When it comes to SEO friendly and customizable CMS, then there is nothing better than WordPress. What makes WordPress so popular for blogging and building websites?
It is the range of plugins that WP offers which make your website or blog super cool and you can stand out from the all others.
Making your website super cool is one thing and making it searchable for user is another. It is not necessary that if your website is visually appealing and structured then it can be easily found on various search engines such as Google. Bing, Yahoo, Baidu and others.
So, What can be done to make your website searchable in search engines?
The answer is SEO or search engine optimization which means you need to make your website search engine friendly by following the search engine rules so that it can appear on the SERP’s (search engine result pages).
There are n number of things which we need to take care while making your website work according to search engines. In WordPress there are plugins which help you to perform these SEO activities easily within your few minutes of time.
There are many SEO plugins that you can use in WordPress but SEO by Yoast is the best which provides you almost all the basic functionalities that you need in your website for SEO. If feel proud to say Yoast the king of SEO Plugins.
What are the main features of SEO Plugin by Yoast?
- You can change the SEO title and meta description on per page & post basis.
- You can also change the title and meta descriptions of categories and tags.
- You can preview the Google search result snippet below.
- Change the URL of the page.
- Test the focus keyword in a particular post or page.
- Configurable Breadcrumbs Support
- XML Sitemap with an option to customize authors, posts and pages inculsions.
- Robots.txt and .htaccess editor
- Google, Bing, Yandex, Baidu Webasters Verification
- SEO data import facility from other SEO plugins like All in one SEO.
There are several other features as well. Premium Yoast SEO plugin has some advance features as well like:
- URL redirection management.
- Video guides to implement each function precisely.
- Premium Email support.
How to Install SEO Yoast Plugin?
It is as simple as we do for other plugins in our WordPress Website Dashboard.
Here are the Steps:
- Go to Plugins
- Add New
- Search SEO Yoast in search bar
- Click Install and Activate it.
Your SEO Plugin by Yoast is installed successfully and you will see a new tab in your WP admin sidebar with the name of SEO with the Yoast logo. It’s time to move to the setting of the powerful SEO plugin.
How to Setup SEO Yoast Plugin in WordPress Website?
We are good to go with step by step setting up of Yoast SEO plugin. We are describing and setting up this plugin according to our experience and these have helped us to achieve good results.
Other experts may have other opinions so it is totally up to you and your due diligence to implement the changes according to your needs.
- Import data from other SEO plugins (no need in a fresh website).
If you were using some other SEO plugin on your website such as All in One SEO or other. Make sure that you import all the previous SEO data so that you do not have to work again on it.
To do this Click on SEO Tab > Tools > Import and Export > Import from other SEO Plugins
After doing this your data will be imported from other SEO plugins to Yoast plugin. You must check your data before deleting the previou plugin.
- General Settings
When you click on General Setting, you will see this and Yoast will tell you to configure it from Configuration Wizard.
We would like you to skip this step as you may miss some of the features. Here we are helping you to setup yoast step by step.
Lets move to Features Tab where you can enable or disable all the features Yoast SEO provides.
In the latest version of Yoast all the features tabs are enabled by default. If you need to disable any functionality according to your needs then you can do it easily by toggling the On or Off Tabs.
We will recommend you to keep it enabled for maximum SEO features in your website.
- Webmaster Tools
This is an important section where you can verify your websites in four different search engines of the the world that are Baidu, Google, Bing and Yandex.
This section is updated after the recent Yoast update and Baidu webmaster verification is newly added feature in this.
You can put the meta code here and get your website verified in various search engines.
- Home Page Settings
We can set the search appearance of our home page and it is very simple.
Just go to SEO > Search Appearance > General
Now you can Change the Title and Meta description of the Home Page. Here you can define whether you are a company or a person.
You can select the URL separators as well from this particular page.
- Posts and Pages Settings
We can adjust the SEO settings or the pages or posts. We can decide whether we want our pages and posts to index in search results or search engines or not.
Just go to SEO > Search Appearance > Content Types
Here you can toggle the options according to your requirements. You can even choose not to show the post or page date in the search snippet preview.
- Media Search Appearance Settings
Now this is one of the important change that you carefully need to implement. Yoast will recommend you to redirect attachment URL to attachment itself which will cost you the actual search results of your content page.
But if you think ranking an image is better, then it is your choice completely.
You can reach there by SEO > Search Appearance > Media
I ll recommend you keep both the buttons to NO if you want your original page to appear in the SERPs.
- Setting up of Categories and Tags
WordPress is very flexible and it has given us the chance to optimize the post categories and tags as well.
Go to SEO > Search Appearance > Taxonomies
You can now enable or disable the categories and tags in the search engine results. By default they are discoverable by search engines.
You can even change the Title and description template according to your needs.
- Setting up Authors Archives
You can Setup Authors Archives search engine visibility. You can enable or disable them completely as well.
Go to SEO > Search Appearance > Archives
There is an option of disable the authors with no post.
- Breadcrumbs Settings
SEO Yoast gives you the privilege to set up breadcrumbs in your website.
Go to SEO > Search Appearance > Breadcrumbs
Now you can see the customizable settings for breadcrumbs. You can adjust them according to your requirements or disable them completely.
- RSS Settings
You can make so many changes in the RSS feed through Yoast SEO Plugin.
Go to SEO > Search Appearance > RSS
You will find numerous options to customize your RSS feed in a very simple way.
- Search Console Authentication
You can fetch search console data here in your SEO Yoast dashboard. You need to authenticate your wordpress website with search console.
Go to SEO > Search Console > Get Google Authorization Code
Now you will be taken to webmasters popup from where you will get an authorization code to place below and press authenticate to receive the data.
Your Google account should be owners account. It will authenticate all the versions of your website. Do not forget to choose the preferred version.
- Social Settings
Go to SEO > Social
You will find a panel where you can add all the social media links. See Below.
You can also make personalized changes in different mail social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
You can easily make different open graph settings for Facebook. You can customize the image, title and description of the home page to show whatever you want to or best describe your website.
With Yoast you can enable or disable twitter cards. You can allow or disallow the excerpt and image automatically when you publish any link on twitter.
SEO by Yoast plugin gives you a freedom to verify your Pinterest account with your website directly from this panel. Just put the authentication code given by pinterest in the bar and click save.
Now save the settings in Pinterest and you will be verified in a moment.
Important Tools Offered by SEO by Yoast Plugin
There are some important tools that Yoast SEO provides us within the plugin.
Import and Export
We have already discussed it in the first point where we have imported all the data from previous SEO plugin on our website. Like import you can export your SEO settings as well to use somewhere else as well.
You can create, edit your robots.txt and .htaccess file. Check the image below.
Bulk editor helps you to edit the page SEO titles and meta descriptions at a single place. This is very useful for websites having lots of posts and need an bulk edit.
These all are the features of free version SEO by Yoast Plugin.
In Premium Version of Yoast Plugin , there are few additional features.
Features of Premium SEO by Yoast Plugin
Redirect Manager: You can easily manage your redirects with this feature.
Multiple Focus Keywords: Instead of checking one keyword at a time you can add up to 5 focus keywords. It can save time for you.
Social Previews: Along with search engine snippet preview, you can also see Facebook and Twitter Previews as well.
Premium Support: With Premium Yoast Plugin you will be able to get premium support by SEO Yoast team over mail. This will help you to make the best use of this plugin to rank higher in search engine.
I hope this step by step guide to configure Yoast Plugin on your website will be sufficient to you. If you still have any questions regarding the set up, then comment box is waiting for your query. I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.