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March 31, 2017

Get the Green Light on SEO — Part 4

Our Favorite SEO Tools

Good SEO Tools

Our series on SEO is coming to a close at the end of this week. In our final article, we’ll share some interesting stats about SEO. Today, though, we’re going to provide you with some tools for your toolkit. These are our favorite SEO tools and when we say “our” we mean it: you will find Digital Firefly Marketing Staff using these tools on a daily basis. Here are our absolute favorite ways to make sure we’ve got good SEO no matter what we’re doing.

Make It Green With Yoast

Making it green didn’t just appear as one of the most said things at DFM. It started when we began using Yoast in our work. Yoast offers an exceptional plugin for SEO on WordPress.

At A Glance

Name: Yoast
Platform: WordPress Plugin and Online Checker
Who Uses it at DFM: Our content and SEO Experts
Why We Love it: A simple visual cue lets us know if we’re on track. Also a phenomenal tool for teaching new staff all about SEO.

Looking Deeper

The Yoast plugin monitors content on WordPress pages in real time scoring both readability and SEO.

The Yoast WordPress Plugin SEO tool allows you to see your score in real time.


The widget, located in the admin bar, monitors SEO and is visible no matter where you are on the page.

At the side the Yoast SEO tool shows readability and SEO at a glance.

These icons, located in the publishing widget, give you your score for SEO and readability. As text and formatting is changed the colors reflect how your readability and SEO are doing. Writing a ton without paragraphs or headings? Watch that green readability check turn to yellow or even red.

This sidebar icon is the perfect touchstone to monitor your work as you’re going so that you can quickly amend code, images, content and more to make sure that you’re going to get the best score possible.

The best part? You don’t have to guess what’s bringing your score down.
Yoast provides a point-by-point analysis. Let’s take a look!

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 1.11.33 PM

Below the text editor, a large Yoast widget breaks everything down for you. A bit of advice? Make sure you put your anticipated keyword in first! The Yoast tool places the items in priority order:

  • red: requires significant improvement to meet the standard
  • orange: requires some changes; almost meets the standard
  • green: meets the standard (where you want to be).

While it is possible to earn an overall green score with reds and oranges, you want as many of the green lights as you can get. Make it green!

In the example above, our content (yes, this is real time for this blog post) is a great length using a fresh keyword. We also have a title of an appropriate length. But look at where I’m lacking. I probably need a refresher course on Parts 1 and 2 of this series.

Don’t Forget!

Be sure to enter all of your SEO information to get an accurate SEO score!

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 1.26.45 PM


By switching tabs you can quickly see the analysis your text’s readability, too. Scan your results. If you are unsure of where you need transition words or have used the passive voice, a small eye icons will highlight these areas for you so that you can focus on improving one aspect of the post at a time.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 1.21.30 PM

Just like with SEO, the Yoast plugin SEO tool has an analysis to point out where you’ve missed. And, in this case, this single orange dot was enough to bring down my entire score to orange.

Not Using WordPress?

Digital Firefly Marketing develops and maintains websites on many platforms. When we’re using Drupal, Magento, Squarespace or any others we can still use Yoast. There is a handy online version where text is pasted into the box and all of the SEO info can be set to give a similar analysis.


Write Clearly With The Hemingway App

Writing is hard. That’s why our content creators love the Hemingway App. The purpose of the app is to make writing as clear and concise as possible, like the writing of famed author, Earnest Hemingway.

At A Glance

Name: Hemingway
Platform: Free Online Site
Who Uses it at DFM: Our content creators
Why We Love it: It will remind you of the best English teacher you ever had. The one who never accepted anything less than your best work.

This simple online app gives real time feedback and recommendations on writing. Using this app helps identify the things that will keep Google from ranking your site as high as it could and also provides you with the reading level. The sweet spot for good SEO is between sixth and ninth grades, although lower is good, too. Anything above ninth grade level can make it difficult to read for many people.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 1.32.09 PM

Use Tools That Promote Good SEO

These are our two favorite SEO tools, but DFM employs several other tactics to ensure our content writing is A+ work. Feel free to take a look through our blog and try to prove us wrong.

About the expert: Maarit Durity

Maarit Durity is the Director of Digital Marketing at Digital Firefly Marketing. Not only does she supervise the work of other SEO Specialists on the team but she keeps all Digital Firefly staff up to date on SEO trends and best practices and oversees our own site’s SEO. Maarit’s expertise is organic. A love for computers and interest in programming and design that bloomed in the 1990’s led her to where she is today. As Maarit dove deeper into the world wide web, she became an expert in online marketing and search engine optimization through trial and error which has lead her to consistently creating successful strategies. She enjoys mentoring and guiding colleagues and clients to use SEO best practices and teaching them new tactics. Maarit’s work satisfies her inner data nerd by diving into site and marketing campaign stats to see the successes of the organic and technical tactics she has applied.

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