SEO For Artists – Get Your Art In Google, Google Images, And An Intro To Getting In Wikipedia (This Is, If You Have Enough Sources)

For artists, SEO isn’t too complex.

SEO for artists usually means populating Google and Google Images when people search your artist name or the type of artwork you make. This means optimizing your website, YouTube channel, and social media profiles to rank high for keywords around your work. For galleries, they usually want to rank for “art gallery” in their city as well as their represented artist names.

Artist Rene Schuler

I will show you how to do all these (and how to get into Wikipedia if you have enough sources). We’ll use René Romero Schuler as an example, an artist I’ve been working with for 5+ years. I spent over 2 days on this tutorial. It’s a bit lengthy, but follow these steps and you should get very good results (and if for some reason you don’t, leave me a comment and I will help you).

How Google Populates Their Results – Google pulls content from different parts of the web. Your website is one, social profiles are another, YouTube videos and thumbnails, Wikipedia, and so forth. Put it all together and that’s what you see in Google. This just means we need to create content in the right places, label images before uploading them, and tweak a few things. This will help you populate Google with YOUR content. That’s what SEO for artists is all about.

If You’re Using WordPress – I recommend installing the Yoast SEO Plugin which I reference throughout this tutorial. To do this, log into your WordPress dashboard, go to your Plugins menu (on the left), then search for Yoast SEO. Install and activate it – we’ll get into it later. It won’t affect your design, and you can always delete the plugin and revert back if you choose.

My Background – I’m the #1 ranked WordPress SEO Consultant in Google, have 3,000 visitors/day, started my career designing WordPress sites for artists, and am Google Analytics certified. Not trying to sell you anything, just assuring you this guide is actually going to work.

 

1. Dissecting Google

In this article I will use René Romero Schuler as an example.
René was the first artist I did work for, is still a client, and a great friend.

Rene Schuler

Search her name in Google and this is what you’ll see…

SEO-For-Artists

Search her name in Google Images and she also dominates…

google-image-seo-for-artists

 

2. Ranking Your Website #1

Use Your Name In The Domain – using an exact match domain (www.yourname.com) is the easiest way to rank #1 for your name. As long as you build out your website with your portfolio, bio, statement, events, and other important pages – you should eventually rank in the top result. If you just created your website it will take some time, but don’t wait around. You’ll want to give Google other “signals” by following additional steps listed in this tutorial.

exact-match-domain

Use Your Name In The Homepage Snippet – each page on your website has a snippet that appears in search results (see below). This consists of your SEO title (the link) and your meta description (the longer summary). Instead of using the default snippet generated by WordPress (or whatever website builder you’re using) you should write these yourself.

Here’s what the snippet looks like…

Homepage-Search-Engine-Snippet

To edit these in WordPress, make sure you have the Yoast Plugin installed (Plugins → Add New → Yoast). Then in your WordPress dashboard, go to SEO → Search Appearance → General.

Search-Appearance-Yoast-SEO

Now go to the “General” tab and you will see fields where you can edit these…

Search-Appearance-Settings-Yoast

Or (in my case), you will see a link to your homepage. Click it to go to your homepage, then scroll down to the Yoast section and click on the “snippet preview” (see below). Here’s where you write them. When you’re done, update the page, then give Google 1-5 days to crawl your site and show these. Other website builders will have a similar process of writing snippets.

seo-for-artists-with-yoast

No Text / Unreadable Text – if there’s no text on the page, all Google sees are your images (which I’ll cover in step 3). However even without text, you SHOULD still be able to rank #1 for your name. But art galleries wanting to rank for “art gallery chicago” (a more competitive keyword) should probably have some text on the page. If you do use it, avoid embedding text into images or using flash as these are unreadable to Google. If you open your website and try to copy some text, but can’t, this means it’s unreadable to Google and won’t benefit your SEO.

 

3. Google Image Optimization

If you go to René’s Google Images you can see she dominates the results (a project I did for her). But it’s actually very easy since the majority of images only come from a few sources.

Before uploading your images ANYWHERE online, always label the file name with the title of your artwork. An example would be: Alpana – 5×5 Oil On Canvas by René Romero Schuler. If your main goal is to populate Google Images when people search your name, include this in the file name. If you goal is to populate Google with a keyword related to your art, leave it out. This goes for images on your website, social media profiles, Wikipedia, and basically everywhere.

google-image-seo-for-artists

Main Social Media Profile Photo + Cover Photo Are The Ones That Rank
Your main profile picture is the one most likely to appear in Google Images, so make sure you include your name in the file name before uploading your main photo AND any covers photos.

