WordPress SEO By Yoast is one of the best SEO plugin available for WordPress users for free. This WordPress SEO plugin is one of the most popular and must have WordPress plugin. The man behind this awesome WordPress SEO plugin is Joost de Valk who is a web developer and SEO at yoast.com.
I use Yoast WordPress SEO plugin on all of my blogs. These who are newbies in blogging arena this will find Yoast WordPress SEO very useful in their content development process. It helps blogger to analysis On-Page SEO of a blog post and also configures On-Site SEO perfectly. In fact, I never recommended you go for any paid SEO plugin because WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is completely free and come with many useful features to get higher in search engine ranking.
But just installing & activation this SEO plugin is not enough. As it contains bulk of features so we have to set up Yoast WordPress SEO plugin in right way. Most of the WordPress bloggers always wants to know about best settings for Yoast SEO Plugin. But before setting up Yoast WordPress SEO, you should be aware about it’s all features and options which we configure.
MUST READ: Top 10 Basic SEO Tips To Improve Your Blog
Features Of Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
You can configure following things by using this SEO plugin:
- Verify your WordPress blog or site on Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools, Pinterest and Alexa
- Configure the settings for title & meta
- Social SEO
- XML Sitemap
- Edit files (.htaccess and robots.txt)
- Import & Export SEO data and settings
These are feature of this Yoast WordPress SEO plugin and we have configure all these options after activating the plugin. Let’s know about how to set up these settings of WordPress SEO By Yoast.
Best Way To Configure Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin Settings (Best Settings For Yoast SEO)
1. Install & Activate
If you already installed & activated this plugin then got to next step for co figuring it. If not, you can install it by going to Plugins > Add New > Search for WordPress SEO By Yoast. Now in search result click on install below this plugin and activate it. All this process will be done right from your WordPress dashboard.
2. SEO Data Transfer From Previous SEO Plugin Or Theme
If you are using any other SEO plugin previously or using the built-in SEO option of your WordPress theme than you should transfer the SEO data before using Yoast SEO plugin. You can transfer your previous SEO data by going to import & export. There is a recommended WordPress plugin called SEO Data Transporter to accomplish this task..
This step is not apply to a new WordPress blog. if you recently installed Yoast SEO plugin on a new blog then there is no need to follow this process of SEO data transfer.
3. Basic Settings
In this step, you need to configure basic setting of this plugin. For this navigate to SEO > Dashboard. Here you can easily verify your site on Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and Alexa. All you need to do is to add the meta value accordingly to the boxes. For e.g, for verify your site in Google webmaster Tools, add your site there, take the meta value and insert here in same box, save & verify.
Below General, there are two options Start Tour and Reset Default Settings. By clicking on Start Tour button you can learn how to use this plugin and the second button is for resetting the plugin to its default settings.
There is an option below tracking of “Allow tracking of this WordPress installs anonymous data”. Keep it unchecked as it will allow the plugin to send anonymous data.
Below under security, there is another option of “
4. Titles & Metas: Main Part Of Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin Settings
It is one of the most important part of setting WordPress SEO By Yoast. Below it there is tab named General, Home, Post Types, Taxonomies & Others. Let’s get more details about each.
Below Title Settings, there is an option of “Force rewrite titles”. By default it is unchecked and I recommend you to keep it unchecked as WordPress SEO automatically detect whether it needs to rewrite titles or not.
Below “Sitewide meta settings”, you need to check first two boxes. Make a check on “Noindex subpages for archives” as it will prevent /page/2/ and further of any archive to show up in the search results which makes SEO of other pages stronger.
Also check the option of using meta keywords. Though Google do not consider meta keywords for SEO but other search engines may consider. Also don’ t over-emphasize on meta-keywords while doing On-Page SEO.
Below Clean up the , if check first two boxes of Hide RSD Links and , if you are not using any software to update your site. Also check on “Hide Shortlink for posts” to remove unnecessary code. Keep fourth option of “Hide RSS Links” unchecked.
In this section, you need to configure three title template, meta description template and meta keywords template. In title template box enter the value %%sitename%% – %%sitedesc%%. Below it, in meta description, add a relevant meta description for your homepage which will be visible in search engine below your site’s homepage search result. In meta keywords section, add relevant keywords which are based on the topics of your site.
- Post Types
Under this you can set meta details of posts, page and Media. You need separately configure the meta for these three elements.
Title Template: Add %%title%% %%sep%% %%sitename%% in title template (recommended). If you just want to show only title for your post in search engine, only add %%title%%.
Meta Description: Leave the meta description empty as it is recommended to fill the meta description of post manually.
Meta keywords Template: Add %%focuskw%%, %%tag%%, %%category%%.
