Plugins, Tutorials

How to Install and Configure Yoast SEO Plugin?

Yoast SEO plugin is one of the most important plugins to install on your WordPress blog for SEO purpose. This plugin makes it very easy to do SEO which is utmost important for a blog. This article is going to be a bit longer as I will go through each and every option of Yoast SEO plugin.

This is a complete guide to understand and setup all important settings in Yoast plugin to do better SEO for your blog’s home and internal pages. It is a fully fledged plugin which includes all possible settings for your blog’s SEO. The very first step is to install Yoast plugin in your WordPress dashboard. so, continue reading to know everything about this awesome plugin.

  1. STEP TO INSTALL YOAST PLUGIN

  1. Go to Plugins Menu >> Add New
  2. Search for Yoast SEO using plugin search option
  3. Click on install then activate it once it is installed.

Install-yoast-plugin

  1. ACTIVATE ADVANCE FEATURE OF YOAST PLUGIN

Once you activate Yoast plugin, you will get a basic options of Yoast plugin in your dashboard as shown below.

YOAST-SEO-option

As I would show you to setup complete Yoast plugin, first I will show you how to enable an advanced feature of Yoast SEO plugin which is also the key feature it. In SEO menu go to Dashboard >> Feature, check for Advance setting pages and enable it. Remember to save the changes to see the effect.

enable-advcane-feature-of-yoast

Once you enable Advanced Setting page and save the changes, you will get the advanced options in under SEO menu as shown below.

YOAST-advance-feature

Now I will take you through each and every option of Yoast SEO. Let’s start with the dashboard.

  1. DASHBOARD

There is nothing to setup on a dashboard. It will display some notification if there is something to bring to your notice as per Yoast.

YOAST-SEO-dashboard

General

In General tab, you can use ‘Open the configuration wizard’ to setup SEO. It will show you a similar option on a new webpage to configure setting step by step. You can skip this tab too as I am going to show you each and every option one by one.

configure-yoast-setting

Features

I have already used one option from this tab. By default, everything is enabled. If anything is disabled then you can enable it and save the changes.

feature-of-yoast-plugin

Readability analysis: If you enable this it will check and analyse the length of an article written(Length of an article) and how easy it is to be read. And on the basis of the analysis, it will give scrore. You can improve by considering their suggestions as you can see below:

readability-setting-yoast-plugin

Keyword analysis: If you enable this option, keyword analysis tab will be active while you are writing the article.

Cornerstone Content: This will allow marking most popular, well-written article as a cornerstone. Such post is more likely to rank high in search engine.

Text link Counter: It will count a number of internal links and external links use in an article.

cornerstone-post-keyword-analysis

Company info

In this tab, you have to mention your blog name/alternative blog name. Your site name can be your blog’s title name. This name is used by the search engined when it appears in a search result page.

You can also mention about company/person behind this blog. If it’s company then you can write your company name and upload the company logo.

company-personal-info-yoast-plugin

Webmasters tool

Webmasters tool is another important setup one need to do to complete SEO setup. The popular search engine like Google, Bing etc allow us to register our blog in search engine. You will get Meta code from the search engine after successful registering, use that respective search engine Meta code in Yoast webmaster tools option.

webmasters-tool-setup

Security

By default advanced part of the Yoast SEO Meta box is disabled. If you enable this option then non-administrator user will be able to change setting like noindex to post and canonical setting of the post. I would recommend keeping it disable so that only administrator will have privileges to make such changes.

security-yoast-seo-plugin

  1. TITLES & METAS

General

title-separator-yoast-plugin

You can select the type of title separator for your blog. This separator will appear in a title bar of your blog post/page as shown in above screenshot. You can define the separator from the General tab of Titles & Meta menu option.

title-separator-setting-yoast-plugin

Homepage

You can define title template for your homepage. This you can see in a title bar of the browser when your homepage is opened in the browser.

homepage-seo-title-and-meta-description

Post Types

In this section, you can define title template for page, post, and media. You can also setup meta robot (index/noindex, Data Snippet preview, SEO Meta box) for a page, post, and media as per SEO.  I recommend enabling this option for the post, disable for media as shown in below screenshot.

Title template can be overridden while writing an article. If you forgot to mention SEO title for page or post then it would pick as per title template define in Yoast plugin.

Don’t forget to save the changes to see the effect.

post-seo-title-meta-desc

page-media-seo-title-meta-desc

media-seo-title-meta-desc

Taxonomies

Taxonomies contain similar setup for categories, tags and format. You can setup this section as shown in below screenshot.

Don’t forget to save the changes to see the effect.

categories-seo-title-meta-desc

tags-seo-title-meta-desc

format-seo-title-meta-desc

Archives

An archive is done with respect to author, date and pages. Author archive may act as duplicate content if you are running single author blog. In many cases date archive also acts as duplicate content. If you are running single author blog, I would recommend disabling this option to avoid duplicate content.

After changing any of these options, click on save button to reflect the changes.

author-archieve-setting

Date-specail-page-archive-setting

Other

Set the setting in this section as shown below. Disabling this option will help to noindex next page option like /page/3/ from appearing in the search engine.

sitewide-meta-setting-archive

  1. SOCIAL

As I have mentioned that Yoast plugin is fully fledged with many features. It also contains Social menu which will link to different social media site like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, linkedin, Google+ etc. You just need to mention you social page URL or userid in the respective textbox.

Account

social-account-setting

Facebook

Enable Facebook open graph option, this will add Facebook open graph in your blog head section. Now if anyone shares your post/ page then the social site will use this data while sharing.

