Support » Plugin: Yoast SEO » focus keyword in first paragraph

  • Resolved chrisontour84


    Hey guys! After many years, I have decided to pick up some SEO for my blog finally. First of all, thanks a lot to the Yoast team, you have done a great job!

    I have a general question that came up with the red marked problem “The focus keyword doesn’t appear in the first paragraph of the copy. Make sure the topic is clear immediately.”

    My post contains of a H3 Intro, H1 headlines for the different parts of the article and H4 for the actual article text.

    I realise this is not practice, but the reason I did it was because I could not change the font size easily in the WordPress editor and was too lazy to do it in HTML i guess. (How come WordPress won’t offer an out-of-the-box option to change fonts and sizes by the way?!)

    Now I just want to ask if the above feature only works if I would use Paragraphs instead of H4 so it could notice that the first paragraph actually starts with the focus keyword (“Hitchhiking is great!”). Or should the plugin also check for the focus keyword if it is formatted in H4?

    Depending on your answer, I might have to go ahead and change my CSS settings than and make sure the Paragraph value looks the same as the current H4 since I like that look and want to stick with it.

    Thanks so much!

    The page I need help with: [log in to see the link]

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Plugin Support Rumejan Barbarona


    Hi Chris,
    The focus keyword not in first paragraph warning is often thrown out if there is an HTML element, code, image, or whitespace around the keyword which is affecting Yoast’s ability to scan for it. If you switch to classical or code view, is there anything above the first paragraph? If there is, you need to include the focus keyword there as that will be treated by the plugin as the first paragraph.

    Thread Starter chrisontour84


    Thanks Rumejan,

    to test, I changed to another focus keyword “Dubai” because this is even included in the very first piece of code, which is an image:

    <a href=""><img class="alignleft wp-image-10683 size-full" style="border: 1px solid #000000;" src="" alt="" width="811" height="156" /></a>
    <h3><span style="color: #999999;">[06/07/2012]</span> Now that my big trip has come to a sudden end, I decided to start catching up with my old trips that haven't been covered here yet. Let's begin with the stopover trip to Dubai back in July 2012 from our way back from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Africa</a> back to Frankfurt.<em><!--more--></em></h3>

    It still comes up with the same error message.

    Any ideas?


    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by chrisontour84.
    Thread Starter chrisontour84


    Another example is here:

    Focus Keyword is “Hitchhiking” – it comes up in the ALT text of the image, the image URL, the introduction text (H3) and the first Paragraph (it is just formatted as H4 and not Paragraph).



    Hi Chis,

    If your post starts with an image, even though the focus keyword might be in the alt text, then Yoast SEO will not detect it as appearing in the first paragraph. In this case, it is safe to ignore the warning.

    Thread Starter chrisontour84


    Ok great, good to know 🙂 But in terms of actual SEO, having a picture at the beginning won’t harm my potential ranking?

    Plugin Support Md Mazedul Islam Khan


    Right, it won’t hurt your ranking in search results.

    Plugin Support amboutwe


    This thread has been marked as resolved due to lack of activity.

    You’re always welcome to open a new topic. Please read this post before open a new request.

    Thanks for understanding!

    This happens to me a lot – with no formatting around the first para and sometimes with the keywords as the first words. I’ve even tried copy and paste from the keyword box to ensure no mis-typing. This is frustrating, as it has been going on for a long time. It would be great to have a fix for this.

    Anyone come across a way to override this error and not have it affect SEO ranking. I understand from the comments here that it may not hurt ranking if it is an image or H1 tag above the first paragraph that is causing this problem, still, it is concerning that Yoast after all these years still flags this as an error.

    Hoping there is a fix coming soon that will eliminate Yoast flagging this as a problem. Very frustrating indeed. What is the point of Problems if we are just to ignore them?


Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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