WordPress SEO by Yoast! is very popular and must have plugin for WordPress platform. Believe me, if you are not using this plugin then you might doing nothing with your WordPress. Total number of active installs proves itself how important and popular this plugin is.
Yoast! WordPress SEO has launched two updates in recent days. They have changed its User Interface, categorized some items in more managed way. However, the configuration is still the same while adding some more features. Recently, Google officially announced its knowledge graph.
What is Knowledge Graph?
Google recently announced to include all official social links of a brand at one place including all details of it in search results. It is even much easier now to find real account of any person or brand on social media than fake one.
Hence, WordPress SEO by Yoast! had to launch an update to include this feature in plugin. With the passage of time, it is getting more useful and featured. Installing number of plugins makes blog slow to load. It is an important tactic when we come to know about blogging. This plugin inherited many major features of other plugins including features Meta robots plugin, RSS Footer plugin. So instead of using other plugins, we may use only one plugin. I recommend this plugin for you to get your on-page optimization in shape.
Why install and activate WordPress SEO by Yoast!
- Webmaster Tools: Able to verify site to Google, Bing, Alexa and Yandex.
- Title meta settings
- XML Sitemap for posts, pages, images and categories separately.
- Single Post Optimization:
- Set SEO titles.
- Smart snippet preview for Google Search Results
- Focus Keyword Settings
- meta description for posts.
- .htaccess and robots.txt editor.
- Social Media Settings
- Supports Facebook Open Graph
- Hide RSD, WLW, Shortlinks from head
- Breadcrumbs support
- Hide /category/ in slugs of posts.
- Advance Permalink control settings
- Meta control for Taxonomies, author page
- Import and export settings from other SEO plugins and its ancient plugins.
- Hides date from Search Engine snippets
- Google Knowledge Graph support
How to Install and setup WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast:
Installing and activating WordPress SEO by Yoast!:-
First of all, you can install and activate WordPress SEO by Yoast yourself or can see our step by step guide to install and activate WordPress plugins. After activation, you need to go to the WordPress SEO Deshboard. Here, I recommended settings what I prefer, if you are capable of taking decisions yourself. Do it.
Now, head over to SEO tab and click on General Settings.
1. Configuring Generals:
i. General Tab:
It ask you to allow them to track your settings. What settings you use, what theme and plugins you use etc. It is up to you that you want to allow it or not. If you are messed up with any setting then restore default settings here.
ii. Details about you and your company:
You can provide details about yourself and your organization to show in Google Knowledge graph. Here you can choose whether you are an organization or a person.
iii. Webmaster Tools:
If you want your website to get indexed in Search Engine Results you need to notify about this to Search Engine including Google, Bing, Yahoo, Pinterest and Yandex. Yandex is popular local search engine of Russia. Here you can put verification IDs of different websites. Plugin will take care of rest itself.
Disable it if you do don’t want to mess up with advance settings. It is up to you because we will teach you each and every step.
2. Configuring Titles and metas:
i. General Tab:
Force enabling re-writing titles may harm you in many ways. Recommended you to leave this box unchecked because WordPress can do this on its own. You can also define title separator which will appear in search results in Google and other Search Engines.
This tab allows whether you want to show latest posts on your homepage or you want to show a static webpage as your homepage.
iii. Post Types:
Here you can define SEO for post, page and media section of your WordPress blog. I recommend you leave this whole tab default. Though, you can check date snippet if you use news site. It will be beneficial to leave this option unchecked if you post evergreen articles on your blog.
Here you can choose options for categories, tags and formats. You can also put description about your categories. However, check box of noindex and follow under format section and leave everything default.
Author archive provides details about admin to the search engines. You can put some description about the admin to appear in snippets in Search results. You can choose whether to show it in Search Results or not. For date based archives, you can choose to show dates or not. In Search pages and 404 pages, define what you message you want to show readers.
Choose first option to stop search engine index sub-pages of the same category as it will create the problem of duplicate contents and you may be panelized by Google.
