A guide on how to set up Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. In my opinion, this is the best SEO plugin for WordPress and I’m using it on my websites. Ok, let’s begin.
Clicking on the SEO icon shows the dashboard page where you can see that the menu has 5 tabs:
- Your Info
- Webmasters Tools
Two things you should do here. First, click on your info tab and you can write your website name and an alternative name. Second, you can choose if you are a company or a person and write your name below. I leave the rest tabs on default.
Titles & Metas
In the left sidebar below the dashboard, there is the titles & meta tab which include:
- Post Types
In the Homepage tab, you can write your website title and meta description. In the title and meta description, you should include the keyword that you want to get ranked for. Remember the title should be under 60 characters and meta description under 160. If you have a static home page, then you can edit the settings from your page edit screen.
I leave the other tabs on default and I edit them from the post or page edit screen.
Here you add your social media pages and accounts to Yoast SEO. You can start by adding a Twitter card and an open graph for facebook. After that, add the URL of your social media accounts. If you don’t have social media pages and accounts for your website, you should consider creating at least on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google plus. Except the obvious advantages of building brand loyalty and increasing your traffic, you can also boost your rankings on search engines.
Sitemaps help your website to get indexed easily and fast and notify the search engines when you make any change in your content or add posts or pages. Click Enable under the title of the page and the plugin will create your sitemap. Next, you should submit manually your sitemap on google webmaster tools and on other search engines. Leave the other tabs on default except if you want to include or exclude something else.
Here are three tabs available to advanced section:
Breadcrumbs: They help search engines to understand the structure of your website and give good user experience as they go deeper to your website.
Click ”enable” under the title on the breadcrumbs tab and the settings will be displayed. In my websites, I leave it on default and works fine but you can make any change you want if you feel it would work better for your visitors.
Permalinks: From the available options in this tab, I keep the ”stop words in slugs” and the ”strip the category base from category URL” and remove the rest of them. Yoast recommends to remove the stop words but I think that if the URL make sense for the users then you should keep them.
RSS: Some people may use your feed to add content on their blogs or websites. With this tool, you can add a link below or above the posts when someone adds them on his blog and helps search engines to recognize that this is your content.
You can access the .htaccess and Robot.txt file but this isn’t recommended for beginners as with any mistake your website may stop working. However, if you want to edit these files then you should make a backup before.
Search console section helps you to connect with the Google search console. Click the ”Get Google Authorization Code” button and copy paste the code that will be shown. After that, you should have three more available tabs in this section. Now you can see your website crawl errors without visiting Google search console.
Posts and Pages
Here you can see the readability and keyword performance issues of your posts and pages. There are three lights: Red for bad, orange for ok and green for good. While you want to fix all the issues, your priority should be having readable and interesting content for your readers. You can also add your meta title, meta description and your focus keyword. Including your keyword in your title and description could help you to get ranked higher.
These were some of the basic settings you can change on the Yoast SEO plugin. Of course, there are other alternatives like the All in one SEO plugin.
Thanks for reading my article, you can check out how to start a business online for free if you want to make money with your website or by building one.
Leave your comment below if you have any questions or you want to add something else.