The OnShop Editor is a full featured publishing experience, with text and image controls much like Microsoft Word. You can use it to create media-rich products and posts and to control their layout with ease. Instead of worrying about the alignment and organisation of text, quotes, and images, every element on a post or page has its own block — and you can focus on creating…
Move, edit, and customize each block, and the editor will display visual elements the way they’ll look on your actual store, saving you the time you may have previously spent previewing and double-checking your content before clicking the Publish button.
The OnShop Editor uses blocks to transform the way you create content: it turns a single document into a collection of discrete elements with explicit, easy-to-tweak structure.
The editor brings with it a new, effortless product and post-building experience. With blocks, you can quickly add and customize multiple media and visual elements.
There are many block types for you to choose from, which you’ll see organized by category and by most recent use. You can edit or move each block independently of other blocks, and individual blocks sometimes come with their own formatting settings for even greater control over layout and function.
To add a block simply click the circled plus sign icon and search or browse available block types. Blocks can also be re-ordered by using the up and down arrows that appear to the left of a block once it is added.
Each block has its own settings. To find them, select a block: this will reveal a toolbar at the top of the block. You’ll also find additional settings in the sidebar to the right of the editor.
The settings at the top of the block usually include formatting options as well as the option to change the block type.
In the editor’s sidebar you can switch between settings for the current block and settings for the whole document.
The Document Settings is where you can add tags and categories, choose a featured image, see and change the status of your product or post, and more.
You can click the cog icon at the top right of the editor to show or hide the settings column.
To remove a block, select the block and click the three dots right above it. Among the settings there you’ll see the option to remove that block.
Search Engine Optimisation
Imagine you have a website or online store, but know nothing about SEO. What’s next?
While it’s unlikely that your website will be right at the top of Google within a week, our tool helps you to optimize for search engines, to improve your chances to rank. It does that well, but it still needs your input.
This beginner’s guide to Yoast SEO explains the basics of SEO as covered by our tool. Let’s go through the steps every user should take when using the tool, and take the first steps in optimizing your store.
Before we start, take note that this isn’t a guide to every single detail of our tool. In this article, we’ll show you some important things we think you should do.
There are many aspects to SEO, but we set the configuration so you can focus on what’s most important – your content!
Using the Yoast SEO Metabox
Of course, any Beginner’s guide to Yoast SEO should extensively cover the metabox. The Yoast SEO metabox will help you optimize your content as you’re writing it in the backend. Since you’re using the Block Editor, you’ll find the it on the right side of the editor, as well as underneath the editor.
Here, you’ll find a few tabs, two of which we’ll discuss here.
- A tab where you can insert the word or phrase you want to optimize the page for – the focus keyphrase. This tab also includes the SEO analysis.
- A tab for the readability analysis. The checks in this tab help you write the best copy you can, so you can serve your audience great content.
Let’s go through the checks in each tab, and explore which other things you can set in the metabox.
The first step in optimizing your post or page is making sure it’s nice to read for your audience. Since SEO is one of those areas where content is indeed king, we provide a convenient readability analysis for you. That’s because we understand not everyone has the skills to easily create readable content. Use the readability analysis when you’re writing a new post, or directly after, depending on what works best for you.
Now let’s see what’s in our readability analysis:
As you can see, we analyse many different aspects of your text.
Why is Readability Important?
If you’re going to write content, you need to understand that online and offline writing are two different things. While we take the time to sit down and read the great stories in books, or the articles in magazines, we tend to quickly scan, process and use the things we read online.
This post isn’t a page in a book. It’s information for you to process, like most online pages are, and Yoast wrote the readability analysis with that purpose in mind. Check out our post on ease of reading and SEO to find out more!
Rules on Readability
In the Netherlands where Yoast was born, the law requires that the copy on all government websites is B2: Upper intermediate level, there’s a rule that makes sure that every citizen, regardless of their level of education, can read and understand the information on these websites.
We believe that every site should be understandable for everyone. Our readability analysis aims to help with that.
- Readability score: the Flesch Reading Ease test makes sure every reader can understand your writing. If you are writing for a more educated audience, a lower score is acceptable – it’s a guideline, you decide how strictly to follow it.
- Use of passive voice: passive voice distances you from the reader, while active voice is much more engaging. It’s almost impossible to write a ‘natural’ article without any passive voice at all, which is why we ‘allow’ 10% passive voice in our analysis.
- Consecutive sentences: if your text contains three or more sentences in a row all starting with the same word, it may become a bit repetitive. We encourage you to use variation!
- Use of headings and subheadings: Headings help you group topics, which makes a text easier to process, which means that people can scan your pages faster.