Create A Pinboard
Rene’s pinboard is around 20% of her Google Image results . Pinterest is a high authority website so images you upload here are likely to rank high. Create an awesome pinboard with your art and maybe a few photos of you, and you’ll be dominating Google Images in no time.

artist-pinboard

Use this tutorial video which shows you how…

Optimize Images On Your Website
The images on your homepage, bio, and the FIRST image you see when you open up a portfolio page are the ones most likely to appear in Google Images. Each of these images can be “optimized” by using your artist name in the image file name and alternative text…

Image File Name. This is what the image is labeled on your computer before you upload it. Anytime you upload an image to the web, the file name will be associated with that image. To help search engines associate an image with your artist name, I recommend this format:

Artwork Description – Your Name

Alternative Text. Alternative text is also used to describe images to search engines. WordPress does not do this automatically, so you will need to use a plugin like Automatic Alt Attributes (however, this only adds alt text to new images in the visual editor, so you will need to add it to all other images manually). If not using WordPress, look for a field to fill out an image’s alt text, or you will have to edit the HTML to do this (send this guide to your developer if need be):

<img alt=”alternative text” src=”https://onlinemediamasters.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/image-file-name.png” width=”300″ height=”300″ />

Image Speed. There are over 20 ways to optimize images to load faster, many of which you can find in GTmetrix. Many artists don’t like to resize or compress images, but you can still cache images, remove EXIF data, lazy load images, specify the widget/height of each image, use a CDN (content delivery network) like Cloudflare/StackPath, and make sure images are served from the correct URL version (www vs. non-www and http vs. https). Images are usually the heaviest element of an artist’s website! Give my tutorial a try – it should make your site faster.

Image-Optimizations-In-GTmetrix

Upload Images To Wikimedia Commons
About 30% of Rene’s Google Images are from Wikimedia. Just sign up for Wikimedia and upload photos to Wikimedia Commons (here are full instructions). When you get to the uploading process, include your keyword (eg. your name) in each photo’s description. There is a catch; people who click the photo in Google Images will be view this image (not an actual Wikipedia page). If you have enough sources, I’ll show you how to get an actual page in step 6.

If you want to rank higher in Google Images for a keyword other than your name, go to images.google.com. Now start typing in your keyword using the underline character _ to find a specific type of flower in the dropdown menu. Generally, the more specific the keyword, the easier it will be to rank. Once you find your keyword, upload your image to the sources above (social profiles, pinboard, website…). Give it some time and ideally it will rank high. Images that are uploaded to a high authority website (like Pinterest) have a better chance of ranking high.

google-image-keywords

If you are having trouble and an image doesn’t rank high, try selecting an even more specific keyword. Generally the more specific the keyword is, the less competitive it will be. And if a keyword shows up in Google’s dropdown menu, that means people are indeed searching for it.

long-tail-artist-keywords

 

4. Social Media Profile Optimization

Why social media is important for artist SEO:

  • Social media profiles rank high in Google
  • Profile photos are usually shown in Google Images

social-media-image-optimization

The most important social networks are…

Use Your Social Media Profiles Makes Them Rank Higher
Make sure all media profiles are 100% complete and include your artwork (which can usually be categorized into albums, pinboards, etcs). Adding connections and posting ongoing updates send good signals to Google that you’re a legit person/business. If you want to populate Google with your content, using social media profiles is probably the easiest way to do that.

 

5. YouTube Video SEO

YouTube videos can also appear in Google. This is called video seo and looks like this:

YouTube SEO

  • Create your video
  • Label your video file as the keyword, then upload to Youtube
  • Design a custom thumbnail, label it with your keyword, then upload it
  • Write a nice title which should also include your keyword
  • Write a long (preferably 400+ word) description using your keyword 2-3 times
  • Don’t overdo it on the tags, but add a few
  • Get more likes, views, comments by promoting it
  • Embed it on your website (# of embeds is a ranking factor)
  • ALWAYS respond to comments as these will help it rank higher

FYI here’s an updated video of René if you want to hear her story…

 

6. Get An Artist Wikipedia Page

I’ve done quite a few of these, unfortunately Wikipedia doesn’t want the writer to have any connection to the artist, so I probably shouldn’t publicize them. But here’s how to get one.

Step 1: Gather Sources – gather links from ALL online articles you’re mentioned in. These should not be published by you (eg. your website) since that would be considered biased and against their guidelines, which I recommend skimming through. There is no perfect number of sources, but ideally it should be over 15. To find these, Google your name, scroll through the results, then start building your list. You can setup a Google Alert for when someone publishes something about you in the future. Once you have a list of sources, it’s time to write a draft.

Step 2: Write A Factual, Non-Biased Draft – look at the format of RenéLaura, and other artist Wikipedia pages. Follow a similar format: early life and background, works of art, exhibitions, collections, references, etc. It should be similar. Also notice nearly EVERY sentence is cited. You don’t have to copy/paste exact sentences from your sources, but the article should be derived from them, NOT your own words. So just do the best you can to write the article while citing your sources. Also leave out any promotional or exaggerating tone.

Step 3: Hire A Wikipedia Article Writer – it is against Wikipedia’s guidelines to publish an article about yourself (since it’s biased). You will need someone to review your draft, make sure it follows Wikipedia guidelines, and write the first draft in Wikipedia code. You can hire a Wikipedia article writer by signing up for a freelancer account then posting a job for a “Wikipedia Article Writer” (there are plenty out there). Either wait for people to apply, or search for a writer and ask high-rated people if they’re interested. Most of them are overseas, but all the ones I hired worked well for me. Just make sure they have very good reviews.

