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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[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.
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.