Configuring the best WordPress SEO will be done with the number of plugins. But out that WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin (Yoast SEO) hits the first installed plugins category (1 million active WordPress installs). In this post, we are discussing the basic Yoast SEO settings to prepare your blog as Search Engine Friendly.
How to improve SEO ranking on google? 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 a WordPress blog.
In this plugin there is a particular built-in Content analysis function is available. It helps to optimize WordPress 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 has all the options related to SEO.
It is not like “All-in-One SEO,” which have simple and had fewer opportunities for SEO comparatively. The plugin created by Joost, the name is “WordPress SEO by Yoast,” (or) “Yoast SEO for WordPress SEO”. 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.
How to make SEO friendly website in WordPress?
Today I will explain how to install and setup WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin in this article. Through this configuration of the mentioned features, we can achieve better functionality for your WordPress based blogs.
Getting Started with Basic Yoast SEO Settings?
If you are using any SEO plugin other than WordPress SEO by Yoast or 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 much more options for this WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, which is also called “Powerhouse Plugin.”
How to Install the Yoast SEO Plugin from your WordPress Dashboard?
Installation of Yoast SEO plugin is straightforward. Just go to Plugins > Add New and search for 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.
Getting Started with Basic Yoast SEO Settings
How to improve SEO on WordPress?
These settings are created by keeping in mind for beginners. Before setup the plugin, you must import all SEO data from your blog to the 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)
a. General Tab
- Start Tour feature has an excellent introduction to the plugin. If you want to know the plugin click on Start Tour button.
Latest changes summarised the most recent changes in WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin.
- Default settings: This option helps you to reset the plugin setting into default mode.
b. Your Info / Company Info
Declare the site is 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 for your business name your logo will be displayed on the SERPs.
c. Webmaster Tools
In the Webmaster Tools option, you need to add the tags which are on Google, Bing, and Yandex (Russian Search Engine) to verify the ownership of your blog.
The primary 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 replace 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 a site analysis feature for advanced users not for beginners. This is not a useful feature.
2. Titles and Meta
- In the 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 the latest version).
- Now you can choose Title separator. My personal opinion is to leave by default. Do not change anything.
- Enable Readability Analysis feature to analyze the content errors and suggestions.
b. Home Page
This is an important page to feed Blog title and Meta description which appears in the search engine result page snippet.
Just click on the 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 the 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.
c. Post Types
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 of 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 on this Social settings page.
In the Facebook tab in the Yoast plugin, I recommend that you must be enabling the “Add Open Graph metadata” 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 the twitter tab, you can add Twitter cards to your blog’s head section. Activate the “Add Twitter card metadata” by clicking on an 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 a Meta tag. Use the feature and verify your blog.
d. Google Plus
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.
Note: Google Plus service recently shutdown. This option is not available in the next version.
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 accept sitemap file. To do this
Q. How to submit a 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 in the left side column
- Paste the last part of the link which is shown in the screenshot
- 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 an excellent feature for internal linking. It gives the clear path or train to the page you are on.
The breadcrumbs appear in search engine result page with your site extra advantage in the quest.
To enable this check on “Enable breadcrumbs” box. Do not change any default setting.
It works well on most of the web site cases. Finally, click on the Save changes button to save the configuration.
The permalink feature adds extra options that are built-in to WordPress. It does not allow creating SEO friendly URLs in WordPress.
The best permalink structure for SEO is very important to get organic traffic from search engines.
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 the “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 with RSS footer plugin. When I use this function, I am getting a link back to my original article in RSS feeds. Only 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:
a. File Editor
You can quickly modify important files for your SEO. Here there are two options – Robots.txt and .htaccess file editor.
b. Bulk Editor
Lets you quickly edit titles and descriptions of posts and pages one by one without entering the editor.
c. Import and export
From here, you can make a backup of the configuration Yoast SEO plugin. To later introduce it to recover or simply when you do a blog migration or for any other reason.
d. 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 precise 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 is displayed and closes the window.
- Once again in your WordPress Dashboard, paste the code in the box and click on the “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 the 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.
Choosing Yoast SEO premium is another great option to improve blog SEO in a professional way. The premium plugin has more additional features like internal linking, multi-focus keywords feature and special redirection feature. Every option is good in this search engine optimization WordPress plugin.
I covered everything in this guide about this Yoast WordPress SEO plugin, 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.
By using the above Yoast SEO settings, recheck your existed settings or if you are new to WordPress blog, get my Free ebook and follow those instructions to create a new WordPress blog within 30 minutes.