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How to Setup Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is the leading SEO plugin for WordPress. It allows you to optimize your website for better search rankings and more traffic from search engines. The main reason many websites exist is to bring in as much traffic, and in turn, do more business. At the least websites are a way to spread our message to the world. Everyone should want to optimize their website so that you can not only show up on search engines but also be in a great position to enjoy lots of traffic coming to your website. In this short tutorial we’ll show you how to setup Yoast SEO in a step by step process.
Setting up Yoast SEO is easy. In this article I’ll walk you through setting up Yoast SEO on your WordPress website. First, go to Plugins page on your WordPress admin and use the search box to find Yoast SEO. Just type Yoast SEO in the search box and hit enter. You’ll see a list of plugins, the first being Yoast SEO. Click to install then activate it. Now you’re ready to customize it.
Find the Yoast plugin settings tab in the lower left area of the WordPress admin and click on it to open the page. You’ll be presented with a first time SEO configuration wizard. We’ll use it to set up all the important parts of the Yoast plugin.
The first option to choose is if your website is live or not. This is important because if your site is not live yet you may want to keep search engines from indexing your site pages.
Next, you’ll set up your site type. This basically means the type your website represents. Yoast SEO uses this information to further customize your SEO settings. The SEO needs for a blog are different from that of an online shop or a small business.
Next, we’ll tell Yoast SEO if we’re an organization or just a person. This option has to do with site identity and branding as you’d like it to appear on search engines. This is extra information that Google uses to make sense of who’s behind the information in a website.
Search Engine Visibility
Next, you’ll customize search visibility for the different types of content. As you know, WordPress websites can have a number of different content types such as posts and pages, and other custom content types (better known as post types). You may not necessarily want all these content types showing up on search engines. For example, you can have an invoice content type which you send to clients. In this case you want to hide these from search engines because the invoices are an internal matter and have no benefit in the search engine.
Next you’ll choose to enable multiple authors or not. Just like the content types we looked at in the previous step, WordPress creates author pages. These pages could lead to multiple duplicates of your blog content. Duplicate content is not a good thing and you can be penalized by search engines.
Next, we’ll customize the title settings. Your website title is a very important piece of information. Setting it up correctly could mean the difference between a great ranking and an okay one. The title separator is another piece of information that you need to give some thought. The rule of thumb is to select the separator that takes up the least amount of space.
Next, you can opt in to Yoast’s newsletter. This is optional, but it’s good to consider joining Yoast newsletter. They publish a lot of great content on the topic of SEO and digital marketing and that may be helpful to you.
Complete The Wizard
The next 2 screens in this guide are promotional information for the Yoast SEO plugin. I won’t go into that for now but just know that there is a premium version of this plugin with even more features. However, I’d suggest getting familiar with this basic version so you can determine if this plugin is for you.
Up to this point we’ve covered general customization of the Yoast SEO plugin. The next level of customization is at the content level (page, post, etc). Yoast plugin allows you to further optimize your pages by adding SEO title, description and focus keywords to each piece of content. When you go to the page edit section, below the text editor, you’ll see a meta box like one below. Here’s what to do (see attached screenshot):
- Enter an SEO title. This is a title that has your main keyword for this page or post.
- For Slug, I’d recommend to leave this unchanged for existing page or post because if you change it it’ll break the link to that page. If the page or post is new you can change it.
- Enter a good description for your page. This description is what appears in search pages and it’s what people will read before they visit your website.
How to Setup Yoast SEO: Conclusion
I do want to say that although I use Yoast, there are other good SEO plugins out there as well. I also would not go overboard on making sure everything on your Yoast traffic light icon is green. From my experience sometimes Yoast can be a little buggy with this traffic light, and obsessing over it isn’t good. I’d focus on making sure most of the items that really make sense are turned green.
That’s all there is to setting up Yoast SEO on your WordPress website. I hope you had no trouble following along and that you have successfully implemented these instructions. If you have questions or suggestions please share them in the comments section below. Lastly, feel free to check out other how to WordPress articles.