Configuring the best WordPress SEO will be done with the number of plugins. But out that WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin hits the top most installed plugins category (1 million active WordPress installs).
Yoast SEO (formerly WordPress SEO by Yoast) is the complete plugin for SEO available for WordPress users. The Yoast SEO plugin providing every option that you need to optimize WordPress blog. In this plugin there is a special built-in Content analysis function is available. It helps to optimize your site titles and description for Google.
WordPress blog’s elite developer “Joost De Valk” created a Plugin and created history a few years back. The plugin had all the options related to SEO.
It is not like “All-in-One SEO”, which have simple and had fewer options for SEO comparatively. The plugin created by Joost, the name is “WordPress SEO by Yoast”, it reduced the burden of the Webmasters with all its wide range of options and features.
This tutorial covers the WordPress SEO plugin installation and configuration process for best results in Search Engine Optimization.
Today I will explain how to install and setup WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin in this article. Through this setup of major features, we can achieve better functionality for your WordPress based blogs.
Complete Guide on Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin (Formally WordPress SEO by Yoast) :
If you are using any SEO plugin other than Yoast SEO plugins, like All in One SEO, HeadSpace2 and Old All in One SEO plugin, you can import all settings from the existed plugin to this Yoast plugin. To do this, first install the plugin and activate it now and you can use the Tools >Import option.
Joost clubbed his developments “RSS footer”, “Head Space2”, “Yoast Breadcrumbs” and many more options for this WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, which is also called “Powerhouse Plugin”.
How to Install Yoast SEO Plugin in your Blog:
- Installation of Yoast SEO plugin is very simple. Just go to Plugins > Add New and search with the keyword “Yoast SEO”.
- After the display, the required plugin snippet, click on Install button finally click on Activate Plugin.
- Now you will see a new tab option “SEO” in the left column of your WordPress dashboard.
- You now need to make the necessary changes according to the requirement of your blog.
Yoast SEO Plugin Global Settings:
These settings are created by keeping in mind for beginners. Before setup the plugin, you must import all SEO data from your blog to Yoast Plugin with the help of “SEO Data Transporter”. Finally, WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin is enough for WordPress blogs. No need to install more SEO plugins.
1. General Settings: (Dashboard)
- Start Tour feature has a good introduction to the plugin. If you want to know the plugin click on Start Tour button.
Latest changes summarized the most recent changes in Yoast SEO.
- Default settings: This option helps you to reset the plugin setting into default mode.
Your Info / Company Info:
Declare the site is about a company or person and do not forget to upload the company logo for google’s knowledge Graph. Just enter Website / blog details here like Website name and Alternative name. If someone search with your company name your logo will be displayed on the SERPs.
In the Webmaster Tools option, you need to add the tags which are in Google, Bing and Yandex (Russian Search Engine) to verify the ownership of your blog.
The major advantage of this feature is if you are using the in-built Theme SEO options to validate the ownership of your blog it will be removed when you change your blog theme.
But the tags in WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin’s Webmaster Tools are permanent and they won’t change even when you change the Blog theme.
In the Security option, if your blog maintainers are more than the one you need to disable this option. If you do not trust your editors with things like any index and redirects, disable this.
OnPage.org is site analysis feature for advanced users not for beginners. This is not a useful feature.
2. Titles and Meta:
- In General tab, Disable Force rewrite titles feature. It can correct duplicate site name from appearing in the SEO title. In fact, it fixes the duplicate site names, but it can slow down your site. So leave it as Disable. (Update: Recently this feature disabled in latest version).
- Now you can choose Title separator. My personal opinion is to leave as default. Do not change anything.
- Enable Readability Analysis feature to analyze the content errors and suggestions.
This is an important page to feed Blog title and Meta description which appears in the search engine result page snippet. Just click on HomePage tab and configure the settings.
- Title Template: This is the Homepage title place that shows in Google search. Character limitation is 70 characters only.
- Meta description Template: This is Homepage Meta description for search engines results. Do not exceed your description, not more than 155 characters.
- Meta Keywords Template: This is an optional feature in the plugin. Google is not considering this keywords feature. So use this feature based on the site.
There are 4 different options are available to configure. They are Posts, Pages, and Media type. This option is based on the theme. In title template using the variables as the SEO title (%%title%%), it is replaced with the title of the page and the separator (%%%sep%%) and site name (%%sitename%%).
Keep the variable %%title%% and remove everything. By default WordPress, SEO by yoast hides the date from search engine snippets. This feature is helpful for a NEWS blog.
I recommend keeping Categories and Tags as no index and follow and hide boxes. You can configure the title template as per your needs. You can add more user and brand-centric title templates, it does not index by search engines. I keep my tags and categories no indexed to prevent Duplicate content penalties.
Set the indexing for your author and date based archive.
- Author Archives are – Enabled
- Meta Robots – Noindex
Date based archives:
- Date-based archives are – Enabled
- Meta Robots – no index
This is the last tab under the Titles and Meats section.
