Doing SEO for your blog is really an important thing. WordPress itself is SEO optimized and covers a major part of SEO. To make your blog more SEO optimized, you can find a lot of WordPress SEO plugins. In this article, I will tell you the features of Yoast WordPress SEO plugin.
Yoast Wordpess SEO
The plugin is FREE to use! They also provide premium plugins too. Right now, using the free plugin is enough! The plugin has the following major settings : Dashboard, Titles & Metas, Social, XML Sitemaps, Permalinks, Internal Links, RSS, Import & Export, Edit Files. All these settings has their own importance in managing the plugin. Now lets discuss what each settings mean.
Dashboard has an Introduction Tour that will help you understand the features of Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin. Also there is an option to Reset Settings to its Default. There is another option to allow Tracking of your blog. If you enable Tracking, Yoast team will track details of your blog like what plugins, themes you are using. This is not recommended because it won’t help you! There is another option named Security. It allows you to prevent Authors from redirecting posts, noindex them etc. Another good option in the Dashboard is Webmaster tools verification. You will see columns to insert your Google Webmaster Tools Verification code, Bing Webmaster Tools verification code and Alexa Verification ID. Verifying these webmaster sites is now easier if you just put your verification code in particular columns.
Titles & Metas
Here is where you can edit the structure or template for Titles and Metas. You can see a lot of options in this Setting. You can change the Title structure and Meta for Home page, Posts, Pages, Media, Categories, Tags, Format, Author Archives, Date Archives, Search Page and 404 Error page. As titles and metas play a major role in SEO, Titles & Metas settings in Yoast WordPress SEO carry a lot of importance. You can also manage noindex and nofollow settings in this Section.
Here is where you can manage your Facebook Open Graph Meta Data, Facebook Insights, Twitter Card Meta Data, Google+ Author and Google Publisher Page.
Here is where you can create and manage XML sitemap of your blog. If you are already using another plugin to generate your sitemap, you can uncheck this option. You can also change the settings for your sitemap.
Here is where you can specify additional Permalinks settings. As we all know, WordPress itself provides an option to edit the permalink structure to make your blog’s URLs SEO friendly. But this section gives additional options to customize Permalinks. You will also see an option that will allow you to remove Stop Words from permalinks. if you check this option, Stop Words will be removed from URLs. Also you can manage redirection for Canonical URLs. There are plenty other options that you should check.
Here is where you can manage the settings for Breadcrumbs. There are plenty options to customize Breadcrumbs. You will also be able to enable or disable Breadcrumbs.
In this option, you will see the settings to add custom pre-written content to your RSS. If you add a link to your blog in RSS content, RSS feed will be showing a link to your blog. For example, if you put The post %%POSTLINK%% appeared first on %%BLOGLINK%% to RSS content, it will insert the link to your post and link to your blog. This will help search engines identify you as the original source of the content.
Import & Export
This is really a good option if you were using some other WordPress SEO plugins before started using Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. This option allows you to import data from some wordpress plugins like HeadSpace2, All-in-One SEO, OLD All-in-One SEO, WooThemes SEO Framework etc. Also you can Import data from other Yoast plugins like Robots Meta, RSS Footer and Yoast Breadcrumbs. This section is useful if you want to import data and settings from your old WordPress SEO plugins.
This section allows you to edit robots.txt and .htaccess files of your blog. Make sure that your robots.txt is editable. You need to set permission for this. Otherwise, it will not be editable here. Do not edit these files if you are not expert in it!
Settings in Post Editor Page
Main usage of the plugin is on Post Editor Page. You will see the SEO options under the post editor. A screenshot is shown below.
First of all, you need to set a Focus Keyword. Enter your Focus keyword and the plugin will analyze and suggest the changes you need to make in the post title, URL, meta description and content. If you made all the changes suggested in Page Analysis, you will see a Green button.
Yoast WordPress SEO plugin is really great that will help wordpress bloggers to do SEO on their blog. It is completely free to use and easy to manage.