Add front page setting for Facebook with image URL, title and description. I recommend adding your banner image here since this image is used when your homepage is shared on social site.

facebook-yoast-setting

Upload thumbnail size image of your blog logo. This image is used for an article which doesn’t have any image in the article to display.

facebook-yoast-setting-2

Twitter

Before using this setting make sure you have added Twitter username in the Account section of SEO Social menu.  This section contains two options i.e. share article on twitter with summary or Summary with a large image. Using summary with the large image is more effective than just using summary.

twitter-setting-yoast

Pinterest

For setting up Pinterest option, first register your site on Pinterest and get meta tag. You can register using link provided in Pinterest section as shown in below screenshot. Once your blog is registered, enter meta tag in below text box and save the setting.

pinterest-setting-yoast

Google+

Now Google+ setting for your blog comes here. You have to mention your page URL in below textbox.

googleplus-setting-yoast

Once you complete this social setting you can upload a custom image for each page/post. Custom image can be uploaded while writing post/page. Scroll down to get social option below post as shown in below image.

social-sharing-option-below-post

  1. XML SITEMAP

A sitemap is one of the most important parts of SEO. It helps the search crawlers to find all the links on one page so that they index your site a bit faster. Once the XML sitemap is ready, you can go ahead and submit it to Google Search Console to get considered by them so that crawling and indexing could be faster.

Newbie often struggles to create a sitemap for their site. But SEO plugin helps to get sitemap in one click. Just enable sitemap for your blog in SEO plugin and click on the link shown in below image to get a sitemap for your site.

xmlsitemap-in-yoast-plugin

User sitemap

For SEO purpose it is recommended to disable user sitemap. This may create duplicate content while indexing posts or pages in sitemap.

user-sitemap

Post Types

In the sitemap, it is good to keep post and pages only so you can exclude media from there.

page-sitemap

Excluded Posts

You can just enter the post ids to exclude them from the sitemap. This is beneficial when you don’t want to keep a few pages or posts in the sitemap.

exclude-post-from-site-map

Taxonomies

You can also enable or disable taxonomies from indexing. It is recommended to enable only for categories for effective SEO.

taxonomies-sitemap

  1. ADVANCED

Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs help you to know the location of current page /post from the homepage. It looks like Home>>How to>>Post_name.  You can define separator in SEO plugin. After you enable this setting you will have to add small code in one of your files. Add below code at end of header.php file using editor option.

<?php

if ( function_exists(‘Yoast_breadcrumb’) ) {

Yoast_breadcrumb(‘

<p id=”breadcrumbs”>’,'</p>

‘);

}

?>

breadcrumb-setting-yoast-plugin

You can select the type of posts to show in the breadcrumb. Just above Save button there is a link of Yoast tutorial to add code snippet in theme. Same code I have mentioned above. You can use the same.

breadcrumb-setting-yoast-plugin1

Permalinks

Permalinks setting in Yoast plugin is different than permalink setting in dashboard setting menu. In SEO there is more advance option available for SEO purpose.

permalink-setting-yoast

  1. Strip category base from category URL: Normally in URL you would see /category/, using this option you can remove this part from URL section. Please note if you enable this option then it may clash with a page having the same title. And it may appear as duplicate content. So I recommend disabling this option.
  2. Redirect attachment URL to parent post URL: When you upload any image, video or file like pdf, docx etc. It will open as a new URL. Enabling this will redirect the reader to the main post. You can enable this option as it is a good feature.
  3. Stop word in slug: Stop word means ‘is’,’the’, ‘for’, ‘what’ etc. Enabling this option will remove such word from URL. This is also good feature but I would recommend editing URL manually for each post instead of using this feature.
  4. Remove the ?replytocom variable: URL like wpwars.com/…./#comment-2917 may appear as duplicate content in a search engine. So enabling this option will help in SEO of a blog.permalink-setting-yoast-1
  5. Redirect ugly URLs to clean permalinks: This feature is not required in many cases. Hence disable this content and same has been suggested by Yoast too.

RSS

RSS feed of blog shows all the post published on a blog. It helps search engine to know about content posted on a blog. You can manipulate RSS content as per SEO strategy. You can add a link to post, author and blog to your RSS feed so that if someone copies your content then also you will get a backlink from copied content.

RSS-feed-setting-yoast

  1. TOOLS

Tools provide the option like editing post or pages in bulk, create robots.txt and .htacess file for blog and import/export SEO setting.

bulk-editor-file-editor-import-export

Bulk Editor

You can edit SEO title and description for more than one post at a time.

bulk-editor-yoast

File Editor

Using file editor you can create a robots.txt file which is the most important file for SEO. Also, you can edit .htaccess file of the blog. You don’t have to login to your control panel to access these files.

file-editor-yoast

Import Setting

You can import SEO setting using this option. If you are moving from one hosting provider to another then while migration you may lose data. In such situation, you can import SEO setting. You can also import SEO setting recommend by anyone else.

import-seo-setting

Export setting

Exporting setting will help you to export your SEO setup. This setup will be useful while migrating your blog from one server to another. This is also useful in sharing your SEO setting with anyone else.

export-seo-setting

Import from other SEO plugins

Importing from other SEO plugins will help when you are planning to move to Yoast plugin from any other SEO plugin.

import-from-other-SEO-plugin

  1. SEARCH CONSOLE

search-console-yoast

Search Console helps you to connect your blog with Google search engine. You can get Authorization code using the button provided in this section as shown in above screenshot. Once you get authorization code, enter that code in YOAST plugin and click on Authenticate.

  1. PREMIUM

yoast-premium

Yoast plugin comes with lots of features to do SEO for a blog post and page. I hope this will help you to install and setup Yoast plugin on your blog.

Your queries are always welcome through comment box. I am available to answer to your queries.

Shivkumar

Shivkumar Lohar (SK Lohar) from India, believes in sharing the knowledge learned from experience. He is managing his blog - www.stupidtechlife.com

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