- Subpages of archives – Noindex
- Use meta keywords tag? – Disabled (Google doesn’t use meta keywords)
- Add noodp meta robots tag sitewide – Disabled
3. Social settings:
Social settings are the updated feature from Yoast SEO 3.0. In this update, they have added Google Knowledge Graph Feature. If some searches your brand name your social media profiles will be displayed in the search engines results. To configure this add all social media profiles in this Social settings page.
In Facebook tab in Yoast plugin, I recommend that you must be enabling the “Add Open Graph meta data” option. Then upload the default image, which is shown when you share the post on facebook (if the post does not have any image, your brand image will be displayed with your shared). Write the title and description here or you can use the “Copy home meta description” option to copy the Meta description from the Homepage option in Title and meta tab
In twitter tab, you can add Twitter cards in your blog’s head section. Activate the “Add Twitter card meta data” by clicking on Enabled button. These add twitter metadata to your site’s <head> section.
Choose Summary with large Image from “The default card type to use” option.
Pinterest also uses Open graph metadata just like Facebook. So be sure you must keep the Open graph checkbox on the facebook tab checked if you want to optimize your blog for Pinterest.
To confirm your site with Pinterest here is the verification option to add Meta tag. Use the feature and verify your blog.
This is the last tab to optimize your blog on social network Google plus. Similarly, check the box to add metadata and paste the Google Publisher Page URL.
4. XML Sitemaps:
Sitemaps are very important for WordPress sites. Joost integrated XML sitemaps feature in his Yoast SEO plugin, it is similar to Google XML sitemaps. Search Robots find out your blog content to help in search engine indexing.
Just enable the sitemap feature and submit the link to Google, Bing and Yandex search engines that accepts sitemap file. To do this
How to submit sitemap to Google search console:
- Go to SEO > XML sitemaps
- Click on XML sitemap button
- Copy the XML sitemap link and paste into notepad.
- From the notepad, copy the last part of the Sitemap link, which should be : /sitemap_index.xml
- Login to Google search console
- Now select Sitemap from Crawl option, which is at left side column
- Paste the last part of the link which is shown in the screen shot
- Click on Test and then Submit
- Repeat the same process in Bing and Yandex search engines.
The Advanced the tab settings allow three different options. They are Breadcrumbs, Permalinks and RSS feed related settings.
This is a great feature for internal linking. It gives the clean path or train to the page you are on. The breadcrumbs appear in search engine result page with your site extra advantage in the search.
To enable this check on “Enable breadcrumbs” box. Do not change any default setting. It works well in most of the web site cases. Finally, click on the Save changes button to save the settings.
The permalink feature adds extra options that are built-in to WordPress. It does not allow creating SEO friendly URLs in WordPress.
There are two different options.
- One of the important elements to consider in this section is to remove the word “category” and thus leave a cleaner URL to search engines and to improve the usability and appearance of the web.
- Redirect attachment URLs to Parent post URL: This is your choice. Personally, I would recommend enabling “Redirect” option.
Clean up Permalinks:
- Remove stop words from Slugs: this helps you to create cleaner URLs by removing the stop words from them automatically.
- Redirect ugly URLs to clean permalinks: This not recommended feature. So keep this in “No redirect” option.
This feature integrated from RSS footer plugin. When I using this feature I am getting a linkback to my original article in RSS feeds. Simply I am using this line here on my blog:
From this tab Yoast Seo WordPress plugin, you can set the content you want to show in the RSS automatically. WordPress SEO by Yoast the plugin provides a set of variables that you can use to automate content within your titles and descriptions. This feature is also used to add an advertisement to your RSS feed.
From this section you can perform the following operations:
- File Editor: You can quickly modify important files for your SEO. Here there are two options – Robots.txt and .htaccess file editor.
- Bulk Editor: lets you quickly edit titles and descriptions of posts and pages one by one without entering the editor.
- Import and export: from here, you can make a backup of the configuration Yoast SEO plugin. In order to later import it in order to recover or simply when you do a blog migration or for any other reason.
- Recalculate SEO scores: an added option in version 3.0 to recalculate the SEO rating of your posts.
6. Search Console:
This is a recently launched in the new version 2.3.1. Yoast SEO.
These features allow the certain information from Google webmaster tools. To do this, you must enter a verification code.
- To get it, click on the button “Get Google verification code.”
- Then a pop -up or pop up with the permit application to extract information appears.
- Click OK and copy the code that appears and closes the window.
- Once again in your WordPress Dashboard, paste the code in the box and click on “authenticate” button.
- Then choose the URL of your website and click on “Save Profile“.
Now you have the chance to see all the mistakes you stop Google, with its Search Console tool directly from WordPress. In Premium version of the Yoast SEO plugin, there is an additional option to fix all errors from your WordPress dashboard.
We can achieve the maximum functionality of WordPress Blogs by using this Joost’s plugin “WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin”. It can also help to avoid and protect from content scrapers to your WordPress blogs.
In each of the steps you will find the expanded information, videos and links to additional documentation, read carefully before making any changes.
I covered everything in this guide for Yoast WordPress SEO plugin guide and we hope that helps you install and set it in the right way. You can also see my list of WordPress SEO plugins for blog optimization.
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