How To Install And Setup Yoast SEO Plugin In WordPress Website
Yoast SEO plugins is a complete SEO solution for your WordPress website. Unlike other plugins, it won't only add the simple meta tag to your website but also allows you to add custom post title, meta descriptions, XML sitemap and much more.
Here in this article, we will see how we can install and setup Yoast SEO on our WordPress website. So let's get started.
How to install Yoast SEO Plugin
- Go to WordPress dashboard and click on 'Plugins' followed by 'Add new'.
- Type Yoast SEO in the search box and install the plugin.
- Upon installation and activation, you will get a new menu item on your WordPress dashboard with Yoast logo on it.
How to setup Yoast SEO Plugin
Step 1: Dashboard
First thing first. We will start with Dashboard and its sub content then we will move to other tabs under Yoast SEO.
First of all, you need to click on SEO icon, which will take you to the settings page of your Yoast plugin. Then click on 'Features' tab and enable the advanced settings page.
Upon enabling, new items will appear under the SEO option in your WordPress dashboard (i.e Titles & Meta, Sitemaps, Social, Advance, and Tools). I will explain more about these buttons later in this article.
2. Your Info
Now move to 'info tab'. In this tab, you have to provide your website name and the person or company behind it. You can get an idea from the below screenshot.
If you leave 'website name' and 'alternative name' box empty, then Yoast SEO will automatically use your site title as the website name.
Next, you need to choose whether your website runs by an individual or by a company. Most of the blogging website run by an individual. However, if your website belongs to some company, then you need to choose 'company' and have to provide company name with the company logo.
On the other hand, if you choose 'person' then you need to provide the name of the person who owns the website.
3. Webmaster tools
Webmaster tool helps you to identify issues with your website and can also let you know if your site is infected with malware.
To do so you need to verify your website by adding the meta tag to your site.
Actually adding WordPress website to webmaster tools is very easy and to make things easier I have made a separate post on how to add your site to Google webmaster tools.
Once you get your meta tag ("verification code") insert that code at the respective place.
If you move to security tab you will notice, by default, it will be set to disable and I strongly recommend to leave it disabled. Because if you enable it then the other authors of your website will able to make changes in 'noindex' and 'canonical setting' which is not a good idea.
Step 2: Titles & Metas
Here you can choose separator symbol for your website title. Although you will get different option but it will be great if you stick with the default option (Dash). Choosing different symbol might confuse your visitors. So, keep it simple.
If you are a beginner you might get confused by seeing this page but not to worry I will explain what is this all about.
By default, title template will be pre-filled by some text which looks like some kind of coding language.
Actually, title template allows you to define a way that the title is pulled and organized.
However, you can manually add your homepage title and meta description.
If you are using static homepage then you will get a link to edit the title and description of your homepage.
3. Post type
Like Homepage tab, Yoast SEO allows you to set default description for your post, page, and media.
If you forget to add title and meta description for an individual post then this site-wide title and description will be used.
But for better SEO result I strongly recommend you to manually enter title and meta description for each post and page.
In taxonomies tab, you will get an option for indexing and non-indexing of your categories, tags, and format.
I strongly recommend you to keep all the button at no index. Because if you index your categories and tag you are simply telling the search engine that you have too many posts however it is just the duplicate of the post you have already indexed.
If you are running a single author blog or website then keep 'Author archive' button disabled.
Because the main blog and author archives contain exactly same content, so making it enable is like fooling the search engine.
However, if your website is a multi-author blog then you can enable it.
It provides additional settings to your website. Just index the 'subpage' and disable the 'meta keyword tag' as shown in below screenshot.
Step 3: Social
The social platform helps you in increasing your website traffic.
Having said that Yoast SEO allows you to integrate your website with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and many other social networking sites.
To integrate with social networking site you need to click on 'Social' link under the SEO menu. Upon clicking, a new window will open with the different tab. I will show you how to configure each of them.
In account tab, you need to provide the URL of your social networking site associated with your website. For reference, you can see the screenshot.
On Facebook tab, enable 'Open graph metadata'. This will help Facebook to pick up relevant thumbnail and page information when your website is shared on Facebook.
