How to Setup and Configure Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin?

Search Engine Optimization is all that most of us running after to get higher rankings in the search engine.

WordPress blogs are considered SEO optimized than the blogs built on other CMS. But still, we need to configure a lot of other things after installing WordPress to really make it SEO friendly.

We all know, plugins are the backbone of WordPress and to do anything in WordPress, we can simply make use of a corresponding task performer plugin.

Today, we are going to talk about a plugin which is all in one SEO solution for your WordPress blog or site.

This plugin is Yoast SEO.

It’s one of the most popular plugin of all times in WordPress Official plugin directory having more than one million active installs as of now. Most of the webmasters recommend having this awesome plugin for your WordPress site.

Let’s get started with this plugin and know how to set it up for your WordPress site and configure it.

Before start configuring, you should know what exactly Yoast SEO plugin is?

What is Yoast SEO?

Yoast is one trusted name in the industry of Search Engine Optimization. They not just offer their plugin for WordPress but also offer many other professional SEO services to their clients.

To help WordPress users perform the basic SEO steps by themselves, Yoast developed a powerful plugin which you can download from here. And since the plugin has been introduced it has been downloaded over 35 million times.

They offer their plugin in two versions, free and the premium one.

The free version would be perfect for most of the websites, but if you want to expand your abilities of customizations for SEO, you might need the premium version.

More than all this, they offer various other plugins depending upon the type of website and SEO you want to do like Local SEO plugin, News website SEO plugin, etc.

Step by Step Guide to Install Yoast SEO Plugin

    1. Login to your WordPress Dashboard and then hover the mouse over Plugins option in the left pane and then click on Add New as shown in the following screenshot.
add new plugin wordpress

Plugins > Add New

    1. The Search window will open from where you can search any plugin in the official WordPress Plugin Directory. Search in the Top right bar, “Yoast SEO” and then press enter.
Search Yoast SEO

Search Yoast SEO

    1. Yoast SEO plugin will appear in the search results. Just click on the “Install Now” button and afterward when it will complete the installation, “Active” button will appear in blue at the same location as shown in the following screenshot, just click on it, and the Yoast SEO plugin will be ready to use.
Activate Yoast Plugin

Activate Yoast Plugin

    1. Once the plugin is successfully installed and activated, SEO option with Yoast Logo will start appearing in the Left pane of the WordPress Dashboard as shown in the screenshot below and to deal with this plugin, we need to click on it.
Go to Yoast SEO option

Go to SEO option

Configuring Yoast Plugin

Installing the plugin is an easy task and would not take more than a minute if your server is quite fast. The main task is to configure this plugin for your WordPress site. That’s all you’ll learn in the following steps.

If you have installed Yoast SEO plugin for the very first time, it’ll look something as shown in the screenshot below.

Yoast Plugin Options

Yoast Plugin Options

In the latest version of Yoast SEO, the features like Titles and Meta’s, Sitemaps etc. are included in Advanced Settings Mode and are disabled by default and you can see in the above screenshot that in the left pane, under Yoast SEO option, only three sub-options namely Dashboard, Search Console and Go Premium are displaying. To display all other options as can be seen in the old versions, we need to enable advanced mode by going under the “Features” Tab at the top. Before it, let’s talk about the new configurator included in the Yoast SEO plugin which makes the major configuration process quite easy.

Configuration by using Yoast SEO Configurator Wizard

Follow these steps to configure the basic SEO settings using the new configurator of Yoast SEO plugin.

Click on the “General” Tab and under it, click on open the configuration wizard as shown in the screenshot below.

open the configuration wizard

General > Open the configuration wizard

The first screen that will open after that will be the configurator’s Welcome window in which they have asked to subscribe to their blog for further updates. You can if you want as it is optional. Then click on the Next button.

Yoast Welcome Screen

Yoast Welcome Screen

Now as everything further in the configuration is coming in steps, I’m describing in brief about each step by mentioning the corresponding step number.

