Do proper SEO with Yoast: If you are a WordPress user and writing blog for your website, then you can’t imagine ranking your website or blog post on the search engines without doing proper SEO.
For that, you need a tool like Yoast. Yoast is a plugin to manage and optimize your website keyword and your blog post keyword on the search engines like Google, Bing, and Other search engines.
So, today I am giving you a 100% practical and useful setup guide from start to finish of free Yoast SEO WordPress plugin with New UI. I will show you the really important thing to start working quickly on the SEO of your website and configure the Yoast SEO plugin efficiently.
What does Yoast mean?
Yoast SEO is a very essential tool to optimize your website & blog post in the search engines in an organized way. This is a very useful tool to build your blog post but needs proper planning and research too.
Yoast SEO team takes a comprehensive view of SEO, which means that they believe SEO will be around all aspects of your online marketing. For this reason, lots of customization options to the plugin provides a very wide range.
How much does Yoast cost?
There are two plans available. One is Free and another is Premium which is paid plan. The pricing plan of this plugin is as follows-
If you are using in 1 site then it is $89, otherwise, you can go with as many as possible. Because many sites mean more discounts. If you do not afford this then you go with Free Yoast SEO plugin.
Free Yoast SEO plugin is also good and it also helps you to write SEO optimized content for your website.
How to Install Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin?
Let’s download the free plugin from the plugins tab on the left-hand side of your WordPress admin panel. Go to Plugins > Add New.
On the top of the right-hand side, you will see a search box, type there Yoast SEO. After finding this plugin, you will see the Install button, click on that, then click on Active.
If you download the Yoast plugin from the Yoast website then go to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin.
How to configure Yoast SEO?
After activating the plugin, see the left-hand side of your WordPress admin. Click on the Yoast Icon on the left-hand side to configure it (see the below screenshot).
Now under Dashboard, click on the Configuration wizard link to configure this SEO plugin for the first time. Then the next page will open in front of you.
Section 1: Environment
After click on that configuration wizard link, you will come to this Environment Section. Here you find two option-
- Option A: It tells you that if your site is ready to index and already live then tick on this option.
- Option B: It means if your site is not ready to index and it is under construction then tick on this option.
My recommendation is to go with Option A to configure your site. If you choose Option B, you will run this configuration wizard again after your site is ready to live and index. Now click on Next to go to the next section.
Section 2: Site Type
In this Site type section, choose what your site represents for. As you can see there are 7 options to choose your site category.
For example, If your site is made for blogging purposes, choose A Blog option. Similarly, if your site is built for online selling products purpose then choose An online shop.
Try to choose the closest option which fits your site better. After select your site type, click on Next.
Section 3: Organization or Person
In this Organization or Person section, represent yourself or your site means if you are a single user of your site and there is no other user, you can go with Person option.
On the other hand, if your site is made for multiple users and they can also be working for you then go with Organization option.
If you choose Person then only select your name under the dropdown menu.
If you choose Organization then type your organization name in the box and upload a logo (size 112px width x 112px height) of your organization by clicking on Choose an image.
Then put all your social media pages links (Url) on social media boxes like facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc. Don’t worry! you can submit your social links later if don’t have those pages right now. After that click on Next.
Section 4: Search engine visibility
In this Search Engine Visibility section, select the content types that you do not allow or allowed for indexing in search engines. It will be visible to search engines, depending on your selection.
Not to change anything in this section unless you know. Leave this section as default. Then click on Next to go to another section.
Section 5: Multiple Authors
In this Multiple authors section, if you select “Yes” that means your site has multiple authors who wrote blogs for your website. People can also find the specific authors post archives in the google search engine.
If you select “No” it means you are the only person who writes a blog for your website. Here Yoast SEO will automatically mark your author archives as “noindex” to avoid duplicate content at your website.
After selection, click on Next to go to another section.
Section 6: Title Settings
Typing your website name in the Website name box and this website title is the main headline in the search engines and the visitors’ browser tab.
After typing your website name, select the Separator which differentiates between your post title and site name using the separator symbol.
By default, it is select the first one, but you can change any of them within those. Mostly uses symbols are ” – “, “ | “, ” » “.
For example, if you had a post with the title “How to do SEO with Yoast” and done all the settings in the title, then your post heading looks like below in the search engines-
Example: How to do SEO with Yoast | Crafts Blog
After doing this setting, click on Next to go to the next section.
