Search Engine Optimization is vital for any website to get better rankings on search engines, or, at least, get a chance to reach those higher positions. WordPress comes optimized for SEO norms, but they aren’t good enough alone.
For years, webmaster’s have been taking help from third-party plugins and there have been two very old plugins. The first one was the All in One SEO, and the second one was Yoast SEO.
Trust me, I’ve been using these plugins for years, and I can tell you that the decision of going with Yoast SEO plugin is only going to bring results. All you need to do is to get its setup in a right way.
Install and Setup Yoast SEO on WordPress Blog
Since there aren’t many features of tweaking options available inside this plugin, you can easily get started with it. Still, a newbie might need help and that’s exactly what I’m going to bring down here.
All you need to do is to follow the simple steps as below mentioned and if you need an explanation on any individual part, it will be either available with the same or you can fire up the issues in the discussion section below.
Step 1 – Login into the Dashboard area of your WordPress website and scroll down to the Plugin option. Click on the Add New button.
Step 2 – Now, use the search tool available to find Yoast SEO plugin and once you do, click on the Install option. The moment it gets installed successfully, you need to click on the Activate option ahead. Congratulations, you’ve completed installing the plugin which brings down one step from our overall task.
Step 3 – In the Dashboard area on the left sidebar, you’ll have a new option available labeled “SEO.” Click on the same and let the tool package loaded up.
Step 4 – Then click on Your Info tab and enter your website’s name, and select Person in the next drop down option.
Step 5 – Now leave other options untouched and click on Titles & Metas option, which is our next one.
Step 6 – Select the Title Separator of your choice, and hit Save Changes button. Do not touch the first option i.e., Force rewrite titles.
Step 7 – Click on the Homepage tab, where you can modify the Title template section and add a custom Meta description for your homepage. Make sure you add a worthy description as it will appear in the search engines. Click on Save Changes button and move ahead to Post Types section.
Step 8 – Then you can put a no follow (noindex) request for individual Post or Page or Media files. I’d recommend you to keep everything as it is and do not change anything at all.
Step 9 – Moving next to Taxonomies option, you’ll find same noindex options for Categories, Tags, and Format. Personally, I prefer indexing categories of my website but not the tags and format. So, I keep it that way. You can pick according to your site’s structure. FYI, noindex clearly means that those individual pages of your websites will not be indexed in search engine, which further helps to keep the duplicate content issue from occurring. As usual, click on Save Changes button and move ahead.
Step 10 – You come to the Archives section where you need to leave first two options untouched and Enable the two options below it, i.e., putting a noindex request for the author and date-based archives which both prevent the duplicate content issue from occurring. If you want, set a custom template for Search and 404 pages or leave the default ones. Don’t forget to click on Save Changes button.
Step 11 – Now in the Other tab, I prefer keeping the first option Enabled while keeping rest of the options untouched. It is again a safety measure from staying away from the duplicate content issue.
Step 12 – Moving next are the Social settings, which if you understand correctly and wish to use, can go ahead with the on-screen options and set things up. Having a better social profile helps in achieving better search engine rankings, so do not ignore this step completely.
Step 13 – Moving onto the next XML Sitemaps option, click on the very first checkbox which enables this option. It creates a sitemap file on automation which is required to help search engine bots to get a maximum of your webpages indexed.
Step 14 – Under the User sitemap, you can keep that option disabled, as showcasing sitemap for posts and pages are enough for search engines. Under Post Types section, you can exclude a particular type like I’ve excluded Media ones. And, finally under Taxonomies, you can keep Tags and Format away from showing up in Sitemap file. Hit the Save Changes option and move ahead.
Step 15 – Under the Advanced settings, you can enable Breadcrumbs if the native theme doesn’t provide this functionality. And, you can control Permalinks and RSS settings, and tweak them according to your usage. If you don’t understand any of these advanced options, I’ll like to keep them untouched or explain what you’re trying to achieve in the comment section below.
Step 16 – Finally, you can opt for the Premium version of Yoast SEO plugin and get more advanced and premium features. You can even connect the Search Console (Google Webmaster) tool.
That’s all guys! As I said, if you need help on any related matter, feel free to drop a comment below and I’ll come up with an explanation and required help.