Search Engine Optimization (SEO) configuration

Yoast Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin is awesome and used correctly it can have a massive impact on getting sites to rank well for their chosen keywords and phrases but the downside of being so highly configurable is that it can be a daunting prospect to get it set up properly.

Follow theses simple steps to make sure you are setting Yoast Search Engine Optimization (SEO) up properly on your sites.

Build Phase SEO

Build site with SEO in mind from the beginning.

  1. Identify keywords based on content
  2. Optimize page titles to reflect keywords
  3. Optimize URL slugs to reflect keywords
  4. Optimize image filenames to reflect keywords

Yoast Search Engine Optimization (SEO) configuration

General Settings

  1. Run the wizard, you will need the following:
    • Company logo file
    • Social Media URLs (ensure Facebook is a fan page, not a personal profile)
    • Google Search Console Authorization Code
  2. Features tab -> Enable Advanced settings
  3. Your info tab -> Enter Website name
  4. Webmaster Tools tab -> authenticate Google using the HTML tag from the search console account

Titles & Metas

  1. Ensure separator is set to pipe (|)
  2. Homepage tab
    • Click to edit the homepage focus keyword, SEO title and description.
    • Fix analysis issues where possible (remember Yoast only scans page content so the analysis may not be particularly relevant on a homepage with a lot of slider and widget content)
    • Click sharing icon and edit the Face book sharing title, description and image (1200px x 630px)
  3. Post types tab
    • Set post title to %%title%%
    • Set post description to %%excerpt%%
    • Set page title to %%title%% %%sep%% %%sitename%%
    • Set page description to %%excerpt%%
  4. Archives tab
    • Ensure Author and Date archives are set to "No Index" to avoid duplicate content issues

XML Sitemaps

  1. Generate sitemap
  2. Google Search Console
    • Go to crawl > Site maps > Add a sitemap
    • Add each of the site maps generated by Yoast

Tools - File Editor

  1. Generate robots.txt
  2. Edit .htaccess to leverage caching
    • Copy this code and paste it at the bottom of the .htaccess file

Individual Pages

  1. Edit the page snippet to add title, description, slug & focus keyword
  2. Fix analysis errors on "readability" and "keyword" tabs
  3. Add Facebook title, description and image if appropriate under social

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