Step 4: Work With Your Wikipedia Writer To Get It Published – they will tell you if anything needs to be fixed. Just send them your draft, list of sources, and a few images if you’re including a “works” section. Thy will also need your main picture and information that shows on the right side of the page. From here, it’s just a matter of working with your writer. I am not a writer so I can’t answer too many questions about this, but your writer should be able to.

There are plenty of Wikipedia article writers out there:

Wikipedia Artile Writers

 

7. SEO For Art Galleries

If you run an art gallery I assume you want to rank high in Google for your represented artist names as well as “Art Gallery Chicago” or whatever city you’re in. Here’s how to do that…

seo-for-art-galleries

Create A Page For Each Artist – if you search “René Schuler” do you think Google will serve a page showing 20 different artists? No, you need a separate page on your site for each artist.

Optimize Your Artist Pages

  • Use the artist name as the page title
  • Ideally their portfolio should include a lot of their work
  • Label images before uploading them (as the title of the artwork)
  • Use as much unique content as possible, duplicate content isn’t good
  • Use some text on the page if possible, otherwise all Google has are images
  • Write your snippet to sound nice and include their name (as described in step 1)
  • Include unique information, why should Google show your page and not other galleries? This is a huge factor since ‘valuable’ content usually outranks the competition. Google measures how much time people spend on a page and uses it to determine a page’s rankings, so investing time in content is the #1 thing you can do.

Spruce Up Your Google My Business Page

*Google is increasingly taking into consideration activate business owners who: post on Google Posts, respond to reviews, keep special hours updated, answer questions, make it convenient for customers to take direct actions on GMB using business URLs.

Google My Business Logo

Get Reviews (Especially On Google My Business) – all you need is 1 review to get the stars.

Google-My-Business-For-Art-Galleries

Enhance Online Profiles With Moz Local – run your website through Moz Local which helps you fix incomplete, inconsistent, and duplicate profiles. Get your score up as much as you can… these profiles (called citations) are an important part of Google’s local search ranking factors.

Outsource Less Important Profiles To Whitespark – since these profiles are so important, you need more of them. You can either outsource this to Whitespark’s citation service for $4-5 per profile, or use their list of top citations by city. But you should at LEAST have 50 other profiles other than the ones in Moz Local. If you do this yourself, be sure to keep track of your logins.

Follow Google’s Local Search Ranking Factors – I covered the majority of it, but if you’re ever in doubt of how to rank higher in Google Maps and local search results, check Google’ local search ranking factors. This is reported every 2 years by Moz and is the most accurate study.

 

8. Make Your Website Load Faster

You don’t need a developer to do this…

  • Run your website through GTmetrix to see if it’s slow
  • If yes, fast hosting is the #1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide
  • View these Facebook polls of the top rated hosts to see if yours is at the bottom
  • I use SiteGround, the #1 rated host and recommended by WordPress
  • If you have a WordPress website, sign up through their WordPress hosting page
  • If you only need to host 1 website, use SiteGround’s StartUp plan which is $6.99/month
  • If you need to host multiple websites, use their GrowBig which is $9.99/month
  • SiteGround will migrate you for free (no down time, and you don’t need to do anything)
  • When done, retest your site in GTmetrix and click through pages to see the difference
  • It gets technical, but my WordPress speed guide has many other recommendations
  • If using WordPress, you can hire my developer to fix your GTmetrix report ($40/hour)

I use SiteGround and have 200ms response times with 100% GTmetrix scores and .4s Pingdom load times. Do a hosting check, run your own tests, or click through my pages to see how fast they load. They were rated the #1 host in 26 Facebook polls and are worlds better than EIG (Bluehost, HostGator), Godaddy, and bad hosts who pack too many people on the same server. They’re recommended by WordPress, do free migrations, and I use their semi-dedicated plan.

Switching To SiteGround

SiteGround Load Time Migration

Bluehost to SiteGround GTmetrix

HostGator To SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix

SiteGround Google PageSpeed Insights

100 Perfect Score On SiteGround

SiteGround Genesis

Speed Delivered By SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix Report

Reduced Load Times With SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Times

HostGator To SiteGround Migration

SiteGround Response Times On Joomla

Switched To SiteGround Hosting

SiteGround Rocket Imagify Combo

Joomla GTmetrix On SiteGround

SiteGround PageSpeed Insights

SiteGround On Joomla

SiteGround Reduced Load Times

SiteGround Speedy Hosting

New Pingdom Results On SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Time

SiteGround Response Time Improvement

2019 Hosting Poll

2017-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Elementor Hosting Recommendations

