18 January 2016

A website isn’t great if it doesn’t help attract and convert visitors into customers. All businesses — whether B2B, B2C or nonprofit making organizations — should establish a great online presence for them to reach their customers in today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving Internet age. The shift from traditional marketing to Internet marketing is driven by the need for today’s buyer to consume the information when they want without the necessity of a sales person.

Your website or blog can help you with your business’s bottom line — by acting as an educational focal point for your customers or your virtual storefront — but only if it can attract visitors, educate and convert them into loyal customers. That’s why your website or blog should be SEO (Search Engine Optimized). Since WordPress is one of the best CMS (Content Management System) that’s preferred by a majority of businesses, then it’s vital that you learn the basics of WordPress SEO.

If you want to create your first website or your existing site just isn’t getting enough traffic or leads that you were hoping for then, you should try out the Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress. When you optimize your website or blog using the best practices — of Yoast SEP plugin — that we’ll highlight in this blog, you’ll be on your way to reaching your business bottom line.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into a comprehensive guide for setting up Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress so that your website or blog can generate enough traffic and leads for your firm’s bottom line.

Features of Yoast SEO Plugin

Here are features that you’ll get when you integrate your WordPress website or blog with Yoast SEO plugin:

  • You’ll be able to check and verify sites in most of the search engines such as Google and Bing.
  • You’ll have access to options for setting your WordPress title and Meta settings.
  • You’ll have access to Meta controls for taxonomies and author pages.
  • You’ll have access to Facebook Open Graph support.
  • You’ll be in a position to generate sitemaps for your websites or blogs.
  • You’ll have access to advanced permalink controls on your site.
  • You’ll be able to import the settings from other SEO applications.
  • You’ll be able to modify the “.htaccess” file on your computer.

How to set up and configure your Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress site

Now, before you begin the process of installing Yoast SEO plugin on your website, you should ensure that existing and old SEO plugins have been removed from your website. Here are comprehensive steps for installing Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress website or blog:

  • Log into your WordPress website or blog.
  • On your WordPress website’s Dashboard, locate the “Menu” option.
  • In the “Plugins” menu option, click on the “Add New” button and type “Yoast SEO” in the search box that appears. Wait for the search results to appear.
  • Select on the “Yoast SEO” from the search results and click on “Install Now” button. Ensure that you click the “OK” button that appears afterward and wait for the installation to complete.
  • Once the installation is complete, click on the “Activate Plugin” to activate your Yoast SEO plugin on your website.

You should now see the Yoast plugin at the bottom of your WordPress’s menu.

Now that you’ve installed the Yoast SEO plugin on your website, it’s now time to optimize your website for increased traffic. So, let’s dive in and optimize your website.

Guidelines for configuring Yoast SEO plugin

Here are steps that you should follow to configure your Yoast SEO plugin:

#1: General settings

  • Click on the Yoast SEO icon and click on the “Restore Default Settings” to reset your settings and click the “Save Changes” button.

#2: Your website information

  • While still in the Yoast SEO plugin menu, click on the “Your Info” tab.
  • Type the name of your website, an alternate website name and the company or person that should appear as Metadata in the Google’s Knowledge Graph.
  • Once you’ve entered the information, click on the “Save Changes” button so that your changes can be saved.

#3: Webmaster Tools

The Webmaster tools will allow you to insert relevant information about search engines. Here’s how you can configure the Webmaster tools:

  • While still in the Yoast SEO plugin menu, click on the “Webmaster Tools” tab.
  • Insert the relevant Meta values for “Alexa Verification ID”, “Bing Webmaster Tools”, “Google Webmaster Tools” and “Yandex Webmaster Tools”.
  • Once you’ve entered the information, click on the “Save Changes” button so that your changes can be saved.

#4: Web security

The last tab under the Yoast SEO plugin menu is the security. It’s used to prevent authors from saving changes that redirect with noindex that may create security problems in future. It’s better if you leave this option checked. Here is how you can configure this option:

  • While still in the Yoast SEO plugin menu, click on the “Security” tab.
  • Tick the “Disable the Advanced part of WordPress Meta Box.

#5: Social Media Configurations

The Social settings in Yoast SEO plugin inform the search engine about your social profiles. You should specify the URLs for your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, MySpace, Pinterest, YouTube and Google +. For each of these social media platforms, you should ensure you verify your profile’s Metadata that may include images and their descriptions.

#6: XML site maps

XML Sitemaps provide you with fastest and easiest means to get indexed by search engines. Besides, Sitemaps enable you to inform search engines how your content should be prioritized. Here’s is how you can configure the XML sitemaps:

  • Under the XML sitemaps tab in Yoast SEO plugin, ensure that the “Enable XML sitemap functionality” has been checked.
  • Under the Generals tab, ensure you enter the maximum number of entries for your sitemap and save the changes.
  • Under the User Site Map tab, ensure that you disable any post types that you don’t want to be part of your sitemap.
  • Under the Excluded Posts, ensure you enter the excluded posts for your website.

When you follow the guidelines contained concerning Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress plugin, you’ll increase traffic on your website. What are your thoughts? Keep us posted.