There's more to being successful online than having the right web hosting provider, and a good website design. Search engine optimisation is the key to making sure your content gets read. Readability and SEO go hand-in-hand. Readability in the context of Search Engine Optimisation doesn't just mean that people can physically read your content, but that they can enjoy reading it too. Google's algorithm's measure, not just the time your visitors spend on your pages, but also how much of that time they spend clicking through your content. The better your readability is, the more engaged your visitors will be, and the higher you'll rank as a result.
Unfortunately, content that's difficult to read gives your users a bad experience. That's why it's so important to make sure that you're taking the right steps towards success with your SEO metrics and content readability. Useful plugins like Yoast, which measures the readability and SEO aspects of your content for you, can help to make the process easier for everyone involved.
Here, we're going to look at how you can use WordPress and Yoast to enhance your readability, and give more power to your online content.
Step 1: Enter Your Content into the WordPress Backend
If you're struggling to create content that can really appeal to your audience because you're constantly distracted, you can always use the distraction-free writing mode on WordPress that allows you to write in the backend without being distracted.
Just remember if you choose to copy the text that you create in your WordPress backend, you'll have to copy without using the layout. You can also adapt the layout in the backend, otherwise, you could run into problems. Make sure you set your subheadings into Heading 2, and the sub-subheadings into Heading 3 and so on.
Step 2: Examine Your Scores
Selecting the "content analysis" tab on WordPress will help you to see your scores on readability. The green bullets provided by Yoast will help you to see which aspects are good, whereas orange and red bullets show you where readability can be improved. Clicking on the little eye in the system can show you where sentences need to be reconsidered. Overall, these content checks will help you to decide which changes to make.
Step 3: Adjust Your Content Using Yoast
The coloured Yoast bullet points on your WordPress backend should help you to decide which parts of your content need improvement from a readability perspective. Some issues are pretty simple to fix. For instance, if you constantly write long sentences, you'll need to cut them down during your content analysis. If your paragraphs are longer than they should be, divide them into smaller parts, and add subheadings.
If you're getting red bullets on the "Flesch Reading Ease" test, it may be harder to make improvements. You may need to think about using fewer difficult words, and reducing some of the transition words in your texts too.
Step 4: Push SEO with your Keyword
Once you've finished working on the readability elements of your article, you'll need to begin your SEO analysis. Click on the "SEO" tab in WordPress, and enter the focus keyword for your content into the appropriate field. Remember, every blog you post should have its own focus keyword, as this will help you to rank for the right terms on Google. Ideally, the keyword you choose should be one that's informed by your research and was kept in mind during your writing process.
With Yoast SEO Premium, it is possible to optimise your article for multiple focus keywords. Organising and optimising a post for multiple keywords can make it easier for you to rank for more terms, and deliver additional traffic to your site.
Step 5: Write Your Meta Description
After you've put your focus keyword in place, you'll need to enter a meta description for your content. Remember, your meta description needs to explain what your content is about, and it should also contain the exact phrase for your focus keyword.
It's important to make sure that your meta description contains your focus keyword, as this will help you to show up in the results for all of the right reasons. If your focus keyword isn't mentioned in your meta description, Google will simply grab a piece of content from your page that contains the right word.
Step 6: Check Your Yoast SEO Bullets
Once again, when you're examining your content for the purpose of improving your SEO rankings, you should be looking at the coloured bullet points that Yoast provides. Those bullets will show you which parts of your SEO are good, and which elements need work. While you don't necessarily have to keep on optimising until you've turned all your bullets green, you should make sure that the majority are good.
The most important thing to ensure is that the overall bullet on the upper right of the backend in your post, is green. You can achieve this by making sure that you cover the majority of the most important SEO aspects in your post.
Step 7: Adjust Your SEO Where Necessary
Finally, the checks performed by Yoast on your behalf during your WordPress SEO analysis will pinpoint the areas you need to improve in your content. Make sure that you examine all of the aspects of your website as thoroughly as possible, including the subheadings, the headings, and the title. Ask yourself whether each of these aspects contain your focus keyword, and if they don't is there any way you can alter them without making your content unreadable, or "spammy"?
Remember, while it's important not to clutter your content with your focus keyword, you will need to use it at least a couple of times. If you haven't mentioned your focus keyword during the first paragraph of your text, alter that first. Then, as you move through the rest of your text, find natural ways to include your keywords in your content. Ultimately, you should be using your terms in about one to two percent of your text.