- Paragraph length: long paragraphs in an online article are more difficult to understand as readers find themselves lost in all the words. Bite-sized chunks of text are easier to process.
- Sentence length: while in a book you can stretch a sentence over half a page, shorter sentences are much easier to read online. We suggest 20 words as a target length.
- Use of transition words to help improve the ‘flow’ of your page. They send a signal to your visitors that something is coming up and prepares them for the next sentence. You’ll find that the recommendation of using transition words in 30% of your sentences isn’t that hard to do.
In addition to the checks in the metabox, we provide an editable snippet preview. In the Block Editor, you can find it near the top of the sidebar, or underneath the editor, under the ‘SEO’ tab. The snippet preview shows you how the tool displays your page to Google and other search engines. In other words, it gives an idea of how your store would appear in the search results.
In the snippet preview, you can set a meta description. Make an effort and write a meta description that clearly reflect what your post or page is about. Let people know they’ll find what they’re looking for on your store and entice them to visit your store.
There’s no guarantee that Google will display your meta description in the results pages. But if the meta description you add here is very good, you’ll increase the odds.
The next step is optimizing your content for your focus keyphrase to rank in the search engines. You can enter your keyphrase at the top of the sidebar in the block editor, or at the top of the ‘SEO’ tab.
Just so we’re clear: entering a keyphrase here doesn‘t guarantee that you’ll rank for that keyphrase. Unfortunately, despite many agencies trying, nobody can promise to make that happen for you. What we can do, is evaluate how well your content is optimized to rank for that specific keyphrase.
Need more information on picking a focus keyphrase? Find out how to choose the perfect focus keyword.
Our SEO analysis currently includes the following checks:
In the image, you can see how we analyse different aspects of your text:
- Keyphrase in subheading: subheadings are a prominent part of your article. Add your focus keyphrase to a few of your subheadings, so its importance is clear.
- Keyphrase distribution: you need to mention your keyphrase often enough in your text, but good balance is key. That’s why we check if your keyphrase is evenly distributed throughout your text.
- Image alt attributes: add images to create a better experience for your users. Use the focus keyword in the ALT text so that Google can relate that image to the keyword.
- SEO title width: a short title allows you to add a trigger for a visitor from Google to click to your website.
- Outbound links: we encourage sites to link to other websites as well, as this opens up the web. Link to other websites that back up the points in your blog posts, or provide further information. This will help Google work out which websites relate to each other on what subjects.
- Internal links: to set up a proper site structure, link to at least one other related page on your site. It keeps visitors on your site and shows them more (background) information.
- Keyphrase in introduction: you want to make clear right from the start what the page is about, so try to add the focus keyphrase from the start.
- Keyphrase length: If a keyword is too short, you’re probably targeting a super competitive keyword, whereas longer keyphrases make it harder to optimize your post. So, we recommend a maximum of four relevant keywords for your focus keyphrase.
- Keyphrase density: In the free version of Yoast SEO, you’ll get a green bullet if your keyphrase density lies between 0.5 and 3%. That’s to make sure you use your keyphrase enough, without over-optimizing.
- Keyphrase in meta description: add a meta description that includes the focus keyword. People searching for that term on Google may see this in search results, so make it enticing to click on.
- Meta description length: We advise to keep your meta description between 120 characters and 156 characters.
- Previously used keyphrase: you should optimize a page for a certain keyword – not an entire website. So don’t create pages that compete with each other! Yoast SEO will warn you if you write more than one post about the same keyword. A simple solution is to use a variation or a long tail keyword
- Text length: if you want your page to rank for a specific keyword, you need to write at least 300 words on the subject. Otherwise, search engines will have a hard time grasping your topic, and might even consider your page ‘thin content‘ – and you want to avoid that.
- Keyphrase in title: if you add your focus keyword at the beginning of your page title, it will have the most value. Also, it will immediately stand out when your post is shared.
- Keyphrase in slug: repeat your focus keyword in your URL. This makes it clear – even out of context – what your page is about. And Google also likes seeing it in there.
SEO In Summary
You have Yoast SEO Premium, the tool will recognize word forms, and allows you to optimize for keyword synonyms as well. Our premium analysis is as smart as Google, why not put it to good use?
Does every light need to be green?
No, not every bullet in the SEO analysis has to be green for your post or page to rank. Similarly, getting your post ‘all-green’ in no way guarantees that it will rank. While it’s tempting to simply aim for all-green bullets on every post or page without working on other aspects of your SEO, that isn’t the best SEO strategy.
Next Level: Cornerstone Content
If what you are working on is the main page for a particular topic or keyword in a group of items you plan to write, you can mark it as cornerstone content. There’s a toggle for that in the Yoast SEO metabox, so Yoast SEO can help you you create your best cornerstone content.