Frequently Asked Questions About Yoast

In this Video, Yoast answers FAQS related to search engine optimization (SEO). In order to help you learn better, I follow each with my commentary, experience and observations as a digital marketing strategist working in many niches.  

What should I do if my optimized phrase keyword is on more than one page.

Yoast answers that in the case of “bridal makeup course” and “makeup course” that each stand the case of ranking. While the fear is that “bridal makeup course” could then outrank the goal page for “makeup course”, the benefit could be two ranking pages. 

The concept is that if each page is a quality page and the content is laser targeted and specific enough to address each, then each could rank independently of one another for the same term. You could potentially earn two rankings in the SERP (search engine results page). 

In addition, linking bridal makeup course to makeup course could additionally add a boost in the ranking by giving Google a directive through the link that “makeup course” is the goal page for that keyword. 

This being said, I myself am experiencing issues of cannibilization (where one page steals the keyword) of the head term by a child page optmiized for a long tail version of the same keyword. 

In my case, the goal keyword is “las vegas zip code”, yet the longtail child pages “southwest las vegas zip code” and “northwest las vegas zip code” for example are ranking for the head term and not the main page itself regardless of the child pages linking up to the goal page as a “directive”. 

– Lori Ballen

What’s fascniating is that as I work to rank the main page, and redirect the incorrect ranking child page to the parent page, the keyword is simply bouncing to another child page. 

You can watch this series on Youtube here.

Why do I need to use a stop word in my focus keyword for optimization? 

Who is Lori Ballen?

Lori Ballen is standing with a smile and holding on to her leather jacket

Lori Ballen has spent decades working in the marketing space and specializing in ranking on the search engines. Her work in the real estate veritical, specifically is well known and respected.

Her online marketing training course entitled The Ballen Method provides at home training on SEO, content marketing, blogging, video optimization, website development, pay per click marketing and social media strategies.

Most search engines like Google do not consider extremely common words in an effort to speed up search results or to save disk space. These excluded words are known as “Stop Words”. View a list here.

While one WordPress Plugin such as Yoast may suggest to remove stop words from the slug or add to the optimization, another will tell you the opposite. 

At one time, Yoast (WordPress Plugin for SEO Best Practices) used to automatically remove the stop words in the slug in an effort to clean up the URL.  This is no longer the case. 

Take this blog post for example, the title is Frequently Asked Questions About Yoast and WordPress automatically gave it the slug: frequently-asked-questions-about-yoast (slug is anything that comes after the top level domain name and the slash)

Some SEO “gurus” advise on keeping them in the URL even if Google does ignore them. It’s more of a “best practice”. 

For me, I focus on a short URL with no more than 5 words. Sometimes, I keep them, and other times I don’t.  When it’s for the user readability, I include the stop word. – Lori Ballen

You are going to want to test and measure for your own results. 

Stop words generally won’t hurt your SEO. But it is preferred to avoid stop words in order to avoid lengthy title or URL. Stop words can waste space. This is more concerning when the search result will not display your URL, title or description completely due to lengthy content. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid stop words from On-Page SEO factors like URLs, titles, and descriptions whenever possible without compromising readability.

searchenginenation.com

Copypress.com says: Content is a lot about quality and readability. You should be writing for your reader (your target audience) and not just for search engines. Because of this, it’s not always the best tactic to use an exact SEO keyword — and to use it over and over — when it will make your content awkward and when it tells the audience you’re writing for SEO instead of for them.

Copyress Continues by saying: Avoid the use of stops words in the following:

  • Page title tags
  • Web page URLs
  • Meta descriptions (Do not compromise readability)
  • Image Alt text
  • Keywords (If applicable)

Can I bulk copy the Meta descriptions to the excerpt field and is it duplicate content?

Using the Yoast SEO PlugIn, this is actually quite easy. Start, actually, with the excerpt and create a short, compelling excerpt. This is a call to action for the click (or continue) that tells the user why they should read the article. 

The excerpt concept is perfect to use as a metadescription, rather than the other way around. 

Lori Ballen explains how to use the excerpt code in Yoast to dynamically create a unique metadescription

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