Coronavirus support and digital marketing advice

Archive by Carolina Abaunza Moreno

Yoast SEO: Best Practice Guide for 2021

06Jan

Yoast: it may sound like a breakfast option (does anyone else get ‘yoghurt on toast’ vibes? No … just me then) but it’s actually a useful SEO tool for WordPress websites.   

Many website managers will be familiar with the Yoast plugin as a way to add a meta title and meta description to their pages – but did you know that it can do so much more than that? Our superb SEO team has created this useful guide that outlines the best features and our recommended practices for getting the most of your Yoast SEO plugin.

What is Yoast SEO?

Yoast is a WordPress plugin that helps to optimise websites for search engines. This plugin has many features which can simplify the SEO optimisation process of any company’s website.

8 Tips for Yoast SEO

As you might know – and if you don’t, don’t worry, we got you! – WordPress now has two options for editing: Classic Editor and Block Editor. You can choose to switch from one to another, but we’ve given our recommendations for both below.

Without any further ado, here are our top tips to use the Yoast SEO plugin to the fullest.

  • Install Yoast SEO in WordPress
  • Aid On Page Optimisation
  • Solve SEO issues through Search Appearance
  • No-index pages
  • Set up your media and taxonomies
  • Avoid duplicate content issues
  • Set up breadcrumbs
  • Understand your RSS feed settings
  • Further optimise your website using Yoast SEO

1. Install Yoast SEO in WordPress

The Configuration Wizard is a feature that helps to set up the plugin. It matches the needs of a specific site and makes sure that the configuration is up to date. You can find it under the ‘Dashboard’ tab. In ‘Dashboard’ you’ll also be able to check for potential problems and see all sorts of notifications, such as version updates.

2. Aid On Page Optimisation

There are a number of features within the plugin that provide feedback and suggestions about how SEO friendly the page content is.

Classic Editor: You can enable and disable the options according to your needs. Here is our recommended configuration and the reasoning behind it.

  • SEO analysis: This provides feedback about the state of optimisation of the content, so it can rank for the desired key phrase/keywords. It also points out elements that are not directly related to the key phrase, such as internal linking opportunities.
  • Readability analysis: This provides feedback about elements such as length, tense and use of sentences, headings, subheadings, etc., in order to determine if the copy is readable. Yoast provides recommendations for any aspects that need to be improved.
  • Cornerstone content: A page designated as ‘cornerstone content’ is allotted more authority within your site, which gives it a better chance of ranking higher and getting more organic traffic. This feature allows you to mark and filter cornerstone content on your website.
  • Text link counter: This feature allows you to identify how many links a post has. It shows the number of internal text links coming from your post as well as the ones linking to it.
  • XML Sitemaps:  XML sitemaps are automatically generated by the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin. However, we think it’s worth doing some manual work by going to SEO > Search Appearance to make sure they are in place and working correctly.
  • Ryte Integration: This feature allows you to check on a weekly basis if your site is indexable by search engines and will notify you when it’s not.
  • Admin bar menu: This feature presents useful links to different third-party tools for analysing pages.
  • Security: This section is specified for being only for editors and administrators. It allows users to remove posts from the search results or to change the canonicals as well as the schema meta data.
  • Usage tracking: This feature allows users to track data about your site in order to improve the plugin.
  • Rest API Head Endpoint: This feature provides all the meta data needed for a specific URL, and it is often the only Yoast feature that users regularly take advantage of.

Block Editor:  The Block Editor is slightly different in view but presents almost the same features as the Classic Editor.

We’ve said almost, because in the Block Editor menu, you’ll also find:

  • Focus keyword phrase: The phrase that you want the post to rank for needs to be added in this field. In order to identify which key phrases to use you will need to carry out keyword research. When the focus key phrase is added under the SEO analysis tab, you’ll be able to get key findings about how to use the key phrase more effectively.
  • SEO Analysis: Once the key phrase is added, the key findings you’ll see will include the key phrase position and density within the content, as well as areas of improvement and good results.
  • Google preview: The preview displays how the site would look like in the SERPs, when using Google and other search engines. By using the snippet preview, it is possible to add the title and meta description.

3. Solve SEO issues through Search Appearance

This feature allows you to make adjustments to how the site will look in search engines. To access this feature, go to Search Appearance > General.

