, so go get them! We’re working around the clock to bring you a helpful product that makes SEO easier for everyone. We hope you enjoy working with Yoast SEO and value the improvements the plugin brings. Happy updating!

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

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He’s been active in the SEO industry for over 14 years, and founded one of the UK’s most wanted Digital Marketing agencies, Bronco. With a proven ability to achieve great results, even in the most competitive of fields, Dave Naylor can rightly call himself an SEO genius. So it goes without saying that we’re thrilled to announce that Dave will be at YoastCon this November, to join us for an exciting panel discussion! To give you all a sneak peek, we asked him about SEO challenges, ranking number one, and online success.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see this SEO Genius in action! Get your ticket now for YoastCon 2017!
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Dave, you’ve been in the SEO industry for a long time now. You founded your company, Bronco, 14 years ago. In your bio, you mention that the search engines sometimes call you to teach their personnel about how they work. What was the last question someone from a search engine asked you?

LOL – As much as I’d love to answer that, I’m pretty sure that the non-disclosure agreements we all sign up to would stop me from being able to. A lot of the most common questions are actually available in open forums. So if you’re really dedicated to finding out the answer to the vast majority of search engine structure questions, you’ll be rewarded!

Come see Dave Naylor at YoastCon 2017 on November 2 »banner YoastCon

SEO has matured. It is a serious business, and most brands invest a lot of time and effort into it. In working with clients, what is the first thing you ask them when they want to achieve online success?

Working with any client is a two-way street, so what I’m looking to find out straight away is how much time and effort they are willing to put into a successful campaign. Of course, we’re not going to find clients as passionate about SEO as we are. We’re not asking for that, but they need to show they’re keen and willing – that’s what makes a truly great SEO campaign and a really productive agency-client relationship. There’s not just the issue of what they will do, it’s also about what they can do. For example, if the client has no way of improving the technical side of SEO on their site, that can become a game changer real quick

You often said that it’s no use to have a site when it doesn’t rank number one. That, however, is quite the challenge for most site owners. Is it still possible to rank number one and which steps should you follow if you want to stand a chance?

That’s a tough one. The SERP landscape is constantly changing, with Local listing and OneBoxes popping up everywhere. Ranking number one has obviously never been a walk in the park. But now we’re dealing with a much more complex environment.

I think that ranking number one these days, is more about market share and visibility than just ranking number one for an industry term. If you’ve got the appetite needed to gain market share and visibility, you should pick up a few number one positions along the way.

There are quite a few challenges ahead for SEOs, like the mobile-first index and the rise of voice search. What do you think will be the number one focal point for the next year?

I think the focus will still be on mobile-first. That’s something I see Google pushing hard for the foreseeable future – until the world catches up.

That said, I would love to see them revisiting the idea of discounting inbound links signals again, but we will have to wait and see!

These days, there’s a lot of focus on creating great content. Understandable, because that’s what makes you rank. The technical aspects of SEO, however, are still incredibly important. In your regard, which technical parts should always get a lot of attention?

Site speed is an essential element of any campaign and for good reasons. You’ve also got to prioritize index and site structure when reviewing your technical SEO – obvious choices but absolutely paramount.

Also with regards to content, from a technical perspective, you need to watch out for duplicated, thin and badly structured content!

We assume this interview has convinced people to go see your discussion panel at YoastCon on November 2! In the unlikely case someone is still in doubt, what’s the main reason they shouldn’t miss the panel?

Personally, I’m looking forward to a really interesting discussion, and I will make sure I answer any question honestly and openly!

Get your ticket for YoastCon 2017 now!
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Read more: ‘YoastCon 2017: Practical SEO’ »

The post Ranking #1 with Dave Naylor appeared first on Yoast.

Today we’re launching My Yoast, a new customer environment where you can view and manage the purchases you’ve done at yoast.com. These last few months, our development team worked very hard to create this easy-to-use user portal. Read here how My Yoast will make your life as a Yoast customer easier.

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Yoast SEO for WordPress pluginBuy Yoast SEO Premium plugin Info

What is My Yoast?

My Yoast is an easy-to-use interface to view and manage your Yoast purchases. At a glance, you can see your order history; which products you’ve bought and what the status of that product is. In addition, you can manage your plugin subscriptions and download your eBooks now. In the future, we’ll gradually expand the functionalities of My Yoast so that it will be the go-to place where you can access all your Yoast products, including SEO courses.

