Keeping your articles up to date is always a good idea, as it shows to your readers that your site offers current and relevant information. Furthermore, search engines will pick up on changes to your articles, and consider your site alive and up to date. That’s never a bad thing, right?

It’s especially important that you keep your cornerstone content articles up to date, but many other pages will benefit from updating as well. One question remains, though: what to do with the publish date? You may worry that people don’t want to read a blogpost that was published five years ago, even if the content is evergreen or if you’ve updated it just last week. Want to know how we handle the publish date on updated articles at Yoast? Let’s check this week’s question!

Kees van den Berg emailed us saying,

We’re often advised to update old articles. What to do with the publish date? Republish it on a new date? Or add a note that it has been updated?

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


What to do with the publish date on updated articles

“Now we do this all the time on, we go through our old content and we update as necessary. If we completely rewrite the article or if a major part of the article is new, then we actually publish on a new date.

If only a tiny portion of the article changes, then we add a note to the article that we’ve updated it and we keep the old date. It’s that simple… so a bit of both. Good luck.”

Ask Yoast

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

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

Read more: ‘Keep your content fresh and up to date!’ »


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When looking for information about keywords in relation to SEO, you get bombarded with information about keyword research. And of course, keyword research is crucial if you’d like your page to rank. But it’s also important to understand what the basic principle of a keyword is. And that’s the thing I’ll explain here.

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What is a keyword?

A keyword, or a focus keyword as some call it, is a word that describes the content on your page or post best. It’s the search term that you want to rank for with a certain page. So when people search for that keyword or phrase in Google or other search engines, they should find that page on your website.

Let’s say you’ve got a website about pianos: you sell all sorts and types of pianos. You blog about what to look at when buying a piano and you share reviews about the pianos you offer on your online shop. You sell digital pianos so you’ve created a product category page about digital pianos. Ask yourself this:

  • What kind of search term do you want to be found for?
  • Which words do you think people will use in search engines to find you?
  • What would the search query look like?

Probably [digital piano], right? Because this keyword reflects what’s on the page best. If you’d have to explain the bottom line of your content, how would that look? What words would you use? That’s your keyword or key phrase – if it consists of multiple words.

We use the word ‘keyword’ all the time, this does not mean it consists of only one word. A lot of times keywords consist of multiple words. So when talking about keywords, a lot of times we mean a phrase instead of just one word.

Why are keywords important?

One of the things Google looks at when ranking a page is the content on that page. It looks at the words on the page. Now picture this, if every word on, for instance, a blog post about a digital piano is used 2 times, then all words are of equal importance. Google won’t have a clue which of those words are important and which aren’t. The words you’re using are clues for Google, it tells Google and other search engines what the page or post is about. So if you want to make Google understand what your page is about, you need to use it fairly often.

But Google isn’t the only reason why keywords are important. Actually, it’s less important, because you should always focus on the user: on your visitors and potential clients. With SEO you want people to land on your website when using a certain search term or keyword. You need to get into the heads of your audience and use the words they use when they are searching.

If you use the wrong keywords, you’ll never get the visitors you want or need, because your text doesn’t match what your potential audience is searching for. But if you do use the keywords people are searching for, your business can thrive. So if you see it like that, your keywords should reflect what your audience is searching for. With the wrong keywords, you’ll end up with the wrong audience, or none at all. That’s why having the right keywords is really important.

How do you use keywords in your pages and posts?

There used to be a time where you could add a lot of keywords to your pages and posts, do some old-fashioned keyword stuffing, and you’d rank in search engines. But a text with a lot of the same keywords in it is not a pleasant read. And because users find this kind of copy terrible to read, Google finds it terrible too. That’s why ranking in Google by doing keyword stuffing, fortunately, became hard to do. 

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So what are the rules of thumb here? First and foremost, it’s very important that your content is easy to read. Of course, you should use your keywords in your text, but don’t stuff your keywords in almost every sentence. In general, if 1 or 2% of all words of your copy, is your keyword, then you’re not overdoing it. Make sure your keywords are well-distributed throughout your text. Don’t put all your keywords in the first paragraph thinking you’re done with that part of the optimization. Naturally spread the keywords throughout your page or post. Use your keywords in a subheading or a couple of subheadings, depending on the length of your page or post. And use the keyword in your page title, first paragraph and in your meta description. You can find all of these recommendations in the SEO analysis of Yoast SEO.

