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Install and configure Yoast SEO

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Now that we have covered SEO basics let’s install Yoast SEO because it has some tools we’re going to rely on for a number of things. First off, we’re going to use it for the custom meta description and custom title tag.

Install the Plugin

Let’s come over here to plugins and add new. Last time we installed a plugin we uploaded it but now we’re going to search for it. So, Yoast SEO. There are lots of SEO plugins out there but this is the best there is. We’ll install it simply by clicking the button install here.

You’ll never have to leave your site. Then once it’s installed you can click activate. And now that we are have activated it, we may as well go to settings. You can get to settings here or you can get to settings here.

Set Up the Settings

Note that this is showing us a couple of issues we need to address. “Huge SEO: You are blocking access to robots txt, you must go to your reading settings and uncheck.”

Uncheck “Discourage Search Engines from Indexing”

Come over here to settings and reading. It says discourage search engines from indexing the site. I would uncheck that. I would always uncheck that during the development of your site. Some people don’t want their site to become public until they feel like it’s one hundred percent complete.

My opinion is that the sooner search engines know about you the better, so I would leave that unchecked and then we can go back to the dashboard.

Always Change Default WordPress Tagline

We have another issue to resolve. It says “you still have the default WordPress tagline, even an empty one is probably better”. Let’s go to the settings for this. Ordinarily we would change this in the very beginning as soon as we installed it. It’s under general. And we’ll add the title Build A Professional Website using Thesis 2.2. And then, Anyone can learn how to build their own small business website.

So now we have a unique tagline. Leaving “Just another WordPress website” tells Google that it’s not really a serious web site. So we had those two warnings.

Configure the Plugin

We’ve got some notifications below the warnings. “Since you’re new to Yoast SEO, you can configure the plugin”. We’ll start there.

Sign up for Newsletter

You can sign up for the newsletter. I’m already signed up so I’m not going to do that again but I would recommend you sign up for because there’s lots of good information that comes in that newsletter.

It’s not a sales newsletter. I mean you can buy stuff from him but that’s not what the newsletter is really about. It really gives good timely search engine optimization information.

Choose Your Environment

Next is Environment. For the time being we’re going to say this is a production site. In our case we’re starting from scratch. You might choose staging site if you’ve already got a live site you’re redeveloping.

Site Type and Owner

And then what kind of a website is this? This is a small business website. Is this a company or a person? It’s a company. The name of the company would be Rick Anderson Architects.

I can choose an image so let’s upload something. I want the small logo, here we go. Rick Anderson Architects. Now choose that image. So, now I’ve got a company logo and that stuff is going to show up inside the page.

We’re going to come back to the social profiles later so we don’t have to worry about that now.

Post Type Visibility

Next is visibility. Posts should be visible, pages should be visible and media should be hidden. Those those are the right settings for that.

Multiple Authors

In our case no there are not multiple authors. If you’re doing a big blog there may be multiple authors but for typical small business website there are not going to be multiple authors in the way that matters for this.

Google Search Console

And now we get to the Google search console. We’re not going to do anything about that now. Because we’re going to come back to setting up search console and everything else.

Title Settings

So this is the automatic title. The automatic title settings are they’re going to give the page title and then the website name with a hyphen between them. That’s the automatic meta title.

We’ve completed the settings we needed to for today. You might want to watch this video. They’ve got some free videos, some videos that you can buy. It doesn’t really matter. There’s just all kinds of good information that these guys have.

We have essentially set this up now. Except for this. We want to enable the advanced settings. Let’s save that. Now we’re going to leave that disabled. We’re not going to think about that yet. So that’s all there is to it.

View Yoast SEO In Action on a Page

We’ll go back to pages. Let’s edit architectural services we provide in Seattle area. Scroll down here and look at SEO. Here’s their snippet, architectural services we provide in the Seattle area, build a professional web site using Thesis 2.2.

Editing the Snippet

They give you a chance to edit the snippet. Editing snippet means you’re going to change the title. I would just say, Rick Anderson Architects Provides Services to Homeowners and Builders. Something like that.

The slug is good as it is. We need to add the meta description. It could be, again along the same lines, Providing architectural services throughout the Seattle area to homeowners, builders, and developers.

We still have a ways to go with this. Now we could just put a hyphen here and say Rick Anderson Architects. You need to be creative. This doesn’t need to read just like a sentence but it should have important keywords. And we’re talking about architectural services that’s what this page is about.

So Rick Anderson architecture provide service to the homeowners and builders. We’ve got architectural services, we’ve got Seattle area architectural services, we’ve got providing architectural services throughout the Seattle area. We’ve got all these things going working together.

You can look and see what the snippet would look like. This is the desktop version and that is the mobile version of the search result which is kind of nice to see.

Focus Keyword

You can also set a focus keyword. We don’t have any content on the page so setting a focus keyword is not going to help here. But what it would do is look over and analyze your content to determine whether or not you have succeeded in properly adding your on page SEO for the content here.

We can see readability needs improvement because we don’t have anything there. It says that the SEO is okay but we still, again, don’t have any content here. It’s only okay because of the relationship of our title, URL and description.

This is what you have to do with every single page and every single post that you create. Once you’ve finished entering the content here or even before you enter the content you want to get a good page title, get a good URL and customize this snippet.

The point of all this is that it sells your product, it gets people to your door and it it reflects the content on your site.

Backup the Site

Now we’re going to do what we do at the end of every day working. And that is to come on over to BackupBuddy and back ourselves up.

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