YOAST SEO EXPLAINED
This plugin has plethora of features. Millions actively use this plugin. We too do. Here we will cover each and every feature of Yoast SEO plugin step by step.
You will see a box like this (below)
– Click ‘CONFIGURE YOAST SEO’
Now follow the steps.
* Option A. (If you are planning to build your website for long time until it is ready then select Option B)
* Select Site Type
* Select ‘Person’
* Fill in your social profiles (for your website)
* Search Engine Visibility will be preset to YES. Let it be so. Click NEXT.
* If you are a single person maintaining and putting content then select ‘NO’
* Now you will have to connect your site/Yoast with Google Search Console. Click ‘GET GOOGLE AUTHORIZATION CODE’.
SIGN IN to your google account and follow the steps. (After you allow Yoast to get details from Google you will be given a long code. You will have to copy it and paste it in box on YOAST INSTALLATION WIZARD PAGE. THEN CLICK AUTHENTICATE.
* Next steps are basic and self explanatory.
Close the Installation Wizard in step 12.
Now go to WEBMASTER TOOLS.
1- Click on blue link (Google Search Console.) which is under ‘WEBMASTER TOOLS VERIFICATION’ – ‘ GOOGLE VERIFICATION CODE’
2- Sign In to your google account.
3- After following the asked steps you will be at a Google Webmaster page which has ‘ADD PROPERTY’ written on top right.
4- Click ‘ADD PROPERTY’
Now select website and fill in the exact URL of your site. (Go to you website’s homepage and copy the url from there and paste it.) (Make sure if you have SSL activated then website address begins with ‘https’)
Now to make sure that it is really you who owns this property (website), Google needs to verify it.
There are a number of ways to verify.
5- Go to ‘Alternate Methods’ – HTML TAG
6- Here you will see a code. (See above picture) Copy this code and paste it in YOAST WEBMASTER TOOLS – GOOGLE VERIFICATION CODE BOX. Click Save Changes. It should be saved successfully here.
7- Now come back to Google Verification Tab (from where you copied the above used code)
Click Verify. (If asked to tick a re-captcha do that)
You will see a successful message.
You have successfully told Google that you own this property (website).
(One other way to add a property / verify ownership, is to download HTML Verification File. Then login to your web hosting provider. Go to cpanel. Click on FILE MANAGER and upload this tag over there in public html folder. Come back to Google Webmaster tab after successful upload. Click the link provided there to verify that upload is successful and Google can read it. Then click Verify. (tick re-captcha too if needed) By this way too you can verify ownership. But using Yoast Plugin is easy for a beginner.)
Go to FEATURES under YOAST SEO -GENERAL.
Make sure all options are turned on.
Most importantly there will be an option called ‘XML Sitemap’
– Make sure this is on.
1- Now click on the question mark which is next to XML Sitemap.
2- Click on blue link that says ’See the XML Sitemap’
A very simple page will open in new tab. (Keep this tab open.)
3- Now open another tab and go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/sitemap-list
You will see an option by called ‘SITEMAP’ or ‘ADD/TEST SITEMAP’
(Before getting here you might have to login to google and select the property that you added in earlier steps.)
By submitting a sitemap to Google, you are informing Google about the posts, pages, categories, images etc that are on your website. Once Google gets this it can start showing your posts etc. in its search results. Basically by submitting your sitemap you are saying ‘Hey Google Robots and Bots, this is a list of posts that are on my website. Please consider these and start showing them in your results’
4- Click on Sitemap / Add/Test Sitemap. (Whatever you see. Google is about to change the look/interface.)
5- Now go to that XML sitemap page (the simple page which opened after you clicked ‘See the XML Sitemap’ in Yoast)
Click the URL of that page. (It ends with .XML)
It will look like https://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap_index.xml
6- Now go back to Google Sitemap page and in the box there fill this URL. (You will have to remove the name of your website as this will already be written before hand by Google in that box. You just need to fill sitemap_index.xml to it (or whatever is your sitemap address.)
7- Click Submit.
Now Google will start knowing about your sites’s posts etc.
When you write any post or page, scroll down you will see a Yoast SEO Box.
(If you do not see Yoast SEO box then look at top right of the screen. You will see ‘Screen Options’. Click on it and check YOAST SEO box.)
– You can click ‘Edit Snippet’ and customize just the way your post or page will look in Google search result. You can change the SEO TITLE. (It can be slightly different and more attractive than your original post title.)
– Slug is the URL of that page. Make sure it is appropriate. (Post names are best slugs) (Always fill in your post title before you write anything. By doing this you slug / post URL will be automatically www.yourdomain.com/post-name) (and not some random number).
– In Meta Description write what is in post. Make is attractive, suitable and easy to understand. If you do not write this then Google automatically picks first few lines of your post and shows it.
– In Focus Keyword write words which define your post. This is very important to increase search visibility.
Like if I write a post on ‘How to build a website’ , I would write these in Focus Keyword, separated by comma- ‘How to build website without coding, How to build free website, How to make a website in three hours, Build Website, Website Building Class’
Write relevant Focus Keywords. Do not overdo it.
– If you tick / check ‘This article is Cornerstone Content’ ; this in simple words means- this is your one of the best work / post. Make sure to tick this only for your best and well written articles.
Note- If you want you may stop Yoast from archiving your posts monthly.
Go to YOAST – SEARCH APPEARANCE – ARCHIVES – Disable both author archive and date archive.
These were the main usages of Yoast SEO Plugin.
This is a great tool.
However if you do not like Yoast SEO plugin, then we have another plugin which also does things almost similar to Yoast. This plugin has been around since 2007.
Plugin Name- All in One SEO Pack (by Michael Torbert)