Since we now have a fully functioning WooCommerce store with multi-currency support, at some time, we will be accepting more of the world’s most important currencies. For now, we’re only accepting Euro’s and Dollars.

Watch this video and see how it works! If you have any more questions about My Yoast, please see our knowledge base.

Plugin overview

Forget about copy pasting your plugin license key or going through your email archive to retrieve it. From now on, you can activate your Yoast plugins directly on my.yoast.com, so you won’t need a license key anymore. If you log in to My Yoast you can:

  • access your downloads;
  • manage your subscriptions (previously known as licenses);
  • find your order history.

On top of that, you can indicate which plugins run on which of your websites. Just enter the URL of your website and set a plugin to active if you have it running on that site. This way, you’ll enable updates for the Yoast plugins on your site, and, in case you own multiple site subscriptions of one plugin, you’ll always know how many subscriptions you have left for other sites.

sites overview My Yoast

No more renewals

Did you ever forget to renew your license? That won’t happen anymore. We’ve transformed licenses into subscriptions, which means that, from now on, you’ll get a subscription to a plugin. This entails that you won’t have to go through the entire payment process again once you’ve bought a plugin.

subscription overview My Yoast

Existing licenses have been converted to subscriptions which will remain valid until the original license expires. We’ll ask you to setup a new subscription for those before they expire.

Sounds great! So how do I get in?

New customers

From now on, if you purchase on yoast.com, you’ll receive an account on My Yoast where you can access your downloads and manage your subscriptions. You’ll need this account to receive updates for your Yoast plugins.

Existing customers

In case you’re a Yoast customer, you’ll receive an email to access your My Yoast account in the upcoming week. When you first log in to My Yoast, a screencast will guide you through this new environment, to make sure you’ll understand how everything works.

Can’t wait until next week to get access? Go to my.yoast.com and get access to your account now. You can do so by filling out the email address you’ve used when you’ve purchased a product and by clicking ‘reset my password’. After verification of your email address and resetting your password, you’ll be able to access your account.

Go to My Yoast »

The post Introducing My Yoast: our brand new customer portal appeared first on Yoast.

Advanced Custom Fields, or ACF, is one of the most popular WordPress plugins to date. It makes it possible to turn WordPress into a full-blown, custom-made content management system. How? By providing an easy way to add and manage custom fields. To use the content analysis of Yoast SEO in these custom fields, you need a plugin: ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO. As of today, two existing ACF glue plugins will come together in one official plugin. Here, we’ll shine a light on the open source driven development of this new ACF plugin.

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Yoast SEO for WordPress pluginBuy now » Info

Why use Advanced Custom Fields?

Like the name says, the Advanced Custom Fields plugin, built by Elliot Condon, makes it easier to add custom fields to any WordPress site. While custom fields may sound boring on their own, they are used to extend WordPress. What’s more, people use them to build tailored solutions to, often, complex problems. Developers love these and use custom fields to develop new and exciting products on top of WordPress. By using custom fields, you can turn WordPress into a professional CMS that accomplishes all your needs perfectly.

What does the ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO plugin do?

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.

Marcus Forsberg built the original ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO plugin. We later forked it to build our own solution. However, both plugins had trouble keeping up with the developments. Some time ago, we started a collaborative effort to make one, well-maintained, official ACF plugin for Yoast SEO. Viktor Fröberg, Marcus Forsberg, Thomas Kräftner and the great team at Angry Creative, helped us to merge two different ACF glue plugins and redevelop these into ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO. The team will update this plugin on a regular basis and offer continued support for ACF.

Version 2.0 of the plugin, available as of today, is rewritten from the ground up. It supports ACF 4 and 5. It offers stellar performance and supports more custom fields than ever.

Building something better, together

This is a collaborative effort. It is high time to put a spotlight on some of the team members that made sure two incredible WordPress plugins can start working together seamlessly.

Thomas Kräftner, freelance web developer:

“When Yoast SEO 3.0 came out I had a problem: I had just finished a site for a client that relied heavily on the now removed server-side analysis of content. Of course, the client wasn’t happy that all the work he paid for was wasted.