Now you have a common understanding of what a keyword is. This knowledge will really help you with your keyword research, which of course is the next and vital step!

Read more: ‘Keyword research: the ultimate guide’ »

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Here at Yoast, we’re very good at SEO. We’re also very good at telling you why you should focus on SEO: because you want to get the most out of your site. But what if you’re a blogger writing about things you love without the intention of making money? You want to entertain people with your blog posts and hope they’ll come back next time to read about either your new travel adventures, an awesome DIY project you’ve tried or a personal update. The last thing you think you need is something like keyword research or Yoast SEO’s green bullets — especially since Yoast SEO always seems to hate your writing style.

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Introducing: Caroline’s Corner

Hi, my name is Caroline. I’m 29 years old and a technical product specialist at Yoast. In my spare time, I write and maintain a blog about life as a mother. In September 2014 I joined the company as a software developer and to be honest, I had no idea what the Yoast SEO plugin even did — but don’t tell Joost and Marieke I said that. Something with SEO, sure. But who needs that as a blogger? That’s for the big companies out there that are only in it for the money. O, how wrong I was.

In a new blog series on, I will take you by the hand and show you how to make the most of your blog. I hope you’ll join me on my travels! But first…

Six reasons why you should focus on SEO

A lot of bloggers start their blog as a hobby. They don’t focus on SEO at first and who could blame them? You want to write, not worry about Google and their unfathomable rules on how to rank. But as your blog starts attracting more visitors, you might think of the possibility of making a bit of money. You could use it to cover the cost of running the site, for instance. Or you want to keep it a hobby, but would love to get an even bigger audience. Just as there are a million reasons to start blogging, there are lots of reasons to focus on SEO — especially if you want to reach that next level as a blog. Not entirely convinced yet? Below you’ll find six reasons why you could focus on SEO with your blog.

Currently, you only reach readers via social media

Perhaps you have an active Instagram and Facebook account with a couple of hundred followers or more. You’re aiming for your readers to visit your blog through the links you share on your Facebook page. However, social media optimization is a thing too and to do this right, you need to focus on your SEO as well. SEO-optimized content can bring in new traffic from search engines.

You want to get to know your readers

Your readers are probably a fan of your blog and without them, you don’t have an audience. To cater them, you need to get to know them. By getting to know them, you know what drives them to your website, what gets them to stay on your blog and what makes them leave. You’ll be able to write more relevant blog posts and get more in touch with your blog.

To get and stay inspired

When you know how well you rank for certain keywords, you might find your most popular blog post is one you’ve written over a year ago. There might be a series hidden in that blog post that you can expand. You’ll never suffer from writer’s block again.

Additionally, if you want to grow, you need to know what keywords you need to focus on. If you want to become an expert on a certain topic, you’ll need to do keyword research.

You’re not depending on mouth-to-mouth

While off-page SEO is important to grow too, handing out your paper business cards and telling your family and friends you have a blog, probably won’t get you to exceed a thousand unique visitors a month, unless you have a very large family, of course. While my mom is my biggest fan and she tells everyone they should visit my blog, I doubt she actually gets more than ten people to visit my blog. While mouth-to-mouth will get you to grow just a tiny bit, it will not help you grow hugely. That’s another reason why you need SEO.

To acquire collaborations

There are several things that matter for companies that want to collaborate with you. From domain authority and page authority to the total amount of visitors and from your Facebook like count to the amount of Instagram followers. To make money blogging, your blog and each aspect is your business card, treat it as such.

Brings structure to your blog

Last but not least: to grow, your blog needs a clear structure. You wouldn’t be the first to end up with dozens of categories and hundreds of tags. Your users need a structured website to navigate and Google uses this as well. This means your website will become better by spending time on SEO.

Let’s get started!

Feeling inspired to start? Great! Feeling worried? I can imagine. Don’t worry, this is just the first post in a blog series where I’ll take you through the daunting jungle of SEO to show you (and myself) that it’s not a big bad world out there.

I would love to hear from you what you find hard about SEO for your blog so I can possibly touch that subject in a next blog post.

