The term SEO has taken on a lot of unintended meanings since it began. Getting to the core of its true meaning is “Search Engine Optimization” – which is in fact to optimize your website’s pages so that they have the needed level of keywords in their title, URL and content to be able to be found on Google and the other search engines if someone were to type those terms into Google.
SEO will not guarantee you high placement on Page 1 of that term, but it will put you in the running. And learning how to set up a web “Page” or blog “Post” correctly will make a huge difference down the road when your pages and posts continue to work for you and can in fact become the “gift that keeps on giving.”
So, how do you know that you’ve done a good job at optimizing your content?
At HoopJumper, we use a special program in our v.6 websites called Yoast SEO for WordPress. This is a powerful plugin that helps improve the chances that your site’s content will be discovered by search engines.
In an Internet world where the hottest real estate terms have already been bought up by the Zillows and Trulias with their millions of dollars of deep pockets, making sure you are doing a couple of simple steps to make sure your posts are even allowed on the same racetrack is a no-brainer and something you should take a few minutes to learn.
The plugin “goes the extra mile” to make your WordPress content more accessible. It automatically adds OpenGraph meta tags to your content based on the keywords and descriptions you enter.
USING YOAST SEO FOR WORDPRESS
If you login to your WordPress dashboard and then navigate to your blog “Posts” you will see a column marked “SEO” with what we will call a “light” (a colored dot) showing, like a traffic light. Only this light has 6 colors.
WHAT DO THE SEO COLORS MEAN?
If you see a Green light, that means that your page has been optimized “Good” was the main “Focus Keyword”
Green = Good
Yellow = OK
Orange = Poor
Red = Bad
Gray = N/A (Non-Applicable)
Blue = Post is set to No-Index (purposely hidden from search engines)
Green is obviously the best. To be green, you need to follow all the rules set up and have a substantial amount of well written content in that Post.
Sometimes, there is not enough content (text) to reasonably add to a page or post so the best you might get is the yellow which is “OK.” Almost always you can get an “OK” – and this should be your goal for all pages on your site, with a few exceptions.
In your website are some “Thank You” pages that are set up for when a Visitor submits a form on your website and are redirected to this page to let that person know their form submission was successful. These “Thank You” pages do not need to rate high on SEO and it is ok for them to be orange, red or gray.
HOW DO I MAKE MY POSTS YELLOW OR GREEN?
In your WordPress Dashboard, navigate to “Posts” then click the desired “Post” to enter in “Edit” mode.
Scroll down until you see the “WordPress SEO by Yoast” box underneath the “Layout Settings.”
Here are 2 examples from our power agent Angela May who is in the top 1% of her Omaha market. Angela got a green light for this blog post:
Snippet Preview: This shows you what your Post might look like on Google. The fields below will help you change this to work better for you.
Focus Keyword: IMPORTANT: Every “Post” should have a main “Keyword” or “Keyphrase” that this post is about. Without this, your efforts to build useful SEO content on your site will be wasted.
SEO Title: You Post Title must include the Focus Keyword. Must be 62 characters or less. If you go over, it will tell you here. Then make it shorter until the red warning text disappears.
Meta Description: You are limited to 156 characters here. Take a minute and enter something short that if someone saw the description in Google they would want to click on the link to go to the web page. It needs to “tease” them into clicking to the page, not tell them the answer. Like the SEO Title, you are limited to how many characters which is 156 characters or less. If you go over you will see a warning in red text that will alert you to shorten the Meta Description.
PAGE ANALYSIS (tab)
To see the factors that may be keeping your page from scoring a Green or Yellow status, click on the “Page Analysis” tab. Don’t be alarmed to see red or orange items in this area, every page will have some, but use this as a guide to help you understand what will help you ,make your Post a better match for what Google wants to see for your selected “Focus Keyword.”
You will not normally need to use this tab, but if for some reason you did not want your page to be on Google, select the “Nofollow” option next to “Meta Robots Follow” – and this will give your post a “Blue Light.”
Sometimes, you will want to tweak your Post to look different in Facebook. You can have a different Title, Description and even a different Image by going to this tab.
I’ve done my best to make this an easy overview for busy Agents who are wanting to optimize their posts one at a time as you move forward. If you wish to delve further into the real nuts and bolts of using this great tool, here is Yoast’s Definitive Guide To Higher Rankings at https://yoast.com/articles/wordpress-seo/
If you or your assistant are going through the time to create a post in the first place, using this tool will add a few a minutes to your post and will more than exponentially multiply the effectiveness of your work making it work for you for years to come.