SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization. It’s the practice of optimizing your web pages to make them reach a high position in the search results of Google or other search engines. SEO focuses on improving the rankings in the organic – aka non-paid – search results. If you have a website and you want to get more traffic, it should be part of your marketing efforts.
Yoast SEO gives you an overall score for Readability and SEO. Green dots mean “good”, orange dots mean “OK”, red dots mean “needs improvement”.
Characteristics of a good meta description
There are a couple of characteristics that a good meta description should have. We’ll sum up the most important ones.
- It can be up to 155 characters.
Every now and then, Google changes the length. Nowadays, you’ll mostly see meta descriptions of up to 155 characters, with some outliers of 300 characters. We would advise you to get crucial information in the first 155 characters of your meta description.
- It should match the content
This is important. Google will expose the meta descriptions that trick the visitor into clicking. It might even penalize the site that created the meta description. In addition, it will probably increase bounce rates and is a bad idea for that reason alone. You want the meta description to match the content on the page.
- It should contain the focus keyphrase.
If the search keyphrase matches text in the meta description, Google will be more inclined to use that meta description and highlight it in the search results. This will instantly show the relation between your link and the search query.
- The meta description should be unique.
Every page should be unique, so the same should be true for every meta description. If a user reads your meta description, he or she should have a clear view of what is to be found on that page. If both descriptions are the same, there is no way to determine which result fits better, for the user or for Google.
The content analysis in Yoast SEO assesses crucial aspects of the posts and pages you create. In particular, it checks how SEO-friendly and easy to read your content is.
Make those synonyms work for you.
Google has come a long way since the early days of SEO. It’s now able to understand texts and take related concepts and synonyms into account. It can recognize related entities. All this is to be able to serve its users the best result. And part of being the best result is making sure your texts are easy to read. Google wants to serve readable texts. So make sure you deliver! Think of synonyms for your keyword or keyphrase and use them to your advantage. Take a moment to come up with a few alternatives for your keyword. But also think of topics that are strongly related to your keyword. And the use of synonyms and related keyphrases helps Google understand the context of your text which increases your chances to rank!
In Yoast SEO there is also a feature that helps you find related keyphrases. You can add those related keyphrases to the SEO analysis.
Social previews in Yoast SEO visualize what your post will look like when shared on Facebook or Twitter. You can see right away if your image fits and whether your title and description will display well.
Facebook preview in Yoast SEO
This preview tab also allows you to edit the way your Facebook post is shown when shared. Our plugin makes it possible to change your social image, title, and description right there in your preview. This makes your social media optimization a lot quicker and easier, as you won’t have to leave your post to make these changes.
Twitter preview in Yoast SEO
For Twitter, the functionality is quite similar to Facebook. Simply click that tab to preview how your page is shown when it gets shared to Twitter. By default, the plugin uses the title, description and image right there in your preview.