Read more: ‘Blogging: the ultimate guide’ »

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Some of the things Yoast SEO does are pure magic. Lots of things are just taken care of after you’ve installed the plugin. You don’t have to do anything about that. Simply installing Yoast SEO will fix a lot of important technical SEO things for you. The content side of SEO, though, is something you should always do yourself. Yoast SEO will help you, but you’ll need to make an effort for it. So there’s a lot of work in it for you. In this post, I’m going to tell to you about the things you need to do yourself, in order to make your SEO strategy successful.

Configure Yoast SEO properly

First of all, you need to configure Yoast SEO correctly. You should be aware that the plugin can’t perform to its full potential if the settings of Yoast SEO aren’t optimal for your specific website. So, make sure that the configuration of Yoast SEO is, in fact, in line with your website. The configuration wizard helps you take care of a lot of these settings, you can read about what it does in this post

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

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Keyword research… always

The second thing you need to make sure of is doing your keyword research right. You need to know that you’re focusing on the words that people actually are searching for. If you’re optimizing for a term nobody uses, you can rank number one, but you still won’t have any traffic. And if you’re optimizing for a term that’s so competitive that you won’t ever be able to rank for it, then you won’t get any traffic as well.

Doing your keyword research means getting inside the heads of your audience. It also means knowing your competition and estimating your chances to rank for a certain keyword. Yoast SEO will help you optimize your content for your keywords, but figuring out what the right keywords are, is your job.

Read more: ‘How to choose keywords that’ll attract traffic’ »

Write awesome content

The third thing you need to do yourself is to write awesome content. And that’s something you have to do manually. Of course, you can outsource this, but it’s something somebody has to do. Yoast SEO actually helps you to write both SEO-friendly, as well as readable texts with the content and SEO analysis. So you should use this feature and make sure your text is well-optimized for the search engines. But adding great content is still something you need to do yourself, it won’t happen magically.

Internal linking

Another thing you’ll need to do yourself is take care of your internal linking structure. This is very important because a proper internal linking structure will make sure that Google understands your website. And you want Google to understand your website. Otherwise, you will be competing with your own content for a place in the search results.

Yoast SEO (premium) will help you to do that, with our internal linking feature. But it’s still something you need to be actually doing yourself. Yoast SEO will make suggestions for articles you could link to, but you still have to put them in your article.

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Social previews and redirects

Social previews and redirects are features in Yoast SEO that’ll help you improve your SEO. Your effort is needed in order to gain an SEO advantage from these features. Part of your SEO strategy will be a strategy on social media, so Facebook and Twitter. And Yoast SEO can help you make those posts on Facebook, but you still have to hit that button and write the content. Same goes for the redirects. If a page is outdated, you want to redirect it to another page. But it won’t happen just magically; you have to create those redirects yourself.

Don’t forget your competition

Even if they’ve done all the things I talked about, some people are unable to rank for a specific term. Why is that? Well, I think a lot of it has to do with competition. Some search terms are so competitive, and dominated by high-authority brands, that it’s terribly hard for a starting out blog to rank between them. If you want to rank for ‘holiday home Florida’ and you’re just starting out as a blog, you’re probably not going to rank right away. You need to have a whole strategy, in which you focus on long-tail search terms first. So, part of why you’re not ranking has to do with the competition.

On top of that, SEO sometimes takes a long time. Don’t despair if you’re not ranking overnight. It can take a little while before you start ranking for specific search terms. It’s a process that requires a strategy and it takes some time before you see the results.


SEO is a lot of work. Yoast SEO magically takes care of most of the technical SEO stuff. The content side of SEO is a different story though. You’ll need to make an effort to set up a successful content SEO strategy. There are a lot of things you should work on, in which Yoast SEO can actually help you and take you by the hand. And don’t forget: whether or not you rank for specific terms also depends on your competition in your specific niche. 

Keep reading: ‘The ultimate guide to content SEO’ »

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At Yoast, we firmly believe that websites should be usable by everyone, including people with a visual impairment. The alt textbox plays an important part in this, as it clarifies the content of an image. Visitors of your site that use a screen reader can listen to the alt text read aloud, to better understand the value and function of the image. So, you should make sure that the alt text sufficiently describes the image.

Besides improving accessibility, the alt text also helps search engines determine what’s on the image, which influences how the image ranks. So, should you add your keyword or keyphrase in the alt text to improve your ranking? Let’s go into that for this week’s Ask Yoast!

