Yoast at WordCamp Europe 2016: Holistic SEO
Did you know that 26% of all websites are on WordPress? Globally, WordPress has been the favorite platform of millions of users, with 76.5 million blogs currently relying on WP to organize and distribute their content. This content management system is dominating the market, and if you are one of the WordPress enthusiasts, then you’ve probably heard about WordCamps as well.
WordCamps are locally-organized conferences covering everything about WordPress. Developers and enthusiasts from all over the world organize this type of events so that they could share insights and educate people about this popular platform. The first WordCamp was in San Francisco, in 2006. Today, WordCamps may variate in size, but no matter the size the turnout is always great.
The latest WordCamp was held in Vienna, Austria. From June 24th to 26th, more than 2000 people visited this event to find out more about the best WP practices, latest plugins and future updates that we can expect from WordPress.
— Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) June 24, 2016
Among many familiar speakers (including Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress), one couple (an actual couple) certainly drew a lot of attention. Joost de Valk, the founder and the CEO of Yoast, and Marieke van de Rak, Yoast’s strategic manager and Joost’s wife, held a lecture on effective SEO strategies. Their talk was focused on their approach to search engine optimization, based on their rich experience in SEO. Apparently, this holistic approach, that they vigorously promote for years now, can actually guarantee positive results if executed correctly.
Yoast’s Holistic SEO
If you are using WordPress CMS, then you are probably well aware of what Yoast is. This plugin is capable of automating every step of the on-site SEO process, except the actual writing of content, naturally (but you can actually hire their team of writers to perform this task as well). With years of experience, Yoast managed to become an absolute leader within this niche, with more than 4 million people relying on Yoast plugin to optimize their content. The company even suffered because of their massive popularity and this plugin was maliciously used by a team of hackers that infiltrated numerous websites last year.
However, one thing that cannot be disputed is the fact that when it comes to on-site optimization – Yoast is irreplaceable.
In Joost’s opinion, the world of SEO is changing rapidly, and what Yoast is focused on are solely long term results. The Holistic approach that he suggests is concentrated on “everything,” because “everything” is SEO. In his talk, Joost explained that Google has become scaringly good at indexing every piece of information available. Consequently, if a person wants to optimize a website for search engines, the only thing that they should be focused on is their final goal.
Evidently, Google’s algorithm still relies heavily on multiple factors. Without proper keyword research, you will never have a properly optimized website. But stuffing keywords throughout your content in order to get higher rankings is a practice that will get your website penalized very fast. Over the years, Google became very good at understanding the actual context of the written text, and if your content is poorly written, or if you insist on such malpractices like keyword-stuffing, well – you’re gonna have a bad time.
So the thing that you have to focus on in order to improve your SEO is user experience because that is everything that Google cares about. Therefore, when you are designing your SEO strategy, you have to think about what are you offering to the end user. What your visitor can get from accessing your website, and how can that be beneficial for them.
In Joost’s opinion, if you have a clear picture of your end goal, developing a fruitful strategy isn’t that hard. Naturally, you have to mind your technical aspects, especially the safety of users, UX/UI and, notably, your written content. From their rich experience, Yoast suggests that a well-written content is structured like this:
- One idea per paragraph
- One core sentence
- Your content is not too long
- No needless white space between paragraphs
All of these elements actually influence your SEO, and you should bear in mind that this structure is something that Google is looking for when it reaches your website. So if you want Google crawlers to index your content properly, you have to make sure that you have a clear idea about your end goal in mind, and you should present it through a well written, and well-structured content. Sounds simple in theory, but it is far from it in practice.
At the very end, it seems that we are all trying to teach the machine to think like we do. The problem is, we don’t think the same, and some irregularities are bound to happen. But with Yoast’s Holistic SEO approach, and with the help of their plugin, your WordPress website will rank for wanted keywords in no time.