Search Engine Optimization is a technique to improve the performance of your website in search results. You can have great content, but it’s useless without people seeing it. Search engines are an easy way to reach an interested audience to promote your content. In addition to the usual search engines such as Google, these days social networking sites also have their own search engines that play a big role in content promotion.
Optimizing your WordPress site for both regular and social media search engines is a relatively easy task with many plugins available for each individual theme, such as XML Sitemap generation, Webmaster tools validation, and Social media posting.
WordPress and SEO
WordPress offers a search engine-friendly website building platform by default compared to most other website builders. In addition, there are many free and premium SEO plugins available to optimize your WordPress site. A search for “SEO” will turn up over 1,000 active plugins in the WordPress plugin repository, and finding the best one for your site is no easy task.
Some plugins offer minimal features while others offer a power pack with all sorts of SEO related features.
Why Yoast SESO?
The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress is one of the simplest and most effective plugins to improve search engine rankings, especially Google. We’ve been using this for years and would recommend giving it a try. In this article, we will discuss the features of the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin, which is superior to other plugins for the following reasons:
- The Yoast SEO plugin offers a complete solution to improve your WordPress site right from content creation.
- One of the popular plugins with over 5 million active installations.
- This is a free plugin with the most advanced features you need to improve your site’s search performance.
- Updated regularly based on user issue reports and search engine updates. Yoast quickly updates features according to Google and stands out from other plugins like All in One SEO.
- The Webmaster Tools Validation Tools and XML Sitemap Options are very handy without the need for additional plugins.
- Editor optimizations allow users to check and fix errors before posting.
- Enable open schedule for sharing on social networks allows you to share posts with attractive images.
Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin Features
Once installed and activated, the plugin will add a new menu item called “SEO” with the following subsections.
- Search appearance
The plugin will also add a menu in the top admin toolbar named “SEO” which you can remove from the “General” settings section. Once installed, you can follow the initial setup wizard and change settings later on the plugin’s settings page.
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General settings have the following functions on different tabs:
Dashboard – Check your site’s SEO status in the dashboard section. Here you can find notices and errors.
Features is an important section of the plugin where you can enable or disable plugin features.
- SEO and Readability Analysis – Show or hide the SEO / Readability Analysis meta box in the post editor.
- Cornerstone Content – You can mark a post or page as cornerstone content to filter out important articles from the list of posts/pages. Cornerstone will help you publish a fresh article with a list of older articles. This will help you restore traffic to old messages.
- Text Link Count – Turn this on to find links to every post on the post/page index page.
- XML Sitemaps – Enable or disable Yoast XML Sitemap on your site.
- Integration with Ryte – allows you to frequently check whether your site is indexed by search engines.
- Admin Panel Menu – Show or hide the menu on the top admin panel.
- Security – no advanced settings for authors – enable this to disable advanced plugin settings for authors.
Webmaster Tools – Verify your site with Alexa, Bing, Google, and Yandex by entering the meta tag here.
The Search Appearance section allows you to customize how your site appears in Google search results.
- general – here you can specify a title separator that will be visible in search engines between the page and the site title. Also, provide details for the Google Knowledge Network, such as whether the site represents a person or organization with a name and logo.
- Content Types – Here you can find all post types on your site, as well as enable/disable display options in search results, display the date in the meta description, and hide the meta box in the post editor.
- Media – enable “Redirect attachment URLs to the attachment itself?” option. This will help users get to the content page when they click on images from search engines instead of seeing a media attachment page that only displays the image.
- Taxonomies – Set whether to show or hide taxonomies such as categories and tags in search results. You can also configure the permalinks setting to remove the word “category” from URLs.
- Archives – enable or disable archives by date and authors.
- Breadcrumbs – Customize the breadcrumb options, however you must add a code snippet to single.php or the appropriate theme file to display the breadcrumbs.
- RSS – Customize your RSS feed by adding unique options to show you are the owner of the content.
You can customize the template for the default meta tag, meta description, and meta robot settings, and modify as needed in the post editor for individual posts.
- The social section allows you to add all of your social profiles to be displayed in the Google Knowledge Graph.
- Add open graph metadata for Facebook and view information by adding a Facebook admin.
- Insert a Twitter card to decide how you want your posts to look on Twitter air as a resume or resume with an image.
- Add a Pinterest open graph meta and validate your site with Pinterest by adding a meta tag.
Meta data determines how your posts will look when published on their respective sites, and profiles will appear in the Google Knowledge Graph.
- Bulk Editor allows you to bulk edit post titles and meta descriptions.
- The file editor allows you to modify robots.txt and .htaccess files.
- The import and export option allows you to download all SEO settings for use in another plugin, or upload SEO data from other plugins to the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin.
The extensions offer paid services for video, news, and local SEO optimization.
Post level and page settings
The beauty of this plugin is definitely not in the many features described above, but in the SEO meta box offered in the WordPress editor.
This meta box allows you to set a keyword in focus for page content and show the SEO status based on the given keyword with a detailed “SEO/readability analysis”. You can view a snippet of exactly how your post will appear in Google search results to choose the title and length of the meta description. However, the plugin also has a few issues, and you can check Yoast SEO plugin issues in this article.
Yoast Gutenberg Blocks
Yoast is one of the first plugins to integrate features with the Gutenberg block editor. The plugin offers how-to and FAQ blocks that will show up beautifully in Google searches using the how-to and FAQ outlines. Also, readability and SEO analysis status is fast on the sidebar.
The latest version also allows you to add nofollow and sponsored attributes to hyperlinks in the post editor.
Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
Product Name: Yoast SEO Plugin
Product Description: Yoast SEO is a free WordPress plugin that helps you optimize your site’s visibility on search engines. You can upgrade to the premium version for more features.
- Key Features – 8/10
- Advanced features – 8/10
- Plugin updates – 7/10
- File editing – 7/10
- Post-optimization – 8/10
- Support service – 4/10
Undoubtedly, the WordPress SEO plugin works out of the box. One issue we have noticed is that the plugin author does not provide support via the WordPress.org forum. The forum is run by volunteer members who may or may not answer your specific questions. So if you’re really into this plugin, getting support can be a daunting task, though we didn’t run into any issues with the sites we used.
- The best SEO plugin for WordPress.
- Frequently updated to keep up with the latest Google changes.
- Convenient and simplified options.
- Too many plugin updates to fix bugs.
- Slows down the post editor by loading the meta field.
- Too many advertisements on the settings page.