July 2019 Hosting Recommendation

WordPress-Host-Poll-Aug-2018

Shared-Hosting-Poll-2017

2019-Hosting-Poll

Go-To-Hosting-Company

WordPress-Hosting-Poll-2017

Managed-Hosting-Poll

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Best-WordPress-Hosting-Provider-Poll

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WP Friendly Hosting Poll

2016-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Favorite Hosting For Elementor

2018 Hosting Recommendations

WordPress Hosting Poll Sept 2018.png

Managed-WordPress-Hosting-Poll-2017

2019-Hosts-Poll-1

Hosting-Poll-For-Speed

WordPress-Hosting-Poll-June-1

SiteGround-Recommendation

2014-Managed-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Best-Web-Hosting-Provider-Poll

Hosting-Poll-Feb-2019

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Bluehost vs SiteGround

WordPress Web Host Poll

They give me great load times (view my GTmetrix report)…

2019-GTmetrix-Report

One of many threads

Best-Host-Conversation

Here are their plans:

SiteGround-Plans

 

Frequently Asked Questions

🎨 How do I get my art in Google Images?

Label your image file names before uploading them to your website (or anywhere else online). They should accurately describe the image and include a descriptive keyword. Each image should have a description unique to that image. Also try using Wikimedia.

🎨 How do I rank #1 for my name?

Make sure your website and social media profiles are built to establish credibility to Google. Using the Yoast SEO plugin to customize how your homepage snippet appears in Google. Getting links to your website (eg. from press releases) helps. It can take several months for new websites to rank #1 for your name, but keep creating signals for Google.

🎨 How how I get an artist Wikipedia page?

You need sources, whether they are online sources or print. Next, you need a Wikipedia article writer (not you or anyone connected with you) to write the article. That writer should be knowledgable with Wikipedia's guidelines and code. Wikipedia will flag the page if you or someone you know writes it.

🎨 How do social media profiles come into play?

Social media profiles are very important to your SEO since Google pulls images, descriptions, and other information from your social media profiles and displays them in their search results. Make sure you have a Facebook Page, Twitter, YouTube Channel, Instagram, and any other social networks you plan to post on. Even if you don't post much, just a few posts can improve your search engine branding when people Google your name.

🎨 What about SEO for art galleries?

Google has it's own set of ranking factors for Google Maps and Local SEO. To rank high for artist names, create a page for each artist with a unique description and portfolio. Use the artist name in the page title, URL, Yoast snippet, and content body. Make sure you create online profiles on Google My Business and other online directories and social profiles.

If you found my article helpful and have a friend who would also benefit from reading it, please consider sharing it with him or her. I’m glad to answer any questions you have about artist SEO, Wikipedia, and SEO in general. Just drop me a line in the comments below. Good luck!

Cheers,
Tom

Yoast SEO Premium Review – Is It Worth $89/Year? (Spoiler: I Wouldn’t Use It If I Didn’t Do WordPress SEO For My Full-Time Job)

As a full-time WordPress SEO blogger, it’s my duty to have Yoast SEO Premium.

If you want an honest Yoast SEO Premium review, it’s not worth $89/year because nothing it does directly improves SEO. The SEO analysis is useless for targeting multiple focus keywords, there are free redirect plugins, and content insights is a poor attempt to measure keyword density which barely matters. Internal linking suggestions are only for people who don’t know their content and social previews just show how your content looks on Facebook + Twitter. Plus, everything in Yoast Premium can be done with Rank Math which is free and less bloated.

I do like how the premium version automatically creates a redirects when I change permalinks (something most other redirect plugins don’t do) but that’s literally the only premium feature I use. Otherwise this premium plugin sits in my WordPress dashboard, barely used, collecting my $89/year while I write this review about how I don’t like Yoast premium. The irony of it all :/

Yoast-SEO-Premium-Review

Yoast-SEO-Premium

 

1. Keyword Optimization

Yoast SEO Premium allows you to set multiple focus keywords (up to 5) but there is a SPECIFIC STRATEGY for doing this. When you Google both keywords, the search results should be nearly identical (same search intent). To optimize for both, your primary keyword should usually be used as an exact match while your secondary keyword should be a partial match. See the example below… the trick is to sprinkle individual words from your secondary phrase in your content (specifically in your page title, Yoast SEO title, and meta description).

Since you will only be using partial matches for your secondary keyword (and Yoast only detects exact keyword matches), many of your bullets will not be green in Yoast’s SEO analysis. This is 100% normal when targeting secondary keywords, so you can ignore them.

Yoast-Multiple-Focus-Keywords

I rank #1 for both keywords using this strategy…

focus-keyword-1

focus-keyword-2

Remember to research both your primary and secondary keyword so you know they’re being searched (using Google Autocomplete) and make sure they aren’t too competitive (using Moz Bar). These are just the most basic strategies for keyword research and I suggest reading my guide on Yoast focus keywords if you want to make sure you’re selecting the best keywords.

