SEO Secrets with Joost de Valk


with Joost de Valk


Like many other great plugins, Yoast started as a hobby. Today it’s grown into a full-fledged company of 50 people, and it is considered the premiere SEO plugin on the market. Here to talk about the latest in SEO trends (including video SEO) and the latest in Yoast’s offerings is the founder and creator, Joost de Valk.

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Show Notes

[Note: Some of the video footage gets a bit funky in this podcast – Skype wasn’t having a good day. Audio is fine though.]

As of right now, there are 6.5 million people with the Yoast plugin, and that number keeps growing. But it wasn’t until he had reached a million users that Joost de Valk began to build a company around it, and even then it was at his wife’s suggestion!

That was about 5 years ago, and the company continues to evolve and grow every day. With Joost’s background in marketing and development, he and his team are at the forefront of SEO and innovation. In fact, Joost and his staff speak to Google’s search consulting and search quality teams on a weekly basis. The Yoast team wants to be sure they are always finding ways to better serve their users.

On this episode of WP Elevation, Joost and I discuss the latest in video SEO and how the other tools in his product suite can help you. He also explains the biggest benefits of the premium version of Yoast and whether or not we should optimize for multiple keywords on our sites’ pages.

As far as that last topic – whether we should optimize for one keyword per page or multiple keywords and phrases – Joost said it depends. When you have two keywords/phrases that tie in closely together, and they both feature prominently in a lengthy article, then it’s okay to use both of them. It’s also okay if you have a cornerstone piece of content on your site and again have two keywords/phrases that tie together, then you can also optimize both of them.

With the Yoast premium version, you can use up to 5 keywords, but he doesn’t suggest having 5 separate keywords. However, you can have 5 synonyms as long as you properly optimize for them.

When I asked him what we should do if we cannot optimize an entire site for our clients, Joost said to start by reworking and focusing on 3 or 4 cornerstone articles – the ones with the most important keywords. Optimize them, make them really good, and then go through the other posts and make sure they all link back to your cornerstone articles.

Another frequent question I hear is about the bare minimum WordPress web developers should be doing in terms of SEO. Joost says it goes beyond just installing a plugin, and in fact, turning on a plugin is just the bare necessity.

While going beyond that is vital you also have to remember that SEO takes time. He jokingly tells people that SEO stands for Seriously Effortful Optimization because good SEO takes a lot of time.

Joost thinks a web developer should deliver a website that, at the bare minimum, is fast and user-friendly and has a site structure that is meaningful. By meaningful, he means that if you start a website about a new topic or for a new company you should start with keyword research and then create a site structure that is well-thought out. Otherwise, you’re going about the design process the wrong way.

We wrap up with our discussion with a chat about what’s coming up in Yoast’s future. Be sure to tune in for that and so much more on today’s edition of the podcast.

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Cath Hughes

Cath Hughes

Coach at WP Elevation, Sydney-based designer, WordPress consultant and WordPress tutor she is an active member of the WordPress community here in Australia, and online. She loves helping clients hit the ground running with their new sites and is passionate about producing quality designs with measurable results. She’s also a mum, a boss lady, a roller skater and a member of several creative freelancing groups that like to call meetups to drink wine and expense their uber rides. Cath has been part of the WP Elevation community since late 2013 and continues to build her own business when and as she needs using the blueprint as a guide for any growth spurts. She’s absolutely overjoyed at yet another opportunity to engage in the WP Elevation community and is looking forward to encouraging and inspiring you to succeed, no matter your starting point.

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