5 Simple Yoast Tips For WordPress Users To Increase Their CTR

To click or not to click, that is the question.

It is both interesting and frightening how such a simple decision can, in a high enough volume, have an existential impact on the blogger that is trying to earn some money off of his work.

There is a common misconception that great content drives traffic just by “being there“. While that may hold true for high authority sites and blogs that already have built up a stable base of regular readers, new and upcoming bloggers have another thing coming.

tips using Yoast SEOIf you are planning to make a WordPress website or if you are already using WordPress, then you are in luck. This platform has been with us for quite some time now. That allowed it to develop a wide array of useful plugins. One of them is Yoast. You’ve probably all heard of it and chances are you are already using it.

The question is, are you using it to its full potential? The only way to be sure is to click and see for yourself.

Here are several tricks you can start employing right away to increase the click-through rates of your articles.

  1. Title Optimization

Let’s be honest, from the moment you skimmed upon this topic you knew we would eventually end up here.

If you mess this part up, incoming tips will not count for much. Contents of your <title> tag have a major impact on both CTR and ranking in search results. That should be reason enough to make sure your headline writing skills are on point.

Here is where the Yoast gives you a helping hand.

Click on the Edit snippet button in the Snippet preview and start writing your title. You will notice that the line below it changes color according to your title length. Aim for green.

using Yoast for SEO

This may seem like a minor point at first but you need to consider that title length can, in fact, have an impact on CTR.

Outbrain, a content discovery platform, crawled trough 150 000 article headlines and one of their findings was that the titles consisting of 8 words received 21% higher click-through rate than average.  That is a percentage that shouldn’t be discarded lightly.

If you need further help with your title optimization there is one more plugin worth mentioning. It is called YoRocket. It actually works great with Yoast and is pretty easy to use.

Yoast SEO and YoRocket

You just write the title and let the plugin improve upon it. It also allows you to split test multiple titles to see which one attracts the most clicks. The only downside is that you will have to part ways with $40/month.

If you really struggle with your titles, this may be an option worth checking out.

  1. Meta Description Optimization

The description is an ideal place to entice people to click on your post. It’s an additional opportunity to grab attention. Use it wisely.

You don’t have to take my word for it, here is what Neil Patel wrote in one of his posts:

It should provide a clear, well-written and interest-piquing description for your headline and for the content itself. Think of it as writing subtle ad copy, you want to pique interest and arouse the desire for clicks.

To add Meta description you have to go back to Edit snippet button. The length of your description should be around 150 characters. Don’t worry, you don’t have to count every word. Yoast does that for you. Just follow the bar below the description box. When it turns green, it means your word count has hit the sweet spot.

If you don’t use Yoast or if you didn’t bother to make a personalized description, you will probably have the so-called „automated description“. WordPress will use the first sentence of your post as a description. And this is rarely what you want if you want to maximize your rankings and click trough rates.

If you ever came across a snippet featuring a description that doesn’t make any sense, well, now you know the reason behind it.

  1. Adding Publishing Dates

Let’s say you are searching for the policy on medical marijuana use in your state. You find 3 relevant articles in the first 4 results. Then you notice that one of them doesn’t have a publishing date, one is from 2014 and the last one is from December 2016.

There’s a pretty good chance you’re first going to click on the latter one.

Of course, not every subject is as time sensitive as this one but people do have an innate desire to look at the newest information available to them.

Adding publishing dates to your articles is really simple. Go to the Yoast settings and click on Titles & Meta’s. After that, navigate to the Post Types tab and select Show under the Date in Snippet Preview.

If you encounter any trouble, refer to the pictures below.

Yoast SEO

using Yoast SEO plugin

When you select the Show button, don’t forget to scroll all the way down to the end of the page and Save changes!

Before we move on, there is one important thing left to discuss here.

If you are not careful, adding the publishing date for your articles can be a double-edged sword. It should have a positive impact on your recently published articles and time sensitive topics but it can actually have a negative impact on your older articles.

To combat this problem, you can reset publishing dates by simply updating the article. You can do that for every article you ever published but don’t abuse it. I would recommend doing it mostly on the ones where you can actually add new content and for the posts that are time sensitive since they are going to see the most benefits from it.

  1. Bulk Editing Snippets

You may think to yourself by now

This is all great and dandy but I don’t have time to go back to every post I published to make these changes.

Don’t worry, Yoast has got your back.

To edit snippets in a bulk go to Yoast, select Tools and click on the Bulk editor.

Yoast SEO plugin

Now, you should be able to see all of your posts in a list. What is so convenient about this bulk editor is that it allows you to edit your titles and meta descriptions in one window. It also has a number of filtering and sorting options so you will be able to quickly navigate to any of your posts when you get the hang of it.

