Last Updated on August 20, 2020 by Faisal Rehman
After we install WordPress on our host, the next step is to install recommended 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 plugins 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 search engine optimization plugin.
But before exploring Yoast, let’s discuss SEO a little bit and what does a WordPress SEO plugin do for you.
Let’s get started!
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization which is a process to bring up your site in search results to get organic traffic. SEO is a frequently used terminology over the internet and it is required to improve your website rankings. How to improve your Google rankings, SE rankings and website ranking are some common terms used under the umbrella of SEO.
The core purpose is to bring the site at No.1 page of search engines, for instance, Google, Bing, Youtube, Amazon and Yandex against keywords. Therefore, SEO is a bit tough process and needs a lot of efforts and SEO techniques.
Good SEO work only gets better over time. It’s only search engines tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change — Jill Whalen
When you type a keyword in the search engine bar, the search engines crawl and bring the most updated and best content for the users.
As we all know, Google displays ads on the first page, however, according to BrightEdge Research, 53.3% of traffic is pure organic. That is the power of SEO which shows people prefer organic over paid results.
A WP SEO plugin guides you how to do on-page SEO optimization of your website. When you install an SEO plugin on WordPress, it notifies you what to add in your content so that it ranks well in search engines.
However, it just covers on-page optimization of your website. For instance, an SEO plugin offers you to add:
When you’ll fulfill all of the above requirements in your post, the WP plugin will let you know you, it’s good to go. There are built-in checks through which SEO plugins help you to write the best SEO friendly content.
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. Check out Yoast’s features in the following infographics.
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.Thus it helps us a lot to increase SE ranking.
SEO analysis and readability turn green once everything is good.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Write your site’s name in the box first and choose a title separator.
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.
Finally close the wizard at the end. Our general SEO settings for Yoast are complete.
Yoast SEO has 3 powerful tools with different features and functionalities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are 4 web master tools where you need to submit your website. These are actually the 4 popular search engines.
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.
It’s not necessary to put the verification code in Yoast webmaster tool if the site is already submitted and verified.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
To avoid duplicate content problems, disable the author archive settings so it should not show up in the search results.
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.
Our Yoast SEO plugin is now doing it’s job.
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.
Share in your network!