Still figuring out how to install and configure the Yoast SEO plugin the right way?
Well, we’ve got your back.
When it comes to the best WordPress SEO plugins, Yoast SEO outranks others with its ease of use, flexibility and the SEO features it offers.
After using Yoast SEO on WPCity and several other online ventures, we found out that Yoast SEO is the must-have SEO plugin for a WordPress website.
In this post, we have featured a step-by-step guide of to install and configure the WordPress Yoast SEO plugin quickly and easily.
Before rushing to the guide, let’s do a quick overview of this popular Yoast SEO plugin.
WordPress Yoast SEO: The Basic Overview (Free vs Paid)
The Yoast SEO plugin offers a comprehensive WordPress SEO solution that is fully loaded with robust tools to improve your website SEO.
The best thing about the Yoast SEO plugin comes with an easy interface that makes it super easy to manage your website’s SEO.
The Yoast SEO plugin comes with free as well as premium versions. The Yoast SEO free version comes with plenty of useful features.
However, the Yoast SEO premium version comes with all essential and advanced features to help you take your website SEO to the next level.
The Yoast SEO plugin comes with robust features such as internal link suggestions, social media posts previewing, cornerstone content filter, multiple keyword optimization, and so on.
Even at WPCity, we use the Yoast SEO Premium version, so we highly suggest you get started with Yoast SEO Premium to reap the most benefit of the Yoast SEO plugin. You can explore more about Yoast SEO Premium here.
So let’s dive into details of installing and configuring the Yoast SEO plugin the right way.
How to Install & Configure the WordPress Yoast SEO Plugin (Step by Step)
The Yoast SEO plugin comes with an easy interface that makes it super easy to install & configure the plugin. Let’s do a step-by-step walkthrough to install and configure the WordPress Yoast SEO plugin.
Step #1: Install & Activate the WordPress Yoast SEO Plugin
First of all, you need to install and activate the plugin on your WordPress website.
To install the plugin, navigate to the WordPress Dashboard >> Plugins >> Add New and then do a search for the “Yoast SEO” plugin. Once you locate the plugin, click on the “Install Now” button to start installing the plugin.
Right after the installation of the plugin, you need to activate it then and there only.
Step #2: Configuring the Yoast SEO Plugin
Configuring the Yoast SEO plugin isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, especially for beginners who are just getting started with a new WordPress SEO plugin.
Don’t worry; we have made the whole process quick and easy by listing a step-by-step guide to configure the Yoast SEO plugin.
Note: We’re going to walk through the same settings we use with WPCity; the settings listed below are our own preferences. Many SEO pros have their own settings preferences. However, if you’re a beginner who wants to configure the Yoast SEO plugin the right way, we’ve got your back.
So let’s dive in to configure the Yoast SEO plugin.
Migrating & Transferring the Data
(If you haven’t used any WordPress SEO plugins on your blog/website, skip this step)
It might happen that you were using another SEO plugin previously such as All in One SEO Pack or another plugin that tweaks your website’s SEO.
To use the Yoast SEO plugin effectively, you need to make sure all your previous plugin’s data is migrated to the Yoast SEO plugin right before the plugin’s deactivation.
To migrate your old SEO plugin’s data, you can use a third-party WordPress plugin like SEO Data Transporter.
#1: General Settings of the Yoast SEO Plugin
The real configuration of this plugin starts here. To make changes in the General Settings, navigate to your WordPress Dashboard >> SEO >> General Tab. Once you’re on the General Tab, you will see a button to open the main configuration wizard.
From there, you need to click on the “Features” to open up the basic features configuration tab. Here you have the option to enable/disable these features as per your requirements.
Let’s have a quick look at these feature settings to understand them better.
- SEO Analysis: If you enable this option, the Yoast SEO plugin will show SEO analysis of posts or pages you’re editing. The plugin’s module will show whether the SEO score of your posts/page aligns with the analysis of your content. For example, it will show the keyword density of focused keywords, keywords usage, and other relevant analytics.
- Readability Analysis: The Readability Analysis mainly shows your content’s readability analysis along with the score of your content.
- Cornerstone Content: This feature enables you to mark and filter the cornerstone content on your WordPress website/blog. The cornerstone content means the most important post and pages on your WordPress website blog.
