Over the next few weeks, I am going to be putting the finishing touches on my first ever digital course: how to blog as a wedding photographer/creative. I am SO EXCITED for this course to be available (if you’re not on my newsletter email list for photographers, you should be!). One of the big topics I’m going to cover is ‘what is Yoast’ and go into detail about why you absolutely should be using it for your blog’s SEO optimization!
While I’m building the course, I’m going to be sharing a little bit here and there about blogging and how wildly vital it is to my success as a photographer. As you guys know, I haven’t stayed in one location longer than 3 years since I opened my business in 2010, and I’ve moved cross-country nearly 7 times. And through blogging, I have maintained a 6-figure income without relying on a consistent clientele base.
I mean really, check out my Google Search Console results, they speak for themselves! In the last twelve months, I’ve had nearly 3 million impressions on my website, 100% thanks to blogging. And guess what? Through those impressions, that’s how I’m able to rank for certain keywords, how Google knows I’m relevant to local searches for things like “Arizona wedding photographer,” “Phoenix high school senior photographer” and other keywords I’ve been working to rank for so I can book targeted clients.
Learn More: 3 Secrets to Better SEO for your Website
My current domain authority is 39 as of December 2023 – only 6 points behind mega influencer Jenna Kutcher or photography educator superstar Katelyn James. They have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and combined, I have just over 10k. And yet, through blogging, I’m able to consistently book target clients and maintain a sustainable income for my family as our breadwinner. It’s doable, you guys!
This week I kicked off a whole new email newsletter series called “Blogging for Creatives” – where I am teaching my wedding and photography industry friends little tips for blogging, as well as weekly blog ideas. The tip of the week this week was all about Yoast, and I’d love to share a bit more about it here with my blog readers.
What is Yoast and Should I Use It For My Blog?
Simply put, the Yoast plugin is the easiest cheat-sheet to making sure you’re dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s when it comes to making sure your blog is written correctly for SEO (“search engine optimization”). Yoast is a free plugin (there is a paid pro version, but I honestly don’t use it), that literally gives you the green light that your WordPress blog is properly optimized for SEO.
Check out this screenshot from one of my blogs, it’s what you’ll see on the right-hand side of your WordPress blog.
When you scroll to the bottom of your WordPress blog (or press on where it says “SEO” on this menu), you’ll see a bigger breakdown of why you’re getting either a Red, Yellow or Green rating for your blog. I love how easy the Yoast plugin is to use and understand, even for newbie bloggers!
Here’s what I see when I have a full optimized blog post, look at all that green!
What does Yoast look for on your blog for SEO optimization?
As you can see in the above screenshot off my blog, Yoast scours through your blog for all the SEO optimization options. Yoast makes sure you both internal and outbound links, images with keyphrases, and all the ways you should be incorporating keyphrases into your blog, among a lengthy list of important things you should check off your To Do list each time you write a new blog.
Which is better: Yoast Free or Yoast Premium?
As I mentioned, I currently only use the free version of the Yoast plug in, but I am considering upgrading the the Yoast Premium version, which currently costs $99 USD per year. The major reasons I am considering making the upgrade is because Yoast Premium allows for additional keywording on individual blogs, helps with redirection errors, offers internal link suggestions, content analysis and export focus keywords. For someone like who is super serious about blogging and an expert in getting found online, Yoast Premium is a tempting upgrade. If and when I do decide to upgrade, I’ll let you know!
Ashley Durham is a longtime creative business owner devoted to helping small businesses thrive with as little stress as possible.
To learn more about what Ashley has shared, check out the Photographer’s Resource Guide.