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March 3, 2017

Yoast SEO: You're Wasting Time Chasing That Green Circle

Published: 3 March 2017 

Yoast SEO can be one of the most valuable plugins you will install on WordPress. It helps people to make their website as user-friendly as possible. For those who have a self-hosted WordPress website, you can use Yoast SEO to control meta descriptions and titles, target keywords and track them and manage sitemaps, to name a few of the features.

The plugin helps you to make your page more SEO friendly by presenting users with green circles. The colours work the same way as traffic lights - green is good, orange is average, and red is bad. After each coloured circle there is a description of the task, and if it is not green, what you can do to improve it.

However, it can become addictive to try and get all green circles on Yoast SEO. This can result in people using the plugin but wasting their time.

Cheating Yoast SEO  

You may end up with all green circles, but is it really an achievement if you’re cheating? If your goal is to have all green circles, no matter how you achieve this, then you’re probably missing the point of the tool.

An easy way to misuse the page analysis tool is by writing content, and then inserting your focus keywords into the already finished content. This should make all of the Yoast circles turn green. But what is the point of doing that? Instead, consider inserting an infographic or even a video into your content. This will not only make the page more appealing for the readers, but is sure to please Yoast as well.

Keyword Focus

It’s easy to think about changing your keyword focus in order to receive all green circles on Yoast SEO.

However, when writing your content it’s important to not only keep your keywords in mind, but also remember your audience. Changing your keyword focus doesn’t change the searching habits of the consumers. If the original keyword didn’t give you all green circles - don’t worry! People will still be searching this term.

Remember to always focus on writing content that is interesting, original and helpful to the readers. This will ensure you will get more traffic and social shares, even if some of the Yoast SEO circles are red or orange. If you’re doing this, as well as implementing a well researched keyword strategy, then you will greatly improve your organic SEO.   

It’s also important to note that Yoast will only detect exact keyword matches. You may have just finished a blog post, make sure you used your keyword, and found red circles at the end. Sometimes, having a red circle is nothing to worry about. Yoast does not pick up the difference in words such as “Consultant” and “Consulting”. If you’re using the right keywords but still getting a red light, then you probably don’t need to consider changing your content.

Brand voice

When you’re writing content, always remember to keep your company’s brand voice in mind. You run the risk of losing your brand voice by trying to get all green circles on Yoast SEO. Maintaining a consistent brand voice is far more important than obtaining all green circles.

You need to make sure you keep your brand voice consistent across your website, blog and social media. If not, you run the risk of losing customers. In fact, a massive 81% of consumers have un-liked a company’s Facebook page if it’s brand voice is out of tune. It’s far more important to ensure your brand voice is in line with your consumers than appealing to Yoast SEO.  

When using Yoast SEO it’s important to remember one crucial detail: SEO takes time. You can’t make changes to your website all at once and expect to see results the next day. To know how long it will take to see results, you have to consider:

  • How long the website has been around: the longer the website has been around, the more authority it will have and will be able to drive more traffic than a brand new website.
  • How functional the website is: if it’s an old website but has had no SEO work done on it and is not appropriate optimised, results will take longer.
  • How much content the website has: search engines will crawl a website for indexing. By scanning the content, crawlers will be able to determine what the website is about and give it a search engine ranking. Having fresh content consistently published on your blog will help with traffic flow and rankings.

While Yoast SEO is an extremely helpful tool, it can become easy to obsess over it. Remember to know what keyword focus you have, produce high quality, helpful content and always keep in mind your brand voice. Don’t waste your time cheating the tool to gain all green circles. These factors are far more important than achieving all green circles on Yoast SEO.

Ben Maden

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