How to Setup Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin – Beginners Guide

In the previous article I’ve suggested 2 Best WordPress SEO Plugins, one was Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin and other one was All in One SEO Pack. For the newbie bloggers or who don’t have any SEO skill, it might be a critical task to setup a plugin, which about they know just nothing how it works and how to set it up. So, this article is all about How to Configure or Setup Yoast WordPress SEO by Plugin version 3.0.x.


Complete Guide to Setup Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin :

As I’ve already discussed about the features of Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin in my previous article “WordPress SEO Plugins“. Yoast WordPress SEO is really the Master plugin for WordPress SEO (we recommends it). Okay then, before we go on to our Step by Step Complete Guide, let’s take a look into some of the main features we’ll cover in our guide (configuration, which mean so much to Search Engines) :

  • Verification of website or blog in Google, Bing, Alexa, Yandex
  • Google Search Console – Google Authorization Code
  • Title & Meta Settings
  • Control Taxonomies, author archive page
  • Control on Index-No Index & Follow-No Follow
  • Social Optimization
  • Generate XML Sitemap – Sitemap Settings
  • Breadcrumbs configuration
  • Advance Permalinks settings
  • Hide RSD, RSS, WLW, Short links
  • Editing of robots.txt and .htaccess file
  • Importing Settings from other SEO plugins
  • Show/Hide Dates on Search Engines

Let’s get started with this complete guide to setup this Yoast WordPress SEO FREE Plugin.

Don’t forget to click on Save Changes after making any changes.

Importing Settings of your SEO plugin, you’re already using :

If you’re already using an another SEO plugins like All in One SEO or any other such plugins, or if you’re using any plugins by Yoast such as Robots Meta. Then it’ll be good to starting by Importing your existed SEO plugin settings (once you’ve imported all the settings from your existing SEO plugin,  you’ll not have to do the same settings again in WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin).

And to do so:

After installation and activation of the plugin, go to SEO>Tools>Import and Export under the left panel. Now, you just need to select the plugin from which you want to Import the configuration or settings.

Setup WordPress SEO by Yoast - Import and Export in Yoast WordPress SEO plugin

Import and Export function contains four tabs in itself, both the tabs shown above in the image are important to Import settings. And, other 2 tabs are to Export and to Import the settings in .zip format (it can help you to import your SEO settings from other Blog or Website).

Webmaster Tools – Google, Bing, Alexa and Yandex :

Webmaster Tools plays an important role in Search results and to Rank your Blog or Website better than Best. WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin offers the verification functionality of four major Webmaster Tools. And, i recommend it to perform at the very starting after the installation and activation of plugin.

So, let’s first submit your site to Google, Bing, Alexa and Yandex for verification, go to SEO>General>Webmaster Tools.

Webmaster Tools Google, Bing, Alexa and Yandex

To get their Verification IDs, just click on their Blue Title Links. It’ll transfer you on the new tab with page opened to get the ID, just create an account (if you don’t have already),then Grab and Fill your ID there and click on Save Changes.

One more thing you can do in General is that you can tell to Google, weather you’re a person/individual or a company. To tell so, go to SEO>General>Your Info.

Search Console Authorization :

Search Console is a official webmaster tools by Google, which i strictly recommend to use for the better SEO. And to use so, you must have a google account and signed up for Search Console. After signing up Google account and Search Console just go to SEO>Search Console in your WP Dashboard.

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin Search Console

Simply click on Get Google Authorization Code to go through the process of getting your Code (not that hard as you’re thinking). After signing in with your google account Yoast will ask you for permission to get data from Search Console, there Allow the permission, Copy the code and paste it  in your WP Dashboard Search Console filled and click on Authenticate and that-sit.

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin Google Authorization code

Title and Meta Settings :

Title and Meta mean so much to Search Engines, let’s setup them in a right way.

It’s time to go to set the Title Separator (symbols which are shown in search results in the URL of your blog) Go to SEO>Title & Metas> General and select the one symbol you would like to have in your URL slug.

