WordPress SEO by Yoast – A Complete Guide

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WordPress SEO by Yoast is the most powerful, widely used SEO plugin solution for WordPress. It is a powerhouse for Search Engine Optimization, with tons of options and features.

Installing SEO by Yoast plugin can be a bit tricky for someone new to this technique. You need to configure the plugin most appropriately to leverage the Search Engine indexing functionality and other amazing features.

Note – Before activating the plugin, it is recommended to add your site to Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Toolbox, Pinterest, Alexa and Google Analytics also.

How to Install and Activate

In WordPress, go to the option > Add New Plugin. Type-in your search query “WordPress SEO by Yoast”. The result will display a Plugin with the same name, and Author name as Joost de Valk with 1+ Million active installs. Click on > Install and your plugin will be installed and activated.

After the plugin is activated, move to the admin panel, which is updated with a new tab – SEO, with Yoast’s logo on it.

Plugin Interface

The plugin, after getting activated, can be accessed from the WordPress Dashboard. The SEO tab is present in both, horizontal menu as well as vertical sidebar.

SEO by Yoast plugin works from 2 levels – Local and Global.
Local settings are specific to posts, categories and pages. Global settings include default SEO settings for the content.

Step-By-Step Guide to Optimize the Website Using SEO by Yoast Plugin Features

After you have activated the plugin and analyzed the tab and subsequent options in the plugin, you are all set to optimize your website. You can apply advanced features to individual pages, along with creating custom field for meta tags, title, and social.

List of powerful and advanced features to optimize the website using the plugin:

Webmaster Tools

Through Webmaster Tools you can configure website content optimization and global settings. This feature is available in the General tab. Verify the ownership of the website in single step with webmaster tools like Google Webmaster tools, Bing Webmaster, Alexa and Yandex Webmaster tools, by inserting the meta code given by these tools.

Titles & Metas

In this tab, configure only the global settings of Pages, Posts, Media, Archives, Taxonomies and others. This tab will help you customize the Title and Meta templates. Homepage Meta tags can be optimized in this tab only. Set Title, Meta description Meta Keywords templates for all types of posts, including pages, media etc.

Other advanced features include Meta robots option and Snippet Settings. An added feature lets you hide the Meta box, to appear only when you are editing a post or page. Go to the ‘Others’ tab if you want to configure the site-wide Meta settings.

Social

Inform Google about your site’s social profile presence, by adding your website’s social profile URLs. Add from multiple social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google plus, Instagram, Pinterest, MySpace, and YouTube.
Add Open Graph Meta data for Facebook and Pinterest, Twitter Card Meta data, and Google+ specific post Meta data in your website’s section directly.

Social

XML sitemap is one of the most important elements in a website to help Search Engine crawlers find the web page links within a site.
The XML Sitemap setup feature in SEO Yoast plugin helps you easily enable and configure your website XML sitemaps, providing several features:

  • Set the limit of entries per XML Sitemap.
  • Limit the entries in one sitemap, if the site contains lots of pages. This helps crawlers to easily crawl and index webpages.
  • Go to > Post Types tab and opt-out the post types which you do not want to include in your sitemaps.
  • Go to > Taxonomies tab and opt-out the appropriate taxonomy.
  • You can opt-out other non-useful Tags and Categories, choosing only those which befit the nature of your website/business.

Go to the User Sitemap and Disable the same as I don’t think there is any use of using the Users Sitemap.

Advanced

Advanced feature gives you added options to optimize and control the functionality of your website:

  • Setup the Breadcrumbs for your website to improve user experience and search engine friendliness.
  • Configure Permalink or opt-in for one option – Remove stop words from slugs.
  • Also, an added option lets you automatically add the content to the RSS of your website. It will avoid any ownership claims from scrappers to your published content, which adds links back to your blog and your blog post.

Tools

Initiate all the work-process from one place with SEO by Yoast plugin. Tools offer some potent and advanced features, which are highly useful to perform tasks straight from same place:

Bulk Editor:

Edit titles and descriptions of pages/posts from a single interface, without accessing each page individually.

Bulk Editor:

Website optimization requires mandatory editing of Robots.txt and .htaccess files. SEO by Yoast gives full functionality to edit both files directly from the WordPress Admin panel, without having to enter cPanel or FTP to access these files.

Import and Export:

The Import and Export feature lets you import SEO settings from other SEO Plugin or export SEO Settings to other blog/website.

Extensions:

If you want more from SEO by Yoast for your website optimization process, then the Premium version of this plugin will let you add and utilize more features.

This plugin loads faster and has a sleek interface. Through this guide, we have covered most in SEO by Yoast guide, which is one of the best WordPress SEO Plugins right now. Install and configure it correctly for improved results or you can hire one of our SEO Expert to do it for you.

Alekh Verma

Alekh Verma

Alekh Verma is the Founder and CEO of eSearch Logix Technologies, a leading SEO Company in India based at Noida (Delhi/NCR). A leading Online Marketing expert and strategist, Alekh helps businesses to improve their Online presence by help of Search Engines and other Digital Sources like Paid Advertising and Affiliate Marketing.
Alekh Verma