Install And Setup Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin: A Step by Step Guide

Install and setup Yoast SEO WordPress plugin

No doubt that Yoast SEO plugin is one of the best SEO plugins right now and millions of websites are using it. Do you know how to install and setup Yoast SEO WordPress plugin properly?

Do you seek for the right guide? In this article, you will learn about all the necessary settings which are required for better SEO.

For beginners, it may be brainstorming because not everyone is good enough with this plugin’s configuration.

People get confused because of multiple settings. There are many sections of this plugin which can be used to boost the SEO score of your website.

To install and setup Yoast SEO WordPress plugin, you have to follow this guide. It will consist each setting page with screenshots to make it easier to understand.

Start Installing Yoast SEO Plugin

Though this plugin is free but there is also a premium version which is loaded with some extra features. But if you’re just starting out, you wouldn’t need the premium features.

Just like any other WordPress plugin, you can install this plugin directly from your plugin section. Go to Plugins>>Add New and enter the name of this plugin in the search box.

I hope you know how to install a WordPress plugin. Install it and in the WordPress side menu, you will see a new section named as “SEO”.  A logo will also be appearing on it.

Yoast SEO

You can check it by clicking on “SEO” and the dashboard of the plugin will open.

You have successfully installed this plugin. To do the proper settings, go to the next step.

What to do After Installing the Plugin

This step is required only for those who are changing the SEO plugin. If you were using All in one SEO plugin, SEOProcessor or the framework like Thesis then you would need to transfer the SEO data.

It can be done using the SEO data transporter. You can also transfer SEO settings from thesis to Yoast SEO plugin manually.

But if you’re starting a new website then you don’t need any kind of SEO data transfer. Go directly to the next step.

Setting up Yoast SEO Plugin for Better Performance

The plugin consists numerous settings pages which need to be completed one by one. To do so, follow the steps.

Step 1: – General

Click on the “SEO” option and you will see the dashboard of the plugin just like you check after installing it. Click on the “General” tab to open a few more settings.

At this page, you will see a few options which are used only if you want to reset all the settings again. But you haven’t done any settings so keep this page as it is.

Step 2: – Features

Next, to the “General” tab, you can see the “Features” tab which is used to enable the advanced settings of this plugin.

Yoast plugin

When you install the plugin, you see only three option in the menu but once you enable the advanced settings, many new items appear.

It consists Social, Title & Metas, XML Sitemap, Tools and many others.

Step 3: – Your Info

Click on the “Your Info” tab where you will be seeing a few fields to fill. It’s basically the information about your blog. The blog title and an alternative name if you want.

install yoast seo

Whether it’s run by a company or a person. You can choose it. If you choose a company, fill its name and you can also add its logo.

If you choose a person, you can enter the name of the person. For a single author blog, you can enter your name.

You may have known many blogs which are run by some company, but for a personal blog, you should add your name.

Save the settings and go further.

Step 4: – Webmaster Tools

Whenever you start a WordPress blog, you are required to add your WordPress website to Google Search Console and a few other search engines.

To make the search engine aware of your blog, you have to submit it. There are many reputed search engines like Google, Bing, and Yandex.

setup yoast seo

You may have also read a guide to add a website to the Bing webmaster tools.

But the Yoast SEO plugin gives you a place to do it without editing your WordPress directory. For every search engine, you need to add either an HTML file or a <meta> tag to your website.

You can use this space to get your website verified but if you have used the other method then leave them blank. To install and setup Yoast SEO WordPress plugin, this step can be really helpful.

Step 5: – Security

The next tab is for the security which doesn’t make any sense here. You don’t need to enable it. It’s for an advanced author meta box which should be disabled.

Titles & Metas

You have covered only one section of the plugin’s settings. As you have enabled the advanced settings so you would have to fill the below items too.

In the Titles & Metas section, you will find many useful settings which are necessary to maintain the SEO of your website.

Step 1: – General

At this page, you will see many signs of which, you have to choose. It is selected to separate the titles. Like the site title and the blog post title.

