Yoast is the #1 Leading WordPress SEO Plugin.
Having YOAST installed on your WordPress site, easily enables you to optimize each page for a target keyword or phrase. It also, automatically checks to see if you are using the keywords often enough and in the correct spots.
So, YES, Yoast is great for getting found on Google.
The set up can be nutty and very overwhelming.
In this post, I will walk you through all of the endless tabs, tell you exactly what it all means and which tabs or check boxes to pay attention too.
You can watch the video step by step process or you can read on, however you learn best.
So for this, I am going to assume that you have already installed YOAST on your WordPress site, if you haven’t, go on. I’ll wait.
Alrighty. Let’s dive in to the Yoast Plugin Set up
General > Features
Okay. So I recommend that you have all of the pink tabs moved to ON — you will notice that I have “Readability” turned off, because it makes me crazy.
The Readability Score assesses how readable the post is, it has a complex algorithm that assess the structure and style of the content.
One thing that you should know about me is that I am not a rule follower, so when this algorithm tells me that I use too many !! or don’t write in complete sentences. I . Don’t. Like. It. And before I know it I spend too much energy trying to get a high readability score and lose the point of the post.
If you like rules, go on and slide that pink tab to yes.
Search Appearance – YOAST SEO
Again, I really like the | or the pipe for Site Title Separators, but you can select any of the options.
So there are a few key things that you need to pay attention to on this screen. Be sure to set the top tab to YES, this is what allows Google to crawl the posts.
The date, well this is one is up to you. I opt for HIDE. I think that most users want the most recent post when they are searching and I don’t want someone not to click on my site if the post is a few months old. Here is an example of what the Google Search Results page looks like with the date, see Jan 23, 2020 under the title, that is what this tab is all about. There is not a better answer for SEO, it is up to you.
The Meta Description box
This is a doozy because you have a lot of options. Remember, Meta Descriptions don’t affect the ranking of your site, but they do influence the user to click on the link on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) or not.
Meta Description Option 1 – Leave Blank
You simply write a custom description for each page and post. This is a great option because you can really make the descriptions keyword rich and include a Call to Action for each one.
Meta Description Option 2 – Write a Blurb
You can totally write an evergreen description of your site and include here in the post Meta Description. This blurb will display if you don’t write a custom description.
Meta Description Option 3 – Excerpt
This is my favorite option. If you simply type %%excerpt%% in this Meta Description box, Yoast will automatically pull the first 360 characters and use them as a meta description. I like this option for many reasons — I am not forced to write a Meta Description, I don’t like for all of the metas to be the same, and finally I like that it is automatic, and that I can always tweak it.
SUPER IMPORTANT: Media & Attachment URLS
Set this to YES.
A few updates back, Yoast accidentally had this tab auto set to NO. It was terrible.
This indicates whether or not you want Yoast to create a new page for every photo on the site or not. You know when you can click on a picture and it takes to you to a pop up of that picture. Well. We want for these to be attachments and NOT pages. Pages with just a picture on it causes Thin Content, and too many pages with not enough words will negatively impact your SEO.
Taxonomies within WordPress is a way of grouping posts together as in categories and tags.
Notice that I have excerpt set in the meta description for these as well.
PRO TIP: Always write meta descriptions for your categories POSTS > Categories
Okay, let me say that I love TAGS but I don’t want for them to show up in the Search Results because they cause duplicate content.
Tags are excellent for searching within the site, so use them, but just be sure they are not indexed by Google.
The rest of the tabs Archive and Breadcrumbs and RSS. I just leave alone.
Search Console is a big topic that we are going to not include in this SEO Made Simple, together.
Alrighty, so that is a quick overview of how to get Yoast set up correctly.
Take a peek at your settings and join me Thursday, April 16 from 1-2 est. Sign up below!