How to Install and Setup WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

If you’re looking for an easy way to improve the SEO for your WordPress website well stick around because I’ll walk you through how to install and setup WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. The first thing we want to do is let’s go ahead and head over to our plugins area and we’re looking for the Yoat SEO. I’m going to click install now and once we install it let’s go ahead and activate it as well. After you’ve installed the Yoast plugin if you had a previous SEO plugin set up then you’ll want to transfer that data over so that it will come into your Yoast SEO.

The easiest way you can do that is go ahead and add a new plugin click add new and we want to look for the SEO data transporter plugin created by Studiopress so let’s install that and activate it. Once that’s activated go to your tools, convert SEO data, and if you need to import SEO data you can choose the platform that you recently had. Many of the popular plugins are the all-in-one SEO or if you were using the Genesis theme. You’ll want to pick the plugin that you used to have and then you want to in the two drop-down you want to pick the Yoast SEO and I’ll just go through and convert anything that was in the other plugin over to your SEO and you can properly remove that previous plugin.

So now that we’re good to go on that let’s head over to our SEO tab down here and we’ll go to dashboard. From here let’s click on the features area and we want to make sure that we enable some things we’re okay with the readability analysis I’ll show you where that’s showing in a minute. We’ll want the keyword analysis that’s kind of the bread and butter of analyzing your keywords on your posts. Now let’s go ahead and enable the Advanced Settings, we are also happy with these items. So now I’ll just click Save Changes. Once I click Save Changes we’ll see several more tabs open up over here it’ll give us more items to work with. Alright the next area we want to fill out is the your info information this area pulls in the site title you’ll also want to choose whether or not this is a company or if this is a branded person’s site. From here you can upload your company logo once you fill all of these out click Save Changes.

Under webmaster tools verification this just gives you a quick and easy way to be able to verify your site with the Bing Webmaster Tools the Google search console and the Yandex webmaster tools. If you’ve already verified with these then you don’t have to do that here. The last tab to look at is the security settings and by default it’s disabled and you’ll want to leave it at that. Disabling it prevents any authors from making advanced changes like noindexing on your site and canonical settings which is a good thing so go ahead and leave that disabled.

Now after settings the next thing we want to look at are the tabs over here so let’s click on the title and meta and basically whenever you have a website I’m going to take this out of full mode and show you. You see here we have our title and then we also have, we have a separator right there that’s how we’re separating the title of the page to from the name of the WordPress site, save the settings. For the home page you can choose the title template that you’ll want and basically its this as you see here it will pull in the site name along with the page, the separator that we just chose which was the dash, and then the site description which is the meta and right here is where you would add the meta for the home page. Under post types you’ll see the title template as well very similar you have the title the page name the separator and the site name. We also recommend leaving the description fields here blank because when you go into each individual post you will have the opportunity to add the meta description for each individual post which we do recommend you doing. Under the taxonomy tab you can configure the title and the meta for the categories and tags and any custom taxonomy that you have.

The same holds true for archives so we’ll just leave all of that the same. Finally under the other tab you can leave this like it is save our changes here. The next tab we want to look at is our social and from here you want to pull in all of the URLs from any of these social networks that you’re a part of this will allow Yoast to tell Google about all of your social profiles. You can fill those out as you need to save our changes and now that we’ve filled those out we can go to our Facebook tab and here we’ll bring in some things that will be particular to Facebook so if you’re sharing something and it goes over to Facebook in the, on the Facebook tab you want to make sure that the Open Graph is enabled by checking that it will allow Yoast SEO to add Facebook open graph metadata to our websites head section from here you can choose an image your title that you want and then a description and basically anybody who shares a link of your website on Facebook this will be pulled in and this image will be used this title be used and the description will be used whenever they share something.

The image here will basically be the default image that will be shared with any posts that you have that doesn’t have an image so automatically pull this in. Down here you add a Facebook admin then that will give them access to Facebook Insights for your site. Enable Twitter card metadata and with that we suggest doing the summary with large image so if someone shares one of your posts then in Twitter you’ll see the summary of the posts as well as a large image that’s coming from your website. Pinterest uses open graph just like Facebook does so you want to make sure you have open graph metadata box checked under the Facebook settings.

