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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Transition words: why and how to use them

17 December 2021 | 16 Comments | Marieke van de Rakt

Using transition words in your writing can help you enhance the readability of your content. These words help your text flow and show readers the relationship between phrases and paragraphs. That’s why the readability checks in Yoast SEO provide feedback on your use of transition words. But what are they exactly? Why are they so […]

Read: "Transition words: why and how to use them"
Transition words: why and how to use them

How to write clear and SEO-friendly paragraphs

15 December 2021 | 14 Comments | Marieke van de Rakt

Paragraphs? Isn’t that what you get when you insert a white space after a bunch of sentences? Do you need to think about where to put that whitespace? Or can you just put one in whenever you feel like it? Well, writing correct and clear paragraphs is really important for the readability of a text. […]

Read: "How to write clear and SEO-friendly paragraphs"
How to write clear and SEO-friendly paragraphs

How to write an SEO-friendly introduction for a blog post

8 December 2021 | 9 Comments | Marieke van de Rakt

Google loves amazing content! We all know that, right? And what is THE most important part of a post or article? That very first paragraph! So, you should give that first paragraph some extra SEO love! The introduction of an article is of key importance to tell your audience what your story is about. Moreover, for Google, the introduction of a post is really important as well. But why is the […]

Read: "How to write an SEO-friendly introduction for a blog post"
How to write an SEO-friendly introduction for a blog post


Your website needs SEO maintenance!

2 December 2021 | Marieke van de Rakt

In order for a website to be successful, you need to have traffic going to it. You need an audience! That’s why SEO is so very important. Unfortunately, a lot of aspects of SEO are hard work. Kind of boring even. And although these SEO tasks can be boring, your website needs you to execute them. Your website needs SEO love. I am […]

Read: "Your website needs SEO maintenance!"
Your website needs SEO maintenance!



What is search intent and why is it important for SEO?

23 September 2021 | 4 Comments | Marieke van de Rakt

SEO is a way to get more traffic to your website. By ranking high on Google, you attract more people to your site which leads to more sales and returning visitors. To get people to your site, you need to optimize your content for the right words. However, to increase your chances of ranking, convincing […]

Read: "What is search intent and why is it important for SEO?"
What is search intent and why is it important for SEO?

Why focus on long-tail keywords?

22 September 2021 | 4 Comments | Marieke van de Rakt

Focusing on long-tail keywords is a great SEO tactic. Long-tail keywords are keywords or keyphrases that are more specific – and usually longer – than more commonly used keywords. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific. They allow you to gradually get more traffic […]

Read: "Why focus on long-tail keywords?"
Why focus on long-tail keywords?

Does readability rank? On ease of reading and SEO

21 September 2021 | 4 Comments | Marieke van de Rakt

Is it worth your while making your text easy to read? Will it lead to higher rankings and more traffic? In simpler terms: Does readability rank? At Yoast, we’re convinced that writing in plain and understandable language can and will get you more visitors. We’ve even developed a tool to help people write readable text. […]

Read: "Does readability rank? On ease of reading and SEO"
Does readability rank? On ease of reading and SEO

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!