If you want to use meta keyword tag for search engines then check this box. Though, Google made it official that they would not use meta keywords for ranking search results. You may check or uncheck this.
Check noodp and noydir boxes as you don’t want search engines to take your DMOZ directory description or Yahoo directory description as your meta data. This is not the snippet you want to show in search results.
Configuring Social Tab:
This is a major factor why Yoast launched its update. After Google launched Knowledge Graph to list all important links about any brand in the Search Results. Yoast WordPress SEO included this feature to input social links. Check Add Open Graph meta data option to boost your Facebook productivity and connect your official page using your admin account. Image plays important role in encouraging visitor to click on links. You can put an alternative image here which will be used every time WP don’t find image for your post.
Use twitter card validator to give an awesome look to posts’ links and encourage visitors to click on your link. You can choose summary with large images option. Pinterest uses Open Graph search just like Facebook. All you need to put your verification ID and official page link here.
Configuring Google XML-Sitemap:
Enable this feature and plugin will create a sitemap for your site. Submit your sitemap to Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex. Though, it automatically notifies about update of your posts. Pay attention, use only one plugin for sitemap at a time. Don’t use more than as they create problems and stop to add new posts and pages to list. Disable user-sitemap specially, if your blog is one author blog.
In next tab post types, exclude posts, pages or media files. But don’t enable post and pages but check Media files. In taxonomies, you can exclude Format property. This means nothing at all.
Configuring Breadcrumbs – Internal Links:
This is something I like to use for all my posts. Breadcrumbs are great for SEO which makes it easy and useful for Google as well as for users to understand the structure of your website. Just enable this feature and leave everything default. Also, you can decide whether to bold last page in the breadcrumb.
WordPress uses default base category for posts. However if don’t like this term you can change your category base to any other term like I did and now it is /section/. Here you can remove this slug from your URLs and make them to appear them without this. This may results in big mistake making links broken.
Redirecting attachments URLs to parent URLs:
Check this option to redirect all attachments (Images) URLs to post URLs. Whenever you attach images or files to your posts, WordPress assigns them their own URLs. Hence, check this option if don’t want those URLs to access separately and redirect all URLs to its parent posts.
ii. Remove stop words:
Check this box to let WP SEO edit your permalinks and remove stop words from them. Although, this option is checked by default.
iii. replytocom variable:
iv. Enforcing a trailing slash on all on categories and tag URLs:
This option lets you put / on categories posts and pages if you are using .html for URLs.
v. Redirect ugly (not entered properly) to its original URLs:
If the visitors to your site types an ugly form of URLs instead of typing correct one then this option will redirect them to original one. Enabling this feature may break your several plugins. So better leave it unchecked.
vi. Hiding links in <head> tag:
- RSD Links: Check this box to hide the RSD links from search engines.
- WLW Manifest Links: This option is for those users who Windows Live Writer. If you are not a Windows Live Writer, you may want to hide this option in <head> tag.
- Hide shortlinks: You might want to hide these short links from your <head> section.
- RSS links: Leave it unchecked if using RSS links.
Here you can will find three tools which they listed together:
- Bulk editor: Using this option, user can edit SEO titles and meta description for all posts and pages at one place. Clicking this option will direct to new all posts section where you might want to change the title for required posts at once.
- File Editor: You can edit WordPress .htaccess and robots.txt files from dashboard. Whenever you are editing your .htaccess file from dashboard, always keep FTP access too, as misconfigured .htaccess file may stop your site to stop functioning.
- Import and Export: If you are using SEO plugins like HeadSpace 2, All-in-one SEO, WooThemes SEO framework or ancient phugins from Yoast like Meta robots, RSS Footer or Yoast Breadcrumbs then you can import those user settings to this single WordPress SEO by Yoast. You can delete user settings after importing.
So friends you might like the functionality of this plugin. It supports nearly all features of other small plugins. Believe me if you have not installed it to your WordPress, you are missing something.