How to setup Yoast SEO in WordPress

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Yoast SEO is a popular WordPress SEO plugin that provides a wide range of features to help you optimize your website. However, many beginners don’t know SEO jargon and struggle to know which plugin options to turn on. In this guide, we will show you how to set up the Yoast SEO plugin in WordPress to give your site an SEO boost. How to setup Yoast SEO in WordPress .

How to setup Yoast SEO in WordPress

Features

Yoast SEO is one of the most powerful WordPress SEO plugins with a lot of built-in features and tools. Here are some of the Yoast SEO features you can use:


✅ Update your SEO post’s title and meta description per post

✅ SEO Title and Meta Description Support for Taxonomies (Category and Tags)

✅ Google search result snippets previews

✅ Focus on Keyword Testing

✅ Meta Robots Settings: Add noodp meta tags, Noindex or nofollow pages, Noydir meta tags, Meta Robots Taxonomies, Meta Robots Archives.

✅ added support for taxonomy archives

✅ added support for single posts and pages

✅ rss footer/header configuration

✅ permalink cleanup

✅ support for Google Custom Search

✅ breadcrumbs support (configurable breadcrumbs names)

✅ XML Sitemaps with: Images

­čö╣Configurable removal of post types and taxonomies

­čö╣Pages or posts that have been noindexed will not show in XML sitemap (but can if you want them too).

✅ xml news sitemaps and robots.htaccess editor

✅ ability to check google search console, yahoo site explorer, and bing webmaster tools

✅ basic import functionality for platinum seo pack and all in one seo plugins (you can also import functionality from themes such as gesitation child themes using the seo data transporter).

The premium version of the Yoast SEO comes with even more features.

✅ An easy-to-use redirect manager.

✅ Multiple focus keywords.

✅ Internal linking suggestions.

✅Export focus keywords.

✅Video tutorials to explain each feature.

✅Premium support from Yoast to optimize your site's SEO.

How to setup Yoast SEO in WordPress 

The first step is to install and activate Yoast SEO. Check out our step-by-step instructions on how to install plugins on WordPress.

Once you have activated Yoast SEO, you will see a new menu item on the WordPress admin bar that says “SEO” with Yoast SEO logo.
Install Yoast SEO plugin


Now that you've installed and enabled the plugin, let's see how to configure this awesome plugin.

How to Setup WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

Please keep in mind that the settings we use are the ones we suggest. Other professionals may use their own preferences and be more discreet, so more advanced users can leave anything they don't like out of the box. If you're just starting out with Yoast's WordPress SEO plugin and want to use the same settings as us, then follow these steps carefully.

Step 1. Import your SEO Data

If you are installing Yoast SEO to a new WordPress site or blog, this step can be skipped.

On the other hand, if you are installing it to an existing website, you might have been using other WordPress plugins for SEO such as All in one SEO for WordPress. Or maybe you have been using a theme framework such as Genesis for SEO data management.

In order to use this plugin successfully, you need to ensure that all your previous data have been transferred to this plugin, before deactivating the other plugin.

We suggest using SEO data transporter plugin to transfer your SEO data among popular SEO plugins.

Step 2. General Settings

If you click the SEO icon, you’ll be taken to the plugin’s settings page. Navigate to the General tab and you’ll see a button that opens a configuration wizard. Ignore this wizard because we’re going to walk you through each of the options step by step.
General settings in Yoast SEO

Step 3. Features

Yoast SEO has many functionalities. This page makes it easy to enable or disable these functionalities. By default, everything on this page is enabled.
Yoast SEO features

Some of them will be discussed later in this article, but for now let’s briefly discuss each product and what it does.

SEO Analysis: Show the SEO Score and Analysis for your content
Readability Analysis: Show the Readability Analysis and Score for your content
Cornerstone Content: Mark and Filter Your Most Important Pillar Articles
Text Link Counter: Show the Number of Internal Text Links to and From and Article
XML Sitemaps: Create XML Sitemaps for Your Website
Yoast SEO Menu: Show Yoast SEO Menu in the WordPress Admin toolbar
Security: No Advanced Settings for Author
Hides Advanced SEO Settings from Author to Improve Security
Usage Tacking: Allows Plugin Author to Track Some Usage Data. By default, this feature is disabled.
Head Endpoint: Yoast SEO Rest API end point that allows you or someone else to get SEO data for a particular WordPress Post or Page. Turn this off if you’re not building a Headless WordPress site
Enhanced Slack Sharing: Adds an Author byline and Reading Time estimate to the Article’s Snippet when Shared on Slack.

Don’t forget to click on the Save changes button to store your settings.

Step 4. Integrations


Yoast SEO has built-in integration with SEMRush and Ryte platforms.
Yoast SEO integration

SEMRush is a top SEO tool, and this integration aids in discovering related keywords matching your focus keyword and enhancing your content. Ryte is an online tool that examines your website's indexibility and notifies you in the Site Health report if it's not indexable by search engines. It is advisable to keep both integrations enabled.

Step 5. Webmaster Tools

Popular search engines enable website owners to add their sites through the webmaster's tools section. For more information about these tools, check out our comprehensive guide to Google Search Console. Yoast SEO simplifies the process of verifying your website with major search engines. To accomplish this, you must register for the webmaster tools program for each search engine. Subsequently, you will be prompted to insert a meta tag to confirm your website ownership. Just input the meta code provided by the search engines into the designated fields.

Step 6. Search Appearance

Search appearance is one of the most important aspects of Yoast SEO. It determines how your website shows up in search results, and there are a few different settings that you can choose from.

Some of these settings include:

✔️ Your homepage
✔️ Single articles
✔️ Archives
✔️ Taxonomies

Let’s take a look at each of these settings first.