Secondary Keywords

Secondary Focus Keyword

Tips On Targeting Multiple Focus Keywords

  • Secondary keywords must be researched (just like your primary)
  • Secondary keywords must have same search intent as the primary keyword
  • Craft your headline, SEO title, meta description to read well and include keywords
  • Partial matches for secondary keywords prevents spammy keyword stuffing
  • Ignore the SEO analysis for secondary keywords since partial matches are used

Conclusion: Yoast’s bullets only turn green when you use exact focus keywords (secondary keywords are usually used as partial matches) so the SEO analysis becomes useless for secondary keywords. It’s good for keeping track of them, not for helping optimize content.

 

2. Preview Of Your Page

Social previews show you how a page/post looks when shared on Facebook and Twitter. Yoast (the free version) allows you to upload custom images (which you will need to create) so your image looks nice when shared on these networks. As long as you’re creating these images and uploading them using Yoast, there is no need to preview the image as it will format just fine.

In the Yoast “Social” settings, enable Facebook and Twitter meta data…

yoast-facebook-meta-data

yoast-twitter-meta-data

When you edit a page or post, scroll down to Yoast and click the “share” option and you’ll see the default image probably doesn’t look good. You will see an option to upload a custom image for Facebook and Twitter – and Yoast will tell you the correct dimensions. Facebook is (1200 x 630px), Twitter is (1024 x 512px). Once you upload these images, it will look much, much nicer.

yoast-social-previews

How it looks when I share this post on Facebook…

facebook-share

Conclusion: as long as you’re uploading custom images to each page/post in Yoast’s social tab (using the “share” icon in the SEO analysis) with the correct dimensions for Facebook (1200 x 630px) and Twitter (1024 x 512px), your content will format perfectly on these social networks. There is no need to preview what the content/image looks like. But if you still want to see a preview, copy that page’s URL and paste it into a Facebook/Twitter status.

 

3. Readability Check

Readabiliy check tells you whether your sentences/paragraphs are too short, long, whether you’re using transition words, and grades you on how “well” you’re writing. Of course you shouldn’t write super long paragraphs with typos, but a tool cannot properly grade you’re writing! I never use it, and don’t find the readability analysis or flesch reading east test helpful.

Yoast-Readability-Analysis

Some features of Yoast premium you can turn on under SEO > General > Features…

Yoast-Premium-Features

 

4. Full Control Over Your Breadcrumbs

If you need a breadcrumb manager plugin, there are plenty out there. Most allow you to do what Yoast premium does, set a primary category for your post and determine the taxonomy.

 

5. No Duplicate Content

Siteliner is the easiest way to find duplicate content and is usually because you’re indexing tags/categories in your Yoast settings (for the most part, I recommend not showing these in search results). Yoast does not actually check for duplicate content – it simply lets you set a canonical URL if you have 2 URLs that show the same content (which most people don’t).

Yoast-Canonical-URL

 

6. Technical Stuff In The Background

With Yoast SEO Premium you can:

  • Edit robots.txt
  • Edit .htaccess files
  • Clean up URLs
  • Generate and update your sitemaps

You used to be able to do most of this with the free version of Yoast SEO, but now they made these a premium feature. For example, you used to be able to control which content is included in your sitemap (pages, posts, categories, tags, etc) but now Yoast makes you pay for it :/

 

7. Automatic Updates And Upgrades

Yoast says

We update the Yoast SEO plugin every 2 weeks. That way you’re sure that your website is optimized for Google’s most recent version of its algorithm.

It is completely ridiculous to think an SEO plugin will keep your website optimized when a new Google updates rolls out. For the most part, Panda/Penguin simply reward websites with high quality content/links. Yoast doesn’t analyze links to your site and (besides telling you your content is too short or has a low readability score) it also can’t say if you’re content is good. Including a video or infographic can make ALL the difference in the world when it comes to on-page SEO, yet Yoast can’t detect these. While I don’t expect any SEO plugin to detect them, it’s a bold statement to say Yoast will protect you from Google updates when clearly, this is false.

 

8. Internal Linking Suggestions

When you edit a post, Yoast Premium will show internal link suggestions on the right of the dashboard. I never use this and insert all my links manually – I’m not going to inject links just for the sake of SEO – I only use them when my readers need clarification info from a tutorial I’ve written. For this reason, I don’t use it. This feature also consumes CPU which can slow down your website/dashboard since every time you edit a page/post, Yoast pulls suggestions.

Yoast-Internal-Linking

Conclusion: internal links are great for SEO, but don’t inject them if they’re not helpful to readers. Since Yoast will check for relevant internal links each time you edit a page/post, this will increase CPU consumption. I prefer to insert links manually as it’s more personalized.

 

9. Content Insights

Content Insights show you which words you used most on a page. Keyword density barely matters, and Yoast already counts how many times you used your focus keyword in the content (the keyword density part of the SEO analysis), so why would you need this? You don’t.

Yoast-SEO-Metabox-Insights

Conclusion: do you really need to know which words you used most on a page? Keyword density barely matters and you will probably naturally talk about your topic (keyword).

