S O F T W A R E S P I C E

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After we install WordPress on our host, the next step is to install WordPress plugins that we need for our blog. In our blogging as a business journey, it is really important to choose and setup best WordPress SEO plugin for higher rankings in search engines. I did a deep research about the best WordPress SEO plugin and I found Yoast to be the one.

After installing and setting up Yoast, I fell in love with it because of it’s simplicity and other tremendous features. I highly recommend Yoast as the best WordPress SEO plugin, it is at No.1 among all the WordPress SEO plugins.

Let’s dive into Yoast SEO plugin!

1. Best WordPress SEO Plugin - Yoast

Yoast SEO is really simple and easy to use plugin that guides you at every step when you write content. It is the wish of every blogger to bring it’s blog at the top in search engine rankings. If our blog comes at the first page of Google against organic keywords, that means a lot of traffic and a huge boost to our earnings. Therefore, it is highly important to write highly optimized content.

Though all the features are available in the premium version but still we can enjoy a lot of features in it’s free version.

Features

  1. Search Appearance which means how our post looks in the search engines
  2. Ability to add, modify and update SEO title and meta description
  3. We can show posts in search results
  4. Yoast SEO meta box that is built in for content analysis
  5. Setup your social accounts
  6. Ability to import settings and data from other SEO plugins with Import and Export tools
  7. File editor and bulk editor to change and update important files like robots.txt and htaccess
  8. Count the number of links in your text
  9. Complete SEO analysis of the entire site
  10. Full report of all the posts with their respective scores on dashboard
  11. Generate XML sitemaps
  12. SEO and Readability analysis
  13. Webmaster tools verification including Google, Bing, Yandex and Baidu
  14. Image Alt Attributes

2. How Yoast SEO guides you?

It is a very unique and state of the art feature of Yoast SEO plugin. It informs us about every error or improvement about our content on each post.

  1. When there are multiple errors, its a RED dot
  2. If improvements needed, it’s an ORANGE dot
  3. When everything is well written and organized as per Yoast’s instructions, it is a GREEN dot

SEO analysis and readability turn green once everything is good.

best wordpress seo plugin

3. Install Yoast SEO

In the WordPress dashboard, go to to plugins under Appearance, click Add new and search for Yoast. Click on install and then activate the plugin.

See the detailed article to Install a WordPress plugin

Yoast SEO plugin has more than 5 million active installations and has an excellent rating of 4.9 from 27K votes. Such outstanding stats prove it is the best WordPress SEO plugin.

seo plugin for wordpress

4. Yoast SEO Installation Wizard

After the installation completes, there is an 8 step installation wizard. It will hardly take 5 minutes to setup the plugin. The wizard will ask about you and it will collect some general information about your site. So let’s move on!

1. Site is Active or Under Construction

In the first step of the wizard, there are 2 options and you will need to select one. Tell the plugin if the site is live and ready to be indexed in the search engines or select the option B to choose that your site is still under construction and being worked on. Do not index an under construction site, once your blog is completed, come back to the wizard again and select option A once the blog is live.

installation wizard of the best seo plugin

You can open the installation wizard anytime in case of any update or change in the future. If your blog is live and all pages are complete, check the option A to index it.

Now click Next down below to move to the next step.

2. Site Type

Choose the site type in this step from the given options. Either it is a blog, an online store, your personal site or portfolio. Mine is blog so I have selected the blog as site type and click Next.

select the site type in wp seo installation wizard
3. Site Representation

This is an important step and let me explain it to you.Whenever you search a person or company, you can see a big block of summarized information at the right top of the page. It is called as Google Knowledge Graph card.

Like for example in the image above, I search for WordPress in Google and it shared all the information in a big block. It is the graphic card that represents a person or company.

If you are a person, write your name and if the blog is meant for organization, write the organization name.

4. Search Engine Visibility

It is related to the pages, posts, templates, services, headers and footers that you want to show in search engines. Click Yes if you do and No if you don’t and click Next.

search engine visibility in seo wizard
5. Authors

If you are the only author in the beginning, then choose no for now. But if you will have multiple authors soon, choose yes to avoid any duplicate content.

author in seo plugin for wordpress
6. Site Title Settings

Write your site’s name in the box first and choose a title separator.

7. Sign Up for Yoast

In this step, sign up for Yoast if you want to learn about SEO. Yoast has amazing tips and highly knowledgeable articles to boost your SEO. It’s not you are going to purchase the plugin but it’s to get the SEO tips from the best SEO team.

8. Close the Wizard

Finally close the wizard at the end. Our general SEO settings for Yoast are complete.

