Website SEO: No Longer Optional
The quest to reach a higher Google ranking can feel endless. Monitoring your SEO is a constant (and expensive) process, and there is no guarantee of success.
The fact is that SEO has never been a more important part of online marketing. It’s no longer just about having well-designed webpages; to have any chance at ranking, your website must be functionally perfect. If businesses want to be found online by customers, they need a website with great copy and relevant content that is also easy to find.
What is the Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress?
There are a variety of tools that aid website owners in optimizing their SEO. One of the ones we use is the Yoast SEO Plugin, which has both free and paid versions. The plugin provides insight on ways to optimize posts and adds technical data on the backend of your WordPress site, providing search engines robust information they can use to more effectively understand your webpages and blog posts.
This is something you’d normally need to pay a developer to do, and for good reason: the extra data makes your pages better understood by search engines, which prioritize content that is well organized.
Why is the Newest Update So Special?
Version 11.0 of the Yoast SEO Plugin adds structured data to pages and posts. If you’re not familiar with the term, you can find out more here.
In brief, structured data provides search engines with a roadmap to the different pieces of information contained on your site. For example, if you search for “chocolate cake recipe” on Google, at least one prominent result will be a box with an image of the cake, as well as the cook time, ingredients, and possibly even reviews of the recipe. That’s because the structured data on the page told Google all the pertinent information about the cake.
Normally, structured data is something you’d need to add manually to your site. Now, Yoast can do it for you automatically.
How Does This Impact My Site?
Structured data provides great insight for website crawlers about the information on your site and how it is organized. Search engine developers have realized that when users Google “cake recipe,” they’re more likely to click a link that includes baking time and hundreds of 5-star reviews than one with none of this info (even if the second link would send them to a prettier, more popular website). In this way, even if you’re not ranking well organically, you could see improved rankings by utilizing structured data.
Disclaimer: Adding structured data could improve your web presence, but there are countless other variables to consider. Given that no two websites are the same, Yoast’s automated tool and your site might not be a perfect marriage. There may be technical issues that need to be resolved, and as with all changes to your SEO and site code, testing is critical.
How Do I Get the Yoast SEO Plugin Upgrade?
Ask your WordPress developer or web development agency to update to the latest version to utilize the new features.
You can confirm that the update has worked by using this tool: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/
Here’s what an example article would look like before the update:
SEO is far more technically focused now than it has ever been. Having a sound website AND taking advantage of as many SEO tactics as possible has never been more important.
If you’re serious about maximizing your web presence and getting the most from your WordPress website, consider updating the Yoast SEO Plugin. With little effort, you could see a significant increase in impressions, site traffic, and search engine results.