So we sat down and talked. I explained to them that they wouldn’t be the only ones with that problem. Instead of letting people reinvent the wheel, again and again, we should better make one generic solution. I proposed that my client would only pay a part of my development cost. In exchange, we’d make a completely free and open source plugin. And guess what – they thought this was a great idea!

I then also contacted Yoast, and at WordCamp Europe 2016 we agreed that they would also join in and help me maintain and support that plugin. It was a busy year, so it took until WCEU17 and also bringing Angry Creative on board to finally get us where we are today: The release of a true community built plugin.”

Viktor Fröberg, web developer at Angry Creative:

“At Angry Creative, we mainly do WordPress and WooCommerce development. As such, we often bump into both generic problems and specific problems that we fix by doing plugins. We also try to fix WordPress / WooCommerce core issues, but doing plugins helps us get solutions out there sooner rather than later.

We try to talk to our clients about the importance of open source and why this is valuable for them. A lot of our clients’ problems are shared problems, and by contributing our solutions to the community, our clients get free development time from other developers in the long run as they help improve the plugin. This pooling of resources benefits everyone.

This ACF Yoast SEO integration plugin was just like that. It was born out of a common need that almost all of our clients had. We’ve maintained it, and our clients have benefited from it. With the help of the awesome Thomas Kräftner and the Yoast crew the plugin is now better than ever, and together we’ll continue to improve it so that users can build their next big thing using WordPress with ease.”

Omar Reiss, CTO at Yoast:

“A collaboration like this is very dear to our heart. We get an incredible number of requests to add support for other plugins. At Yoast, we prefer such integrations to be backed by the community. We do our best to make it easy for third-party plugin developers to integrate with Yoast SEO. Whenever users request an integration, we mostly reach out to third-party plugin maintainers and offer our help and assistance in integrating with Yoast SEO. This works out well in many cases.

In this case, Marcus, Thomas and the folks at Angry Creative all separately leveraged the opportunity to create an integration between ACF and Yoast SEO. We happily brought everyone together to work on one integration to rule them all, reviewed, endorsed and distributed by Yoast, developed by the community.”

Open source driven development

The new ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO plugin is a solid piece of open source driven development. Ten developers from Sweden, Austria, and The Netherlands identified problems with the current implementation and stepped up to fix it. Working together with a fantastic team from around Europe and a shared open source mindset has made it possible for them to deliver fabulous work.

Open source is at Yoast’s heart. We try help others reach for the stars while continually improving our work. Projects like the ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO plugin give us the opportunity to learn from others and to contribute to the ever-expanding WordPress universe.

Download the plugins and tell us what you think! Thanks for supporting our work.

Read more: ‘Why there’s only one model: the open source model’ »

At Yoast, we greatly value our brilliant community. Hundreds of people voluntarily help us to improve our products by giving valuable feedback and insights into their usage of Yoast SEO. Contributors fix issues and suggest enhancements to make our work increasingly better. Today, with the release of Yoast SEO 5.3, we add another chapter to our open source driven development.

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

Yoast SEO for WordPress pluginBuy now » Info

Getting better, together

Browsing through our GitHub repository is a joy. Many helpful discussions are going on about the different Yoast plugins and Yoast SEO in particular. We greatly appreciate this as it gives us a feel of what you as a user want and what kind of problems you run into. This way, we can make calculated decisions on where the plugin could go next.

In almost every release there is at least one enhancement or fix by one of our esteemed contributors. In Yoast SEO 5.3 it’s Saša Todorović‘s time to shine, one of our most prolific contributors. But there are many, many more and we’d like to thank you all. If you’d like to contribute, please don’t hesitate and visit our repository on github.com/yoast.

Full support for Advanced Custom Fields (ACF)

We’re now announcing a different kind of community open source effort: full support for the very popular Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) WordPress plugin by Elliot Condon. Together with Viktor Fröberg, Marcus Forsberg, Thomas Kräftner and the awesome guys and girls at Angry Creative, we’ve merged two different ACF glue plugins and redeveloped these into one official one: ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO. This plugin will be updated on a regular basis and will offer continued support for ACF. From now on, Yoast SEO will be able to check your content in custom fields built by ACF.

If you want to know more about this project and what it all means for Yoast SEO and Advanced Custom Fields users, you can read the blog post about this new release.