 

10. Redirect Manager

Yoast SEO Premium comes with a redirect manager so you can fix crawl errors (broken URLs caused by changing permalinks, deleting pages, etc). Many websites often have 100s of these.

Instructions

  1. Verify Google Search Console with Yoast under SEO → General → Webmaster Tools
  2. Authenticate Yoast with Google Search Console under SEO → Search Console
  3. Wait a few days for the data to populate (full population often takes several weeks)
  4. Fix all crawl errors in the Search Console section using Yoast’s redirect manager

yoast-crawl-errors

yoast-redirect-manager

Redirect Types – 301 (permanent) redirect is the default, but Yoast has other options too:

yoast-redirect-types

Automatic Redirects – If you change permalinks, Yoast will now automatically create a redirect which is hands-down the best feature of the redirect manager. This does not work if you launch a new website with new permalinks, just when you change them in your dashboard.

yoast-automatic-redirect

Import Existing Redirects – if you already setup redirects through the Redirection Plugin or .htaccess, you can import these into Yoast. For the Redirection Plugin you will see an option under SEO → Tools → Import/Export → Import From Other SEO Plugins. then select the “Important From Redirection” (see below). For .htaccess follow Yoast’s redirect instructions.

yoast-redirection-import

Yoast Redirect Manager vs. Free Redirect Plugin
If you’re just looking for a simple way to fix crawl errors, you can use the free Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin. Yoast only allows you to create 1 redirect at a time while this free plugin allows 3. This can save you save a lot of time especially if you have hundreds of crawl errors.

301 Redirect Example

Conclusion: there are plenty of free redirect plugins out there, like the Quick Page/Post Redirect plugin that is easy and does a fantastic job. The only major benefit of Yoast’s, is that if you change a page’s permalink, they will automatically create a redirect to the new URL. But if you need to setup a lot of them, Yoast’s redirect manager only lets you do 1 at a time.

Redirect Manager Pros

  • Allows you to import redirects from Redirection Plugin and .htaccess
  • Comes with multiple redirect options: 301 (default), 302, 307, 410, 451

Redirect Manager Cons

  • Existing redirects from other plugins must be added manually
  • You can only setup 1 redirect at a time
  • If you have to import redirects manually, you get a notification every time you add a redirect (gets annoying)

 

11. Focus Keyword Export

Gives you an extra option in the Yoast settings (Tools > Import and Export) to export all your focus keywords, each page’s SEO/readability score, and some additional SEO information.

Yoast-Export-Focus-Keywords

Conclusion: if you’re doing an SEO audit and want to review your entire keyword list, this can save time. Otherwise you can simply go through each page and review it’s keyword(s).

 

12. 1 Year Free Access To 24/7 Support

Conclusion: I admit to never having used Yoast’s premium support, but have heard mixed opinions and that many times, they just refer you to tutorials they’ve written. They won’t configure the plugin for you or review your website – these are all paid services they offer. But if you need a tutorial that breaks Yoast down into the 3 major steps (configuring the settings, researching focus keywords, content optimization), I have a solid tutorial for that.

 

Conclusion – You Might Want It, But Don’t Need It

Installing any SEO plugin won’t automatically improve your SEO – this is the same with Yoast SEO premium. Yes, it gives you extra features, but will you actually use them??? Besides their redirect manager (which I can easily use another redirect plugin for), I don’t. Most people do not get the fundamentals of SEO down, so instead of thinking about extra features, focus on what actually matters. Below are the 3 major steps to properly using Yoast’s FREE SEO plugin.

  1. Configure Yoast’s settings
  2. Research keywords
  3. Content optimization

My Yoast tutorial walks you through all this, and you don’t need the premium version to do it. It has 500+ comments and has been used by 150,000+ people – I would definitely read it.

 

23. Frequently Asked Questions

🚦 Is Yoast SEO Premium worth it?

No, it is not. The multiple focus keywords feature is pretty much useless, redirects can be setup using free redirect plugins, and nothing in Yoast Premium directly improves your SEO. It's not worth $89/year. I only have it because I write SEO reviews/guides for a living.

🚦 Is the multiple keywords options helpful?

No, it's not helpful because secondary keywords are usually used as partial matches and Yoast won't detect these, so the SEO analysis becomes useless for secondary keywords.

🚦 Can redirects be setup using a free plugin?

They sure can. Redirection or Quick Page/Post Redirect are two (free) plugins that can be used to setup redirects, or use .htaccess so you don't even need a plugin.

🚦 Does Yoast Premium keep your site updated for Google's algorithm?

Not in the least. It's crazy they make this claim because Yoast has nothing to do with the quality of your links, thin content, or even selecting good keywords. There are many factors in Google's updates and to think Yoast somehow protects you from these updates is entirely untrue. This claim by Yoast is false.

🚦 Is the internal linking feature useful?

I have Yoast Premium (only because I write reviews for a living) and don't use their internal linking feature. As long as you remember to add internal links to your content (which you should anyway), counting internal links on every single post is a little obsessive.

🚦 Is Yoast's premium support good?