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Stephen Stefanski emailed us his question:

Some people told me you should never put a keyword in the alt text box. I think I actually should. What do you advise?

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

Using your keyword in the alt text box

“Well, the alt text box is meant to say, “Hey, this is on this image”. And if you can describe that image using a keyword, then yes you should.

If you cannot describe the image using the keyword, then no, you should not. It’s that easy… Good luck.”

Ask Yoast

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

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

Read more: ‘Image SEO: alt tag & title tag optimization’ »

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At Yoast, we like to say ‘Content is king’. By this, we mean that you cannot rank for any keyword if you don’t write meaningful and original content about it. In this SEO basics post, I’ll explain why you absolutely need content to make your site attractive for your visitors. Also, I’ll clarify why Google dislikes low quality or thin content and what you can do about it.

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Thin content

So what is thin content? Thin content is content that has little or no value to the user. Google considers doorway pages, low quality affiliate pages, or simply pages with very little or no content as thin content pages. But don’t fall into the trap of just producing loads of very similar content: non-original pages, pages with scraped and duplicate content, are considered thin content pages too. On top of that, Google doesn’t like pages that are stuffed with keywords either. Google has gotten smarter and has learned to distinguish between valuable and low quality content, especially since Google Panda.

What does Google want?

Google tries to provide the best results that match the search intent of the user. If you want to rank high, you have to convince Google that you’re giving the answer to the question of the user. This isn’t possible if you’re not willing to write extensively on the topic you like to rank for. Thin content rarely qualifies for Google as the best result. As a minimum, Google has to know what your page is about to know if it should display your result to the user. So try to write enjoyable, informative copy, to make Google, but first an foremost, your users happy.

Read more: ‘SEO basics: What does Google do?’ »

Be the best result

We recommend writing meaningful copy about the keywords you’d like to rank for. If you keep a blog about your favorite hobby, this shouldn’t be much of a problem, right? If you write about something you love and know everything about, then it’s easy to show Google that your pages contain the expert answer they are looking for!

We do understand that every situation is different and that it’s not always possible to write an elaborate text about everything. For instance, if you own an online shop that sells hundreds of different computer parts, it can be a challenge to write an extensive text about everything. But at least make sure that every page has some original introductory content, instead of just an image and a buy button next to the price. If you sell lots of products that are very alike, you could also choose to optimize the category page instead of the product page or to use canonicals to prevent duplicate content issues.

How do we help you?

The Yoast SEO plugin helps you write awesome copy. It does that by providing content analysis checks. One of these checks is to write at least 300 words per page or posts. We also check if you haven’t used the same keyword before, which helps prevent you from creating similar content over and over. Another check that’s useful for this, is our keyword density check. If your score is too high, you’re probably stuffing your keyword into your copy, giving it an unnatural feel. So make sure at least these bullets are green.

content checks thin content

On top of that, you can use our readability check to make sure the quality of your text is good and readers can easily understand the text you’ve written.

Really want to learn how to create content that ranks? Then our SEO copywriting training probably is what you need. It guides you through the entire process of keyword research and content creation, helping you to develop the skills to write awesome content for your website!

Keep reading: ‘Content SEO: the ultimate guide’ »

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It can be daunting to start in search engine optimization, I can imagine. There’s so much to do, ranging from the more technical SEO tasks to more general SEO tasks and content optimization. I can create a list for your website, or for your online shop, but you might find it hard to decide where to begin. In this post, I will share some approaches to creating and prioritizing your SEO task list.

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SEO tasks: What to address first

Most website owners want quick wins, but I’ll go into that later. First, we need to address some low hanging SEO fruit.

What to address first?

The first of your SEO tasks is to check if both Google and other search engines can reach all relevant pages. Is there a noindex blocking any of your valuable pages? Use, for instance, Screaming Frog (entire site) or Quix (on a page level).

How’s your speed?

Do a quick check in Google PageSpeed Insights or for instance and see if browser caching and compression are used the right way. Compression can really improve your speed. Keep in mind that the rules of this game change slightly if your site is on HTTP/2.

Are you focusing on the right keywords?

Check your internal search logs (more on internal search). If any keywords surface on a regular basis, create a page for these keywords.

That’s three checks for you that can easily be done and certainly impact your SEO. There’s obviously more. Let’s start with the basics.

