Avatar of Marieke van de Rakt

Marieke van de Rakt PhD

I'm the head of strategy at Yoast. I love to come up with new ideas and products that help website owners with their SEO. Together with our leadership team I focus on how we can steadily grow in a healthy way!

You can find Marieke on: TwitterLinkedinFacebookInstagramWordPress

I studied Sociology and Communication Sciences at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. I obtained my PhD in Social Sciences in January 2011. Since then, I worked as a researcher as well as a teacher at multiple universities.

Since the beginning of Yoast, I have been involved in the company. But, as of September 2013, I gave up my position at the university and decided to focus solely on my activities at Yoast. In 2015, I founded Yoast academy, our online SEO learning platform. I’ve also been the CEO of Yoast from January 2019 until November 2021.

Nowadays, I’m the head of strategy. In this role, I make sure that all the amazing ideas we have are aligned, we keep on track with our goals, and quickly adapt to changes within the ecosystems we operate in.

I’m married to Joost de Valk and we have four amazing children together.

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Is my website over-optimized?

Optimizing sites for search engines is something we do every day. Of course, we practice what we preach! But, now and then, we encounter websites that have gone a little bit overboard in their optimization strategies. What is the difference between SEO and over-optimization? And, how do you recognize an over-optimized website? In this post, […]

Read: "Is my website over-optimized?"
Is my website over-optimized?

My post ranks, but I don’t get any traffic

7 February 2017 | 9 Comments | Marieke van de Rakt

You did everything you were supposed to do. You wrote an awesome blog post, and the post actually ranks high in the search engines. Perhaps you even made it rank in a number one position. And you’re quite proud of your performance. Your deception is huge when your number 1 post doesn’t attract any traffic to […]

Read: "My post ranks, but I don’t get any traffic"
My post ranks, but I don’t get any traffic

SEO basics: SEO fact or fiction?

18 January 2017 | 7 Comments | Marieke van de Rakt

SEO has a somewhat questionable reputation. Why is that? At Yoast, we advise you to make an awesome website. Our SEO advice always comes down to: make sure to outrank the competition by being the best result. We actually collaborate with Google in the development of our plugin. So, why does SEO have a questionable reputation? […]

Read: "SEO basics: SEO fact or fiction?"
SEO basics: SEO fact or fiction?

Why you should NOT write clickbait headlines

15 December 2016 | 4 Comments | Marieke van de Rakt

You’d like your post to rank and your headlines to be clicked on. That’s how you generate traffic from the organic search results. After your headlines have generated those clicks, you’d want your customers to stay on our site and read your posts (and eventually decide to buy your stuff). That’s why writing clickbait headlines are not […]

Read: "Why you should NOT write clickbait headlines"
Why you should NOT write clickbait headlines

Use Yoast SEO to make your content findable

25 October 2016 | 5 Comments | Marieke van de Rakt

If you want to write awesome and SEO-friendly content, you should write findable content. Findability has to do with maximizing the likelihood your content will be picked up by the search engines. In this post, I’ll explain how the Yoast SEO plugin will help you to make your posts findable. What is findable content? Search Engine […]

Read: "Use Yoast SEO to make your content findable"
Use Yoast SEO to make your content findable



The Yoast SEO readability analysis: methodological choices explained

In Yoast SEO, you’ll find readability checks which will help you making your text easy to read. Here we’ll explain the choices we made while developing all these checks. What was our methodology, why did we include these checks in the readability analysis? And how did we set them up? Want to know if the readability […]

Read: "The Yoast SEO readability analysis: methodological choices explained"
The Yoast SEO readability analysis: methodological choices explained


How to handle comments on your blog

23 February 2016 | 30 Comments | Marieke van de Rakt

When you’re blogging regularly, people will start responding to what you write. Maybe not right away, but as your blog is growing, you’ll have to deal with comments on your blog. Especially when you write about your world view or opinions, some people will disagree with you. You will, in short, have to deal with […]

Read: "How to handle comments on your blog"
How to handle comments on your blog

Marieke likes to talk about content strategy, readability, site structure, internal linking and company culture.

  • How to improve the SEO fitness of your site

    Content SEO

    What to do to keep your website fit? In this talk, Marieke shows you 7 ways to improve the content SEO fitness of your website.

  • Interview: Helping millions of users with SEO

    WordPress

    Marieke was a guest on Stratabeat's B2B Marketing Tech Talks, where she was interviewed by Stratabeat CEO Tom Shapiro. Watch the video to hear Marieke's thoughts on what's going on in the world of WordPress and SEO.

  • Declutter your site structure

    Internal linking, Site structure

    In this talk, Marieke speaks about decluttering your site structure and how you can help customers and Google to understand websites better. She also explains how internal linking can help you outrank your competitors.

  • Outrank your competition with a great content SEO strategy

    Copywriting, Internal linking

    In this talk at WordCamp India, Marieke explains the importance of SEO copywriting and internal linking. After that, she shares some practical tips to start optimizing your website today!

  • Making a difference in the search engines with content SEO!

    Content SEO

    [Dutch] At WordCamp NL, Marieke spoke about how to make a difference and stand out in the search results with content SEO.

  • Interview: Marieke about Yoast

    Yoast SEO

    Marieke was interviewed at WordCamp Finland (online), where she talked about her role at Yoast and shared more information about Yoast as a company.

  • Importance of readability for SEO copywriting

    Copywriting

    In this talk, Marieke explains why people and search engines love copy that is easy to understand. She also covers 2020's Google trends and shares practical tips on how to improve your SEO copywriting for websites.

  • Growing a multi-million dollar business with a WordPress plugin

    Yoast SEO

    In this talk at WordCamp Philadelphia, Joost and Marieke shared some of the highs and lows in growing the company. How did they grow out to be where they are now? And why is WordPress so important to Yoast? This and more you'll see in the video!

  • WPCoffeeTalk: Interview with Marieke

    Yoast SEO

    Michelle Frechette interviewed Marieke for her WPCoffeeTalk Interview Series.

  • Yoast funds & improving your SEO by improving your site structure

    Site structure, Yoast Care fund, Yoast Diversity fund

    In this talk, Marieke talks about the Yoast Diversity fund, the Yoast Care fund and why diversity is so important. In addition, she provides tips to improve your site structure.

  • Interview: Torque Magazine

    Yoast Diversity fund, Yoast SEO

    In front of the Yoast booth at WordCamp US, Marieke talks about the game "sjoelen", the Yoast Diversity fund, and shares tips for first time WordCamp attendees.

  • Prejudices, women and diversity

    Diversity

    At WordCamp Nijmegen, Marieke talked about prejudices, women and diversity. In the end she offers solutions that can contribute to more equality and inclusion within society!

  • Interview: SEO myths and the #1 optimization effort that hurts your rank

    Yoast SEO

    Marieke was interviewed about the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin.

  • How to engage your online audience: Lessons from the field of education

    Site structure, Yoast Academy

    Marieke and Jesse talk about how people process information and how you can help users by making your content clear and understandable to comprehend.

  • Improving your internal linking structure

    Internal linking, Site structure

    At WordCamp Europe 2018, Marieke shared 3 tips on how to improve your site structure.

  • Thrive for the future – the business of open source

    Open source

    Marieke and Joost discuss why having a business model around open source projects is so important. Enjoy watching!