WordPress SEO by Yoast Complete Setup Guides for Beginner

WordPress SEO by Yoast is an evolved and powerful WordPress SEO suite that provides all the essential tools to optimize your WordPress website getting higher ranking in Google organic search results and other search engines. Unlike other SEO plugins Yoast SEO is very user friendly, effective and easy to setup on any WordPress blog or site. You don’t need to be savvy enough to configure the plugin and it is as easy as a newbie user can setup without facing any difficulty.

The new Yoast SEO version is more improved in user interface especially providing more features in rich snippet checker, making primary category for categories, and catchy buttons in SEO setting options.

Today I will share a complete Yoast SEO setup guide for WordPress users who did not try Yoast yet or newbies to WordPress.

Yoast SEO Features (Free)

  1. Increase your branding by showing your website’s name in the search results as well as show your company name or person as metadata that can be displayed in Google’s Knowledge Graph.
  2. Verify your website with Google, Bing, Alexa and other services by simply inputting individual Meta values
  3. Onpage.org indexability check is enabled
  4. Choose title separator from 13 different symbols to display separator between blog post title and site name
  5. Enable homepage SEO by providing optimized Homepage title and Meta descriptions (limit to 150 characters)
  6. Choose optimized post title template that looks catchy, user friendly and search engine friendly to get more organic search ranking in Google
  7. Taxonomies are set to default but you may want to change Taxonomies title template to separate post titles and taxonomy titles and make them indexable by choosing an optimized format
  8. Archives work to display Blog author bio to search results. If you want you can change Author Archives title template to any format you want but you have to understand parameters enough before changing title template
  9. Show your social accounts to search results pages by enabling social SEO
  10. XML Sitemaps can generate sitemaps for blog posts, pages, categories, and tags that can be indexed to search engines Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex and other search engines
  11. Enable breadcrumbs to let search engines find specific path of your blog post or page. Even users can easily navigate your site
  12. Focus keyword testing for blog posts and pages
  13. Edit robots.txt and .htaccess files using File editor tool
  14. Quickly change titles and descriptions of your posts and pages without having to go into the editor for each page
  15. Import settings from other SEO plugins or export your settings for re-use on another blog
  16. Search console is the new feature of Yoast Vthat allows you to fetch your Google search Console information. To get search console data you need to add Google Authorization code which you can get by clicking on Get Google Authorization Code button
  17. New Yoast SEO V3.1 includes another feature that allows you to make primary category of any specific category and make secondary category of other categories

Learn more about Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO Features (Premium)

Yoast SEO premium provides two important features that free SEO plugin does not provide

  1. URL Redirect: URL redirect feature allows you to enable custom URL redirect to existing posts or pages from broken URL. Suppose you have changed any category, or slug of your article now the article got changed permalink and the earlier permalink is broken URL or 404 error page. So if you don’t want to get users landed on the non-existing page you can make a custom URL redirect that sends users to the existing page and increases your website’s user experience. This also increases your website’s credibility by reducing 404 error pages quantity to Google and other search engines.
  2. Multiple Focus Keywords: Yoast SEO free version allows you to test your blog post’s ranking for one single keyword but if your article is categorized in two or three categories and you want to test SEO score for multiple focus keywords then you need to input multiple keywords that Yoast SEO free version doesn’t allow. But Yoast SEO premium version allows you to test your blog post SEO score for multiple focus keywords.

Read more about Yoast SEO Premium

Import SEO Settings before Moving to Yoast SEO

If you already run a different SEO plugin (may be All in One SEO, any other SEO plugin) then you have to migrate your existing SEO settings to new SEO plugin that is Yoast before configuring Yoast SEO on your WordPress site.

SEO Data Transporter plugin (made by StudioPress) allows you to transfer your inputs SEO data from one theme/plugin to another. It’s really difficult to switch themes or dump plugins in fact themes and plugins store their inputs SEO data differently that makes harder your SEO migration process. But thanks to SEO Data Transporter plugin that it can do rest of the SEO data migration tasks on behalf of you.

