How to Install and Setup Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin

| July 28, 2012 | 3 Comments

Templatic Themesyoast-wordpress-seo





Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin is the most complete all in one SEO solution for your WordPress blog.

We recently switched to this plugin to meet all our on-page SEO needs.Until then, we were using famous All in one SEO pack plugin, which did a great job for us but we needed some additional features.With many of features and options, this plugin is not as simple as the famous “All in One SEO Pack“, but again it is for sure worth to upgrade to this one.Yoast is must have if you want a complete solution for your WordPress SEO. In this article We will explain how to Install and Setup Yoast- WordPress SEO Plugin and walk you through all the great features that this plugin has.

    Post titles and meta descriptions
    WordPress SEO let’s you set templates for titles and meta descriptions for all types of pages
    Robots Meta configuration
    Whether you want to keep a single post or page out of the index, or you prefer to keep entire sections of your site unfindable
    Canonical
    WordPress SEO plugin let you set the correct canonical for single posts, pages, categories and tags, or for the homepage.
    Breadcrumbs
    You get to determine, for each post type, which taxonomy to show. You get to determine for each post, page and taxonomy, what title to use for that specific entity in the breadcrumb paths it appears in. Full control, that’s what this entire WordPress SEO plugin is about.
    Permalink clean
    Permalink clean ups, while still allowing for, for instance, Google Custom Search.
    XML Sitemaps
    Other sitemaps plugins might still include noindex pages in your sitemap. They also don’t allow you to keep certain taxonomies out of your sitemap. This plugin does. And, to boot, it makes your XML Sitemaps look good by using an XSLT stylesheet on them, so humans can read them too.
    RSS enhancements
    The WordPress SEO plugin allows you to add content to both of them, allowing you to link back to your blog and the specific blog post, which is very helpful when you have a lot of people scraping your blog.

    Edit your robots.txt and .htaccess
    With Yoast you can edit your robots.txt and .htaccess files straight from the Files menu of the WordPress SEO plugin, so you can easily check and or update those files and keep it all nice and clean.
    Clean up head section
    Checking a few boxes in the backend will make sure your blog doesn’t give out any of its secrets.
    Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Site Explorer, and Bing Webmaster Tools
    Ability to verify Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Site Explorer, and Bing Webmaster Tools
    Basic import functionality
    Basic import functionality for HeadSpace2 and All in One SEO. (You can also use the SEO Data Transporter by Studiopress to transfer functionality from themes like Thesis, Headway, Genesis etc).

How to Install Yoast- WordPress SEO Plugin

You install Yoast same way as you would install any other WordPress plugin. First you need to Download Yoast – WordPress SEO Plugin, and then you need to activate it. You should see a new tab added in the admin panel called SEO with Yoast’s logo on it.

yoast-wordpress-seo-dashboard

How to Setup Yoast – WordPress SEO Plugin

If you are a beginner and you want to use Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin, then please follow the steps below carefully.The settings that we mention are the ones that we recommend. Other SEO’s may have their own preferences.

Data Transfer – Import settings from other plugins

Most WordPress users use plugin like All in One SEO pack, or theme framework like Genesis, Thesis, or Headway dealing with your SEO data. If you want to successfully use this plugin, you need to make sure that all of your previous data has been transported to this plugin before you deactivate the other one. You can use SEO Data Transporter by StudioPress to transfer all the data from other plugin or theme. Just make sure that all of your previous data has been transported to this plugin before you deactivate the other one.If you are setting up this plugin on a new blog, you should skip this step.

Yoast SEO Plugin – General Settings

General Settings section that you see in the “Dashboard” page of Yoast WordPress SEO plugin.

yoast-general-settings

Restore Default Settings: This will restore a site to the default WordPress SEO settings.

Security: Disable the Advanced part of the WordPress SEO meta box. Leave this box checked you don’t trust your authors as it allows authors and editors to redirect posts, noindex them and do other things.

Webmaster Tools: Most popular search engines like, Google, Yahoo, and Bing have their webmaster tools area where the site owners have access to inside stats about their site’s traffic, search terms etc. To activate this option simply add a meta tag to your site, or upload a file.

Titles & Settings

yoast-titles-and-metas

With title settings options you can set Titles and Title templates for all of your pages on the site. If you don’t want to or cannot modify your titles, then simply check the box that says Force rewrite titles.See the image below for better idea.

You can set noindex on subpages of archives  to avoid duplicate content in search engines. NoIndex does not mean nofollow. Search Engines will still crawl these pages and follow all links. They just will not index these pages, so you prevent duplicate content issue.

