In this tutorial we will learn how to properly configure this plugin for better optimization. Be careful when configuring this plugin, because improper handling can stop the indexing of your blog.
Guide to setting up WordPress SEO from Yoast
Before starting the configuration of our Yoast SEO Plugin, Go to Yoast WordPress Plugin and download the extension. Or from your Dashboard => Extensions => Add then type “Yoast” in the search bar and Install then Activate the Plugin.
The Yoast WordPress SEO plugin is made up of 5 main sections:
- General settings
- Seo Settings
- Search Console
- Social networks
SEO features offered by this plugin
- Verify your site in Google, Bing and Alexa
- Set up metas and titles
- Control Taxonomy Meta and Author Page
- Support Facebook Open Graph
- Allows you to generate the sitemap (sitemap)
- Check permalinks
- Breadcrumbs support
- Import settings from other SEO plugins.
- Edit. Htaccess and robots.txt
- Hide date from search engines
Yoast SEO Plugin General Setup
Now, if you use SEO plugins like All in one SEO, or you use other Yoast plugins like “RSS footer”, “Robots meta” or even “Yoast breadcrumbs”, you must start by importing the settings from these to this plugin.
Once you have installed and activated WordPress SEO from Yoast, go to SEO > Import & Export under the left panel and select the plugin from which you want to import your settings. I suggest taking a backup of your database before any manipulation, and finally using the “Delete old data” option.
Yoast SEO General Settings:
Here is what each tab means:
If you want to verify that your Yoast SEO settings are still correct. This tab also displays notifications if there are referencing problems.
Yoast SEO offers many features. You can enable/disable some of them below. By clicking on the question mark, you will get more information about them.
- SEO analysis : SEO analysis offers suggestions to improve the SEO of your text (I strongly recommend activating it).
- Readability analysis : It offers suggestions to improve the structure and style of your text (to be disabled).
- The Cornerstone content functionality : It allows you to distinguish and filter the most important content on your site, if you want to tell Google that a content is more important than the others (to be activated but do not abuse its use). For me I disabled this feature.
- The link counter : helps you improve the structure of your site (I put it disabled).
- Sitemaps (xml) : Enable or disable sitemaps generated by Yoast SEO. Yoast plugin also offers you the possibility to generate a sitemap, which means another plugin less, because you can deactivate your old Sitemap extension after activating Yoast sitemap by activating the appropriate box.
- Integration of Ryte : Ryte can check daily if your site is still indexable by search engines and warns you when it is no longer the case (I put it in deactivated).
- The Yoast SEO admin menu bar : It contains useful links to third-party tools for analyzing your pages and makes it easier to display new notifications (to be disabled because I don’t like to weigh down my site with these codes) .
- No advanced settings for authors : The advanced section of the Yoast SEO metadata inset allows users to unindex content or change the canonical link. These are manipulations that it is better not to leave within the reach of all authors. Therefore, by default, only editors and administrators can do this. Setting to “Disabled” allows all users to change these settings.
Now here is an overview of my settings for this tab:
Don’t forget to save the changes.
Tools for Webmasters:
The Yoast plugin directly integrates here the possibility of validating a site in order to be able to use webmaster tools such as Google Search Console or Bing for Webmasters. For example, to validate a site from the Google Search Console, you must integrate the value given in the meta.
Yoast Seo Settings
This is one of the most important parts of this plugin, see images with explanations below.
Title separator : We advise you to select the title separator of your choice.
Home page : If your home page is not managed directly via one-page, here you will be able to integrate the writing and optimization of the title tag and the meta description. For my case I use the following structure for titles: %%sitename%% • %%sitedesc%% %%page%%
Knowledge Graph: This data is displayed as metadata on your site. It appears in Google’s Knowledge Graph. You can be a company or a person.
You will be able to manage here all the titles and meta description of your content types, at least give default rewrite rules that the user does not write them. Below is the configuration I use:
- Not displaying Articles in search results implies that they will have an instruction
noindexand will be excluded from XML sitemaps and therefore will not be indexed, so this option must be activated.
- For each title model, we advise you to put only %%title%% : this will automatically add the title of your page or article in the Title tag. If you rewrite it in the Yoast block, this is the one that will be taken into account.
- For each meta description template, we advise you to put only %%excerpt%% : this will automatically add the excerpt of your content to the meta description.
- You can hide the date in the snippet preview. This feature simply allows you to add or not the date in your meta description (I advise you to display the date);
- Finally, select “show” Yoast SEO metadata inserts if you want to show Yoast features for the content type in question (for posts or pages). Do the same for pages.
Don’t forget to save your settings.
When you upload media to WordPress (an image or video for example), it also creates an attachment URL. These pages are relatively empty: they contain the media and possibly a title if you have entered one. It is for this reason that if you do not use the attached files, it is better to disable them and redirect them to the media.
We recommend that you select “Yes”.
Here we are talking about categories, tags and format. Taxonomies is a way in which WordPress groups together its different sections: Categories, Tags (Keywords) and Post/Page Links… This part will allow us to improve the visibility of the Categories and Keywords of Our Blog.
I prefer to show Categories in search results, so choose yes . However, you can change them according to your SEO plan but I highly recommend indexing your category.
For the tags (post-tag) and format it is preferable to put them in noindex ie to choose No, to avoid the problem of duplicate content (duplicated).
Show Yoast SEO metadata insets for categories and hide them for tags and format.
For Categories we use: %%term_title%% %%page%% (The category title) in the Title Template and Meta Keywords Template box. Then we use %%category_description%% in the Meta Description template box.
Now here is my configuration for this section:
Remove category prefix : Category URLs contain a prefix in WordPress such as /category/. This feature removes it but only for categories. I chose to keep this prefix.
If you administer a blog with a single author, the author’s archive page will be exactly the same as your homepage. This is called a duplicate content problem. If this is the case for your site, you can choose to disable it (which will redirect it to the homepage), or add
noindex,followit to it, so it doesn’t show up in search results.
Note that the links to the archives might still be displayed by your theme and you will need to remove them separately. Date-based archives could, in some cases, also be considered duplicate content.
Author and date archive settings : Disable
Here is my setup:
This feature is used to automatically add content to your RSS feeds, more specifically, to add links to your blog and articles. Content aggregators will also add these links, helping search engines identify your site as the source of the content.
You can add in the “Content to add after each article” box the following variable: “This article %%POSTLINK%% appeared first on %%BLOGLINK%%. »
Other Yoast Settings
In this part we use %%name%% if we want to display the name of the author and add the Meta Publisher or Author. It’s optional but you can still use them. Don’t forget to tick: Noindex follow if you don’t want your blog’s authors to be indexed.
Here you can configure Facebook Open Graph meta tags, default image for Facebook and twitter meta map.
I recommend that you add a default image, which will help Facebook to display an image, when your posts don’t have images.
Another good feature of the Wordpres Seo plugin is the quick modification of your “ .htaccess ” and “robots.txt” files.
I think this guide will help you to properly configure the Yoast WordPress Seo plugin for better optimization of your blog.