They not will review, login, or help you optimize your site. They will mainly just refer you to tutorials they have written. I wouldn't buy Yoast Premium for that, or at all.

Do you agree? Let me know if you have questions :)

Cheers,
Tom

21 Ways To Create Better Content In WordPress

21 Ways To Create Better Content In WordPress

We’re always being told to create “good” content but besides being a skilled writer, what else can we do? Well I’ll tell you. We need to spruce it up! We need to focus on aesthetics, user-friendliness, optimization, and leveraging all those tools/plugins we have available.

You probably know that from an SEO perspective, good content naturally ranks high and is the best strategy for getting links, social shares, and all those nice SEO signals. I use every strategy in this list and it has helped me tremendously (with SEO, since that’s what I do).

I hope it can help you too.

 

1. Use A Table Of Contents

Use a table of contents to organize key topics (often your subheadings). This can also help you outline your articles. It only takes a few minutes and will make your readers happy.

 

How to do it…
Table Of Contents HTML should look like this…
<ul class=”listSquare”>
<li><a href=”/your-permalink-here/#item-one”>Item One</a></li>
<li><a href=”/your-permalink-here/#item-two”>Item Two</a></li>
<li><a href=”/your-permalink-here/#item-three”>Item Three</a></li>
</ul>

Each subheading’s HTML should look like this…
<h3 id=”item-one”>Item One</h3>
<h3 id=”item-two”>Item Two</h3>
<h3 id=”item-three”>Item Three</h3>

You can also use a jump to table of contents link…
<li><a href=”/your-permalink-here/#table-of-contents</li>

 

2. Columns

Column 1

Column 2

How to do it…

 

3. Tables

tablepress-plugin

I created this table using the TablePress Plugin which has over 1,500 downloads and a solid 5 star review. You can also customize the CSS to your branding.

 

4. Buttons!

CONTACT US SIGN UP DOWNLOAD OUR FREE EBOOK SEE OUR PORTFOLIO

How to do it…

 

5. Shortcodes

shortcodes

Shortcodes allow you to easily add video, audio, image galleries, and other content with a simple line of code. Here’s a shortcode example for an embedded YouTube video…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaNH5?Vpg-A]

Some WordPress themes come with built-in shortcodes that are pre-styled to match your theme. There’s also plugins like Shortcodes Ultimate if your theme doesn’t come with them.

 

6. Embedded Social Status

Share what other people have to say by embedding their social media statuses in your content. Notify them once it’s published and maybe they’ll share it with their audience.

Twitter Statuses

 

How to do it…
Use Advanced Twitter Search to find a tweet, then click More –> Embed Tweet. Copy the code and paste it in your content’s HTML. The example above uses 2 tweets into 2 columns.

Embedded Tweet

Facebook Statuses

Embed Facebook Post

Google+ Statuses

Google+ Embedded Post

 

7. Embedded Videos

Option 1: Copy the Youtube link and paste it to your content (WordPress will do the rest).

Option 2: Go to the YouTube video you want to embed, then copy and paste the embed code into your HTML. This method allows you to specify the video’s width and height:

Embed a YouTube Video

Option 3: Open a video when you click a link using the WP Video Lightbox Plugin.

Hide Youtube Video Title

<iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ymdkFIHsTBA?showinfo=0" width="680" height="380" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe>

Hide Youtube Video Controls

<iframe width="680" height="380" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ymdkFIHsTBA?showinfo=0&controls=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

8. Working The Dimensions

680 Pixel Width Rectangle

Knowing your content dimensions (in pixels) helps you create graphics or find images that fit within those dimensions. I’m specifically referring to your content body and sidebar width. Since my content body is 680 width (pixels), I know that if I’m using 2 columns, each graphic should be around 340 width. I also know my sidebar widgets are 295 width.

 

9. Better Graphics

Start by redesigning graphics that appear in the most places (sitewide graphics): logo, footer images, sidebar images. Then move to individual pieces of content (content design graphics).

Sitewide Graphics

Content Design Graphics

 

10. After Entry Widgets

After Entry WordPress

These are the widgets people see after the end of your articles (located between the content body and comments section). They usually have a call to action. For me I’ve included a newsletter box and my author profile. “Related articles” is also a popular one.

In most WordPress themes you can find these under (Appearance –> Widgets –> After Entry). Decide what widgets you want to show here. But there should be something.

 

11. Image Styling

Image Styling WordPress

Style your images by adding borders, margins, padding, captions or other customizations. There’s 4 different places to edit images, all of which have different styling options…

  • Media section
  • Clicking on an image and finding the “edit” option
  • Finding the insert/edit image icon in your visual editor
  • The CSS editor

 

12. Font Styling

Are you getting any ideas yet?

 

13. Killer Headlines

It all starts with writing a great headline. The “perfect” headline includes:

  • A number
  • An adjective
  • Your keyword

Here is a tutorial by Neil Patel that explains the formula for a perfect headline. He says 8/10 people will read your headline, but only 2/10 will read the rest of your post. Choose wisely.

