In the previous post, we talk about WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast and here I will show you how to setup WordPress SEO plugin. At Woblogger, I use WordPress SEO plugin and I believe that is the most complete SEO solution for your WordPress blog or site. WordPress SEO is one of most popular WordPress plugins with more than 13 million downloads. All in One SEO Pack is an alternate plugin to WordPress SEO, but WordPress SEO have tons of features and options than it.
If you did not read my previous post “WordPress SEO by Yoast: Improve your WordPress SEO” yet, please read it now. So, let’s start to setup WordPress SEO by Yoast correctly and utilize all the awesome features that comes built-in.
Complete Guide to Setup WordPress SEO Plugin
You should remember, that the settings that I select are the ones that I recommend. Other experts may have their own preferences. Here I think, you are a beginner and I will guide you to use Yoast WordPress SEO plugin like I do. Therefore, please follow along the steps carefully.
WordPress SEO Dashboard
The screenshot given above is the dashboard of WordPress SEO plugin. Very first step to get started with this plugin is by submitting your site to Google, Bing and Alexa. Copy and paste the verification IDs and click “Save Changes”.
Titles and Meta Settings
This is the most important part of setting up WordPress SEO plugin. This screenshot is the option which I ideally use. You can keep your WordPress blog head section cleans by checking last four boxes. This option will hide RSD links, WLW manifest links, post shortlinks and RSS links from your blog’s head section.
Now, click on home tab and configure the settings for your homepage title and meta description. Here is a screenshot of my blog.
Here is the brief explanation of this feature.
Title template: Home title that you want to show in Google search.
Meta description: Your Homepage Meta description for search engine.
Meta Keyword template: Add your target keyword for homepage
In this option, you can define the SEO for post, page and media section of your WordPress blog. The given screenshot above is the my recommended setting for a WordPress blog. The default setting by Yoast WordPress SEO plugin hides the date from search engine snippets. If you are running a news blog, show date for your posts in search engine. It is better.
On the taxonomies tab, you can configure titles and meta for Categories, tags, custom taxonomies, and post format archives. I prefer keeping tags and categories as noindex and dofollow. If you wish to use my settings, simply check “Noindex, follow” and “hide” box.
On the other tab you have title and meta settings for author archives, date archives, and special pages such as search and 404 pages. I recommended that you check “noindex, follow” and “Disable the author archives” for single author blogs. If you are maintaining a single author blog, then your main blog and the author archives contain exactly the same content. The setting is there to prevent duplicate content. It is better.
Leave other settings as they are and save changes.
This great feature of WordPress SEO plugin is that it integrates your site with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ social platforms. You can setup these setting by clicking “Social” link under the SEO menu. I will show you how to setup them step by step.
First thing you need to do is check “Add Open Graph meta data” box on Facebook tab. Then click “Add Facebook admin” to connect a Facebook admin. Adding a Facebook admin will give you access to Facebook Insights for your site. This option allows WordPress SEO to add Facebook open graph meta data in your blog’ssection and will help Facebook pick up the right thumbnail and page information when a post from your website is shared on Facebook.
Now fill Facebook Page URL, Image URL, and Description.
Here, you can add Twitter cards into your blog’s head section and provide a Twitter user handle. Here I added blog’s Twitter account @woblogger.
Here you can add your Google+ Publisher page. If you have created a Google+ page for your blog enter its URL here, and then go to your Google+ page and enter your blog’s URL in about section.
Sitemap is the one of most essentials for your WordPress blog. You can notify search engines about your content using sitemaps and it is the quickest and easiest way. WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast make it supper easy to add XML sitemaps in WordPress. It is very simple. Check the box that say “Check this box to enable XML sitemap functionality”.
If you are running a single author WordPress blog disable “author/user sitemaps”. WordPress SEO will automatically ping Google and Bing however you can enable it to ping Yahoo and Ask.com as well. In the last fields, you can exclude any post types or taxonomies that don’t want to appear in sitemaps. Here I usually exclude categories and tags. The screenshot given below shows you my setting of XML sitemap.
You can change default WordPress permalinks at Settings > Permalinks. Here you can configure advanced permalink settings. Here is a screenshot of my settings. I usually use 2-3 settings from here to avoid parameters being indexed in Google search.
The last option to configure on Permalinks page is canonical URL settings. I would recommend that you leave them as they are.
This talk is not about internal linking within your blog posts. It is actually about breadcrumbs that also appear in search results giving your blog extra advantage in the search.
First thing you need to do is to enable breadcrumbs on internal links page under SEO. Here is a screenshot of my setting.
This feature allows you to add backlinks to yourself in your feed content because most content scrapers are using your feeds to steal your content. So, you will get backlinks from their blogs and Google will know that your content is the original source. Here is a screenshot of default settings.
Import & Export
Now we have spent a good amount of time getting these settings just right, So you can export these settings as backup to use it as an initial guideline for all of your future sites that you are going to use this plugin. If you’ve used another SEO plugin, you can use this feature to move your data into WordPress SEO.
This is another great feature of WordPress SEO plugin. You can edit your WordPress .htaccess and robots.txt file from dashboard. Remember, keep a copy of these files by downloading using FTP client before edit them from dashboard.
I hope this tutorial will help you to setup WordPress SEO by Yoast correctly. If you are interested in receiving more articles, please subscribe us and do share this useful guide with your blogger friends.
Ishara Keerthirathna says
I recently started WordPress blog and I learned a lot of things from your website. I also installed Yoast plugin and this guide will so much important for anyone. You have said everything and I couldn’t find any nice article like this. So, Thank you very much
Thanks Nilantha… Great post..
Wrong configuration of WordPress SEO plugin gives a negative effect to website. So when we configure WordPress SEO plugin, we must be careful.
This post is very useful to newbies to configure WordPress SEO plugin correctly. Good post. Thanks.
Nilantha Jayawardhana says
Hai, I am ramya, I like you very much for WordPress seo. It is very useful for design responsive WordPress theme. It is improve ourself skills development. Thank You.