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin Title Separator

Blog’s Front and Blog Posts Page Settings :

Homepage tab contains 2 links, first one is to edit the Meta Title, Meta Description and the keyword also for Front Page and second one is to edit the Meta Title, Meta Description and keyword for Blog Page (a page, which shows all the published blog posts).

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin Homepage Meta

  • Meta Title : The Title of the Homepage or Website, you want to show in Google Search.
  • Meta Description : The Description, which attracts the Search Engines to rank you better and it attracts users too.

Post Types Tab SEO Settings :

Here you’ll Finalize the SEO of your Posts, Pages and Media. There you’ll be configuring the Title template as shown in the image below, %%title%% means that the only Title of your Post, Page or Media will be showing in the search results (website name or any other thing will not repeat every-time).

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin Post Types SEO settings

Taxonomies & Archives based SEO settings:

In taxonomies and archives based settings, we’ll just define Index and Follow command to the Search Engines to index or not to index. By default it follows and index your categories and tags in the Search results.

So here, you just need to go to SEO>Title & Metas> Taxonomies and check the boxes says noindex, follow. It’ll command the Search Engines bots to only follow all the categories and tags, no to index them in search results.

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin Taxonomies & Archives based SEO settings

And here, you can add noindex, follow to the author archives and date-based archives and you can disable the author archives and date-based archives too.

What you need to do here is just check the noindex, follow boxes only and leave the boxes commanding to disable the archives uncheck (I recommend to not to check the Disable archives boxes).

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin Archives based SEO settings

Other :

All you need to do here is just check all the boxes except Use meta keyword tag ?, for better SEO just ignore the Use meta Keyword tag option in the Yoast WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin.


Yoast WordPress SEO plugin General Setings

Social Optimization :

Here you can configure all your Social Media Profiles for better SEO results, it’ll show your Social in the Search results. As whenever someone searches your blog’s name it’ll show up your Social Media Profile too.

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin Social Optimization

Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin also offers Facebook Open Graph, a default image for posts we share on Facebook and  Twitter Meta Cards.

Social Learning Links (To get in Depth) :

And don’t forget to set a default image for Posts and Pages you share on Facebook.

XML Sitemap :

Sitemap is a file which contains a record of all the posts, pages, media, categories and tags. You need to Enable the XML Sitemap functionality SEO>XML Sitemaps and submit them to all the major Search Engines that supports Sitemaps to help their bots to crawl the Every part of your Blog and list in the Search results.

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin XML Sitemap

You can checkout all the settings there in XML Sitemaps, which allows you to take care of what you want to include in your sitemap.

Permalinks and Clean Up your Head Section :

You’ve configured your WordPress default Permalinks in Settings>Permalinks but Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin offers the advanced part of Permalinks.

Configure yours Permalinks settings as I’ve configured mine (Screenshot below).

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin Permalinks

Clean Up your Head Section :

Where you’re setting up your Permalinks settings, just scroll down there and select all the 4 boxes under Clean up the <head> and click on save changes. As showing in the Screenshot below :

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin Clean up Head

Internal Links (Breadcrumbs):

Breadcrumbs are very useful in SEO point of view, let Search Engines understand the structure of the blog or website. Before enabling make sure that your WP Theme supports Breadcrumbs, if your theme doesn’t then checkout the Official Guide for Breadcrumbs by Yoast (You’ll definitely understand).

Editor and Other Tools :

Yoast WordPress SEO offers some great tools and here they are, Bulk Editor, File Editor, Import and Export. As I’ve already told you about Import and Export, which let you Import your already SEO plugin settings (Saves your time very much (:).

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin Tools and Editors

Now, we’re talking about Bulk Editor and File Editor, File Editor let you edit 2 important files robots.txt and .htaccess file. And, Bulk Editor is really an amazing tools there, it let you quickly edit  your blog posts and pages Title and Description right from the one place.

For ex:- As you want to change the description or title of 3 different blog posts, at that time Bulk Editor is very helpful just go to Bulk Editor and Edit all the Posts Meta values you want to edit, instead of editing the each separate post.

I hope the Complete Beginners guide helped you to setup the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin.

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