Cover your basics: Tell the right story

It is absolutely fine to go all out and fix all things related to SEO at once, but as we’ll probably agree, that might not be the best experience for you. It might be better to install our plugin and take our Yoast SEO plugin training and focus on what you want to tell your audience first. Depending on the outcome of that process, you can decide on further optimization.

This means that you need to look at proper keyword research and a good site structure for your website. Plus, content SEO. I linked three very nice ultimate guides for you there :) Please go and read these. With the insights these guides will give you, you can quickly create some related SEO tasks and start working on these.

Any structured data needed?

If you have set up all the right content, you have probably noticed that some of that content is presented, or ordered, in the same way. As the list of data grows, you might have struck onto something you can serve to search engines in a more structured way as well.

Please read up on how structured data is done the right way, and adjust your templates accordingly. No time to read up? We have a course for that as well: our structured data course.

By the way: Yes, I am linking some products in that post. Our mission, SEO for Everyone, makes that we have a lot of products that help you optimize your website in the most convenient way possible. Just trying to give you shortcuts here.

Further SEO tasks and maintenance

Further (technical) optimization can contain optimizing speed even more, crawl optimization and might even include getting some high-quality backlinks for your site. This is probably where the hard work starts. SEO tasks will surface unstructured from now, and new developments in search engine algorithms might require you to change the way you prioritize your SEO tasks. That’s not always a bad thing, although it can be frustrating, right?

You can find a lot of information about this process on our SEO blog. We will keep you updated, and will give you handy tips and links to further optimize your website. Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions about your current SEO tasks, what to address first or where to start in any other process after dealing with the tasks mentioned above. We’re happy to help you.

Read more: ‘How to do an SEO audit: part 1’ »

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Just recently, a friend of mine asked me to have a quick peek at his website, as he felt some of his keywords didn’t perform as well as before. Some other websites outranked him in Google, and he wondered why. In such a case, it often pays to do a quick competitive analysis. In most cases, it’s not necessarily your site that’s performing worse; it’s other sites doing better. Now I know he’s all about content optimization and uses our plugin. First, I checked the configuration of the Yoast SEO Premium plugin, but all seemed to be in order. What else could have happened?

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If you want to do a competitive analysis to optimize your SEO efforts, there’s actually quite a lot you can do yourself, without having to hire an expensive SEO consultant. Let me take you through the steps!

Step 1: Define your keywords

It’s very important to use the right keywords in a competitive analysis. If you insist on using your, possibly branded, company outing as one of the main keywords, you might not even have any competition, let alone any decent organic traffic to your website. An example: if you are offering ‘holiday homes’, but insist on using the keyword ‘vacation cottage’, you are selling yourself short. Match the words your customers use.

Proper keyword research will be of help, not just for this competitive analysis, but for the entire SEO optimization of your website, so please put some effort in it.

Step 2: Analyze these keywords

Once you have defined the keywords you’d like to check against your competitors, the next step is obvious: do a search for these keywords. See who your competitors are by writing down who ranks higher than you.

Be realistic

If you are on page two in Google and want to do a competitive analysis with the number one, there is probably a lot to gain. But you should probably accept the fact that your rankings will go up step by step, and that the high ranking websites, depending on the keywords, might have a higher marketing budget than you to back their ranking strategies. It could be the main reason they rank so high. Don’t give up; our mission is ‘SEO for everyone‘ for a reason. Climb to higher rankings step by step and try to increase your marketing budget along the way.

Check the keywords and make them long-tail or add local keywords (city name, region name) to them, if needed. Do a thorough analysis. Google Trends will tell you what keywords have more traffic in the target markets for your business, and (free/paid) tools like and will give you even more keyword insights.

Climbing up in rankings a (few) step(s) at a time

Sometimes, you can achieve a big improvement in your rankings. But if your website is ranking 6, it’s easier to climb to five or four first and then target the top three. Again, that top three probably has the marketing budget to go all out, where your immediate neighbors in rankings are struggling like you. Beat them first; it’s easier. Having said that: if you have the opportunity to dethrone number 1, 2, or 3, of course, go ahead and do so.

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Step 3: Check technical differences

You’ll need to check a number of things to determine on which aspects your competition is ahead of you. The next step of your competitive analysis, after listing the keywords you’d like to perform this analysis for, is to see if there are any technical differences.