Section 7 & 8: Newsletter & You might like
In these sections, Yoast will give you some offers like-
- Sign up the Newsletter of the Yoast in section 7 and
- In section 8, you will find some course videos from Yoast.
Click Next to go to Section 9 and finish this Setup.
Now click on Close to finish the setup.
Congratulations! your Yoast SEO configuration has been done and your site will ready to be indexed.
SEO with Yoast: Advanced Settings
Here I am giving you an advanced setup guide of free Yoast SEO plugin. Follow the step by step guide and doing proper SEO with Yoast.
A. General settings
Under this General menu, you can find two tabs to configure the Yoast SEO.
- Features: In this tab, you can enable and disable any specific features.
- Webmaster Tools: In this tab, you can verify your website ownership with the Yoast SEO plugin.
After doing the configuration wizard setup, go to the Features tab under the General menu.
In this Features tab, by default, all the settings are turned On but if not then turned On all the settings.
For example, if you don’t find the Readability analysis in the Yoast SEO meta box then turn this feature On from here.
Are you looking for Yoast SEO Sitemap? Yoast SEO sitemap generates an XML file lists which helps search engines to crawl your website every important page.
To generate your website sitemap, go to General menu > XML Sitemaps (click on “?” sign of this).
Click on the Yoast SEO XML sitemap link and see your website’s sitemap like this-
This is the group list of your sitemap, click on each link to see the detailed list of each page, post & category. Submit this sitemap to the search engines to index your website quickly.
Webmaster tools tab
Now configure the Webmaster tools tab under the General menu. This can help you to verify the ownership of your website with the various search engine’s webmaster tools.
To generate the verification code of each search engine’s, click on the link which is provided under each search engine box.
Note: This is also an alternative method to verify your website ownership of those search engines.
Google webmaster Verification
If you want the Google Verification code then click on the Google Search console link. After clicking on that link it will take to the Google login page.
Now Login with your Gmail id and password. After login, you will see the Google webmaster Central page. Under the Verification methods, click on HTML Tag (see the screenshot below).
Copy all the meta tag and paste it into the Google Verification Code box of the Yoast SEO plugin, then click on Save changes.
You will see that automatically it takes the code which is marked in the red box in the screenshot above.
Now go back to the Google Webmaster Central and click on Verify. It verifies your website ownership.
Similarly, you verify your website ownership in Bing and Yandex webmaster tool. These are also popular search engines
Bing Webmaster Verification
Go to the Bing webmaster tools and login with your Gmail account > then add your site Url > click on Add.
Then the next page will open to add your details (see the screenshot below)-
Here paste the sitemap of your website (optional) and just below select the dropdown option, click on All day(Default) (mandatory). Now scroll down and click on Save.
Copy the entire meta tag and paste it into the Bing Verification Code box of Yoast SEO plugin.
Now click on Save changes, then you can see that it automatically takes the code. Go back to the Bing webmaster tools and click on Verify.
Yandex Webmaster Verification
Now go to the Yandex Webmaster tool and in the same way to verify your website.
Log in with your Google account > Click on Add site > Paste your site address and click on Add > Copy the Meta tag > Paste it into Yandex Verification code box of Yoast SEO plugin > Click on Save Changes.
Now go back to the Yandex webmaster and Click on Check.
B. Search Appearance Settings
There are seven tabs to configure the Yoast SEO under this Search Appearance menu.
- Content Types
In this General tab, you can change the Title separator and Organisation type. Also, edit the organization name and upload the organization logo. Then click on Save changes.
Content Types tab
In this Content types tab, you can automate all the settings of your posts, pages & templates. It saves your time to do SEO in everywhere manually.
- Change the date in snippets preview from “Hide” to “Show”. If you click on Show that means your post publish date is showing in the search engine before meta description. Otherwise, you can hide this option.
- In the SEO title, showing your post title with Site title only.
- In the Meta description, you can automate the post description with the Excerpt. If you don’t know the excerpt veriable then click on the Need Help button and see the excerpt variable.
The same settings apply on the Pages and the My templates section except for the “date in snippet preview” option (make this option hide as it is in these sections). Then click on Save changes.
Leave the settings as it is.
In this Taxonomies tab, you can change the post categories, post tags, post format’s permalinks of your site. Also, you can remove the category slug from your URLs.
Do the below mention settings to all three section
Do all the settings (in the screenshot above) and then click on Save changes.