To get started with SEO Data Transporter simply install the plugin on your WordPress site and navigate: Tools > SEO Data Transporter

Click “Analyze” to see what records and elements are compatible, and click “Convert” to make the conversion.

SEO Data Transport supports number of themes {Builder, Catalyst, Frugal, Genesis, Headway, Hybrid} and Plugins {Add Meta Tags, All in One SEO, Meta SEO Pack, Platinum SEO, SEO Utimate}

There is another process of migrating SEO settings from All in One SEO to Yoast SEO

Navigate to SEO > Tools > Import from other SEO plugins

Now choose “All-in-One SEO” and click “Import” button

Your SEO settings will be migrated automatically

Yoast SEO Configuration

So you’re ready to configure Yoast SEO on your WordPress blog right? I will clarify each setting for Yoast SEO configuration in comprehensive way so that new users can understand the setups.

Yoast SEO: General Settings

In Yoast SEO General Settings section you need to provide information about you, your website, webmaster tools verification etc.


In General section you can start Yoast SEO tour by clicking on “Start Tour” button. This will explain all the functionalities of this plugin but here we will do a complete SEO setup and you don’t need to take the tour spending more time.

Your Info

Your website name is set default in “Website name” input area but you can change your Website name here or choose any alternative name that you want Google to consider

Company or Person

This data will be shown as metadata in your website and it is intended to appear in Google’s Knowledge Graph. You can either choose Company or Website. If it’s company then provide a company name and upload company logo otherwise provide your name as Person.

Webmaster Tools

In webmaster tools you can verify your website with Google, Bing, Yandex and Alexa by using site verification ID. If you verify your site with file upload method then forget about it.


The advanced part of SEO is disabled by default with Yoast SEO since blog Authors and Editors won’t be able to do stupid things with advanced options only admin have rights to bring changes anywhere in blog post or page using Advanced SEO part. So keep this default

When you’re all done click on “Save Changes” and general settings are done!

Titles & Metas

In titles and metas section you can bring change in title template settings for blog post, page, categories, tags, archives, author etc.


In general section you can select title separator from 13 different symbols. This symbol will be shown between post title and site name.


In homepage section you can bring changes in Title template and Meta description

Title template is set default to

%%sitename%% %%page%% %%sep%% %%sitedesc%%

This means your site title will display in following format

Your Site – Site Description

If you want to display only site name then remove everything except %%sitename%%

But it’s recommended to keep Title template default for providing a comprehensive Homepage title to both search engines and users

In Meta description template provide a short description (not more than 150 characters in length) that tells about your website and services

Post Types

Now click on “Post Types” to bring changes on title template for blog posts, pages, media etc. on your WordPress site.

The title template remains default as

%%title%% %%page%% %%sep%% %%sitename%%

This means after post title or page title the sitename will be displayed and a separator will divide post title and sitename.


How to create a website with WordPress – The Wild Blogger

To many webmasters and SEO gurus this format is not search engine friendly as it elongates your blog post title and every time it will display broken title for longer post titles in Google and other search engine results pages.

So it’s better to remove your site name and keep blog post and page title single as it will give you more spaces to write longer, comprehensive and improved post titles for SEO

So remove everything except


For posts, pages, media (images, videos) in Post Types


In Taxonomies section you can bring changes in Categories and Tags title template which remains default as

%%term_title%% Archives %%page%% %%sep%% %%sitename%%

This means your category title will be displayed in following format

WordPress Archives – The Wild Blogger

This format is rich enough as it tells search engines about a specific Archive file “WordPress” under a website “The Wild Blogger” which is a brand name of our site.

So if you remove site name then the Archives file will be messed up with millions of other WordPress Archives in Search engines and it won’t be identifiable to People that which site acquires this specific category. So only your brand name can differentiate the Archives file to users.

It’s recommended that you keep “Taxonomies” settings default.


