WordPress SEO by Yoast, now simply Yoast SEO, is one of the best WordPress SEO plugins on the market for blogging. It offers users both features and accessibility, including a snippet editor, automatic management, and the ability to immediately preview and analyze your page as it will be displayed. The Yoast SEO Plugin is the perfect addition to your WordPress blog to make sure you are optimized for search engines.
Features of the Yoast SEO Plugin
The Yoast SEO Plugin will run a test on your keywords, ensuring you use the input keyword appropriately for SEO to be effective. Their meta box feature lets you optimize your page by seeing how Google will display your content. You can also set styles for titles and meta descriptions for various page types. With a robots meta configuration, you can have Google not index your page or pages, and either follow or not follow your page.
The new readability check will help analyze your page for how well it appeals to the reader. This will help ensure you post real, relevant, and accessible content. Google’s canonical link element allows the engine to properly link to the original page. The downside is that they do not work for categories, tags, or the homepage. This aspect of the plugin solves this problem by correcting these links to canonical. The Breadcrumbs feature lets you have full control over the title and breadcrumb path for posts, pages, and taxonomy.
Yoast SEO offers a primary category selection option so that you can always have a primary, even though you may want more than one category. It will also cleanup your Permalinks so that they appear nice to your users, follow a dashed structure. Yoast SEO also helps you build your XML Sitemap, even featuring a built in generator to do it for you. With the Yoast SEO plugin’s help you can easily and accurately submit sitemaps to help search engines crawl and index your page.
Installation Of Yoast SEO
In order to install plugins on WordPress, you will first need to be using WordPress.org and not WordPress.com. (For more on this click here). You should be able to easily install the plugin by navigating to Plugins from your WordPress admin page, selecting Add New, and searching for WordPress SEO. You should be able to quickly and easily install the plugin in by doing so.
For more details on installation, or if you are having problems, click here to read more.
Setting Up Yoast
The goal of using the Yoast SEO plugin is to maximize your WordPress site for SEO and make sure search engines find and search your site the way you want them to. It does this by targeting three aspects of technical SEO: crawling, indexation, and duplicate and low quality content.
Crawling is about the way your search engine clicks through your site and finds all of your pages and content. Indexation is how it copies and archives your information. It is important to ensure that crawling and indexation are simple for the search engine to do. They will also search for duplicate and low quality content to ensure they give users the best results. If you optimize for all of these things with your Yoast SEO Plugin, you will ensure your page is running to boost SEO. Therefore, setting up your Yoast SEO plugin is extremely important for it to work best for you.
If you have never used a WordPress SEO plugin before, then you can skip this step. If you have used a different WordPress SEO plugin like the All in One SEO Pack, or a theme framework like Genesis or Headway, you’ll want to transfer your data. This will help you keep the information before getting rid of the other plugin, ensuring you keep valuable data you’ve gained over time. There are a few programs that can facilitate this, but we suggest SEO Data Transporter.
You will want to add information about you or your company so that the search engine will be able to use this to your benefit. Input the website, title, and alternate information for your page so that search engines can find it with different information. You also want to indicate whether the page is run by a person or company, since you will be given the option to include a company name and logo. The more information you input, the better Yoast SEO can optimize your ability to be searched.
As a site owner, you can register your website with popular search engines like Google and Bing. These webmaster tools give you information on your website relevant to the search engines by adding a meta tag to your site. Since meta tags can be complicated for early users, this feature on the Yoast SEO is great for beginners. Just use the meta code that the search engines give you and it will do the rest.
Titles & Metas
One of the first things you’ll want to do is ensure your site can be easily crawled and indexed. Go to the Titles & Metas setting and click the Other tab. From here, you will want to select ‘Noindex subpages of archives’ so that the search engine will crawl but not index the second and third pages of your blog. You will also want to select ‘Add noodp and noydir to meta robots tag sitewide’ to instruct the search engine to use your page description rather than the one other directories use. The next thing you want to change is your Archives and Taxonomies to filter out low-quality content. Yoast SEO will let the search engine crawl these pages but not index them, as they appear to be spam and can make the search engine think you are not an authority.
Social Media Links
You will also want to go to the Social settings and adjust those. By adding your social media accounts to the relevant fields, you will make sure your posts appear correctly on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. This will help ensure your content and pages are all linked together properly and make your brand easily accessible to both users and search engines.
Since the whole reason you’re using the Yoast SEO Plugin is to ensure search engines can find you, you will definitely want to build an XML Sitemap. Exclude any content you don’t want them to search through, such as your Noindexes, and then submit your XML sitemap URL to Google, Bing, and other search engines.
Another key to increasing SEO is ensuring your domain URLs are searchable. Regular, default Permalinks are unappealing to the user, but they are also terrible for search engine optimization. You will want to ensure you use a setting that will ‘Enforce a trailing slash on all category and tag URLs’ so that your Permalinks will look great and be ideal for search engines to crawl.
Using the Yoast SEO Plugin for Posting
Although setting up your Yoast SEO as we’ve said above will help give you positive results, you will also want to use it to benefit you while you’re actually posting.
When you are posting using Yoast SEO, there will be a meta box that appears below the Visual Editor of WordPress. It gives you a Snippet Preview that takes your meta data and shows you how it will appear in Google, including your title tag, your URL slug, and your meta description. It also gets you to put in a focus keyword to help focus your blog post on the topic you’re doing. This is what you are trying to rank for searches and likely the main topic of your post.
By changing your SEO Title, you can make sure it searches better than the title you want people to read. This will ensure that when people search for you they still find you, even if certain terms aren’t in your blog’s title. Altering the meta description works for you as well, helping to make sure you direct and focus your content. You can even use the Yoast SEO plugin to do a quick analysis of your content, which will give you feedback on your content based on the keyword you are looking to rank. You will want to adjust it based on the feedback, but always remember to focus on appealing to the real user.
Choosing the Yoast SEO Plugin
If you use both setup and use options with your Yoast SEO Plugin you’ll be sure to see great results. This program is perfect at helping you teach you to do SEO, manage your SEO, and automate a lot of these processes for you. As far as WordPress SEO plugins go, Yoast SEO is one of the bests, offering a range of diverse features with simple functionality.
For the official guide by Yoast go here.