It’s up to you whether you want to choose a dash, star, an arrow sign or something else from the list. I would recommend choosing the simple dash.

install yoast seo plugin

Just below it, you will see two more options which should be enabled because these will help you analyze the readability of your blog posts.

These settings will be showing the results under the meta section which will be helpful to create an SEO-friendly article.

Step 2: – Homepage

This is the page which is used to do the settings of your home page. Whenever someone opens your website or searches in the Google, he/she will see the homepage according to these settings.

For the homepage of your website, there is only one title and the tagline you add. These settings can be done from your WordPress default settings.

But Yoast SEO plugin takes it further for better SEO. You can see the default title and the space in front of the meta description template.

setup yoast seo plugin

Either you can leave it as it is or you can add the title and the tagline together. For meta description, you can tell about your website.

If you have enabled the meta keywords then you will see another section to add the meta keywords used for your website. You will learn about it later.

Step 3: – Post Types

Just like the homepage title and the meta description, you will see it for the posts. Every post has a different title so you don’t need to change it.

The Yoast SEO plugin adds it automatically. You don’t need to modify it.

Just below it, you will see a few more options. You should enable the Meta Robots box and the Yoast Meta Box. You will see the meta box below every post in the WordPress post editor.

Yoast SEO plugin settings

To improve the SEO score of your blog posts, you should always add the title and the meta description your own. You can also read these SEO tips for beginners.

Save the settings.

Step 4: – Taxonomies

If you’re aware of the WordPress taxonomies then you would know that categories and tags are the two. On this page, you have to choose the title and the meta description for the categories.

You don’t need to do anything. Keep it as the default. Just like the posts, enable the meta boxes.

Step 5: – Archives

An archive page is created according to the number of posts you publish every month, every year etc. It depends on the settings you do.

Yoast SEO plugin will automatically add the author archives for its title.

Install and setup Yoast SEO WordPress plugin

Enable the author archives, index the meta robots, and save the settings.

Step 6: –  Others

There is another page consists a few other settings which shouldn’t be touched. Just keep that page as it is and go to the next item settings.

Yoast seo plugin configuration

Here is the meta keyword tag feature which can be enabled. Apart from the focus keyword, you can add other meta keywords for each post by enabling this feature.


When you install and setup Yoast SEO WordPress plugin, this section is considered as one of the most effective sections.

It’s because it allows you to link your website to many social media platforms. You can add the URLs of your social media profiles which will be used to show in the search results.

It’s good for the SEO.

There are some tabs for each social media platform.

Step 1: – Accounts

In this tab, you have to add your social media profiles.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Google+

Fill all the URLs and save the settings.

Step 2: – Facebook

As you all know that Facebook is considered as one of the best social media platforms to drive traffic to your blog so the Yoast SEO plugin will help you with that.

You have to enable the open graph which will add a <meta> tag in the head of your website so that whenever anyone shares your content on Facebook, the image can be shown with the post.

Many people face the Facebook incorrect thumbnail problem but this plugin has the solution.

People complain as if they don’t see any image or any description of their website whenever they share the URL on Facebook.

Well, you can add the title and the description of your website which will be shown whenever someone shares it on Facebook.

the best settings of yoast seo pugin

Just a few days ago, one of our clients had the problem of not picking up an image for the homepage. To fix this problem, you can add an image here.

Either you upload it or choose an existing image from the WordPress media library.

You can also add a default image which will be appearing if any of your posts doesn’t have the thumbnail image.

And if you want to use Facebook insights then you can add your profile otherwise leave it. Save the changes.

Step 3: – Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

For all these platforms, you can do some settings. For Twitter, you can enable the Twitter card settings.

And if you haven’t verified your website with Pinterest then you can do it from here. Just like Facebook, it adds the <meta> tag in the head.

And for Google+, you can add the URL of your business page if created any.

