22 Yoast SEO Tips for Higher Blog Traffic

The Yoast SEO tips I’ve put together in this post should make your blog attract and maintain a higher blog traffic. And if you’re a blogger in Africa, you know how tough it is to compete with the big boys from places like the USA where professional blogging, like everything else, has made huge advancements.

DISCLOSURE. This post may contain affiliate links. I will receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you use any link to buy something. Thanks.

Since most of these top bloggers in the world use and recommend the Yoast SEO plugin, I believe it’s one of the best out there. I personally started using it right from day one. And it hasn’t disappointed me.

Disclaimer: I cannot pretend to be anywhere near being regarded as an SEO expert. True, I’ve written countless blog posts that do well on the first search result pages in Google. So I’ve got plenty SEO experience. But I still consider myself a layman and a novice in the realm of search engine optimization.

That doesn’t take away the fact that I’m more passionate about SEO content writing than many other aspects of blogging. This explains why I’ve decided to share  with you the best Yoast SEO tips. That is, if you have or intend to install the Yoast SEO plugin on your blog.

Expect the language I’ll be using to be the layman’s language for SEO dummies. Laugh.

One thing I know for sure is this. If you apply diligently these Yoast SEO tips, you’re gonna see positive results that will shock you.

What is SEO?

In simple terms, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is all about the best on-blog and off-site practices that a Webmaster (blogger, please!) consistently executes to achieve the highest possible rank or position on search engine result pages, SERPS

That quickly brings to mind, Google, the mother of all search engines. But don’t forget that others like Bing, duckduckgo, Baidu and Yahoo also matter since not everyone is a fan of the Google search bar.

So what do the Yoast SEO tips keep achieving for my blog? And what can they do for yours, not forgetting the multitudes of African bloggers out there?

Below is a shortlist of the key areas in which these Yoast SEO tips can help any blogger in Africa (or elsewhere( to achieve the ultimate aims of their online business setup.

Now, if you intend to monetize your traffic, you need to take these SEO tips seriously. Higher traffic volume means more blog income, Simple.

In fact, I personally devote my attention to making sure that my blogs keep improving in these SEO areas by the day.

  • Lower bounce rate and valuable user engagement
  • Improved pageviews
  • Increasing unique visitors or users
  • Higher ranking on SERPS
  • Ease of site navigation
  • Reduced “404 not found” results

I honestly believe that we all have to take seriously the below Yoast SEO tips. That is, if we are serious about surviving in the blogosphere and possibly making a close-to-decent income from our blogs.

So here now comes my layman’s list of the most important Yoast SEO tips.

We do not want to complicate matters with technical jargon. You can get your SEO right without too much of that. Smile. Let’s get going.

1. Come up with SEO-friendly blog post titles

Simply put, make sure you have the most effective keywords inside your headlines. Yoast SEO also loves to insist that to boost your website SERP rankings, the blog post title should be as short as possible.

2. Make your keyword appear early in the post

Yoast SEO recommends that the post’s keyword should show up inside the first sentence of the first paragraph of the blog post.

3. Repeat your keywords often

Place keywords at strategic intervals in the body of the blog post. One caution, though. Do not overdo this. Google penalties for keyword stuffing can take you many weeks or months backwards.

4. Make good use of subheadings

This is to say you and I need to break down our long blog articles into readable segments. Mark off each segment with a great subtitle.

5. Include your keywords in the subheadings

However, you must do this moderately. Remember also that it isn’t compulsory to implement every recommendation.

6. Have internal links

This will allow the search engine bots to walk through your site seamlessly. Your visitors will also stay longer on the site. That’s good for bounce rate, right? Great.

7. Do not forget to add quality external links

Quality underlined. Because not all external links are good for a serious blog. Spam blogs, for example should not feature in your blog articles. Avoid other low quality websites like the rattlesnake. Go for authoritative blogs that can only have a positive bearing on your own site.

8. Avoid duplicate content

Google frowns upon duplicate content. Search for any two or more pages whose content look and sound too similar for comfort. Resolve the issue as quickly as possible. You can delete and provide redirection. More of this later. You may also merge them if that will add value to your blog content.

9. Featured images and other graphics are very useful

Big, tall, Pinterest-size graphics are great. Just make sure you select your images from the right legit sources. I personally get a good number of my images from Unsplash.com.

10. Fill the ALT-TEXT box under the featured image

I personally ignored the alt-text box for a long time. I’ve now seen the value this small effort can add to my SEO efforts. So I don’t miss it any more. Simply put in there a phrase or sentence that relates closely to the post or page content.

11. Avoid random deletion of posts, pages, tags and categories

Deleting your content anyhow is a big SEO killer. Yoast SEO advises that you do so only when it is absolutely necessary. Then go ahead and redirect your visitors to the appropriate related pages.