If you plan to apply some of these changes to multiple posts, this will save you an enormous amount of time.

The only drawback of this approach is that you don’t have that „length bar line“ so you need to pay proper attention to the length of your titles and descriptions.

  1. Featured Snippet

Before we wrap this up I’d like to mention featured snippets.

This isn’t directly connected to Yoast but since we focused so much on the snippet in this article it would be a shame not to mention it.

You have all probably came across it at some point during your googling efforts. It looks something like this.

SEO plugins YoastWhose page is chosen and what part of your post/page shows up is decided entirely by Google.The neat thing is, is that all answers from the first page results are eligible to be featured in this snippet.

Here is a further read if you want to found out how to please the Big G and increase your chances of being selected.

Don’t forget…

There is no magic button that can skyrocket the number of your page visitors. If there was one, everyone would be using it and we would quickly end up where we started.

Always have in mind that the snippets are the only information on which a reader evaluates his „clicking“ options. Taking that into account, you should always make it as appealing as possible.

In the end, the only way to make money is to have visitors. And it would be a shame to lose them by skipping these simple tweaks that can be easily incorporated in your article posting routine.

Coty Lance is a webmaster with 10+ years of experience in setting up and running successful websites. As the editor of Hosting Manual, he is helping out both new and seasoned webmasters. Being a WordPress advocate, he advised thousands of people how to jumpstart their online journey.

Comments

  1. says

    HI Sue,

    It is always great to learn how we can improve our blogs and make blog a brand. Making blog rank higher in search engine also helpful. It is good to learn about how Yoast help a wordpress bloggers. I am also planning to move some blogs on wordpress.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Gaurav Kumar recently posted…Modern Infographics Options Template with Paper Sheets IconsMy Profile

  2. Saeed Jatoi says

    Hi Coty and Sue,

    Yoast is my all time favourite pulgin. I just caught my biggest mistake from your post, because I usually wite title on the top of the post and leave that box (which you have shown above for title) empty. Thanks for writing on pulgins too because new bloggers dont know much about pluins.

  3. says

    Hi Coty and Sue,
    YOAST is really a good plugin, i start using this plugin from last 1.5 year for my wordpress websites.
    In earlier i don’t know about plugins and this post will really help to the beginners .
    Thanks for Sharing

  4. says

    Hey Coty,

    Amazing stuff with numerious beneficial tips. Yoast is really amazing plugin with significant features regarding SEO. Now-a-days, people are using lots of plugins to rank higher in search engine but from my opinion – every plugins are not effective with their features but I’ve used yoast and found beneficial in order to maximize productivity level. Eventually, thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

  5. says

    Hello Coty and Sue
    YOAST is really helpful and it provides a lots of features at one place.
    You can handle multiple setting from a single place, YOAST is best plugin and one more thing its too easy to use.
    Thanks for Sharing Your Experience

  6. says

    Its really amazing blog with very much helpful information, thank you so much for writing this great blog here for us.

  7. says

    Hey Sue and Coty,

    Yoast is an SEO plugin with effective features. The meta description and the title optimization described above is always the best action to take.

    Only the quality content won’t do the best. To increase the CTR, you really need to focus on what these plugins provide.

    I always check the headline length. Using the post keyword is a plus point.

    ~Ravi
    Ravi Chahar recently posted…10 Steps For A Perfect Website Layout Which Can StandMy Profile

  8. says

    Hi Coty
    You have shared really nice tweaks here for those who are using Yoast SEO plugin. I would like to add here that if you use longer slugs chances to get ranked for many keywords instead of one targeted keyword increases. That is why I use longer slugs now.
    And that bulk editing of meta data trick is very new to me. thanks for telling.
    Have a great day.
    Vashishtha
    Vashishtha Kapoor recently posted…Google tricks in 2017 – Google Gravity Funny Searches to have funMy Profile

  9. says

    Thanks for sharing great article. Yoast is my all time favourite pulgin.

  10. says

    Thanks Coty!

    I just went into my WP dashboard and adjusted my settings,
    in order to include the dates to my blog posts.

    Thanks for sharing some incredibly practical information. And i love the fact you
    included your super easy to follow screenshot images as well.

    Your five extremely practical suggestions, definitely help move my
    blogging efforts forward, all within five minutes!LOL! Thanks!
    Mark recently posted…How Come So Many Smart Business Owners Neglect This Proven Marketing Strategy?My Profile

  11. says

    Its really amazing blog with very much helpful information, thank you so much for writing this great blog here for us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge