Snippet PreviewYoast SEO's snippet preview is simple to use and easy to understand. This is where the plugin truly shines for users of all levels. A live feedback monitor helps the writer get an understanding of the role the page title and meta description plays in search engine result pages. There's no criticism here. Just praise!
These really are excellent areas to focus on, but if one person spent all their time making sure each area turned green, I'm not sure if the user's content would attract and convert an audience. In fact, I think following each of these areas could lead to formulaic and soulless content. It might rank well, but would it really engage the reader?
- Reading ease
- Passive voice
- Transition words
- Consecutive sentences
- Paragraph length
- Sentence length
- Subheading distribution
- SEO Title (page title) width
- Meta description length
- Keyphrase in title
- Keyphrase in slug (URL)
- Keyphrase in introduction
- Keyphrase in subheadings
- Keyphrase density
- Previously used keyphrase
- Internal links
- Outbound links
- Text length
- Image alt attribute
Yoast SEO Metric Breakdown
Flesch Reading EaseThis is a formula devised in 1948 by Rudolph Flesch. The lower the score, the more difficult to read. However, you need to know your audience. If you're writing scientific analysis, your article might be more complicated than an article about beauty tips. There's nothing wrong with that.I personally tend to write stronger articles, and I prefer that. I'm not interested in a broad audience. I wanted a focused audience. I generally skip this Yoast SEO metric when writing and optimizing my own articles.
Passive voiceThere is nothing wrong with passive voice. If I wanted to have a stronger emphasis on my own opinions and really stress my ego, I would use passive voice less frequently. My goal is to educate with wisdom, facts, and metaphors, and an active voice may does not fit my own personal style.Again, the writer should know how to deliver their thoughts to their intended audience.
Transition wordsI don't have much negativity towards using transition words, as they can naturally help guide the narrative the writer is intending.
Consecutive sentencesI recently wrote a post titled "What if Search Engines Didn't Exist." In that article, I started several sentences with the same phrase. I did so as a stylistic choice to grab the reader and develop a point. Again, the intent of the writer is not considered in Yoast's on-page analysis.
Paragraph lengthAgain, this comes down to style. It does make sense since websites are generally a vertical medium, paragraphs should be short. Paragraphs should contain a singular theme. It may not make sense if the theme is broken into multiple paragraphs in order to comply with Yoast SEO's metric.
Sentence lengthAnother stylistic choice. However, the writer should be cognizant (I'm sure this word will decrease my reading ease) of their intended audience. There's value in having short, concise sentences. There's also value in crafting well-written sentences that deliver a point. Short. Long. What matters is that the writer is connecting with the reader.
Subheading distributionI think this is generally fair. Using headings can help users quickly find points with supportive paragraphs.
The issue isn't that Yoast SEO is recommending you to add an ALT attribute that describes an image for those who use screen readers to access the web. Accessibility is a great way to increase your website's reach and be more inclusive to users who may be marginalized by other sources.This metric assumes and insinuates that you have to have an image. You don't. The insistence to have an image might have credence, but managing images technically and the complicated world of copyrights can be frustrating.Images can be great if you have an excellent illustration to match a point. However, ensuring that you have the necessary copyrights and bandwidth can be difficult. My day job requires me to be diligent about our clients providing copyrights for all images, and it's made me personally more proactive about copyright when it comes to my personal website.If you don't have an image, that's okay.