Site speed

There are so many ways to check your site speed, which we have mentioned quite often already, like Pingdom and Google’s speed tools. No need for me to explain all that all over again. But, in a competitive analysis, speed insights will tell you if there is a huge difference between you and your main competitors in terms of serving the website and the user experience difference that goes with that. The faster the site, the happier the visitor, and the happier the search engine.


Https and SLL are about serving a secure website to your visitor. It’s becoming the default and for a good reason. Serving a secure website is about delivering the best user experience and gaining trust from your future customers. It is only logical to rank a secure website over a non-secure one. Again, there are multiple ways to check SLL/https in a competitive analysis. A nice overview is given by, which gives you a ton of technical information, including SSL certificate, etc. You can obviously check your browser’s address bar for this as well, but Builtwith could give you some more insights while going over all other details. Like what CMS your competitor uses (and if he/she upgraded his/her WordPress install and you didn’t?).

Mobile site

Mobile-first. Mobile parity. Mobile UX. It’s all about mobile these days. It makes sense, as most of today’s website traffic is from mobile devices, exceptions aside.

A good mobile website is about getting your visitor to the right page as soon as possible. This has to do with speed, with deciding about top tasks on your website and with a clear and pleasant, branded design. Go check the websites of your competitors and see where they are clearly outperforming you. Test this, using for instance:

Step 4: Find content opportunities

Although technical optimizations are crucial, the quick wins will probably be in the field of content. What have you written about your company and products, and what did your competitor publish on their website?

Click all menu items

What are the main pages, what is your competitor trying to sell? And how did he/she manage to rank above you? See how focused their menu is and what pages they link to from there. We’ve found that placing ourselves in the mindset of our visitor pays off much more than writing about all the amazing SEO stuff we managed to add to our plugins, or all the SEO knowledge we share in our courses. What’s the end goal of all that SEO? It’s serving your website better to Google, which will lead to better rankings. You might not care about what does, or what XML sitemaps are, but if they benefit your business goals, you probably want to add them to your website.

See if your competitor tells a better story than you. And improve your story. The main menu of your website should be targeted at your visitor, not as much at explaining all the awesome things you came up with.

Category pages or product pages

If you have a shop, it could be interesting to do a competitive analysis of your competitor’s shop structure. Is he or she trying to persuade the customer on a product page, or already on category pages? In a market where there are a gazillion products, ranking in each and every niche is tough! It’s probably better to optimize most of your category pages. Write appealing, quality content, make these pages cornerstone and try to rank a lot of ’em. Here’s more on optimizing that category page of your online shop.

Your competitive analysis will tell you which of these pages are optimized by your main competitors. Optimize yours accordingly and, obviously, better.


A sitemap can show you the site structure of your competitor, be it via an HTML sitemap or XML sitemap. It can tell you, for instance, if he or she is targeting certain long-tail keywords via the slugs of the pages, and a few clicks to their pages will tell you how their internal linking is done.

You can find that sitemap on most sites at or or at Sometimes a website simply doesn’t have that sitemap, but tools like Screaming Frog and Xenu might help you out. Crawl the site and order by URL.


The main question here is: do you have a blog? A blog makes for dynamic content, keeps your site current and, if you post regularly, Google will find all kinds of interesting, recent ‘Last Updated’ dates. If you don’t have a blog, and your competitor has and ranks better, get a blog. Your competitor has probably woven that blog into their content strategy.

Step 5: Compare UX

Great UX makes for better time-on-site, more pageviews, and a lower bounce rate. I’m not going into this too much here, as I think in a competitive analysis you should focus on other things first, but I wanted to highlight two things: call-to-action and contact.

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A great call-to-action helps any page. Regardless of whether it’s to drive sales or engagement, every page needs a proper call-to-action. Simply go over some of your competitor’s pages and see how they went about this. See if you can grab some ideas of this and improve your own call-to-action. Oh, and remove that slider and/or video background. That’s not a call-to-action. That’s a call to no action.

Contact page & address details

Your contact page and your address details could be the end goal of a visit to your page. If so, check how the competition created that page. Did they add structured data, for instance? Is there a contact form? Did they make it easier to find these details than you did? Adjust accordingly, if comparing this sparks some great ideas.

