Every blogger/webmaster wants to rank their content higher in search engines and hence they need a complete SEO solution for their WordPress blog. If you’re the one who seeks the same, then I’d suggest you to download the most popular plugin, WordPress SEO by Yoast. This plugin is a good alternative to “All in One SEO pack” which would improve the onsite SEO of your website/blog.
This WordPress plugin was created by Joost de Valk which has been integrated with awesome features for its users. As it is a powerful search engine optimization plugin, it is being downloaded by most of the people. If you want to concentrate the important aspects of fine tuning of your onsite/onpage SEO, you may get this striking tool.
Some newbies might feel tough to configure this WordPress Yoast SEO plugin and hence I’ve decided to write a complete post on it. But before getting into the details of its configuration, let me tell you some reasons why to use this plugin for your blog/website.
Why to use WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin?
Following are the reasons why WordPress Yoast SEO is my preferred plugin,
- Helps to write better content with good keyword density.
- Includes XML sitemap to submit the sitemap to Google.
- Robots.txt file in dashboard can be configured.
- Possibility of integrating social profiles.
- RSS feeds can be optimized and canonical urls can be setup.
- Focus keyword, Meta title and description can be added to each page or post.
- Advanced permalink control and Breadcrumbs support.
- .htcaccess can be edited in dashboard.
- Export/import data from other SEO plugins.
- Stop words in the url can be automatically removed.
Instructions to configure Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
Go to Plugin -> Add New -> Write “Wordpress SEO by Yoast” -> Install and activate plugin.
After installing the plugin, click Dashboard to configure the basic settings of SEO by Yoast. You’ll be getting the below page
1. Check the security option.
2. While verifying your site with Webmaster, you got the meta values. Just copy those values into the above boxes to track your meta values to search engines like Google, Bing etc.
2. Titles and Metas
1. In title and metas settings, just check the options under General tab as shown below
2. Under Home settings, fill the Title of your webpage (describe your site name or slogan) with 70 characters. Write a short description about your website under Meta Description Template which should not be more than 160 characters. Also include 6-7 keywords related to your site in Meta Keyword Template section and finally click “Save settings”.
3. No need to modify the default Post Types Settings.
4. Now, we come to the important part of SEO section, Taxonomies that includes the titles and metas of “Tags” and “Categories” which need to be “noindex, follow”. So the change the settings of Taxonomies like below
5. Other tab has default settings but make sure that the “noindex, follow”s are checked like the same we’ve done in the Taxonomies section.
3. Social Settings
As the social media optimization is considered important these days, this excellent plugin has options to link your profiles of Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
- Facebook – Check the option “Add Open Graph meta data” and follow the steps to add Facebook insights and Admin. Then add your Facebook fan page and verify the ownership of the page.
You may also fill “Frontpage settings and Default” to an image and it will be displayed when someone shares your homepage link. Use 200 X 200 pixels image.
- Twitter – Click “Add Twitter Card meta data” to validate your Twitter cards and you can add your Twitter username.
- Google Plus – Tick the option “Add G+ specific post meta data (excluding author metadata) and include your Google publisher page (Your site’s G+ About page)
4. XML Sitemap
Xml Sitemap help search engines to crawl and index your site efficiently and you may change its settings like below
I guess that the premalinks settings of SEO by Yoast have default good settings and check the following three options are enabled.
- Remove stop words from slugs – It will automatically remove the stop words in the url of the posts.
- Redirect attachment URL’s to parent post URl – Automatic redirect feature for better SEO.
- Remove the ?replytocom variables – To get escape from duplicate content craw and index by search engines, otherwise you would be penalized.
6. Internal links and RSS settings
The internal links and RSS of SEO by Yoast plugin can be left at their default settings. If your theme supports and to make search engines understand your website structure well, the option “Enable breadcrumbs” can be selected on the Internal links settings. But I didn’t tried breadcrumbs for my site.
7. Edit Links
WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin offer options to edit Robots.txt and .htaccess files within the dashboard. So, you no need to go the Cpanel or FTP to modify the functions of your site (To stay safe, have FTP access while editing the .htaccess file)
The basic settings of WordPress Yoast SEO plugin are over and now check the details on how to use this tool while publishing a new post for your site.
Working of WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin
On-page SEO is more important and this remarkable plugin help you to do perfect on-page settings by including a focus keyword.
EX: My Focus Keyword is “Become a successful blogger”. Have a look at the screen shot below and see how the plugin ensures the perfectness of on-page SEO.
Regulate your content and try to get “Yes” in green colour like mine for your every post. (It should be done naturally, do not stuff the keywords in Title and content)
Based on your focus keyword, this plugin will analyse your whole post and under “Page Analysis” tab, you’ll get suggestions related to title optimization, keyword density, outbound links etc. In simple words, it will tell you whether your post is perfectly optimized or not. Have a look at the below screenshot.
You must fix the problems mentioned in Red colour. Orange and Yellow colour says “Its ok” but it would be good to repair them. Green symbol specifies the good/completed stuffs and you no need to do anything for them. You may improve keyword density, readability, giving outbound links with the suggestions given by WordPress by SEO Yoast Plugin.
To maximize the onpage SEO of your WordPress blog/website, you may use WordPress Yoast SEO plugin. Implementing the above things for your site will not guarantee higher rankings on search engines but it will give a solid foundation to build rich quality content.
I hope you find this tutorial helpful to configure and use “Wordpress SEO by Yoast” plugin. If you have any queries/difficulties, feel free to comment and discuss with me.