 

14. Snippets

SEO Titles + Meta Descriptions

Search Engine Snippets

Your SEO title and meta descriptions are the forefront of your SEO – they’re the first thing people see in search results and on social networks. Writing descriptive, compelling snippets will increase your clickthrough rate and drive more visitors to your content.

Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets

Rich snippets enhance your search engine snippets with additional information about your content. It’s one of the best ways to stand out in search results and get more clicks.

Popular forms of rich snippets…

  • Videos
  • Reviews
  • Recipes
  • Events
  • Audio

How to do it…

 

15. Social Optimization

Each social network formats your content differently, so you’ll want it optimized to format properly across the main social networks (your thumbnail image is the correct size and your titles and descriptions are tailored for each social network if you choose). The Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin does a fantastic job with this and I will assume you’re using it.

Step 1: Go to the “Users” section in WordPress and make sure each person fills out their Facebook, Twitter and Google+ fields.

Step 2: Configure the Social Tab in Yoast:

Yoast Social Tab

Facebook OpenGraph

Yoast Facebook Opengraph

Twitter Cards (Remember To Validate Your Twitter Cards)

Yoast Twitter Cards

Google+ Meta Data

Yoast Google+ Meta Data

Pinterest (Located In Yoast’s “Dashboard” Settings)

Yoast Pinterest

You will need to verify your site with Pinterest and enter the code in this field.

Step 3: Optimize Content For Social Sharing

Once you’ve configured Yoast’s social settings, edit the page or post you want to optimize for social. Scroll down to the Yoast section and hit the “Social” tab…

Yoast Social Media Optimization

Yoast gives you the option to display custom titles, descriptions, and properly formatted images for these main social networks. If you leave these blank then your SEO title, meta description, and your main content image (or featured image) will be used. It’s a good idea to at least upload an image for Facebook / Twitter / Google+ so the image formats properly when shared across these main social networks. Here are the correct dimensions…

  • Facebook Image: 1200 x 630px
  • Twitter Image: 1024 x 512px
  • Google+ Image: 800 x 1200px

 

16. Show Yourself

Tom Dupuis

That’s me!

You’ll see a cropped version in my right sidebar where I introduce myself. That’s where I would add your bio since people can immediately see you.

Add sidebar widget for single author…

First create your bio in HTML. You can create it in the Visual Editor which is easier. When you’re done, go to the Text Editor and copy your bio’s HTML. Now go to (Appearance –> Widgets) then add a “Text” widget to your blog sidebar. Paste the HTML and save.

Add sidebar widgets for multiple authors…

  • Make sure each person has their own user profile
  • Install the widget logic plugin so each person’s bio only shows on their posts
  • If there’s 5 people, add 5 text widgets to your blog sidebar
  • Paste each person’s bio HTML in their widget
  • Locate the Widget Logic field at the bottom of each person’s widget
  • Add this code, only replace my name with theirs: is_author( ‘tom-dupuis’ )
  • Or use other conditional tags to control where each widget appears

Widget Logic Field

If you use the Genesis Framework and have a newsletter like me, you can use the Genesis eNews Extended Plugin to create a widget with both your introduction and newsletter.

 

17. Signatures

You’ll see my signature at the bottom of each article I write. Adds a personal touch.

Tom Signature

How to do it…

  • Get a blank piece of computer paper
  • Write your signature
  • Take a close picture of it
  • Crop your signature
  • Add it to the end of your articles

 

18. Load Times

Page Load Times

The easiest way to improve load times is through sitewide optimizations that affect your entire website (getting faster hosting, lightweight themes, cache plugins…). I cover all this in my WordPress speed guide. You can also improve load times for individual pages by using less videos, large photos, and code. Run the URL through GTmetrix for recommendations.

 

19. TinyMCE Advanced

TinyMCE Advanced

Ever feel like you don’t have enough options in your visual editor? Install the TinyMCE Advanced Plugin to style your content with more advanced options.

 

20. TinyMCE Spellcheck

TinyMCE-Spellcheck

Before publishing an article, try running the TinyMCE Spellcheck Plugin. Select what type of errors it scans for in the “Users” section or add words to ignore…

TinyMCE-Spellcheck Options

 

21. Testing

Before you promote your content, it’s a good idea to do some testing…

Mobile Responsiveness – even if your WordPress theme is responsive, some content doesn’t always format correctly. Pull up it up on your phone/tablet to double check.

Table Of Contents (Step 1) – if you’ve setup a table of contents, always test each link.

Rich Snippets (step 14) – if your content includes rich snippets, use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure it’s working.

Social Responsiveness (step 15) – to test whether the main social networks will format your content properly, share the link to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Load Times (step 18) – once it’s published, run the URL through GTmetrix to get recommendations on improving the content’s load time.

Well I hope this was helpful! I know it’s a lot so if you have any questions at all, drop me a line in the comments section. And if you found my article helpful, please share. I appreciate it!

Cheers,

Tom Signature