WordPress SEO by Yoast is one of the most popular plugin for WordPress.It is simple yet powerful plugin.In this tutorial I will cover every option offered by this plugin.Along with description of the options I will cover settings of them as well.You can read the tutorial and configure the plugin in parallel.In case you are using All in one SEO plugin then you can read this tutorial.
After installing WordPress SEO by Yoast you can see SEO menu in WordPress Dashboard.There are many sub options under SEO menu.I will be discussing each of the sub options and other configuration settings under it.
WordPress SEO by Yoast Titles & Metas Configuration
Force Rewrite title – Select the option if you have any issues with Title of your post for example duplicate title.
Noindex subpages of archives – Select the option.It is good to noindex archive pages.
Use meta keywords tag? – Leave the box uncheck.Meta keywords are not important for search engines now.
Add noodp meta robots tag sitewide – I prefer to keep this box checked.
Add noydir meta robots tag sitewide – I prefer to keep this box checked.
Hide RSD Links – Select the option.
Hide WLW Manifest Links – Select the option.
Hide Shortlink for posts – Select the option.
Hide RSS Links – Select the option.
There is no need to change anything.
You should leave all the options unchecked but check only one option Don’t show rel=”author” for Pages.
Taxonomies and Other Tab
Meta Robots – Check the option noindex,follow for Categories,Tags and Format.These three are by default present in most WordPress installation.If there are other Taxonomies then you can safely select noindex,follow for them.I prefer to disable Author archive and Date archive.You should enable noindex,follow for author archives and date archives.You should also check disable author archives and date based archives.
You might have noticed that I have not mentioned Title template and Meta description template in all of above tabs.The reason is it is better to write Title and Meta description based on content of post.Generating them uniformly using a general formula might not generate the best Titles or Meta description for your content.This will have negative impact on your Click through rate (CTR).
WordPress SEO by Yoast Social Configuration
Add Open Graph meta data – Select the option.
After that you should verify WordPress SEO by Yoast access to Facebook information.It is better to create Facebook app.To create Facebook app follow this step by step tutorial.After selecting Facebook app Enter your Facebook Page URL.The tutorial mentioned previously covers creation of Facebook app as well as Facebook page.
Select the option Add Twitter Meta Card data.After that mention your Twitter Username and select Summary with large image as default card type to use.
Google Plus tab
Select the option Add Google+ specific post meta data (excluding author metadata) and enter the link to your Google plus publisher page on the box provided.
WordPress SEO by Yoast XML Sitemaps Configuration
You should Enable XML sitemap functionality by selecting option Check this box to enable XML sitemap functionality.After that you should add your sitemap file to robots.txt and submit it to Google Webmasters as well as Bing Webmasters.I have written detailed post on Google Webmasters and Bing Webmasters.You can read Google Webmasters tutorial here.
Select the option Disable author/user sitemap.It is good to have it disabled.
Enable the options to Ping Yahoo! and Ask.com.
Default installation of WordPress has three post types Post,Page and Media.These three post types will be shown on Exclude Post Types option.You should Exclude Media post type be selecting the option.
It is better to exclude all Taxonomies from Sitemap.So you should select the options Category,Tags and Format.In case there are other Taxonomies as well on your WordPress installation then you can safely exclude them from your sitemap.
WordPress SEO by Yoast XML Permalinks Configuration
Leave the option Enforce a trailing slash on all category and tag URL’s unchecked.
Select the option Remove stop words from slugs.
Select the option Redirect attachment URL’s to parent post URL.
Select the option Remove the ?replytocom variables.
Select the option Redirect ugly URL’s to clean permalinks. (Not recommended in many cases!).
Canonical Settings & Clean Permalink Settings
In Canonical settings make Force Transport as Leave Default
In Clean Permalinks settings
Enable the option Prevent cleaning out Google Site Search URL’s.
Enable the option Prevent cleaning out Google Analytics Campaign & Google AdWords Parameters.
WordPress SEO by Yoast XML Internal links Configuration
I prefer not to use BreadCrumbs.If you are using BreadCrumb then Google does display them on SERP.It also presents a navigation alternative to visitors of your website.But if I can recall correctly few months back I deactivated it as not using it was better for Search Engine Optimization then using it.
So if you are not interested in using BreadCrumbs then keep the option Enable Breadcrumbs unchecked.But if you want to use it then check the option.You can leave rest of the settings as it is.The only option which you might need to change is Taxonomy to show in breadcrumbs for.You should make it Tag if tags are closely related to your post if not then you can go with category.
WordPress SEO by Yoast XML RSS Configuration
The configuration page offers two options (text boxes)
- Content to put before each post in the feed
- Content to put after each post
You can keep the first box blank.Anything you enter in the first box gets displayed at beginning of the feed post.In the second box you should add %%POSTLINK%% . This makes sure that link back to your post is displayed after the post feed.
I am using this configuration currently.But previously I had used %%BLOGLINK%% in the first box.You can go with either of the option as per your comfort.
WordPress SEO by Yoast XML Import & Export option
This is one of the least use features of WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.I myself has not used this feature for quite a long time.You might not need it if you have a single website and you are regularly backing up your website.But it is worth backing up your working configuration settings.
You can configure the plugin in local installation of WordPress.After configuration you can export the setting and then import it back to your main site.To export your WordPress SEO by Yoast settings go to Export & Import SEO Settings and click on the button Export Settings.This will download your settings in a file.You can later import the settings by clicking Import Settings button after locating the file you just downloaded.
WordPress SEO by Yoast bulk title and meta description editor option
This is new feature added in the plugin.In earlier version of the plugin this functionality was missing.These two options allow you to edit titles or descriptions of more than one post at a time.It is time saving option.
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