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If you are setting up YOAST SEO by yourself, you might be very overwhelmed with all the settings, tabs, and forms you can complete in the plugin dashboard. Once you do it, you will be set, and it’s one way to ensure you are improving your website’s SEO.
This section contains three different tabs – Company Info, Webmasters Tools, and Security. You can also go through a tutorial of the plugin in this section.
- Company Info: In this section, you want to add information that would show in Google’s Knowledge Graph for your website.
- Webmasters Tools: In this section, you can put your meta tag verification codes for Google and Bing Webmasters. These codes will then show up on each one of your pages (in the source code).
- Security: This section allows you to determine who has access to the plugins advanced settings. It is a great tool if you have multiple contributors to your site.
TITLES + METAS
In this section, you add the titles and meta-information for your home page, post types, taxonomies (categories and tags), archives, and other pages. The page has several different sections.
- General: This tab includes site-wide settings for titles. If you want to use a “|” instead of a “-“, this is where you change it.
- Archives: You can set templates for specific pages, i.e. author archives. If you have multiple contributors, and you want the author template to have a specific meta description. It can pull it from this section.
- Other: This section allows you to do site-wide meta settings, like enabling meta keywords (which is not necessary).
In this section, you can connect your various social media profiles to your website. Most social media profiles come with certain tools, such as Facebook Open Graph, Twitter Cards, and Google’s Knowledge Graph.
- Accounts: Enter in all your social media accounts. For URLs, make sure you have them start with HTTP://
- Facebook, Twitter, and Google+: Check the Open Graph metadata for each post.
- Pinterest: In this section, you can add your Pinterest verification code. Remember, that Pinterest verification is essential for Rich Pins.
I frequently see clients who had an XML sitemap plugin installed on top of Yoast. That other plugin is completely unnecessary because YOAST will generate a sitemap for you. Once you submit a sitemap to Google Webmasters, you simply just need to refresh the sitemap every few weeks. In this section, you can check what content you do not what to include in your sitemap. I would recommend checking MEDIA, especially if you are one of those people who is not entering their images correctly. The same goes for Taxonomies (Tags, Categories, Format, etc.).
The Search Console shows you errors (404 messages) that Google runs into when they search your site. If you’ve deleted pages or posts, you are likely to see the issues here. If you’ve also messed with your permalinks, you will see these errors.
To do this, you need to connect your Google Webmasters. A pop-up screen will appear asking you to copy in an authentication code.
If you have errors, you want to find the permalink for the post/page that you want it to go to. You would select Correct Error and then copy the correct URL.
Yoast offers several other extensions that are for sale. YOAST SEO Premium might be a good choice if you’ve done a transfer. You get more features and support than just the regular transfer. Video SEO is a great resource if you are very committed to using YOUTUBE videos on your website.
Now that you know what all the sections include, set aside an hour to go through each component to make sure you have it completed. You might also need to gather meta tags (tutorial here). I would also suggest you spend some time checking out YOAST’s website. They post great blog content and are launching the Yoast Academy soon (I’m personally very excited for this). The Content SEO E-book is very helpful. You might also still be going through your past pages and posts to optimize them too!
Here’s the thing about SEO. The best thing that will help your site improve its SEO is other site’s linking to it. You can optimize the shit out of it, but the sharable content is what does a bulk of the SEO work. Creating consistent blog templates and writing content with a clear purpose are two key steps to developing shareable blog content.
Want more SEO tips? Check out these posts!