Improvements: Schema.org, readability filter, XML image sitemap

Besides fixing support for ACF, our development team made great strides with Yoast SEO 5.3. Thanks to the awesome Saša Todorović, we’ve added an XML schema for image sitemaps so these can be validated in sitemap checks. We’ve also made it possible for custom theme providers to hook after_theme_load so they can provide their own XML sitemaps during setup.

One of the coolest additions in this release is the broader use of Schema.org metadata. Schema.org structured data is getting more important by the day, so you have to work on it. In Yoast SEO 5.3, the plugin not only adds Schema.org meta data about your site, like your name, logo, etc., to your homepage but every page on your site. If you’d like to learn more about structured data, we can recommend our Structured data course.

It’s always been possible to filter your posts by SEO score, so you could easily find these to improve them. Now, you can also filter by readability score. One more way to weed out those low-quality posts!

Yoast SEO Premium: Redirect export to CSV

We’ve added one of the most requested features to Yoast SEO Premium: export your redirects to CSV. You can now get a full overview of the redirects on your site in one handy file. Check the list and use it to make adjustments if needed.

Onwards and upwards

Yoast SEO 5.3 has been a joy to build, thanks to the continued support of our lovely community. Thanks for contributing. If you’d like to contribute as well, you know where to find us. Have fun updating!

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

Our mission is ‘SEO for everyone’. We keep that in mind, in everything we do. But what do we mean by it? And why is it our mission? In this post, I’d like to explain Yoast’s mission.

A little bit of history

To understand why we pursue this mission, we’ll have to go back in history. Let’s start in 2006: Joost de Valk was building SEO plugins because he strongly believed that everyone could benefit from the SEO knowledge he had collected in his work for large agencies. As a WordPress fanboy, he could quickly translate his technical SEO skills into a useful plugin for WordPress. 

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The WordPress SEO plugin, which was rebranded to Yoast SEO later on, got an enormous amount of users. What’s more, Joost received an overwhelming number of support requests and was unable to handle those, as he was still working for an agency as well. At that point, Joost decided to start his own company. Selling premium plugins and doing a little bit of consultancy enabled him to further invest time and resources into the free Yoast SEO plugin as well. This allowed us to improve the quality and features of our products, and also resulted in a growing company. Moreover, it meant we could further define our mission.

WordPress’ mission and Yoast’s mission

The mission of WordPress is to democratize publishing with open-source GPL (General Public License) software. Yoast’s mission builds on WordPress’ mission, just as Yoast’s software is an extension of the software of WordPress. Everybody can create a website using WordPress. However, not everyone is able to rank in the search engines. In some niches, the search results are dominated by large companies with even larger marketing budgets. The Yoast SEO plugin, combined with the SEO knowledge Yoast shares, enables small entrepreneurs to compete with these large companies.

A ‘fair’ chance in the search results

We believe the web will benefit from all people having an equal chance in the search results. We would love for great new ideas and inventions to spread over the world. And great ideas don’t always come from large agencies but are created everywhere around the world. That’s why we believe that every idea should have a fair chance in the search results. WordPress and Yoast SEO cover most of the technical SEO challenges of a website. But to seriously compete with the big boys, every website owner still faces content SEO challenges. In our blog posts, we explain to our audience how to write awesome and SEO-friendly content and how to set up a decent site structure. Using the Yoast SEO plugin and reading our posts should help everyone to have a fair chance in the search results. That’s what ‘SEO for everyone’ is all about.

Making money and maintaining the mission

Pursuing our mission doesn’t mean we’re not making any money while doing so. On the contrary: the company Yoast is thriving. The money we make enables us to keep on pursuing our mission. We continue to tweak and improve our plugins and we write more and more articles about SEO. Making money makes pursuing ‘SEO for everyone’ easier. We can have a bigger impact. And, it allows us to contribute more and more to WordPress core.

The premium version of Yoast SEO has some practical features, which will make SEO a lot easier. However, all essential features you need to have that fair chance in the search engines, are available and will remain in our free plugin. Our online courses are powerful to quickly learn about (one or multiple aspects) of SEO. But all the SEO information you need is also available in our many blog posts. It’s important to us that everyone – even if you haven’t got much money to spend – can benefit from our SEO products.

Read more: ‘Victory of the Commons’ »