In 'FrontPage settings' you need to provide title and description with the thumbnail image for your homepage. So, when someone shares your homepage on Facebook this details will be used.
Now in 'Default settings' upload a default thumbnail image, this image will be automatically used for all the post that doesn't have any image in it.
Here you can choose the card type of twitter. I strongly recommend choosing the second option i.e 'Summary with large image' since large image attracts visitors.
If you are using Pinterest and want to add it to your website then you need to verify it by adding meta tag. To do so simply go to your Pinterest account settings to add and verify your site. You will get a meta tag that you have to paste here. For reference see the screenshot.
Just like other social networking settings you need to enter the URL of your Google+ page that you have created for your website/ business.
Step 4: XML Sitemap
This is very very important setup for your SEO. Basically, a sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your website to tell the search engine about the organization of your site content. Search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read this file to more intelligently crawl your site.
First, you need to make sure that 'XML Sitemap functionality' is enabled.
If you need help in finding/ adding XML Sitemap in WordPress you can check our article on how to add XML Sitemap in WordPress website.
After enabling sitemap click on 'Post types' and disable any post type that you don't want to include into the sitemap. However, you can stick with the setting I have shown below.
Now move to 'Exclude post tab', it allows you to remove the specific post from XML Sitemap. To do so you just need to enter post ID in the field.
If you need help in finding post or page ID check out our article on how to get post ID in WordPress.
Taxonomies tab is similar to "Post type" if you don't want to include any taxonomies into sitemap you can disable it here.
Step: 5 Advanced
Under 'Advanced' tab you can configure Breadcrumbs, Permalink and RSS feed.
Breadcrumbs define a clear path to the page you are on. Because of breadcrumb, you can easily find out how you are navigating on the website.
Click on 'Enable' and keep the default setting as it is.
Permalinks of Yoast SEO is entirely different from the Permalink of WordPress settings tab.
Here in this section Yoast SEO allows you to remove the stopping words (to, in, with, by etc) from the URL. Yoast believes that you will create cleaner URL by removing these words.
However, removing these words makes URL meaningless. So it is better to keep the stopping word.
Apart from this, keep all the setting of permalink tab as shown below.
RSS Features are used to add backlinks to your blog or blog post.
When a content scrapers copy content from your site it automatically adds back-link to your website, helping search engine identify you as the original source of content.
Step 6: Tools
Under 'Tools tab' you will get three options
- Bulk editor: It allows you to edit the title and descriptions of the post in bulk without opening each and every single post.
- File editor: Here you can edit .htaccess file and can create a robots.txt file. If you are a beginner and don't know what is this all about, I urge you to stay away from these settings.
- Import and export: If you have another website and want to import all the settings of your Yoast plugin from that site then you can do it from here and vice versa.
Step 7: Search Console
Search console tab helps you in identifying the broken links of your website.
To do so simply click on 'Get Google Authorization Code', follow the instructions and get the code. Copy that code and paste it here.
After verification, you will be asked to select your profile from the drop-down menu. Simply choose your website and save the profile.
That's it Yoast SEO setup has been successfully completed. Now we will quickly look how to configure the post and pages.
Step 8: How to configure the posts and pages with Yoast SEO
As you have noticed we have spent a good amount of time in installing and setting up this plugin but it is not enough.
In order to get the maximum benefit of Yoast SEO, you need to manually customize each post or page of your website.
Now when you open any post or page you will see a new meta box below the post editor, it allows you to write a custom SEO title and meta descriptions for the respective post.
Make sure to enter a focus keyword, so you will get an idea how strong your post is for that keyword.
When you fill all the details you can see the respective post score in analysis tab:
⟩⟩ Green dot means better
⟩⟩ Yellow dot means average and
⟩⟩ Red dot means poor.
Try to get green dot but don't get over obsessed, its OK if you will not get everything green, that's perfectly fine.
In the same ways, you can customize your other pages, categories, tags and custom taxonomy archive.
I hope this article helped you in installing and setting up Yoast SEO plugins.
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