Here you can change the author archive settings to prevent the duplicate content problem of your website and in the search results.
Check all the settings done as per the screenshot and then click on Save changes.
Yoast SEO Breadcrumbs are a navigational feature for your website. This navigation feature is helping your visitor to navigate your site, like this-
Finally, in this RSS tab, you can add the extra content before and after your post content in your RSS feed. Also, you can put some variables to dynamically insert information.
Check the RSS feed of your published blog post like- https://example.com/feed.
If you don’t know how to do it, then leave this setting as it is. If you change anything then click on Save changes.
C. Social Setting
Here you can link your social accounts with your website. This can help you to build your audience on a social platform.
D. Tools Settings
In this Tools area, you can access various types of editors and as well as for import & export the settings of Yoast plugin.
This Import & Export option helps you to save more time for doing settings on every blog site you have (if any).
From the File editor option, you can edit your WordPress sites robots.txt file right from this dashboard.
Click on File Editor and Yoast SEO helps you to create a robots.txt file (if you haven’t already). After creating the file come back to the editor and see the below screen at the dashboard.
Here you can edit the robots.txt and after finishing your edit click on Save changes to robots.txt.
Congrats! you have done all the settings of your Yoast SEO plugin. Now it’s time to do some practical work, let’s go…
Yoast SEO meta box
Yoast SEO meta box helps you to analyze your content for SEO quality and readability for your pages and blog posts.
As well as it also gives you an option to configure the social settings and content functions in Google.
Generally, you can find this meta box underneath your WordPress editor. If you are using the latest WordPress block editor (like- Gutenberg), you can also find this on your left-hand sidebar as well.
1. SEO Content Optimization tab
Content optimization is looking for how well optimized your content is for search engines.
As you see in the above screenshot, there are five options to optimize your content in this SEO tab.
It helps you to focus on your targeted keyword to optimize your content. You have to do some basic keyword research that people search in search engines.
If you found your keyword then paste that keyword into the Focus Keyphrase box. Yoast SEO will then analyze your content to determine how your post is optimized for that particular keyword.
It will show you what you are doing well and what needs to be improved. If you are using the Premium version of this Yoast plugin then you can also add the related keyword.
Note: Yoast Focus keyphrase does not help you to rank in Google, it just helps you to optimize your content.
It shows you the live preview of your search results (it shows you both mobile and desktop preview). If you want to changes in the SEO title, meta description, and the slug (it is a link of your blog title, you can change it manually as per your focus keyword) option, then click on Edit Snippet to edit the information.
This part plays a very important role in your search results because it is what will show up (Blog Title, Slug and Meta Description) in the search engines organically.
This Cornerstone area gives you the ability to choose the most important article from your various posts.
Cornerstone content is the core of your website. It consists of the best, most important articles on your site; the pages or posts you want to rank highest in the search engines. Cornerstone articles are usually relatively long, informative articles, combining insights from different blog posts and covering everything that’s important about a certain topic.
First, you choose your best content and posts or pages that you are going to keep up to date as cornerstone content, then click to activate this option.
If you activate this option then you can easily find your cornerstone content in every page and posts lists (see the above screenshot).
Here you can configure the search results of your pages & posts. In most cases, people ignore this or don’t know about this option.
From this option, you can manage the search engine’s crawler to crawl this page or post or not. Let’s see the settings-
2. Readability tab
Yoast SEO Readability analysis is to analyze the content of your page or post. It automatically detects the problem in the content and gives you a message to rectify that error.
Readability checks the error in your content and detects by three different parameters with three different colors.
As per the detection of your problem, rectify those problems. After rectification of your problems, Readability turns Green which means it’s now good in terms of your visitor and Google also.
3. Social Tab
In this Social media tab, you can customize the social share option like Title, description & the image of your Page or post for Facebook and Twitter.
Yoast is automatically generating the title and the description from your content and also generate the image as per your content’s featured image.
Here you can manually edit the sharing options, but if you don’t want to change anything then leave these options as it is.
A final thought on SEO with Yoast
At the end of this guide, I just want to round up the most important things which you always keep in mind at the time of writing of every post.
- Focus on your keyword is the most important thing,
- Give a bold title for your post,
- Write an appropriate meta description according to your post,
- Try to solve as much as possible of the given suggestions which Yoast SEO shows and at least get a green light is usually a good goal.
- You might also address the Readability suggestion,
- Social share is also an important part of the success of your post, try to edit this option also.
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