How visible is your church on the web? We’ve talked about SEO before, but it’s never a bad time to reinforce why it’s so important. A strong SEO strategy brings visitors to your website and keeps your site visible to people searching for relevant topics. SEO stands for search engine optimization and according to Moz, it’s essentially the practice of “increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, as well as exposure to your brand, through non-paid (also known as ‘organic’) search engine results.”
How do you optimize your search engine placement? The answer begins in developing strong content that is relevant and valuable to your audience. There are tools to help you optimize your content (blog posts, website pages) for SEO. One such tool is the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress.
This plugin analyzes your content and offers suggestions to optimize it for the best SEO results. Let’s examine Yoast’s features in more detail.
Yoast allows you to set a target keyword for a piece of content (a blog post for example). This keyword should be something relevant to the topic of your post and something that your audience is searching for. There is so much to learn about keyword optimization but the essential foundation is a good strong keyword that relates your content to what your audience is searching for.
After you set your target keyword, Yoast analyzes your content to determine if you’re using that keyword sufficiently in your text and headings. Yoast grades your content with a colored button: red means improvements need to be made, orange denotes an ‘OK’ status but green button means you’ve truly optimized your content for SEO and it’s ready to go!
Yoast also analyzes your content for readability. They offer stylistic suggestions to enhance your reader’s experience. Yoast looks at categories like active v.s. passive voice, sentence and paragraph length, and how well your sentences flow together. Readability is graded with the same scale as your keyword.
The ability to preview how your link will display on the Google search page adds another benefit to using Yoast. It allows you to customize your link heading for optimal length and provide a ‘meta description’ to draw potential readers in with a preview of your content. Because you’re able to customize these elements, you have the chance to address your audience briefly, straight from the Google search page. This can come in handy when convincing your audience to read your blog article or view one of your web pages.
The premium version of Yoast allows includes a Facebook preview which allows you to optimize the way your link displays on Facebook.
Consistency Brings Results
If you commit to consistently developing strong SEO content using Yoast, the potential for your content to reach more people grows. There is a lot more that goes into SEO than keyword optimization and link previews but that’s a great place to start. Getting your content ready to go with SEO, (two green buttons for keyword and readability) is an awesome first step towards driving more traffic to your website.
Furthermore, the Yoast SEO plugin helps you get more relevant traffic to your site. You want to connect with your audience, not just anyone. It’s important to use Yoast to make your content visible to the right people.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO. Watch the free webinar recording below for more information on best practices to get the most out of your website.