- Text Link Counter: This feature actually shows the number of internal text links that go right to any of your particular posts/pages.
- XML Sitemaps: If you enable this feature, the Yoast SEO plugin will easily create an XML sitemap of your WordPress website/blog.
- Ryte Integration: Basically, Ryte is a third-party indexing service that mainly checks your website indexing and easily notifies the Yoast SEO plugin if your website is somehow deindexed.
- Admin Bar Menu: Enabling this option will show the Yoast SEO menu in the WordPress Admin Toolbar.
- Security: If you enable this option, it will automatically hide the advanced SEO settings from authors to improve the security of your website.
These are some of the important settings option that you should enable for your WordPress website/blog.
Setting Up “Webmaster Tools”
Right after making changes in the “Features” tab, you need to click on the “Webmaster Tools,” where you will be able to make changes and add your webmaster tool data.
Many popular search engines such as Google and Bing enable website owners to add their sites using the webmaster tools.
The Yoast SEO plugin makes it super easy to add and verify your website to all major search engines such as Baidu, Bing, Google Verification Code, Yandex Verification Code, and so on.
But before verifying it, you need to sign up for the webmaster tools program for each search engine.
After you sign up for your preferred webmaster tools, you need to add the meta tag to your WordPress website to verify your WordPress website’s ownership.
At last, you need to add the meta code which you got from the search engines in all their respective fields.
There are no restrictions as to how many “Webmaster Tools” verifications you need to have for all the search engines available; you can choose one or many search engines of your choice.
#2: Search Appearance
In this step, we’re going to configure the search appearance settings of the Yoast SEO plugin. Search Appearance settings mainly control your website search engine appearance and results.
The configuration option includes various options for your website homepage, product reviews, single articles, archives, taxonomies and so on.
To start configuring the Search Appearance settings, navigate to your WordPress Dashboard >> SEO >> Search Appearance.
So let’s take a sneak peek at the Search Appearance settings.
Setting Up the “General Tab”
Right in the General Tab, you will choose the operators and symbols you will use as a separator between titles. By default, the Yoast SEO plugin comes with a “dash” option, but you can pick the symbol of your choice.
Once you scroll a bit, you will be able to choose the SEO Title & Meta Description settings for your website’s homepage. Then you will be able to easily find the schema and knowledge graph options for your WordPress website/blog.
Here you have the option to choose whether your website represents any organization or if you’re working as an individual.
Here the plugin gives the option to upload the organization login and even add the name of your organization.
Let’s check other important settings options.
Setting Up Content Types
Here you need to click on the “Content Types” to start making changes to this module. This settings option helps you specify the default search engine appearance for any content type on your website.
You have the option to choose which content types appear in the search results and what their default description should look like.
The Yoast SEO plugin enables you to set up an automatic template for the SEO Title and Meta Description of your website’s posts and pages.
If you want you to use the default settings of Yoast SEO, you have various options listed below.
Here you will set the search appearance, the date snippet, and whether you want to show each content type’s meta box. The default options offered by Yoast SEO will work for all websites out there.
Right after that, you can easily set the SEO title template along with the default meta description. We would highly suggest making changes in the SEO Title and just leaving the Meta Description blank as is.
This will potentially help the Yoast SEO plugin to dynamically generate the meta description of your specific posts and pages.
Setting Up the “Media” Tab
As a WordPress site owner, you might know that by default, WordPress mainly creates a new page (URL) for each image or media file you attach to your WordPress posts and pages. This page only displays the attachment media on your website.
The media attachments page, however, doesn’t have any significant text to help the search engine understand the media. This kind of content is considered low quality by a search engine, potentially impacting your website’s SEO.
However, the Yoast SEO plugin allows you to fix such alterations just by redirecting users right to the attachment file instead of the attachment page. This option is enabled by default, so here, you don’t need to make any changes.
Setting Up the “Taxonomies” Tab
Here on the Taxonomies Tab, you can easily configure the titles and meta for tags, post format archives, categories, etc.
We would highly suggest not to make any changes in this Taxonomies section, as all the default variables here work like a charm for most of the website.
However, when it comes to Description, the Yoast SEO plugin picks up the Description right from your categories and tags.
Setting Up the “Archives” Tab
The Archives tab mainly allows you to control search appearance options for various archives on your WordPress website. The archives available in the Yoast SEO Archives Tab are author, date, search and 404 pages, and so on.
