The Complete Guide to Using The Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin

Complete Guide to Using Yoast SEO for WordPress

This guide is current as of  March 2017.

Get The PDF: Download the PDF version of this guide for easy reading!

While some general aspects of SEO will be touched on in this guide in the course of explaining the plugin, beginners may find that they need a more fundamental understanding of how SEO works in general, in order to get the best use out of this plugin. I have written an ebook that addresses that need:
The Beginners’ Guide to SEO for Business

Yoast SEO is on most lists of ‘must-have’ WordPress plugins. But the extensive set of options it provides can seem intimidating, especially to newer users.

Yoast has a fair amount of commentary and explanatory text throughout the plugin screens so I won’t duplicate anything he’s saying there, but I’ll try and clarify the less obvious parts.

If you’ve used an older version of Yoast on a site, there are several menu tabs you’re used to seeing, that are hidden by default on first activation of more recent versions.

To access all of the settings referred to in this guide, you will need to activate the Advanced settings.

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How To Add A Top Bar Mailchimp Opt-In

MailChimp Top Bar Opt-In for WordPress
A top bar email sign up is a nice way to boost your opt-ins without being overly obnoxious. Especially with the current trend toward one column blogs, without a sidebar, it’s a great solution for making an opt-in prominent without being an eyesore. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

Top Bar Email Opt In

I wanted to add a top bar email opt in to a site and was prepared to have to research and test a few plugins, maybe fiddle with some styles and generally sink a little bit of time into the whole endeavour.

However I was able to get the job done in less than 15 minutes thanks to a couple of wondrous plugins.

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How To Deal With Google Analytics Spam Data

How To Deal With Google Analytics Spam Data

There are 2 primary kinds of spam data you’ve probably seen show up in your Google Analytics reports. In some cases you may not have even realized it was spam:

1. Spam sites in your referral reports

It looks like this:

Google Analytics Spam Referral Data
These are just a few of the hundreds of spam URLs you might see show up – share-buttons.xyz (actually, lots of sites with the .xyz extension), free-social-buttons, free-floating-buttons.com, copyrightclaims.org are some other common ones, but there are soooo many! Those kinds of sites look pretty dodgy from the outset and might ring some alarm bells.

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Where To Find WordPress Themes – Free & Premium

Where to find WordPress Themes

LAST UPDATED: January 2017

Finding a good WordPress theme is perhaps one of the most challenging tasks in getting your site set up. It’s like the Wild West out there, with all kinds of cowboys claiming they’ve got the best theme to beat all themes. Who can you believe?!

Here are a few trusted resources for finding a reliable theme.

Premium & Free WordPress Themes

AlienWP – Their themes, which range from magazine-style, to portfolio, all share a minimalist aesthetic. They offer some free ones as well.

Array Themes – Thoughtfully designed themes with great typography. Some great choices for bloggers, photographers/designers and more. They have both free and premium themes.

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Code Snippets To Customize Jetpack

How to customize the Jetpack WordPress plugin

Automattic’s Jetpack plugin has come a long way! It’s been much-maligned in the past for being bloated and slow and for that reason many developers wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot keyboard. These days it’s much better – it’s more truly modularized to give you more control over exactly what’s activated. From the code side of things, developers will be pleasantly surprised to discover that it has been sprinkled with lots of actions and filters. So, while Jetpack is still generally marketed to entry-level end users, there are actually some nice Easter eggs for developers who want to customize things a little bit for their clients.

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How To Work on Your WordPress Site Without Going Live

Work on your WordPress site without going live

So, you want to make some changes to your WordPress site without anyone else seeing?
Perhaps it’s a new site you’re getting ready to launch, or maybe you’re giving a facelift to an existing site. How can you work on your WordPress site without publishing the changes for the world to see?

You have a few options depending on your specific situation.

Use a “Coming Soon” style plugin

One approach is to put up a temporary splash page or landing page which displays a “coming soon” or “maintenance mode” style message. This can be done easily with a plugin; the one I’d recommend is Coming Soon by SeedProd. Any normal visitor who tries to access your site will see the custom message you create and nothing else. You, as the administrator, will be able to see the site as normal while logged in. The Coming Soon plugin gives you ample control over the splash page, where you can add text, images, a logo, background image etc.

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