Meta Robots: Keep Meta Robots unchecked for every part.
Date in Snippet Preview: Check it, if you want to show date of posts, pages or media in search engine. I recommend you keep it unchecked for pages and media.
WordPress SEO Meta Box: Unchecked for all.
Under Taxonomies there are options for categories, tags and format. I recommend you to keep all the default setting and not edit them. Make sure you make a check on noindex, follow for tags. I have also not indexed categories as i want search engine to find my site’s content from one way. You can change any setting of these but make sure what will be the impact of any change on your SEO.
In this tab, most of the defaults settings will work great. But we should check noindex, follow for author and date archives. Also disable date-based archive to avoid duplicate content issues. You should also disable author archive, if you have a single author blog.
Social settings of this plugin allows you to configure social SEO for your site. It will come under tabs that are Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Let’s configure them.
Under Facebook tab, first you will see an option of “Add Open Graph meta data” tick that box. It will add open graph meta data code to your website so that whenever any of your site’s post is shared on Facebook, it look great with image.
In next option of Facebook Insights and Admin. Now you need to related a Facebook profile here. You can opt for your own Facebook Profile or a Facebook App. According to this plugin, a user profile will work for most sites. By clicking on Add Facebook Admin, you can associate your Facebook profile.
In Facebook Page URL, add the URL of that blog’s Facebook page. In FrontPage settings upload that image which will shown when it’s homepage is shared on Facebook. Also add title and meta description.
You can also add an image in default image to show this image if the shared post does not combine any image.
Under Twitter tab, make check on “Add Twitter card meta data”and add your site’s twitter profile username.
Under this tab tick on Add Google+ specific meta data and add your business’s Google+ page URL.
6. XML Sitemaps
If you use WordPress SEO Plugin By Yoast, you don’t need to install any other plugin for creating XML sitemaps. To generate XML sitemaps with Yoast SEO plugin, navigate to SEO> XML Sitemaps. Now make check on “Check this box to enable XML sitemap functionality”. If you have already installed any other sitemap plugin, make sure to delete to avoid any conflict.
Under this, you just need to make check on few boxes, which are below:
- Remove stop word from slugs, it will make posts URL looks clean.
- Redirect attachment URL’s to parent post URL.
- Remove the ?replytocom variables.
If you want to strip the Strip the category base (usually /category/) from the category URL then you should check first box. But it is not recommended as it is very error prone.
Checking second box will add trailing hash on every category and tags URL. If you want your post URLs to include .html at their end then you should check this box.
Leave all other fields and settings as it is.
8. Internal Links
Under this, you should add a check on “Enable Breadcrumbs”. It will add breadcrumbs to you website which will help search engine to better index your site and better for user navigation. After enabling it, select “Category” in Taxonomy to show in breadcrumbs for. Search Engines will show breadcrumbs as shown in above screenshot.
If you want to bold the last page of breadcrumb, make a check on Bold the last page in the breadcrumb.
You can also edit RSS Feed of your blog. You can easily add author link, post link, blog link and blog description link. In this screenshot , I have added The post %%POSTLINK%% appeared first on %%BLOGLINK%%. It will tell search engines that if a scrapper got copies your post from RSS feed, your blog link will also be got copied and sear engines will get the first source of post.
10. Now Use It
Now you settled the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast to its best settings. Now What? After it you should know how to use Yoast WordPress SEO plugin to get best results. Getting knowledge on using this plugin will help you in your daily task of creating better articles.
Whenever you write an article, Yoast SEO On-Page SEO Analysis setting will be visible below the post editor. You will find option of snippet preview, focus keyword meta description and meta keywords. In focus keyword section , enter that keyword which you are targeting in the article. Write a relevant & unique meta description in Meta Description box. Leave the Meta Keywords box empty. Make sure your keyword is in page URL also.
After the article, enter all the above details in Yoast SEO Plugin settings and Save Draft. It will give a green signal in Publish box which means the article is SEO optimized.
You can go to Page Analysis tab in Yoast SEO box and here you can see those points of your article which can be improved in regard of SEO.
Conclusion: Best Settings For Yoast SEO Plugin
Now you have configured the best settings for WordPress SEO By Yoast. Configuring the WordPress SEO Plugin is an important part of getting higher ranking in search engine. One mistake in setting can easily deteriorate the ranking of any site. So it is highly recommended to configure this SEO plugin very carefully.
I have provide you the best & optimized WordPress SEO settings that will are best for search engines. Also it is not guarantee that this settings will improve your blog’s raking. Remember SEO is a matter of creating high-quality & valuable content and it takes some time to establish a site ins search engines.
These are the SEO settings which will act as a base for your future content development.
If you have any question regarding this article, tell that in comment section.