Why Yoast SEO Isn’t Enough to Increase Your Site’s Traffic

Why Yoast SEO Isn’t Enough to Increase Your Site’s Traffic

I’ve been doing some work for a client, helping her to get her e-commerce products SEO’d and understand a little better about the SEO landscape. She’s using the Yoast SEO plugin (a good choice!), but I want to make sure she (and now you!) know how she can not only make sure her site and products are optimized for search engines, but also what do doing going forward to increase her traffic.


Digging In

My client is running an e-commerce site on WooCommerce (great choice, btw!). We used the CSV Product Import Suite to update all of her products with product keywords, product titles, product meta and product content to meet the Yoast parameters for good SEO. However, if you try to do this, you’ll see that after the import, Yoast does not automatically update the “green light” settings.

And that’s ok!

While importing, the CSV does store the correct Yoast metadata, however, it does not turn the light green on the Products page. To do that, you have to open each product and select save. This will run Yoast’s SEO check, and if you did the CSV import right, you should get a green light for SEO (though your readability might not be that great, but that’s a topic for another post).

It’s good to note at this point that, just because the light is green does not indicate that everything is perfectly SEO’d. Actually, in the post or product content, you just need to add a few hundred words, and have the page title, meta description, and product content match and include the keywords. If you gett everything matching and meet all the parameters Yoast requests and add 300 words of “lorem ipsum”, the light will still turn green.

This means that your site can contain complete gibberish, but the Yoast SEO light will still turn green.

Where Does This Leave You?

If you did the CSV import and added a keyword phrase, title, meta description, and extra content, and then imported, you products have everything they need to be properly SEO’d, even thought the light isn’t green. This is because on import, that post data is stored in the database, so it’s picked up as your site is crawled. To get the light to turn green (or close to green), if you did the CSV import right, you would need to open each product individually, and save/update it. During the update, Yoast runs the check and saves the SEO status as a green light (or whatever it reckons you deserve).

However, we need to note something importnant in regards to SEO and Yoast (or any SEO on your site):

Just because your site or a particular product is SEO’d, which yours now should be, it does not mean that you will instantly receive a flood of traffic.

Specifically, after the import your products are SEO’d for their keywords. This good, but, this means that:

  1. visitors would have to be searching for the exact (or very similar) keyword to which you’ve SEO’d your product/s
  2. many, many visitors would need to be searching for that keyword to make a difference in your site visitors.

For example, let’s say the keyword is “oversized blue suede shoes” that someone is searching for. There would need to be a significant amount of traffic looking for your keyword. But there might not be a significant amount of traffic looking for that. You can use the Google Keyword Planner to check on this. You would only be receiving higher traffic if people are searching for “oversized blue suede shoes” or the keywords you are ranking high for.

Hang with me here, because this is where it gets good:-).

My client received a bump in traffic after she posted and promoted on to social media. The CSV import does not post to social media or do promotion for you. Though this functionality can be set up to automatically post when a product is added manually, the best rule of thumb is:

If you want to increase your traffic, you have got to create good content people want and do the promotion to get them to your site. Only after that will you see more of a consistent inflow of organic traffic.

The Bottom Line

My advice to you is to keep doing what works. You have a way now to make sure your products are properly SEO’d, but if you want to see faster results, you need to promote.

Test out new strategies, check your traffic, keep doing what’s working, and discard the rest. You might consider looking through keyword phrases from the Google Keyword Planner that relate to your site products generally. For example, let’s say your site is about “blue suede shoes” and you see that the keyword phrase “Elvis’ blue suede shoes” has 1,000 – 10,000 monthly views. If you have one or several products that relate to that keyword, then I would replace the previous keyword with “Elvis’ blue suede shoes”, and add that to your Title, Meta and Content descriptions so that it will be SEO’d.

I hope that’s helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments below.




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