When we discuss WordPress SEO plugins, then Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin comes first among all others. Various SEO plugins are available to run your blog and website. Most of the bloggers are using All in one SEO, they must have to aware about the advanced plugin, which is called as “Yoast SEO”.
There are various other plugins offered by Joost de Valk such as RSS Footer Plugin, and Meta Robots Plugin. Since Yoast SEO has various features, setting up the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin is not everyone’s cup of Tea.
Need to learn about SEO?
I also Faced this problem same like as you are thinking right now! In This Plugin, I will share you how to Setup and Configure Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin to SEO Performance.
Beginner’s Guide to Configure Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
WordPress SEO by Yoast is a powerful tool for WordPress Search Engine. However, Setting up the plugin can be tricky for the new blogger or anyone can do without basic skills of WordPress.
Therefore, an incorrect and wrong information can be harmful to your website and stop search engine bots from Indexing your blog.
Before starting about their setup guide, let’s have a look at their some advantages offered by this plugin:
- Meta Title, Meta Description and Keywords setting
- Site Verification in Google, Bing, and Yandex
- Hide WLW, RSD, Shortlinks from head
- Meta-Control for taxonomies, Homepage, Author Page. Etc
- Generate Sitemap
- Supports Facebook open Graph
- Breadcrumbs Support
- Advance Permalink Control
- RSS feed footer plugin Setting
- Import setting from other SEO plugins
- Edit .htaccess files
- Add Google authorship for single author
- Hide date from Search Engine Snippets
These are some basic features offered by this plugin if you want to read more.
Now, let’s get started the Configuration of Free SEO plugin
Setup and Configuration
Webmaster Tools Dashboard
The initial step to getting started with this plugin is to submit your Website URL on Google, Bing, and Yandex. After installation of this plugin, Click on SEO > Dashboard > Webmaster tools to access the Page.
Title & Metas
This is one of the Most Important parts of this plugin. I prefer to explain most of the things in Screenshots and some of the Examples at below:-
Once you click on SEO > Title & Metas ” First one Click on the General tab to see what separator is being used and what it does. It will help you to quickly setup up “Title & Metas” SEO aspect of this plugin.
Click on the “Homepage” Tab of the Titles & Metas” Sections and configure the setting of Homepage title and meta Description.
Title template: The Home page title which you want to display in Google Search.
Meta Description Template: Homepage Meta Description for Search Engine.
This is where you will configure the SEO for all of Your Post Types.
By default, you will get Pages, Posts and Media Types. If you are using more custom types in WordPress, you will see its section. Here you can define the SEO for Page, Post and Meta Sections of your Website or Blog.
As I explained above, make sure out the help section to understand which type of template you can use. Along with that, by defaults, Yoast WordPress SEO hides the date from Search Engine Snippets, which is useful for beginner’s blog writing Content.
If you are working on Media blog then you want to show the date on posts in search engine, then check the “Date in Snippet Preview” box.
Check it on Screenshot
Taxonomies and Archives
I will prefer you to keep noindex and dofollow the tags and categories. Hence, you should set up depends upon the SEO plan.
If, you love to use my settings, just check on “Follow”, “noindex”, and “Hide” boxes. Once again you can set the title template according to your needs. In our blog, we are not indexing categories and tags, so you can add more user and brand-centric title template.
Example: %%term_title%% Archives %%page%% %%sep%% %%sitename%%
Now, you can configure and Index for author and date-based achieve. Make it disable or enable the date and author archive. I suggest you check “noindex” and “follow” boxes, and leave everything as it is.
This is last but on the least option in Title & Metas Settings.
With these changes, you will get millions of page view in search engines on every month.
Can we ignore “Use Meta Keywords tag? Google already Made it official that do not use meta tags as keywords.
Now, this is the end of “Metas & Titles” Settings of WordPress SEO by Yoast.
The final options will save your WordPress blog head section clean by hiding data like posted short links, WLW manifest links and others.
In version 3.0 of SEO Yoast, you can add the Google Knowledge Graph feature. It will display your social media accounts in search Engines whenever someone searches for your Brand name or blog name.
The Social Settings Configuration is easy. Simply add your all social media accounts in the format shown in the below.
Here, you can setup your Facebook open Graph meta tags, the default image for Facebook and Twitter Meta Card.
Want to learn in depth about Facebook open Graph Meta tags? Click Here
I suggest you add a default image, which will help to facebook show an image when your posts have no image and are liked or shared on facebook.
Make Enable to the Sitemap feature and it will help you to take care of your blog’s sitemap. After creation of Sitemap file, submit Sitemap to Google, Bing & Yandex to make your site crawl by search Engines.
Breadcrumbs (AKA Internet Links)
Breadcrumbs are much important for the Search engine; it will help users to navigate your site. It will be used to get search engines to understand your site structure.
In Yoast WordPress SEO plugin, you can configure your advanced permalink setting. I usually use 2-3 settings from here to avoid the parameters Indexed by Google in Search Engine. With this particular plugin, it is easier to get rid of replytocom parameter, which is quite headache.
This is my Suggested Advanced Settings
Direction: SEO > Advanced > Permalinks
This is a Screenshot of My settings:
This part will integrate the features of RSS footer plugin. When you will use this features, you will be able to add a link back to your original article in RSS feeds. You can also use it to add advertisements to your RSS Feeds.
I added the following line after the post Content Section:
“The post %%POSTLINK%% appeared first on %%BLOGLINK%%.”
This is also another one useful feature of Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin. You can edit the WordPress robots.txt and .htaccess files from the Dashboard.
“Important Note: Whenever you are editing your .htaccess file from the Dashboard, always keep your FTP access as well. Because, if misconfigured .htaccess files stop the functioning of your site, which is harmful to your site traffic”
Once you have done all the SEO changes in your blog by Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. After that, you can check Google Rich snippets testing tool to check for authorship, and see how Google will show your blog in blog posts in Google Search.
Issues with Yoast WordPress SEO plugin
In latest Version of SEO by Yoast, they added some major design changes, which are literally confusing for old users when it comes to Meta title & Descriptions.
You can click on “Edit Snippet”. There you can enter the “SEO title” (Called Meta title) and “Meta Description”.
This is another feature of Yoast SEO plugin, as it allows you to direct any URL to another URL of Choice.
When you get too many errors (Must Check Google Webmaster tools), you can re-direct them to save your link Juice. If you want to learn more about 404 error SEO and pages.
In my future articles, I will explain to you how important for you to submit your blog to Google Webmaster tools, (aka Search Console) to monitor your all crawl errors. In this way, you will get to know how Google is getting while trying to crawl and index your blog. With this Plugin, you can see your all errors inside your WordPress blog. You just have to add the authentication code and after that, you can check all the errors in the dashboard.