5. Search Console

In order to view the crawl errors, please visit my detailed guide to setup Google Search Console. Since Google has discontinued its Crawl Errors API, therefore, you can see the crawl errors in search console.

6. Yoast SEO Tools

Yoast SEO has 3 powerful tools with different features and functionalities.

  1. Import and Export
  2. File Editor
  3. Bulk Editor
1. Import & Export

In order to import the Yoast SEO settings from another blog or from other SEO plugins, the import & export tools is used. We can export our SEO settings to use in any other site. It’s a 5-step process in which we need to create the back of the database because it is very important. We should have the backup in case if anything breaks and we can restore it right away.

Then import the settings of other SEO plugin like Rank Math SEO. Once the process is complete, check the data to confirm the successful verification. Run the configuration wizard again to confirm the settings are correct and match. Make sure that the site is good and then clean up the old original data.

import seo settings from other wordpress plugin
2. File Editor

With the help of file editor, we can quickly change our important files like robots.txt and .htaccess within the WP dashboard.This is a quicker way and safer way to modify these files.

3. Bulk Editor

This is my favorite tool because it allows you to change and update the titles and description of your posts and pages without going into each post or page. So with the help of bulk editor, we can save a lot of our time by updating post titles and descriptions.

7. Enable the Features

Just on the right side of the Yoast dashboard is the features tab. Here you can enable and disable any features that Yoast offers free. Every feature has a question mark, click on it and it’ll explain what that feature does. I have enabled all the features for better optimization so I would recommend you to do so.

When we will enable the features, we will get a detailed analysis by the Yoast plugin to optimize our each post and page. So enable all the features mentioned below.

  1. SEO Analysis
  2. Readability Analysis
  3. XML SiteMaps
  4. Text Link Counter
  5. Ryte Integration
  6. Admin bar menu
  7. Security
enable all the features of the seo plugin

The following snippet is from one of my post that is showing the analysis. You can see the green dots are showing the content is good and optimized for SEO. Therefore, it’s necessary to enable all the features of the plugin.

8. Webmaster Tools Verification

There are 4 web master tools where you need to submit your website. These are actually the 4 popular search engines.

  1. Baidu
  2. Bing
  3. Google
  4. Yandex

Each search engine has it’s own verification portal. Sign up on each search engine and submit your site and XML sitemap and then verify.

Here is a detailed guide to verify Google Web Master Tools

It’s not necessary to put the verification code in Yoast webmaster tool if the site is already submitted and verified.

9. Search Appearance

We already did some basic settings regarding the search appearance in the wizard. This includes title separator, name of the site and author etc. But there are some more settings you can do in the search appearance dashboard of the plugin.

1. General

In the general settings, you can choose the symbol of your choice to use as a title separator. See the snippet below of one of my post’s preview to better understand.

post shows in google search results
2. Content Types

These are somehow a bit advanced settings for newbies and if you are not familiar with such settings, you can leave them as default for now.

This search setting means how you want to display the posts and pages in search results. The 3 settings for every post and page are:

  1. Show posts
  2. Show Date
  3. SEO meta box
3. Media & Attachment URLs

It is recommended to enable this setting as it will redirect an attachment URL to the attachment itself. What is an attachment URL? Well, its simple to understand when we upload an image while writing a post or page, Yoast just does not save that image but also creates a dedicated URL for the image which is called as attachment URL. These attachment URLs are empty because of an image and it’s title, that’s why its recommended to keep them disabled.

4. Taxonomies

Showing categories, tags, formats and menu categories in the search results, please enable them if you want to show users the category of each post.

search appearance in the seo dashboard
5. Archives

To avoid duplicate content problems, disable the author archive settings so it should not show up in the search results.

6. RSS Feed Settings

This feature is used to automatically add content to your RSS as it will identify you as the original content creator.

Note: For newbie bloggers, please leave these settings as default and enable/disable as you proceed.

Congratulations!

Our Yoast SEO plugin is now doing it’s job.

10. Final Thoughts

Personally I am using only Yoast as my favorite SEO plugin for WordPress as it’s the best. Installation and configuration is really easy. You can run the wizard anytime in order to change something. The plugin informs us about our content and even images, it’s readability score, total no. of words, inbound and outbound links.

One thing that I like very much, if you are breaking any rule or putting anything that is overwhelming, Yoast updates you doing a bit too much. Finally, just remember that the plugin will not bring your site up in the rankings, it will only help you in on page optimization.

At the end, if you are a beginner in blogging and going to optimize your site, consider Yoast as the best WordPress SEO plugin, install it and write posts to get a GREEN DOT on each.

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