WordPress – its a beauty on its on. The most popular CMS platform ever which is highly optimized for better Ranking and Search Engine Appearances. How to get SEO tips and suggestions for WordPress? Well the SEO Plugin from Yoast known as the Yoast SEO plugin is the answer for this. We will dig deeper as we move.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the most important thing that we should take care for getting more Organic Traffic. Only if the website or blog ranks in search engines, we will be receiving Organic Traffic. For WordPress users, there is an impressive plugin called Yoast SEO plugin a.k.a WordPress SEO Plugin that can help you optimize the sites contents.
SEO plugin by Yoast is the most popular and widely used SEO plugin for WordPress. It is a collection of many tools that works in harmony for optimizing the website or blog. Yoast Plugin is available for FREE from the WordPress Repository. There is also a premium version of the plugin with some additional features, but the Free one is fine for normal users.
The Yoast SEO Plugin:
WordPress is SEO ready out of the box, but it can still be improved by miles. That is what exactly the Yoast SEO Plugin enables. Adding more functionalities to WordPress for SEO. There are tons of new functionalities that Yoast Plugins.
The plugin is available for Self-Hosted WordPress websites( unfortunately wordpress.com bloggers ). It is the most comprehensive tool that you will ever need to take care of the SEO of your blog. The main thing about this plugin is how everything is setup, it is so easy to change any setting or options. Even very basic bloggers will able to configure and use it without any issues.
Downloading and Installing the Yoast SEO Plugin
I’m guessing that you don’t already have the plugin installed on your website. If you have installed it, you can skip to the configurations. So lets get started!
There are two way you can Install the plugin onto your site. Actually three. But lets look the easy ways. First way is to search and install the plugins directly from the Plugin Option from the menu bar.
- From the Menu, navigate to the Plugins option.
- Click on Add New.
- Search for Yoast SEO plugin from the search bar.
- Install the plugin.
- Activate it.
Secondly, you can download the plugin from the Yoast SEO Website and then upload it. I recommend doing it the normal way as mentioned above. Follow the below method if you find any issue doing the above method.
- Go to Yoast Official Website.
- Download the Free Version ( Option will be just below the Buy Yoast Premium Button).
- Now that you have the zip file, Goto Plugins > Add New.
- Click on Upload Plugin.
- Browse the downloaded zip file and upload.
- Activate it afterwards.
Okay! We have successfully installed and activated the Yoast SEO Plugin….. Lets move on!
Setting up Yoast Plugin
After you have installed and activated the plugin, a SEO option will be available in the Menu Side Bar. Lets set up our SEO Plugin.
- Go to SEO > Dashboard.
- From the General tab, Click on Open the configuration wizard.
- A new Window will open.
The Yoast Configuration Wizard:
The First page is asking for your name and email. This is the newsletter signup option. Feel free to signup for the Yoast Newsletter or just leave it empty if you do not want to subscribe to the newsletter.
This setting is basically telling you to choose whether the site is already in production or in staging phase or in development stage. Choose this option accordingly.
This option is for choosing whether the site is a blog or a business website or e-commerce website.
Company or Person:
This data will be used as metadata that Google will be indexing. Choose whether the site is owned by a person or a company. Like if it is a personal blog, then you will be selecting Person and for business websites, it will be company.
Add the links to your social profiles in this step. There are many social medias available, I have cropped the screenshot. It is always good to add social media profiles as it will be helpful for branding and follower-ship.
Post type visibility:
This option is an important option. It is basically asking you to choose what type of data should be visible to Search Engines. Choose the ones appropriately. I would keep the settings as it was. It is important to index your posts and pages in Google. Remember, you can always change these settings later on.
Are you blogging alone? Or do you have multiple authors for your blog? Choose if the blog is or will have multiple authors or not. It is used for indexing posts and author archives later on.
Google Search Console:
Authorize with google search console in this step. We can connect the property to our blog.
- Click on the Get Google Authorization Code button, a new window will be open telling you to login to google account.
- Login with the google account associated with Google Search Console.
- Then you will receive an Authorization Code.
- Copy and Paste it below and press Authenticate.
- You will be asked to select the property from the available properties.
Choose the website name and title Separator. This will be how the title will be appearing in Search Engines.
You have successfully completed the General Configuration of Yoast SEO Plugin. Remember we can always change the settings we have made earlier. For that we will have to enable Advanced Settings from Features tab of SEO Dashboard:
This will enable all the settings in the SEO Options. Now lets take a look at the settings individually.
Yoast SEO Settings:
Titles and Metas:
The options that are available in the Titles and Metas Settings are changing the title seperator, indexing of post types etc.