Step 2. Choosing the Environment

Choosing the Environment

Choosing the Environment

Step 3. Selecting the type of Site

Selecting the type of Site

Selecting the type of Site

Step 4. Who runs the Site? A Company or person?

Company or a person

Company or a person

Step 5. Configure the Social Profiles

Configure the Social Profiles

Configure the Social Profiles

Step 6. Setting the Visibility of Posts, Pages, and Media

post type visibility

Setting the Visibility of Posts, Pages and Media

Step 7. Single Author or Multiple Author Blog?

Multiple Author

Multiple Author

Step 8. Authentication with Google Search Console (Explained after steps below)

Authentication with Google Search Console

Authentication with Google Search Console

Step 9. Title Settings

Yoast SEO Title Settings

Title Settings

Step 10. Success Message

Success Message

Success Message

The above asked configuration steps are like Yes/No answer type questions and I am preceding further by assuming that all of you would be able to answer these questions and thus completing the configuration steps yourself. It’s as easy as ABC and the screenshots are provided above for assistance.

Authentication with Google Search Console is something I need to explain here. You will have the Authenticate with Console option in Step 8. Click on it, and you will be redirected to your Google search console account. (Make sure you already added the site in console before you configure Yoast SEO and thus authenticate it with Console.) You will be provided a code by Google Search Console and that you have to enter in the box provided in the configuration step 8 and that’s all how you can authenticate the complete process easily.

At the basic level of SEO settings of your WordPress site, this much configuration is OK but not enough. To have more SEO related customizations with our WordPress site, we need to deal with advanced settings of Yoast SEO plugin that are described below.

Configuring the Advanced Settings

First to enable Advanced Settings, go to Features tab and then click on Enable to activate the option of advanced settings as shown in the screenshot below.

Yoast SEO Plugin Advanced Settings

Yoast SEO Plugin Advanced Settings

And don’t forget to click on the Save button right below there to make the things happen!

Once Advanced settings are enabled, all options of Yoast SEO plugin will start displaying under SEO option in the left pane of WordPress dashboard as shown in the following screenshot.

Yoast Advanced settings

All Advanced settings

Now let’s quickly configure all the advanced settings. To make the process easy, I am giving a video guide that will help you configuring these settings. In the video tutorial, the plugin is configured according to SEO friendliness of the site. But you can always customize them as per your requirement. Still, for your convenience, I textually described in brief what actually you could do with each of the tabs.

Under Dashboard, you’ll find the problems and notifications related to it. Theirs is nothing to configure here in this section.

Video Guide to Configure Yoast SEO Plugin

Titles & Metas:

In this section, you can do settings related to Title and Meta Description of Homepage or other blog posts and pages. More than this here you can set what things on your blogs should Google and other search engines index and what things don’t.

In other words, you can also customize here the index and no index options. You can enable/disable tags or categories and as well as index or no-index them.

Social:

Here you have to authenticate your social profiles so that Google can judge which social profiles are linked to your blog and it will provide it the necessary date to display them in search while people search keywords related to your blog’s brand.

XML Sitemaps:

This is one of the greatest features of Yoast SEO. You can enable and customize sitemap here. It will provide you a well-generated sitemap of your WordPress site which you can submit to Google Webmaster Tools and other search engine webmaster tools as well.

Advanced:

Under Advanced you can configure things like Breadcrumbs, Permalinks and RSS.

Tools:

Tools contains highly complicated tools like code editors that most of us need not to deal with it.

One great thing here is the Import and Export feature which we can use to export Yoast SEO settings from one WordPress blog to another in seconds and thus can save a lot of time in re-configuring the plugin on another WordPress site again.

Search Console:

In this section, you can authenticate your site with Google Search console or can check you authentication status as well.

Summary

So, that’s how you can completely configure the Yoast SEO plugin.

If you have a query regarding the steps, I explained above for setting up and configuring the Yoast SEO plugin, feel free to ask me via comments. I would love to assist you.

More than all this to keep receiving latest updates from WPTricks, do subscribe. And in the end, if you liked reading this article, do share it with your friends on social media.

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