We would highly suggest leaving the Archives tab settings as default, as the default settings work like a charm for most of the website, especially for a new WordPress website/blog.
If you’re running a single author blog, you need to disable the author archives page from the search engine.
Setting Up the “Breadcrumbs” Tab
You might know that Breadcrumbs is useful for internal linking because it defines a clear path and improves the silo internal linking structure.
What’s more, these breadcrumbs also appear in the search results by giving your website extra information and an advantage in the search results.
To enable Breadcrumbs on your WordPress website/blog, make sure you have clicked the “Enabled” button. If the button is enabled, you will be able to see other Breadcrumbs settings for your WordPress website.
We would suggest not making any tweaks in these settings options as the default settings will work for most of the WordPress websites/blogs out there.
Once you’re done, make sure you click on the “Save Changes” button to make the changes live.
Setting Up the “RSS” Tab
Mainly the RSS feeds are used by content scrapers who are looking to copy content for your WordPress website.
Once you configure the RSS feed setting, it will automatically add a backlink to your own WordPress website for each post in your RSS feed.
After enabling the RSS feed, if someone copy-and-pastes content from your website, you will get backlinks from their website.
This way, Google will know that your information is the original source of information.
In the RSS settings page, you will also get an option to easily add an author link, blog link, post link, blog information, and so on.
You can add this information as per your needs and requirements. Once you’re done, make sure you click on the “Save Changes” button.
#3: Search Console
To configure this section, you need to navigate to WordPress Dashboard >> SEO >> Search Console. This section enables you to easily connect your site to the Google Search Console without any hassles.
You have the flexibility to connect your WordPress website to the Search Console and even allow Yoast SEO to easily scrape and display search console data right on your WordPress dashboard.
Navigate to WordPress Dashboard >> SEO >> Search Console and then click on the “Get Google Authentication Code” button.
Now it will redirect you to Google Search Console, where you need to approve the permission, and then you need to just copy and paste the Authentication Code.
Finally, click on the “Authenticate” button to enable the search console data on your WordPress dashboard.
#4: Tools Tab
The Yoast SEO Plugin comes with a robust built-in tool that enables you to easily make some advanced settings changes on your website.
If you’re a beginner, we would highly recommend leaving this section alone. However, if you want, you can configure these options by following the walkthrough given below.
Import & Export Settings
If you have used any WordPress SEO plugin or any theme that comes with built-in SEO functionalities, these options come in handy. Using the Import/Export tool, you can easily import your website SEO data to the Yoast SEO plugin.
What’s more, you can use this feature to easily export your Yoast SEO settings to use it on any other WordPress website.
As a WordPress website owner, you might know that at some point you’ll need to add some custom code to your WordPress website’s .htaccess file or robots.txt file.
Here the .htaccess file or robots.txt file are configuration files and greatly impact your WordPress website SEO. The Yoast SEO plugin enables you to edit the files directly from your WordPress dashboard without any hassles.
The Bulk Manage settings option of the Yoast SEO plugin enables you to easily add Meta Descriptions and SEO Titles for all your WordPress website posts and pages. If you click on the Bulk Editor, you’ll find two tabs: Title and Description.
Once you click on the Titles tab, you will find a custom blank field that will allow you to add new SEO titles for that particular blog post. Once you’re done, make sure you click on the “Save” button to make the changes live.
If you want descriptions for your WordPress website posts and pages, click on the “Description” tab under the Bulk Editor setting.
From there, you can easily add a Description to your posts/pages without any hassles. Make sure you click on the “Save” button to make the changes live.
Congratulations, this is how you can easily install and configure the WordPress Yoast SEO plugin without any hassles.
Conclusion: How to Install and Configure Yoast SEO Plugin
So this is our step-by-step walkthrough of how to install and set up the WordPress Yoast SEO plugin. The Yoast SEO plugin can potentially help you improve your website’s SEO.
Although the configuration option of the Yoast SEO plugin isn’t that easy, you need to pay a little extra attention while configuring the plugin.
If for some reason you’re not sure about any settings changes you’re making, leave them as default; this way, you will avoid any misconfigurations.
We hope this guide suits your purpose well. Which WordPress SEO plugin did you use on your website? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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