In this section, you’ll find features for rewriting titles, adding title separators, and allocating the title and description for both the front page and blog page. However, we recommend to focus on:

Knowledge Graph & Schema: this allows you to show meta data on your site. It is intended to appear in Google’s Knowledge Graph, where you can select from being an organisation or a person and add information and assets accordingly.

Pro tip: If you are serving local customers, you can optimise your site for your targeted audience with the local SEO plugin.

In the ‘Content Type’ section, you’ll be able to modify the settings for Post, Pages, Case Studies, Jobs and Services. The main aim here is to determine if you want to show those pages in search results, and also to show SEO settings for the posts.

4. No-index pages

This is a useful tool for non-technical web managers to prevent pages from appearing in the search results. This is useful because it allows you to have control access to your site, page by page.

You’ll need to go to Search Appearance > Content Types.

In this section you’ll find different settings that allow you to specify what the default search appearance of your content should be per type.

Eg. Services – You can choose if you want this content to appear in search results and what the description should be.

5. Set up your media and taxonomies

The media section allows you to save an image/video and create an attachment URL to redirect them to the media item itself. This is recommended practice as usually the attachments pages are empty.

The Taxonomies feature allows you to select whether you want different items such as categories, tags, formats, services and sectors. For categories only  it allows you to keep or remove the prefix /category/.

6. Avoid duplicate content issues

When running a single author blog, it’s important to be aware of possible duplicate content issues. To avoid this, you can disable the author archives to redirect them to your home page instead or add a noindex,follow to it, so it won’t show up in the search results. You can also manage this for your ‘Date archive settings.

7. Set up breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs play an important role for SEO as they allow Google to understand the structure of your site, as well as helping users to know where they are in your website.

That’s why it’s important to enable them within your pages and customise them with separators, anchor text and a prefix for the search page.

8. Understand your RSS feed settings

The RSS feature automatically adds links back to your blog and blog posts, which ultimately helps search engines identify your site as the original source of content.

We hope that this guide has opened your eyes to all the features that the Yoast SEO plugin offers for your WordPress website. If you need further advice, don’t hesitate to contact us – we’d love to help you reach your SEO goals!

This Week in My Newsfeed: Carolina

08Apr

Carolina, our Marketing and PR Assistant, is here to share what she found in her social newsfeeds this week in the hopes she can bring some insight into what’s currently going on… and maybe even inspire you! 

Game Changer Apps: Productivity, Self-Care and Mental Health

We are going through challenging times. The global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus has changed the way we go about our daily lives, from our work environment to the way we interact and communicate with each other. This situation is undeniably impacting us in a variety of different ways – that’s why it’s important, now more than ever, to take care of ourselves and look for different ways to keep our motivation and spirits up.

Forest: Stay focused, be present

For many of us, our workplace environment has changed drastically. Now you might find yourself working from home and it might be quite challenging to keep yourself focused and productive throughout the day. Personally, I found Forest a good way to set daily milestones, track how I’m spending my time and keep myself focused in a fun way.

Check out our blog post on how to stay sane and productive while working from home for more tips.

Self-care and mental health

The way we think and feel about ourselves and the environment around us can impact our daily activities and overall productivity, from keeping ourselves physically active to nourishing our thoughts and having a good mindset. Every effort we put towards achieving our objectives, no matter how small, counts.

Fabulous and Headspace are my go-to self-care app recommendations. Fabulous allows you to build morning and evening rituals, provides tips for healthy eating and maintaining an exercise routine, boosts your motivation and more. Headspace provides guided meditation programmes and tips on how to sleep soundly. I can’t think of a better app combination for self-care and looking after my mental health!

Community Efforts: How to Help Small Businesses During a Crisis

It’s been very comforting seeing the community pull together to support all the small businesses out there that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Independent came out with a very interesting article about different ways we can help local businesses during these challenging times.

Here are my top three suggestions:

  • Buy locally: With the government’s social distancing policy in place, it might become easier for many of us to support small shops around our places of residence
  • Support on social media: Recently a lot of businesses have been forced to shut down and an encouraging message, a good review or a shout out post are all nice ways to show your support
  • Join online classes: Taking part in an online workout session, yoga class or training seminar is a great way to show solidarity, provide support and keep your local businesses afloat.