1️⃣ General settings 

Here you can select the separator symbol to use between titles. By default, the separator is a dash. However, if you are not sure which symbol to use, you can select it.

General Yoast SEO settings

On this page you can also select the search engine (SEO) name and meta definition for your site’s home page.

Note: If your home page is static, you can edit the home page title and description separately.

Next, you’ll see the knowledge graph options for your site. You can select whether your site represents a company or a person.

You can also upload a profileo picture for the individual or a website logo for a business.

2️⃣ Content Types settings

Each post or page you write can have its own SEO title and description. You can also set up an auto-generated template for them. If you forget to include them, these options will enable Yoast SEO to automatically fill them in using default settings.

Content settings Yoast SEO



You’ll also be able to adjust the search look and whether or not the SEO meta box will be shown for each type of content. The default settings will work for all sites.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to set the SEO title template and the default meta description. However, we suggest you only adjust the SEO title and keep the meta description field empty. That way, Yoast SEO will be able to automatically generate a description from just the first couple of lines of your article.

3. Media settings

By default, WordPress will create a new page for every image or media that you add to your posts or pages. This page will only show the attachment media. These attachment pages have no meaningful text to give search engines a sense of context. These low-quality attachment pages are considered by search engines as low-quality content and have a negative impact on your SEO.
Media settings Yoast SEO



With Yoast SEO, you can fix this by redirecting your users to the attached file instead of the attached page. The option is set to 'Yes' by default and you do not need to change it.

4. Taxonomies settings

On the taxonomy tab, you can set up titles and meta for category, tag, custom taxonomy, and post format archive.

For most sites, you should be able to use default template variables.

As for descriptions, keep in mind that Yoast SEO crawls your categories and tags.

Taxonomies settings Yoast SEO

5. Archives settings

In the Archives tab, you can edit the search appearance of various archive pages in your website. These pages include:

­čö╣author
­čö╣date
­čö╣search
­čö╣404 pages

Most websites will be able to use the default search appearance options.

However, if you only run one author blog, you will need to disable the author archive page from search engines.

Archive settings Yoast SEO



The author archive pages on a single author blog are identical to the date archive pages or your blog pages, creating duplicate content that negatively impacts your SEO rankings.

6. Breadcrumbs settings

Breadcrumbs provide a clear path to the page you’re on, which makes them ideal for internal linking. Breadcrumbs also show up in search results, giving your site an edge in the search results.
Breadcrumbs settings Yoast SEO

For the most part, the default settings should be sufficient for most websites. However, if you need to make any changes, you can do so.
Breadcrumbs settings Yoast SEO

Make sure you enable ‘enabled’ to display your breadcrumbs with your theme.

All in One SEO Breadcrumbs

If you’re looking for a breadcrumb feature that’s even more powerful, check out All in One SEO breadcrumbs. With this feature, you’ll have complete control over the way your breadcrumbs appear, and you’ll be able to create bespoke breadcrumb templates.

Tools settings in Yoast SEO

There are a few built-in Yoast SEO tools that let you do some more complex work. Most beginners don’t need these tools. But let’s take a look at each tool and how it works.

1️⃣ Import and Export 

If you’ve used an SEO plugin or theme that already has built-in SEO features, then you can import SEO data using this tool.
It can also be used to import and export the Yoast SEO plugin's configuration and use it on another WordPress site.

2️⃣ File editor

As your WordPress website grows, you’ll often see tutorials that ask you to add code to your site’s configuration files. These files are.htaccess and robots.txt, and they both have a big impact on your SEO.

Yoast SEO makes it easy to edit both of these files directly from your WordPress admin.

3️⃣  Bulk editor
In Yoast SEO, you can use the bulk editor tool to add SEO titles and descriptions for all your blogs posts and pages in no time.

In the Titles section, you will see an empty box where you can add the new SEO titles for your blog post.

After that, click Save link to save your changes.
You’ll need to move to the description tab to add descriptions. Here, you’ll be able to create a description for every blog post/page and save it.

Yoast SEO Redirects Manager

Yoast SEO Premium also includes a powerful redirection manager. This enables you to set up redirection on your WordPress site in a short amount of time. With the help of the redirection manager, you can fix 404 errors, move users from one article to another, and more.

Redirects can also be managed by a specialized redirect manager, such as Redirection. This means that you can maintain your redirects even if Yoast SEO is no longer used.

If you're looking for a more powerful redirect manager, All in One SEO's Redirection Manager is a great option. It automatically redirects users to the new content every time you delete or modify a URL. It also has a built-in redirection checker to ensure that your redirects are functioning correctly.
Yoast SEO redirect manager

Optimizing Your Posts and Pages with Yoast SEO

Just installing and configuring this plugin isn’t enough. To really get the most out of this plugin you need to customise the settings per post. Let’s see how you can optimize each post/pages in WordPress to get the best out of this plugin.

Every time you edit a post or page in WordPress, you will see a Yoast SEO meta-map underneath the post editor.
Yoast SEO post SEO



The first thing you can do is add a focus keyword or keyword. It's the main keyword that you want your users to use to find your post in search engines.

Yoast SEO will then analyze your post content based on the readability analysis.

You can view the readability analysis to improve your article further.

In some cases, the title of your post might not match the title of your SEO.

You should always write your own custom SEO description.

The first paragraph of your post might be the only one that the excerpt generator picks up.

This is because the first paragraph is usually the most important.

Don't kill yourself over this, or you'll spend more time following this analysis instead of improving your content for your.

We hope that this step-by-step guide on how to install and configure Yoast SEO on your WordPress site has been helpful. You can also check out our WordPress SEO for Beginners step by step guide, as well as our comparison of top keyword research tools.







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