WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast Tutorial and Review

WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast is one of the best and free SEO plugin available in the WordPress community world. Yoast WordPress plugin comes up with tons of feature and this plugin provides an alternate to the famous All in One SEO Pack.

How to Install and Setup WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

The installation procedure is pretty simple. Navigate to WordPress dashboard. Click on Plugin>>Add New Plugin and search for WordPress SEO plugin. Click on install to complete the installation and activate the plugin. WordPress SEO comes with tons of good features which help us in optimizing the content according to SEO standards. Some of the best feature available in Yoast SEO plugin is mentioned below

  • Provides interface to enter Page Title, Meta Description, Post URL and Focus Keywords
  • Google search Snippet preview feature
  • One click enables the Breadcrumb Feature
  • Generates a Google Sitemap with Posts, Tags, Authors, Images etc
  • Meta Robot Configuration to easily add  noodp, noydir meta tags.
  • Provides a canonical URL support for the pages and posts.
  • Edit .htaccess and robots.txt
  • Taxonomy, Archive and Author Page support.
  • RSS feed settings

How to Setup WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

The settings shown below are the standard and we recommended these setting for better SEO optimization. Many experts may have their own preference and if you are an advanced user you could slightly modify the settings according to your website need.

Yoast SEO: General Settings

Yoast SEO: General Settings

Once you activate the plugin the first step is to submit your site to Alexa, Bing, Google, and Yandex Webmaster tools. Click on the links which in turn will guide you in detail on how to submit your site and provides with a unique meta code which you need to enter in the textbox and save it.

Titles & Metas – Yoast SEO

Titles & Metas - Yoast SEO General Settings

You could choose the Page Title separator in this settings. By default “hyphen” is selected and that is the best one to use as a separator. Some of the bloggers prefer to use a pipe (“|”) as a separator.

Post Types and Page Types Meta Titles

Titles and Metas Yoast SEO Post Types

WordPress SEO has a prebuilt title template which generates automatically based on the settings. The recommendation here is to enter the title manually. Some bloggers prefer to append the site name to the end as a best practice. Hence, it is recommended to enter the Meta Title and Meta Description for each post manually and optimized it with targeted keywords.

Taxonomies and Archive Settings

Titles and Metas Yoast SEO Taxonomies Settings

You could configure the Title and Meta Description for the categories and tags in this section.  It is preferred not to index categories and post tags until and unless you have configured the canonical tags properly. If canonical tags are not present then search engines will treat category and tag pages as duplicate content.

Yoast SEO Author Archives

If you are running a blog and different authors are posting then these settings will be very useful. You can control the Page title and Meta Description of the Author Page here. If you do not wish to index the author pages then you should select noindex. The same settings are applicable for the Date-based Archives.

Yoast SEO Other Settings

Yoast SEO Other Settings

This is the last option in Title and Meta Setting and keep the settings disabled as the best practice.

  • SubPages of Archives: Do not index page 1, 2, 3 which in turn will create a duplicate content if canonical tags are not set properly.
  • Meta Keyword Tag: This option is not required as the meta keywords are outdated and search engines won’t recognize it anymore. Disable this option.
  • Force noodp meta robots tag sitewide: If you set a custom description for a page or post, it will have the noodp tag regardless of this setting.

Yoast SEO Social Settings

Yoast comes with open graph settings which tell the search engine about your brand page in different social media accounts. Open graph tags have many other advantages when someone shares the article on your website, it picks up the correct title, description, author and image from the og tags.

Yoast Social Settings

  1. Accounts: In this settings enter all the social media URL’s and twitter handler name and click on save settings.
  2. Facebook: Add the facebook open graph meta settings for the HomePage of your site. Whenever someone shares your homepage the same thing will be displayed on the Facebook.
  3. Twitter: Here you can select to display a different kind of twitter cards to display on your website.
  4. Pinterest: Pinterest uses Open Graph metadata just like Facebook, so be sure to keep the Open Graph checkbox on the Facebook tab checked if you want to optimize your site for Pinterest.
  5. Google+: If you have a Google+ page for your business, add that URL here and link it on your Google+ page’s about page in this section.

Yoast SEO Google Sitemap Generation

Yoast Google XML Sitemap Generation

Sitemaps are an essential part of the SEO. It’s the easiest and quickest way to index and notify the search engines about the new content . Sitemaps also allow you to configure the priority of the pages and posts and how frequently the page is updated.

Just enable the XML Sitemap functionality to start generating the sitemap xml for your website. There are many other settings where you could control and filter user specific articles to display on the sitemap, also has options to configure posts, tags, categories, and if you want to exclude any post then you could add the POST ID in the excluded post settings.

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