Virtual Meeting Platforms

As our best means of communication are now virtual, it’s very handy to know which platforms are best. I’ve come across some good platforms to help us feel close to one another, whether you’re using them for work conferences, meetings, parties or just a quick chit chat with your friends. My top recommendations are:

  • Zoom: Zoom features clear audio and visuals, virtual backgrounds and recording capabilities, providing a pleasant user experience
  • Microsoft Teams: This platform is ideal for work; it is an efficient and accessible collaboration tool that can accommodate up to 300 users at a time

Thanks for reading what caught my attention this week. I hope this blog post can provide some tips and inspiration during these unprecedented times. I would love to hear any of your recommendations as well! Leave a comment and let me know.

The Impact of Social Media on Users’ Wellbeing and Mental Health

18Dec

It’s well known that social media platforms have been at the forefront of fast and effective communication for a while now, providing easy access to information and a space where people around the world can voice their thoughts and opinions. While this is incredibly positive in many ways, it can potentially have some negative repercussions.

 

I’m Carolina, Passion’s Marketing and PR Assistant. The purpose of this blog post is to shed some light on how social media is influencing lives, to touch on topics such as mental health, physical and mental wellbeing and to inspire businesses to become part of the conversation and include positive messages in their social strategies. Read on to learn about the role social media plays in wellbeing, mental health and more.

 

The Numbers Speak for Themselves

Many studies show that social media can easily promote depression, anxiety, cyberbullying and more. However, professionals who are in charge of a business’s socials can have a positive influence.

  • This year, nearly 83% of UK internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 owned a desktop or laptop, giving them easy access to social media platforms
  • In the UK alone, 45 million people (67% of the population) use social media, which shows how regularly users can view content on their socials, whether it is positive or negative
  • Those who work in social media can help to lessen the amount of negative content out there – as these professionals represent brands who are often seen as trustworthy and authoritative, they arguably have a responsibility to spread positive messages

Wellness and Mental Health Patterns

It’s really important for businesses and brands to spread information responsibly. Here are some topics to consider when spreading messages to your audiences and employees and how you can improve your approach:

  • Diversity: Individuals, especially teenagers and young adults, tend to compare themselves to others. When they don’t see people who look like them (i.e. the same race, body type, etc.), this can lead to negative thoughts and low self-esteem. Showing lots of different people who look very different is a great way to combat these negative comparisons and promote diversity.
  • Mental health: This might be one of the most important factors of all. Being mentally healthy includes feeling good about ourselves, feeling we are in a good place in our lives and feeling as though we are spending our time well. Businesses can do their part to help improve mental health by building awareness, looking after their employees and supporting each other. After all, a healthy mind leads to a healthy life, and that should be a priority.
  • Positive habits: Promote healthy habits such as eating well, maintaining a good sleeping schedule, staying physically active and generally taking care of yourself. Social media channels can influence your followers, so make sure your influence is positive!

How to Spread Information Responsibly: The Marketer’s Point of View

Social media has changed the way we communicate: we are surrounded by spectators and our life is the principal attraction. In order to share knowledge and information with an audience, it is necessary to develop delivery methodologies that fulfil the consumer’s needs.

 

Here are some useful points:

 

  1. Be real: Establish a connection with your audience. One of the best relationship-building strategies for businesses is showing that there is a human behind the screen. Try interacting with your audience, replying to their feedback and maintaining a conversation. Employee testimonials that share company culture can also boost the credibility level.
  2. Sourcing: Is the information you are proving reliable? Is the source trustworthy? When sharing information online, it’s vital to have high quality sources so you are sharing content that is actually useful to audiences.
  3. Have a purpose: Show that your business has a heart by supporting charitable causes. Perhaps you can start a food drive or donate clothing. Users tend to engage even more with businesses that are willing to become part of the change.

Being aware of what information businesses provide to users is vital. Content that is engaging, exciting and valuable is important, but if you align it with the issues explored in this blog post, you and your business could have a positive impact on human lives.

 

Our In-House Mental Health Approach

Discussing mental health with your employer can be scary, but at Passion Digital we want to help reduce the stigma. We are willing and able to discuss mental health in private and without judgement.

 

Our mental health initiative has improved our employees’ wellbeing at work. We care about supporting mental health in the workplace and allowing others to do the same.

 

We're recognised by

Digital Marketing Agency London +Mike Grindy