Search Engine Optimization (SEO) pursues two goals: to improve the position of your site in the search results on thematic requests and optimize user interaction with your site. These factors are crucial for the development of any project on WordPress, so ignoring SEO is impossible. However, site optimization may seem a complicated and confusing process for the novice website owners. That is why special plugins are constantly being developed and improved to provide substantial assistance in the initial setup for SEO elements and maintaining the site within the established by the search engines requirements.
One of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress is Yoast. This plugin has earned the trust of the majority owners of WordPress sites due to a variety of features and an intuitive interface. Let us look at Yoast SEO plugin from the installation to the details of everyday use to highlight all the advantages of this tool.
Yoast SEO Plugin Installation
The first step to optimizing your site is downloading of the Yoast SEO plugin. Downloaded folder should be uploaded into the directory /wp-content/plugins/ of your website by WordPress. Then visit the Plugins menu in the WordPress admin panel and activate the plugin by clicking the corresponding button. Now you can use all the functions of the Yoast SEO plugin.
As you can see, the installation is very simple and will not take much of your time. But the most important steps are ahead.
Yoast SEO Plugin Setup
Once you have completed the installation of the plugin, you should visit the dashboard of Yoast SEO. Here you will find 5 tabs for the initial setup of the plugin for your web site.
Dashboard tab will show all the existing problems and opportunities for improvement related to the field of SEO. General tab has the function to return the original plugin settings. This feature is useful if you want to test the plugin capabilities and then go back to the initial options. Company Info tab gives you the opportunity to fill in some basic information about your site to improve its indexing for branded requests to the search engine. Webmaster Tools tab allows you to verify your website or blog in most search engines. Security tab allows you to configure the display of the website pages that contain no unique content.
The next menu is called Titles and Meta. General tab allows you to select a standard separator for titles. We recommend to use the em dash or a pipe. Next, you must complete the meta tags title and description on the Homepage tab. Treat these fields in all seriousness — your site’s visibility in search results will depend largely on them. Post Types, Taxonomies and Archive tabs customize the meta tags for the appropriate pages of your site by default, so you do not have to do this manually for a large number of service pages. The tab with the name Other has to be changed by advanced users.
Yoast SEO Social menu gives you an easy way to add contacts from your social networks to the site. Here you can simply add links to your profiles, so that they subsequently displayed on your site.
Yoast SEO XML Sitemaps section is recommended for faster indexing of your site by search engine robots. This optional of the plugin eliminates the need to manually create a site map or to download and install special plugins for its creation.
Yoast SEO Advanced Options covers such important elements of your site, like breadcrumbs (mapping the way a user comes through categories and subcategories of your site), permalinks and RSS. Here you can configure these three elements to suit your needs. It is recommended to use the menu Permalinks for automatically redirecting links of the images on their parental posts, automatically remove the stop words from URLs and deactivate the function “redirect ugly URLs”. In the menu of RSS you can not only customize the content of your feed, but also to add ads to monetize this section.
Yoast SEO Tools menu allows you to edit the meta title tags on your site and service files of robots.txt and .htaccess. Additionally, this menu provides the ability to import and export the settings of your plugin. This feature can be very useful if you want to use the settings in another project or move your site.
In order to correlate your account in Google Search Console with plugin actions, it is necessary to visit Yoast SEO Search Console menu and add the authorization code from Google. Thus, you get a powerful tool for the analytics of your website on all possible criteria.
You can significantly expand the fuctionallity of the plugin via paid add-ons. Information about these extensions and their direct uploading is available in the Yoast SEO Premium Extensions menu.
Yoast SEO Post and Page Options
The most useful and necessary function of the Yoast SEO plugin is its direct involvement in the creation of any post in the WordPress admin panel. Yoast SEO plugin greatly expands and improves the standard features of the WordPress admin panel to create a new post. With simple tips you can immediately optimize your position on all major search engines requirements. Let us take a closer look at all the elements of the interface, which Yoast SEO plugin adds to the admin panel.
Upgrade for the Right Sidebar in Admin Panel
At the top of the sidebar Yoast SEO plugin adds two simple visual elements that show compliance of the post with two important criteria — Readability and SEO. Further we will take a closer look at all the factors that will affect the display of these parameters in the form of three levels of compliance with the requirements of search engines — Good, OK and Needs Improvement.
Also Yoast SEO plugin adds the ability to change the primary category in the post when you choose the involvement in more than one category at a time. This feature allows you to better control the breadcrumbs and focus the user’s attention on the most important of the selected categories.
Next, we will review the work with Readability and SEO with a special window, which is available to the user of Yoast SEO plugin in the field of creating the text content.
Yoast SEO Snippet and Keyword Maintenance
First of all, you should enter a defining word or phrase in the Focus Keyword. After that, the analyzer will give you the SEO requirements matching level of textual content of the article and its meta tags. On this tab, you can also change the title and description for the article using Edit Snippet button. Use the tips that gives the analyzer. With their help, you can quickly fix common mistakes in the content and meta tags.
Yoast SEO Readability Maintenance
Readability tab shows a level of compliance of your text with the results of standard test content. For example, the analyzer checks the length of sentences and paragraphs, the frequent use of the passive voice, the frequency of the stop words use.
The result of this analysis is not a sentence for your text, but should give you reasons for thoughts. It happens so that the style of the text requires a breach of certain rules of easy digestible writing. But in most cases, you should heed the advice of the analyzer for the convenience of your readers.
Yoast SEO Social Settings Maintenance
You can set specific titles, descriptions, and images for your post to look awesome in social networks. The fact is that Facebook and Twitter imply a certain length of title and description, as well as a certain size of the image in order to best display the preview of your post. These requirements can differ in comparison with those that apply to text and meta tags on the page of your site.
Nevertheless, you should not get involved in downloading different images to the needs of Facebook and Twitter. A large number of images can overload the media library of your WordPeess site. It is recommended to use a custom image for only those posts that you plan to actively promote at the social networks.
Advanced Yoast SEO Settings Maintenance
This tab is only visible to site administrators and only when the Security tab in the Yoast SEO plugin Dashboard is activated. The changes of the settings in this tab are recommended only if you are familiar with the peculiarities of the service files robots.txt and .htaccess.
Yoast SEO plugin is able to greatly improve the readability and the visibility of your site in the search engine results. This plugin provides a full set of tools for implementing optimized content. Furthermore, all the tools are designed in such a way as to subtly suggest you the best ways to supply text and visual content.
We recommend to you install the Yoast SEO plugin not only for beginners site administrators on WordPress platform, but also for SEO experts. Monitoring all the little nuances in every post is quite difficult, and Yoast SEO plugin does the job automatically and gives you tips to improve the written content.
Develop your project on WordPress with Yoast SEO plugin and you will surely see your site in the search engine results in the near future!