If you’re using Yoast in your WordPress website – you’ve probably come across the Readability tab in Yoast turning red! Is it even necessary to fix? How do you get the readability light to be green? Kori Ashton helps explain what Yoast is monitoring and how to address each issue. Learn how to improve your SEO today with this video.

Video Transcript

Hey, everybody. Welcome to another WordPress Wednesday. My name is Kori Ashton here WebTegrity in San Antonio and you have found a youtube channel solely dedicated to all things WordPress. We expand upon that though with some searches engine optimization inside of your WordPress website and some social media marketing inside your WordPress website, so this channel is kind of a little bit of everything and we’ve got stuff for all levels. Total beginners to some really cool advanced nerdy stuff. So, stick around with us. Be sure to subscribe. Today we are going to be continuing our series on search engine optimization.

Last week I spoke specifically on how to find keywords inside your WordPress website and the week prior to that we spoke on optimizing your Google snippets. Super important that you do both of these. So check those videos out. I’ll put the link to this whole playlist in the description box below because this playlist has 28 videos. Some that I’ve done some that I’ve resourced around YouTube and brought in for my clients to watch and I think it’s super important that our YouTube fans watch these as well. So, take the time to check out that playlist. Also, I have a Yoast playlist and that is the plug-in that we’re going to be talking about today. Specifically looking at the readability tab in Yoast.

How important is that green light? What does it even mean? Should I be trying to get a green light and readability? So take time if you want you to look through these other Yoast videos. They’re really a great resource as well so let’s look at it. Y’all the green light. How important is the green light when it comes to readability? What is that area even mean? Inside of the Yoast plug-in so you know if you’re using the Yoast plug-in that as you activate it and start using it on your articles and pages, you have the SEO option to get to the green light. That’s really exciting because it’s analyzing your content letting you know that Google can clearly understand what this page is about; however. there’s a secondary tab that talks about the readability. Now the readability certainly is the second level of kind of concern if you will; however, I think it is something that we should pay attention to. Now should we strive to get to the green light? I know there’s a temptation for everybody to say “well I must must must be to the green light”. Well, specifically readability. A different concern to it.

What they’re looking at is perhaps some more grammar issues, or maybe just how simple is it to kind of read down your paragraph. Let’s analyze a few and get some ideas of exactly what they’re complaining about when they’re giving us a green or red light. Rather let’s go in and see this article. One thing I want you to note right away it’s fantastic when it comes to the SEO side of things. It has over 800 words in this particular article and he has optimized his google snippet as well. So all this looks fantastic; however, we’ve got a big old red light over here for readability. So coming in here it allows us to understand a little bit more why they’re grading us like this. It’s telling us that 31.3 percent of sentences contain more than 20 words. Which is more than recommended by 25% so try to shorten the sentences. So basically it’s just saying “hey you know you might be a little wordy”. You got maybe some run-on sentences. Take a look and try to shorten them out just a little bit. That’s a nice little tip. Alright, so twenty percent of the sentences contain passive voice which is more than recommended. Try using their active counterparts. So again these are things that your grammar teacher back in fifth grade would have had her red ink pen out circling your paper. Giving you the same feedback and I know that’s irritating at times; however, it’s going to help overall your user have a better experience when reading down these longer articles.

Here are some other things that they’re kind of asking us to pay attention to. So I’ll put the link to this article in the description box below, as well because this is directly from the Yoast website. I’m going to scroll down here to the readability tab issue and it tells us the different things that it is analyzing on your page and that again is sentence length, paragraph length. So if there are paragraphs that are little too lengthy they’re going to kind of gripe at us there and I think that’s what this little orange concern is telling us. That it has more than 150 words in this one paragraph. Can you consider possibly shortening it? So good advice. There’s a passive voice again. Oh here’s this. I don’t want to miss this because this is important. They want to see those subheadings kind of break up the paragraphs as you scroll down the page.

It’s important to allow our eyes to rest for a minute and subheadings do that. Transition words like ‘however’ and therefore, those are great to read. And then also the reading ease. So this is talking basically about the reading level of the average person in the U.S., so we’re looking at seventh and eighth-grade reading level these days. That’s the average reading level. What this is basically doing, though, and here’s what I want you to note, this is a very broad general overall. Hey, you should be writing to this age level or this readability level. What I want you to understand though is something that this particular client even struggles with, is the fact that sometimes he has to get a little technical and he knows that his audience is ok with that because that’s what they’re researching.

So depending upon what you’re writing about and who you’re writing to, I want you to always be aware that content is first. I know there’s a temptation to get to this green light. We want to see these green lights everywhere, but the truth is content is first. So be sure to write to your audience and then go back and allow this little system here, this readability tab, to kind of grade you and steer you and maybe some corrections that you can move toward to getting a green light. Does that make sense? It is important.

I want you to take the time to understand how to get green lights and so because of that I will put this link, as well as a few others, in the description box below. But, I am also going to put an awesome link to this the sensation of the green bullet in the big Yoast SEO plugin, because they to speak to the fact that a lot of people are so anxious about getting everything possible to green, and what’s the reality of it. what’s the importance of it? So accountability is great and having those green lights are fantastic. I challenge all my clients to take a screenshot of their green lights and send them to me as they’ve worked hard to earn those; however understanding what your audience is looking for, is even more important. So be sure to have a healthy balance. If you have questions about this give us a shout out over on Twitter. Come over to WegTegrity. Come give me an email. Put it to put a comment in the thread below, however, I can help. I’d love to be your SEO nerd. Alright have a great Wednesday and I will see y’all next WordPress Wednesday. Bye, everyone.

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