To get this confirmation simply confirm your site with Pinterest and then you can add the meta information here for the Google Plus you just want to add your Google Plus page link here and then you’re set for all your social changes. The next tab we want to look at is our XML sitemap a sitemap on your site is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get indexed and to notify search engines about your website so you’ll definitely want to make sure that this is enabled and once this is enabled we have several different sub sitemaps that we want to look at and I’ll show you what it looks like when I click here this is our current sitemap for our website yours will likely have several more.

Alright let’s look under user sitemap you want to make sure that that’s an, that’s disabled you don’t want to showcase author pages on Google. Moving over to posts types you can choose which ones to not show in the sitemap. You actually want to show your pages and your posts but you likely don’t want to show your media you don’t want Google to index all of your images so let’s keep that not in the sitemap and here you can go through and exclude specific posts, things like the Thank You page if you have a sign-up form and you want to send people to a Thank You page you don’t want Google to index that. If you have a privacy policy page or things like that Google doesn’t need to have those indexed on your site it doesn’t help for the rankings of your site. If you want to quickly exclude a post or a page from your XML sitemap then just head over to a page or a post then hover over the title and down here you can see the ID like this so for instance if we didn’t want to show the about here and then we’ll want to add 104 excluded post settings here and then that simply won’t show up in our XML settings.

Same thing with taxonomies you want to decide which ones you want to show in the sitemap or not. I’m going to save my changes here and we’ll move on to the Advanced tab. The Advanced tab settings it allows you to set up your breadcrumbs here. The breadcrumbs that we’re talking about are actually these, these are the breadcrumbs that will appear if we have this setting on and we’ll go back to the advanced go ahead and click enable and when you hit enable you can choose the separator, what you want anchor for the home page you can also choose to bold or keep it regular if you have a bolded then the last page will stand out a little bit more so we’ll Save Changes there and let’s look at the permalink section and just to be clear we’re talking about the permalinks in the Yoast tab not in the settings tab.

From here if you use a lot of categories then basically this will strip the category part of the permalink, you can also decide to redirect so that there’s no conflicting pages between this category being named the same as a a page or a post. You can also decide if you want to clean up the permalinks when you’re by default creating a post or a page that has a stop word. Here you can decide if you want to automatically remove those stop words and then the slug will not have any stop words in it. Alright moving on to the RSS this is a neat feature if another website tries to copy and scrape your content it will automatically add a link back to your website as well so you can fill this out they proudly brought to you by wpbeginner and then the content put after the posts in each feed these are the variables that you can use as well.

So now we’ll click Save Changes and let’s take a quick look at the tools area. The import-export that just allows you to export everything that we’ve just done or if you’ve moved from another website you want to import those settings you can do that here. The bulk editor that just gives you the ability to make the changes on multiple posts at one time so that you don’t have to click into each post specifically to make the changes and then the file editor, that lets you go in and make changes to your robots.txt as well as your htaccess file without having to go into your cpanel so some really useful tools from Yoast. Finally going down to the search console the search console lets you connect your WordPress site to the Google search console tools which used to be the webmaster tools. You can add the webmaster tools and then verify it using the SEO once you verify that then you’d be able to see your search console information here.

Now that we’ve set up Yoast SEO let’s head over to our posts area and we’ll take a look at some of the functionality that we have on each post and page and that’s where some of the power comes in you’ll see by default we have new columns here for SEO and that’s if we have set these up for SEO readability and/or keywords then we’ll see how we’re doing with a green or a red light so for instance we can go in here and edit this you’ll now have a field at the bottom of each of your posts and pages that you can work on for the readability it automatically will tell you some ideas of how to improve the post or a page if the post that you’re working on is focused on a particular keyword then you want to enter that here and then once you do that it’ll tell you what you might be missing, how you can improve on it, and your goal will be to get as many of these green circles as you can.

The more green circles you have you’ll see it up here it’ll turn green and then you know that this post is possibly ranking for that keyword for your site. For this area make sure you fill out your SEO title, the slug, as well as the Meta Description this helps with the search engine results and it also encourages users to click on your link when you’re using a descriptive meta description and then you can update that and now you can start looking at all your posts and once you have all this filled out you can see which ones you might need to work on and which ones are doing well and that’s a quick and easy way to get the Yoast SEO set up on your website to improve your SEO.

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