Next step is to define the title for your homepage, and then define title templates for post, page, and attachments. For your homepage you may want to create a static title, description, and keywords.

yoast-homepage

For posts, the title will be different from one post to another.This is called a title template. These title templates can be overridden for specific posts, pages, categories, author, tags, etc.

yoast-post-types

Try to always keep your titles under 70 characters, and your description under 160 characters, because search engines are limited to these characters. Now for posts and pages, we are using shortcodes like %%title%% or %%excerpt%% etc. You can check the help section in Yoast plugin Titles & Metas page for better undrstanding.If you are a newbie, you probably just want to leave everything like the image above shows.

Next we will define title templates for Taxonomies, Special Pages section such as Author Archives, Date Archives, Search Pages, and 404 pages. Another option is to set noindex for your author archive page and date archives. If you are a single-authored blog, it is probably best that you set this to noindex because your author and date based archives as those pages will look exactly the same as your normal blog page which creates duplicate content. Special Pages are set to noindex by default.Another option in this section is “Disable the author archives” which when ticked will 301 redirect archives to the homepage so Google won’t see it as duplicate content.

yoast-taxanomies

Social Settings

This section allows you to add Facebook OpenGraph Meta Data to your site. This will prevent all the issues of facebook thumbnails not showing. You will need your Admin ID to access this cool data about your site from Facebook which will help you maximize your traffic from Facebook.

yoast-facebook-opegraph

Sitemaps

Sitemaps are essential for your WordPress site. You can simply unistall any other sitemap plugin if you decide to activate Yoast’s sitemaps. By default it is unchecked, so you need to make sure that you check the box to enable it. Check all boxes to ping Google and Bing while not Yahoo and Ask. If you do not want to add any post type in your sitemap, then check those to exclude them. Don’t forget to save your settings.

yoast-sitemaps

Permalinks Settings

This section does not allow you to create SEO Friendly URLs in WordPress. WordPress by default adds a category base in each url i.e /category/. By checking the first box, you strip that part from your category URLs. Next feature is to enforce a trailing slash on all category / tag urls. If you are one of the users, who have .html at the end of their posts, then you probably want to select this option.

yoast-permalinks

The third option redirect attachment URL’s to parent post URL. . WordPress has this awesome way of attaching images and other media to posts.By checking this box, you redirect all your attachment page URL to the original post URL.

Another option is to Redirect ugly URL’s to clean permalinks. This is handy when people make mistakes in their links towards you sometimes, or unwanted parameters are added to the end of your URLs, this allows you to redirect them all away. Other ugly URLs are those feedburner links, so it is good to keep them all clean. So by checking this box, you are cleaning all ugly URL pointing to your site by turning them into clean permalinks.

Canonical settings

Leave the canonical settings to be default, unless you know what you are doing.

Internal Links Settings

Breadcrumbs is a great feature for internal linking because it defines a clean path or trail to the page you are on. To enable Breadcrumbs, check YES. Set a separator between breadcrumbs, you can choose to separate it by arrows like ». You can use /, commas, ~, or whatever you like. Text for Homepage, should be your site name. So please change that field. Prefix for the breadcrumb path, is not necessary, but if you want use this it go ahead with something like “You are Here:”. Prefix for Archives is “Archives for”, so when someone actually visits the archives page, it shows “Archives for October 2010″. Prefix for Search page works in a similar way because the user will see “You searched for: “the term they searched for”. Breadcrumb for 404 page will show that as a result.

How to insert breadcrumbs in your theme

If you are using wordpress themes from Solostream, Thesis, or other theme that come with breadcrumbs built in then you don’t have do anything to your theme code. For other themes, you will have to add the code in your loop. Usage of this breadcrumbs feature is explained here. For the more code savvy, insert this in your theme:

 <?php if ( function_exists('yoast_breadcrumb') ) {
yoast_breadcrumb('<p id="breadcrumbs">','</p>');
} ?>

RSS Settings

yoast-rss settings

RSS settings feature allows you to add backlinks to yourself in your feed content because most content scrapers are using your feeds to steal your content. This way, you will get backlinks from their site, and google will know that you are the original source. There are options to add your author link, Post link, blog link, and blog description. This can also be used to add advertisement to your RSS feed, so you get additional impressions from the scraper’s page.

Import & Export Settings

This is pretty straight forward.You can also export settings to use it for all of your future sites that you are going to use this plugin on.

Edit your robots.txt and .htaccess

In this section you edit the content of your .htaccess and robots.txt without going into your server’s control panel.Another very good option by this plugin.

Customizing Posts and Pages

yoast-post-analysis

On each post, and page editor page you will see this new box called WordPress SEO that has fields like SEO Title, Meta Description etc. You should write a custom title, and meta description rather than letting it auto-generate to maximize the benefit. Make sure you select a focus keyword, so you can get analysis on how strong your page is for that keyword. Once you click Save the post, there is a tab called Page Analysis. This gives you even further insights about your specific post or page.




Comments (3)

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  1. Maddy says:

    best SEO plugin ever

  2. When some one searches for his required thing,
    so he/she needs to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.

  3. Hester says:

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