The Complete Guide to Using The WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

The Complete Guide To Using The WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

UPDATED: This guide is current as of v 1.4.13 of the plugin, July 2013.

The WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is on most lists of ‘must-have’ WordPress plugins. As much as is written about, the extensive set of options it provides can seem intimidating, especially to newer users.

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

SEO > Dashboard


If you are an advanced user, leave this unchecked, but otherwise it’s ok to check it, particularly if you have multiple users on your site that might wreak havoc with this.

Webmaster Tools

Yoast provides a very handy way to verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools, Bing webmaster tools and Alexa. Each of those services will give you a meta tag to paste into your code as a method of proving your ownership of your website. However by pasting the meta tag here you can save yourself the need to touch any code. Google Webmaster Tools is a must-have account since it will give you useful information about the health of your website, and will provide enhanced info inside your Google Analytics account. Bing webmaster tools also provides some helpful info, including a good keyword research tool. As for Alexa, well it won’t do any harm to verify your site there but in all honesty I personally don’t put a lot of stock in Alexa and I rarely use this. Below you can see the meta tag that Webmaster Tools provides you. The underlined part is what you will paste into this field of the SEO plugin.

Verify Webmaster Tools in WordPress SEO

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XML and HTML Sitemaps For Your WordPress Site – The Basics

How To Create XML and HTML Sitemaps in WordPress
Sitemaps are much-hyped and oft-misunderstood. Most people have heard they need a sitemap so Google will like their site but how to go about creating one?

Sitemaps are recommended for search engine optimization to help Google (and other search engines) discover all of the content on your site. They are especially helpful when your site is large or has a complex  structure which might make it harder for Google to find all the pages on your site.

Sitemaps come in two flavours: XML and HTML

XML sitemaps are designed for search engine bots, not humans.
HTML sitemaps are more geared toward humans, but search engine bots can crawl them too.

How To Create An XML Sitemap

If you use the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast, it has the capability to create an XML sitemap. If you are not using that plugin, or are an advanced user who needs even more fine-grained control than that which the Yoast plugin provides, I recommend BWP XML Sitemaps.

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A Little Taste of The Beginner’s Guide To SEO Ebook

beginner's guide to seo - ebook preview

My ebook “Beginner’s Guide to SEO for Business” is launching very soon and I wanted to give you a little sneak preview of what’s coming. Check out some pages from the book below. (Tip – click the magnifying glass with the plus sign to zoom in and click the arrow to the right to open it up full size). Make sure you are on my email list in order to take advantage of early bird pricing. The book is designed to be a practical process that most business-owners can follow in order to effectively attract potential new clients to their site. There’s no tricks or promises of “secrets”. I focus on the fundamental concepts that have longevity and that have worked for me and my clients.

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Beginner’s Guide To SEO Ebook Coming Soon

Beginner's Guide To SEO for Business

Search engine optimization can seem eternally confusing. It’s one of the things that clients want to know about the most, but are also a little intimidated by. There’s tons of SEO advice out there, and unless you understand the jargon, it can seem complex, contradictory and impossible to keep up with. While it’s true that search engine algorithms are always changing, the old saying is still mostly true – the more things change, the more they stay the same. So while it’s defintely handy to keep up on the latest intricacies, there are some solid foundations to always keep in mind.

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