#1. Title Seperator:
Choose the type of Title separator from a list of options available. This separator will be shown in Search engine results.
#2. Home Page Template:
Choosing the Title template and Meta description template. This will decide how the titles appear on search engines.
#3. Post Type:
This option allows which post type to be indexed or followed by robots. This will decide the indexing of post types. Recommended Setting:
Posts and Pages:
#Title Template : %%title%% #Meta description template: Leave Emty #Meta Robots: index #Date in Snippet: Show #Yoast SEO Meta Box : show
Categories and Tags:
#Meta Robots: index #Yoast SEO Meta Box : show
#Meta Robots: index
Subpages of archives : noindex
All the settings related to Social Media Profiles and sharing is in this section of the Yoast plugin. We can make changes to the social media profiles or add new profiles here. You can connect your Facebook Admin to it to get the Insights. You can set Open Graph Meta Data here. There is an option to integrate twitter, pinterest and Google Plus pages.
Sitemaps are important when it comes to search engines and SEO. Sitemap is a list of pages of the website that are accessible to the users and crawlers. We have a global switch to toggle the XML functionality of Yoast SEO. We can use this XML or use any custom XML for submitting in Search Engines. Yoast XML functionality is pretty great and there is no reason why one should go for other XML Plugins or Generators.
There is the link to our XML sitemap. Click on the Link to view the sitemap of the website. And also there is an option to set the maximum number of entries in the XML file. By default it is set to 1000. We can always change it as we need.
#2. Post Types:
This setting is for selecting the type of posts that needed to be in the sitemap. You can select whether or not to include posts, pages and media in the sitemap. Always include posts and pages in the sitemap, as they need to be indexed by the Search Engines. If you don’t want to include any of these in Sitemap, Select Not in Sitemap.
#3. Exclude Posts:
In case you don’t want any particular post to appear in the sitemap, then you can use this option to exclude them. Just type in the post ids separated by commas to exclude them.
This setting is for including taxonomies in sitemap. You can choose to include or exclude Tags and Categories from sitemap.
These are the briefing of the options that are available under XML Sitemaps. Make sure you Save changes before leaving the page.
This section consist of functions like breadcrumb settings, permalink settings etc. As the name suggests, it is advaced options which basically a beginner or starter need not have to change.
The one thing that you need to do is in the Permalink tab. In the permalink setting:
1. Strip the category base (usually /category/) from the category URL to Remove
2. Redirect attachment URLs to parent post URL to Redirect
Keep the others as it is.
Tools section contains certain tools that can be used to edit or make changes to files and also import or export the plugin settings. The tools that are available under the Tools section of Yoast SEO plugin are:
>> Bulk editor
This tool allows you to quickly change titles and descriptions of your posts and pages without having to go into the editor for each page.
>> File editor
This tool allows you to quickly change important files for your SEO, like your robots.txt and, if you have one, your .htaccess file.
>> Import and Export
Import settings from other SEO plugins and export your settings for re-use on (another) blog.
This section deals with the sites crawl errors. You will have to connect the website with the Google Search Console.
Features of Yoast SEO Premium Plugin:
- A redirect manager
- Multiple focus keywords
- Social previews
- Internal linking
- Premium support
Yoast Content Analysis:
This is a set of checklist that help writing SEO friendly contents. Basically you will get a Green signal if you have successfully completed all the steps. All these need not be satisfies each and every time, but it is always good to follow the suggestions. Then there is also a Readability Score keeper which will check the contents readability. This basically is helpful for checking if the things we write are actually good for the readers.
You can see a SEO score and Readability score near the publish section which shows the overall quality of the content. Keep it green, it looks good too. I often don’t like anything in Red because it basically shows some kind of error. I try to keep it green. 🙂
The Content analysis tool is actually a great way to know the SEO friendliness of the content we write and make changes accordingly. You might have a question in mind: Does Readability Score effect Ranking? I would say that i will affect the sites ranking indirectly.
Search engines may not consider the readability of the post, but the users or readers will. The ultimate end user is our fellow readers and we should write posts that is good for the. Only then they will read the posts and stays on the website for long, which will give a boost to the rankings.
So Indirectly Readability is going to effect your rankings. Write posts for the readers not the search engines. Avoid Keyword stuffing.
So we have seen how to install and setup the Best SEO plugin available for WordPress which is the Yoast SEO Plugin. Configure the settings as specified and you are good to go. Don’t think that all SEO factors are covered and completed just by installing a plugin. This is just one of the things we have taken care of.
The content we write should be quality content and optimized as well. Now that you have the Yoast plugin for giving you recommended tips and suggestions for writing SEO friendly content, you just have to follow these tips while post.