In Archives section you can bring changes in “Author Archives” and “Date Archives” title templates also change Special pages titles like Search pages and 404 pages.

The title templates for Author archives and Date archives are improved enough and you don’t need to change anything here in addition for Special pages the title template for Search pages and 404 pages are suitable for any WordPress site and if you want to change Search page and 404 page content you can do so from themes settings section of your WordPress site.

Finally click on “Save Changes” and Titles and Metas are successfully modified for SEO.


In Social you can enable your social channels like Facebook Page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. to inform Google about your social profiles, so that if anyone searches your website name Google will also display your social profiles as well.

In Twitter settings enable Twitter card for Summary or Summary with Large Image

In Pinterest settings add your Pinterest verification code

To add Google+ page for your business ad Google+ business URL

When you’re all done simply click on “Save Changes” and social account is setup properly

XML Sitemaps

In XML sitemaps Yoast SEO provides you an auto generated sitemap which you can submit to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.

You can limit the Max entries per sitemap changing the default value 1000

Exclude from Sitemap

If you don’t want anything indexed in XML sitemap suppose “Affiliate Links” then click on “Post Types” can select “Not in sitemap” for Affiliate Links

When you’re all done click on “Save Changes”


In Advanced section you can enable Breadcrumbs that will be displayed in Google search results pages and Google can identify the right path a blog post or page.

Breadcrumbs normally remain disabled so choose “Enabled” and Sava Changes


Breadcrumbs may not be displayed on your theme if Breadcrumbs code not embedded properly or your theme doesn’t support Breadcrumbs. So in this case you can install a plugin called Bredcrumb NavXT

Later add following code in your themes single.php file right after <main id=”main” class=”site-main” role=”main”>

<div class="breadcrumbs" typeof="BreadcrumbList" vocab="http://schema.org/">  <?php if(function_exists('bcn_display'))  {  bcn_display();  }?>  </div>

If you don’t find the right path of adding above code then contact your theme designer to know where to add Breadcrumbs snippet to display Breadcrumbs before blog post title.


The default permalinks setting for WordPress is not better fit for SEO because the structure looks not only ugly but also complex for search engines to crawl because it contains unwanted characters that search engines ignore.

The following structure is the default permalink structure for WordPress


Here 123 is the ID no of post or page.

But you can customize permalink structure and create an equipped permalink that search engines like

To customize Permalink simply navigate Settings > Permalinks

Now choose Custom Structure and replace the existing snippet with following


Read more about WordPress Permalink structure


Yoast SEO provides your three tools

Bulk Editor: A tool allows you to quickly change titles and descriptions of your blog posts and pages without going to the editor for each page.

File Editor: Allows creating robots.txt file and bringing change in .htaccess file

Import and Export: Easily import other SEO settings or export SEO settings

Recalculate SEO Scores: Recalculate SEO scores for all of your blog posts and pages.

Search Console

Search Console is a feature that allows Yoast SEO to fetch your Google Search Console information from your Google account by authentication process. If you want Yoast SEO to fetch Google Search Console information then click on “Get Google Authorization Code” and allow app.

Then you will get an authorization code which you need to copy and paste on the authorization code field and click on “Authenticate” button

Now choose your profile and click “Save Profile”

You will see the current profile is set to your website.


In Yoast Extensions you can get 4 other top popular Yoast premium Extensions that can improve your website’s SEO performances and drive you double even triple hold traffic from Organic, Local and News searches.

If you want to buy any of the extension then click on “Get this extension” for any extension you want and download the extension Yoast official website.


Yoast SEO is definitely a brilliant SEO tool which empowers millions of WordPress sites to get better ranking in Google organic search results. Yoast SEO provides your website an extra layer of security and improved performances so that your website always remains fit in indexing content to search engines regarding Google, Bing, and Yahoo etc.

If you get this Yoast SEO plugin setup guide helpful then please share it with your blogger friends and social followers.

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