The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress (there is a premium paid version too which is even better!) that allows you as the digital marketer to do on-page SEO easily and quickly without needing the help of a web developer. In our previous article we explored what on page SEO was and its importance. This article gives you a better understanding of actually implementing it using Yoast SEO Plugin
How to do on-page SEO using Yoast WordPress Plug-in?
I am sure, now you would have understood the importance of on page SEO to boost your website ranking on search engine. So, why don’t you try on-page SEO using Yoast Plug-in by yourself, best explained by Harsh Aggarwal through a blog on www.shoutmeloud.com
If you are using any existing SEO plugin like All In One SEO (https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/), , All In One SEO (Old), Headspace 2 (https://urbangiraffe.com/plugins/headspace2/), or any other such plugin, or if you are using any plugins by importing your settings into this plugin.
The very first thing you should do after installing Yoast SEO plugin is:
Go to Dashboard > Features > Advances setting pages & enable this feature.
If you are installing Yoast SEO on a WordPress blog, where you were using some other SEO plugin or theme SEO settings, then after activating advanced settings you should go to SEO > Tools> Import & Export > Import from other SEO plugins in the left panel. Select plugin from which you would like to import your settings.
I suggest taking a backup of your database , and then using the option to “Delete the old data after import”
WordPress Yoast SEO Dashboard
The first step to getting started with this plugin is to submit your site to Google, Alexa, Bing, and Yandex. After installing plugin, click on SEO > Dashboard > Webmaster Tools to access this page.
Once you have done this, let’s move to the more advanced parts of this plugin.
Titles & Meta Settings
This is one of the most important parts of this plugin. Once you click on “Titles & Metas”, click on “General” tab first to see what separator is being used and what that separator does. This will assist you to quickly set up title and metas SEO aspect of the plugin.
- Click on “Homepage”tab of the “Titles & Metas” section
Configure settings for your homepage “Title and Meta description. Read the on page seo guide to understand what Titles and Meta’s mean
- Title template: The home title that you want to show in Google search.
- Meta description template: Your homepage Meta description for search engines.
This is where you will configure SEO for all of your post types.
By default, you will have Pages, Posts & Media types. If you are using more custom types in WordPress, you will see its section here. Here you can define SEO for the post, page, and media sections of your WordPress blog.
As I mentioned above, be sure to check out help section to understand what templates you can use. Also, by default, WordPress SEO by Yoast hides the date from search engine snippets, which is useful for blogs writing evergreen content
If you are running a news blog and want to show the date for your posts in search engines, you can check “Date in Snippet Preview” box.
This is how you can configure a blog:
Taxonomies and Archives
You should prefer keeping tags and categories as noindex and dofollow. However, you should set this up depending upon your own SEO plan.
If you would like to use my settings, simply check the “Noindex”, “Follow”, and “Hide” boxes. Once again, you can configure the title template according to your needs. Since we are not indexing tags and categories, you can add more user and brand-centric title templates.
Example: %%term_title%% Archives %%page%% %%sep%% %%sitename%%
Here you can set indexing for your author and date-based archive. Also, you can disable or enable date and author archive. I suggest that you check “noindex” and “follow” boxes, and leave everything else as it is.
This is the last one under “Titles & Metas” settings. You can ignore “Use meta keywords tag?” Google already has said that they do not bother about keyword Meta tags.
This completes the “Metas & Titles” settings of WordPress SEO by Yoast. The final options will keep your WordPress blog head section clean by hiding information such as posted short links, WLW manifest links, and others.
In SEO by Yoast 3.0, they have added Google Knowledge Graph feature http://searchengineland.com/library/google/google-knowledge-graph). This will show your social media profile in search engines whenever someone searches for your brand name.
The configuration is easy. Simply add all of your social media profiles in the format shown in the image below.
You should add a default picture, which can help Facebook show an image when your posts have no image & are liked or shared on Facebook.
In the Yoast SEO plugin, you can configure advanced permalink settings. Usually 2-3 settings are used from here to avoid parameters being indexed in Google searches. With this plugin in particular, it is easier to get rid of the replytocom parameter (https://www.shoutmeloud.com/how-to-fix-replytocom-links-issue-in-wordpress.html), which is quite a headache.
This setting is under Advanced > Permalinks.
Breadcrumbs (AKA Internal Links)
This is another useful feature of WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. You can edit WordPress .htaccess and robots.txt file from the dashboard.
A word of caution: When you edit your .htaccess file from your dashboard, keep FTP access as well, because misconfigured .htaccess files may stop your site from functioning. You can read more about robots.txt and .htaccess below:
- Optimize WordPress Robots.txt File for SEO (http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-optimize-your-wordpress-robots-txt-for-seo/)
- How To Create a WordPress .htaccess File (https://www.shoutmeloud.com/how-to-create-htaccess-file-for-wordpress-blog.html)
- How To Edit a WordPress .htaccess File (https://www.shoutmeloud.com/how-to-edit-your-wordpress-htaccess-file.html)
Hope this tutorial will help you to set up WordPress SEO by Yoast correctly
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