Hopefully you caught last week’s Yoast tutorial, if you didn’t then go back and read it now to find out how to use the basic, in-post settings. If you have never heard of Yoast then you are seriously missing out here, it is THE best SEO plugin around and can help you get ranked better by search engines. If you don’t care about SEO then that is totally fine, but if you do then read on…
What does Yoast offer?
Last week we covered the in-post brilliance that is Yoast but this week we are going to focus on the behind the scenes abilities that Yoast brings to the table. You will find the plugin dashboard down the side of your WordPress dashboard under SEO.
There are plenty of tutorials to be found online, the Yoast creators themselves have written one of course. However, half of the boxes and menus are not necessary for basic users so this tutorial will focus on the elements that you, as a blogger, will find useful.
When you click on SEO it will take you to the General Settings page, if you click on Webmaster Tools it will bring up this:
If you click on each one it will take you through the process of verifying your ownership of your domain. This gives your site credibility and therefore more chance of being ranked higher in results.
The next sub menu is Titles & Metas and clicking on it will bring up this page:
The Title Separator section is more for aesthetics than anything else, if you want the title of one of your posts to show up in search results as The Best Post Ever » Live Love Blog as opposed to The Best Post Ever – Live Love Blog then you can specify the symbol here. The rest of the tabs relate to permalink structure but as long as you have specified your preferred style in Settings > permalinks then you shouldn’t have to worry about this.
The next sub menu is Social and looks like this:
You should make sure you fill out the relevant sections for your accounts, this way Google will be able to link all of your accounts together so that if someone searches for your blog, your other accounts will pop up in the results too.
The next few tabs are great and are little understood by bloggers! Have you ever entered your blog url in a FB thread and the little picture preview that appears is a random photo from your blog or a badge of some sort? Yep, this will sort that out!
By specifying the frontpage settings, that being the image you want used, the title of your blog and a tagline perhaps then that will be the information used when you write your url! Simple!
The default settings below would be where maybe you have written a word only post and when sharing it on FB you are lacking a photo when pasting the url. You may want to use your blog logo here too so it doesn’t pick something completely inappropriate for the post.
The Twitter tab needs to make sure you have the box ticked, Pinterest needs to be verified and the Google + section is a place to link your business page if you use one. Many bloggers use personal profiles though so you may just want to leave it blank.
The next sub menu is XML Sitemaps and this is where you will find your sitemap should you need it. Yoast takes care of it all for you so you shouldn’t need to worry.
The other tabs are for if you wish to prevent the bots from crawling certain pages. Sitemaps generally only cover 1000 entries so by eliminating certain categories or perhaps your media files then you can ensure the important bits are the things included.
Now, the next section may only be small but it is awesome. Last week we discussed using a different title for SEO purposes as opposed to the one your readers see and we also discussed meta descriptions (the writing that shows up under titles in search results). Now many of you may have thought how am I going to go back and change all of my past posts? Well fear not, this will save you a huge amount of time!
If you click on Bulk Editor it will bring up the option to go through each of your posts in seconds and add in an SEO title. You can then do the same for the meta descriptions! Easy!!
Having an SEO enabled site was never so easy, right? Hopefully you can see the benefits of using Yoast now and you are a little less daunted by it all!