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How to Install and Configure WordPress SEO by Yoast?

How to Install and Configure WordPress SEO by Yoast?

WordPress SEO by Yoast is one of the most popular WordPress SEO plugins, which is designed for improving your WordPress SEO by writing quality content and having a completely optimized site. With great functionality, this plugin has voted for 4.7 out of 5 stars and got over 9,000,000 downloads so far.

As many webmasters and SEO marketers recommend WordPress SEO by Yoast for beginners and newbies, how to install and configure this plugin for their specific websites? In this tutorial, we carefully guide readers to set up and customize this plugin so that they can easily take advantages of all the awesome built-in features to boost your WordPress SEO and improve the page rank.

wordpress seo by yoast

Awesome Features

Many users may hesitate to utilize this plugin at first. So let’s overview its awesome features and you can easily understand why you need it.

  • The snippet preview allows you to see a rendering of what your post / page will look like in the search results, to increase your site rankings, as well as the click through for organic search results.
  • The Linkdex Page Analysis functionality checks simple things you are hound to forget.
  • It allows you to write meta titles and description for all tags, categories, custom taxonomy archives, giving users the option to further optimizations.
  • It gives users the ability to control which pages Google shows in its search results and which page it does not show.
  • The great functionality that automatically creates XML sitemaps and tells search engines of the sitemap existence if you check the box.
  • It offers RASS optimization and allows you to edit your .htaccess and robots.txt file for better SEO.
  • SEO and Social Media are heavily intertwined, coming with a Facebook OpenGraph implementation and supports Google+ sharing tags.
  • And so on.

Install WordPress SEO by Yoast

In order to make use of these advanced features, you should first install this plugin on your site. You can download this plugin from WordPress.org community or just install it in the admin panel. Login into the Dashboard, go to Plugins -> Add New, and enter the WordPress SEO by Yoast in the search box, then click to install and activate it. Once finished, there is an SEO menu added in the left menu bar.

seo menu bar

Configure WordPress SEO by Yoast

At present, we are going to configure the plugin for specific needs. Log in to the SEO Dashboard, and then you can set the general settings, choose to allow tracking of this WordPress install’s anonymous data and disable the advanced section of the WordPress SEO meta box. As well, you can verify different Webmaster Tools here.

webmaster tools verified

Then, we will carefully introduce the configuration and optimization of each part.

Titles & Metas

Title and meta are two essential parts of the post, which are seen at first sight when visitors search for some content. Click the Titles & Metas to edit the title settings. First, you will reach the General tab, where you can configure some site wide general settings. We do not recommend you to rewrite titles automatically. On the other hand, you can add a custom title for each post by hand. Besides, we recommend you utilize meta keywords tag.

general settings

Then, you can configure the homepage settings.

homepage settings

Here, you can configure the title for each post. WordPress SEO by Yoast automatically enters title template variables for all post types and leaves the description and other fields blank. However, we suggest you to set the title by hand, only keeping the natural title and remove the sitename.

post type


In the next, we are going to customize the social settings as social network is one of the most widely used promotion channels. By default, Yoast WordPress SEO allows you to integrate your WordPress site with Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can just enter your account link into it and set the image URL, description, and you can easily combine your site with social medias.

social settings

XML Sitemaps

It is the easiest and fastest method to use sitemap to notice search engines that your content is changed and tell it how to arrange the posts. Thus, WordPress SEO by Yoast comes with great functionality, making it’s super easy to create and add XML sitemaps in your site. Go to SEO -> Sitemaps, select the checkbox to enable its functionality, and then, you can go to set the general settings and user sitemap.

Sitemaps settings

There are still many configurations, such as permalinks, internal links, RSS, import & Export, and so on. These aspects are very familiar with the above settings as well as the general settings, you can learn about them by yourself. Otherwise, you can add your questions in the following commment and we will answer you as soon as possible.


Joyce is a professional writer & SEOer who loves trying new things and sharing the experience through blogging. She loves clean design, playing with different WordPress themes, SEO, etc. Very often, you could find her in various WordPress event as invited speakers.