12. Frequent changes in the permalink structure is a no-no.

This is to say, do not perform actions that change the original or existing url or web address of any post and page. You will be inviting 404 PAGE NOT FOUND results for your visitors. And they are not gonna like it.

13. Provide 303 redirection for any changed permalinks

There are many free WordPress rediret plugins to assist you do this without much sweat. Just take a look at these top 5 WordPress Redirect plugins.

14. Make sure visitors land on well-constructed 404 pages

Do not leave them alone to figure out things for themselves. Offer reliable help each time they are about to encounter a 404 NOT FOUND page.

One good way to do this is to use a free WordPress 404 redirect plugin. It makes you create a dedicated page where you can provide a simple link back to your homepage. You may also offer an explanation for the error and recommend action on your custom 404 page.

15. Take readability seriously

It will aid the search engine bots to move around the site much more easily. But more importantly, better readability means greater UX (user experience). And that bodes well for bounce rate. Yoast SEO recommends that you focus on the below areas to achieve greater readability for your blog content.

  • Shorter sentences. One of thekey Yoast SEO tips here is that the word count of the majority of sentences in a blog post should fall below 20.
  • More compact paragraphs marked off by appropriate subheadings
  • Consistent use of the active voice rather than the passive voice
  • Variety in the choice of vocabulary and sentence structure. For example, do not repeat words at the beginning of sentences unnecessarily. The Yoast SEO plugin will flag you down if you do this.
  • Good grammar. No, you’re not supposed to be perfect. No one else is. Just make sure that the potholes in your grammar, if any, are reduced to the barest minimum. Good enough is good enough.

16. Share your post on social media

Pinterest is hot currently. Facebook is still the elephant in the room. A few tweets here and there can be a game changer for blog traffic performance. There are many other social media outlets out there. Try as many as you wish until you settle on a couple that fit your SEO strategy.

Granted, not all blogs benefit from social media referrals but some do in a fantastic way. So test the waters to see what works for you.

17. Use backlinks

This is one of those Yoast SEO tips I’m yet to fully grasp and deploy. Still, I can share what I’ve been learning with you.

Network with other bloggers you respect and trust to assist you with backlinks.

Of late, I’ve been getting emails asking me to link back to certain sites. The sad part is that they are not too interested in reciprocating this gesture!

Making good use of backlinks adds clout to your site’s image in the eyes of both Google and your visitors.

18. Leave comments on other blogs

I must confess, I’ve been guilty of violating this Yoast SEO recommendation. The truth is you gain exposure as you put yourself out there via your comments on other people’s websites.

19. Become a guest author

Write for other blogs. This could be in your niche or in other niches. Sometimes, you only want to use your guest posts as a way of attracting more eyes to your own site.

Do not be too fixated on earning a few dollars in this effort. You might not get the chance early enough to make the world see what you have to offer.

I urge you to try posting on MEDIUM. Once in a while, I get a trickle of inbound traffic coming from my EzineArticles entries. You might want to try it too. Remember no traffic is too small.

20. Email marketing helps

Start building your list from today. That is, if you haven’t yet started.

You can use the free Mailchimp service to see how things go. Send newsletters and other campaigns to keep your subscribers engaged.

Needless to say, email marketing, if done right, can become one of your best SEO tools.

21. Optimize your site’s loading speed

A fast-loading website has a greater potential to mass up more traffic than a laboriously slow one.

There are many ways to make sure your WordPress site loads fast enough. For instance, optimize the size of your images. It is best to take your images from the Media Library for best results. There are many image compression plugins in the WordPress.org repository for you to use to minimize the size of each image you upload onto your site.

In addition to the above, clear your system clean of useless junk as regularly as possible. Free WordPress Plugins such as Advanced Database Cleaner and WP-Optimize have worked for me pretty well.

If you care to know, Advanced Database Cleaner is one of the easiest to use to remove the waste matter that burdens your site and slows it down without your knowing.

22. Do not leave the Yoast Meta Description Box empty

I didn’t realize the importance of the contents of the Yoast Meta Description Box early enough. All the same, I was at first populating the space their with the post title, the title of the category to which the post belongs to great advantage.

Then, later I got to know that, though the Google guys say otherwise, somehow, a proper meta description that includes your keywords grabs attention fast on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

So, even if not directly, a keyword-rich meta description will, in an indirect way, send more visitors your way. It is able to do this just by grabbing their attention and showing them the way.

Last word

Tell me, how are you faring with your Google search rankings? It doen’t matter where you live in the world. We all face similar human challenges, don’t we? Would you like to instantly try a couple of the Yoast SEO recommendations? Leave a comment below, so we may keep the conversation going.

Further Reading

10 Actionable Ideas to Increase Website User Engagement

How to Build the Best Backlinks to Your Website

Photo by Stephen Phillips – Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash

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