Why Yoast Isn't Working for You

I'm often asked by clients about Yoast - an SEO plugin for WordPress which allows users to manage their on page SEO by ensuring that the structure of their page is optimised for the chosen keywords. 

These enquiries tend to fall into three categories which I will cover here (and possibly save you some time!) 

My Yoast Is Green - But I'm not ranking for my keyword

There can be several issues here - but the most likely is that your specified keyword is very competitive. We receive a LOT of requests that go along the lines of 'I want to rank on page one of Google for *insert insanely popular search term here*. So here's the truth - ranking on page one for a popular search term is hard. It takes a lot of work over a sustained period of time, and sometimes, you're not going to quite make it - for example - if you tried to take on 'travel reviews' the likelihood is that TripAdvisor is going to beat you to the number one spot. If your keyword is product based you may struggle too - and in these instances, there may be other ways that you can seek to increase your visibility, such as social media marketing strategies or PPC campaigns, or maybe good old-fashioned PR. 

However, what if you are not trying to rank for a super competitive keyword and still no joy? Well, firstly start with ensuring that there are no technical issues that are stopping your website being ranked on Google. There are some great free tools to do this - the best of course, being Google Search Console itself.  

I'm ranking for my keywords but am not getting traffic

Ok, so if you are ranking in the top spot for your keywords, but there is still no traffic being driven to your site, the chances are it's one of two issues. 

1. There is a low search volume for your specified key words. 

If you offer say, a very niche or new service or product - did you check the volume of search before choosing it as your focus? For example - what if you sell say 'premium hot water bottles for hedge-hogs'. Your chosen page is ranking right there at number one for the search term - but where is your traffic? Oh... that's right - no is actually searching for your product! Ok, so am guessing perhaps this isn't your product - though if it is please get in touch - we'd love to hear more, but do seriously ensure that you undertake keyword research before randomly attaching it to a page! 

2. Your 'Snippet' Isn't Great

Google shows snippets of info when it shows your page on the search results - like this (the bit between the yellow lines in the 'snippet'


Now while you can never fully control what appears in your snippet - a good start is to ensure that you have a great meta description written for EVERY page on your website. Think of them as your 'shop window' on the search engine results page. While you may have managed to meet with Yoast's criteria, it still need to read as something that will invite your customer through the 'web door'. So going back to my hedgehog example 'Hedgehog - buy - water bottle - premium, just isn't going to encourage click through! 

If you need help with meta descriptions or page titles - why not take a look at our SEO services. 


Yoast is saying that there is no content when there is! 


Getting a message saying 'Keyword density is at 0%' despite having written loads? This is likely to be due to a conflict with either your theme (some don't support Yoast) or sometimes a plug in conflict. In many builders there will be an option to copy the content to to Yoast but if this isn't the case - you may want to disable this feature. 

In conclusion - Yoast really is a great plug in for Wordpress, but do not rely on it alone for your SEO strategy!