Step 6: Perform a backlink analysis

Last but not least: if all seems reasonably the same, and there is no logical way to explain why your competitor outranks you, it just might be that the other website has a great deal more relevant links than you do. Or simply better ones. You’d have to check, Moz’s OpenSiteExplorer or, for instance, Searchmetrics for this.

Follow-up on your competitive analysis!

At this point, you know the main differences between your competitor’s site and your site. This is the moment where you start prioritizing optimizations and get to work. First, take care of low-hanging fruit, and fix things that are easily fixed asap. Next, determine what issues might have the biggest impact on your rankings, and solve these as well. If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you will have no problem with this. I’d go for any speed and content issues first, and try to get some more backlinks in the process.

If you can’t solve any of these issues, feel free to reach out to any of our partners. They can probably help you out, or perform an even more thorough competitive analysis for you!

Read more: ‘3 SEO quick wins to implement right now’ »

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Your keyword research is done and you know what to write about. Nothing is going to stop you from getting all that traffic with your new articles. But when you start writing your article, you notice it can be hard to keep your text focused. Yoast SEO Premium has a helpful little tool to guide you: prominent words in Insights. Here, I’ll show you how it works.

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

Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

What is Yoast SEO Insights?

Yoast SEO Insights is a section in the Readability part of the plugin that is meant to hold tools that give you more insights into what you are writing. Currently, the section holds the Prominent words check. Our plugin analyzes your text in real time and provides you with a list of words you use most in your article.

By checking the prominent words against your intended keyword(s) for this post, you should see if there are any discrepancies. If you write about ‘off-page SEO’ and the most prominent word in your text is ‘on-page SEO’ you’re probably going in the wrong direction. You can edit your text until it becomes more focused on your main focus keyword and its supporting or related keywords.

What’s more, you might find new words in that list that should really be on your keyword list. Great, add them to the list and maybe even write a new post about them.

Prominent words are not tied to the SEO and readability analyses in Yoast SEO. Follow their lead to find out if you’ve used your focus keyword correctly and use the prominent words feature to get an idea of what your artice is actually about. If it doesn’t align with your goals you can fix that.

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Internal linking uses Yoast SEO Insights

The prominent words feature is a great tool to help you focus your text. While using it, you can get a good feel of where your text is going and you can make changes right away or after you’ve finished your draft. In addition, the prominent words also serve another purpose as they are used to determine which articles are suggested by our internal linking tool.

The internal linking tool is also a premium feature and it suggests links to add to your article based on what you write. These suggestions are super relevant and by automatically suggesting them, you won’t have to find them yourself. Click on the icon and paste the link over the relevant piece of text.

Want the prominent words check? Get Premium!

Both the prominent words in insights and the internal linking features are available in Yoast SEO Premium. In addition to these two cool tools, you’ll also get, among other things, a killer redirects manager, the possibility to optimize your articles for multiple focus keywords and social previews for Twitter and Facebook.

What are you waiting for, go get it!

Read more: ‘SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide’ »

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If your online shop or business offers many products that are similar to each other, you’re probably familiar with this conundrum: how do you add content that’s diverse enough? And what to do, since you can use a focus keyword only once? These are important things to keep in mind, so you don’t end up competing with your own pages.

Learn how to write engaging copy and how to organize it well on your site: Combine our SEO copywriting and Site structure training. »

Content SEO training bundle Info

In the case of a real estate business, you’ll probably have many pages that are similar to each other. Not having these pages at all is not an option. After all, you want potential buyers to be able to see photos and specifics for each property. So, what’s the best strategy, to have these pages and your site structure work to your advantage?

Gamal Sabry emailed us this question:

I have a real estate website and sometimes we have the same type of villa 10 times on our site. What should I write in the title to avoid competing with my own pages?

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

The best way to avoid competing with your own pages

“Well, those 10 villas probably each deserve their own page, because there’s something that distinguishes them. But the category page that links all these together is probably more important to you than these 10 individual pages.

So, I would spend more time on a category page that links all of these villas than on the individual pages and I would make sure that all of them link properly to that category page with the keywords that you’d want to tackle. Then you’re not competing with yourself as much; then those 10 pages are all helping your category page rank well. Good luck.”

Ask Yoast

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

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

Read on: ‘Ask Yoast case study: Appealing content for a real estate site’ »

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