XML SiteMaps

To get your website indexed in the search engine, it’s important to create a sitemap. It’s always recommended to submit your sitemap to Google just after starting your website.

To install and setup Yoast SEO WordPress plugin properly and run your website with better SEO results, you have to do some sitemap settings for images, posts etc.

Step 1: – General

On this page, you will see the main option to enable an XML sitemap for your website. Enable it and keep the default 1000 value for maximum entries and save the changes.

how to setup yoast seo

From now onwards, the Yoast SEO plugin will start generating the sitemap for your website. But for more, you have to do some extra settings.

Step 2: – User Sitemap

how to setup Yoast SEO plugin

You have to disable it because you wouldn’t want to generate a sitemap for the users of your website. Whether you have only one user or multiple, you should add them in the sitemap.

Step 3: – Post Types

Enable the sitemap for the posts and pages. Keep it disabled for the media. You have to do the same in the taxonomies section.

If you want to exclude any post then it can be done by using the post ID in the “Excluded Posts” section.

Save the changes and you have successfully done the proper XML sitemaps settings.


This section consists the settings related to Permalinks, RSS, and Breadcrumbs.

Step 1: – It’s your choice whether you want to enable the breadcrumbs or not. Breadcrumbs mean more details about your post. It means showing the full path to the post when it gets indexed in Google.

It’s beneficial from the SEO point of view. You can enable it if you want. No extra settings are required. The default settings work perfectly fine for all.

Step 2: – Permalinks

Many people get confused these permalink settings with the main WordPress permalink structure settings.

You can’t change the permalink structures from here. No SEO-friendly permalink structures settings can be done. But you can do some extra settings from here.

You just need to enable the starting option which is used to strip the category base from the category URL.

How to install and setup Yoast SEO plugin

No need to enable any other setting.

According to Yoast, you should remove the stop words from the permalinks but it’s not practical. So you have to keep it disabled just like the redirect option.

For RSS, you don’t need to do any setting. Keep it as it is and save changes.


In this section, there are three different editors. It’s not recommended for beginners because each editor consists some sensitive files.

The bulk editor is used to bulk edit title and description which can be risky for many.

And the file editor consists very important files like the .htaccess file, the robots.txt file. You shouldn’t be worried about these files for now.

Yoast SEO plugin settings

You will learn about these later. In case you ever need to add any extra code in the .htaccess file then you can use. You can also edit the .htaccess file using your WordPress directory.

Search Console

It’s always recommended to add your website in the Google Search Console before you start writing to monitor the errors and get indexed.

The Yoast SEO plugin provides you an option for that. When you click on the button to fetch your website information, you will be redirected to the Google Search Console and a code will be provided.

Add the code in here and authenticate your website.

how to configure yoast seo plugin

That’s it. Your task to install and setup Yoast SEO WordPress plugin has been finished. From now onwards, your website’s SEO will be managed by this plugin.

I Hope Now You Can Easily Install And Setup Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin

All the above-mentioned settings can work great for everyone. If you want to start your own blog with a better SEO plugin then Yoast SEO is one of the best plugins.

I have always liked the space provided for the social media platforms’ integration. Especially, for Facebook.

People complain a lot about not seeing the exact details of their websites when sharing on Facebook. Just add the site details, an image and you’re all set.

Follow this step by step guide and you will be ready to start writing your blog posts within a few minutes. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment.

You can also connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

by Ravi Chahar

A WordPress Professional and the LinkedIn Influencer. A coder by passion and a blogger by choice. WordPress theme development is his forte. He is your WordPress guy who will teach you how to solve WordPress errors, WordPress security issues, design issues and what not.

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  1. Hi Ravi,

    Fabulous tutorial! I know many that don’t understand Yoast, don’t like it, or simply don’t know how to configure it properly. I am one that’s not a fan, even though I used it in the past. Your tutorial is informative and very easy to understand. Bookmarking this and passing it along.

    Have a great week ahead!


    1. Hey Bren,

      Yoast SEO plugin configuration can be hard for many. People try hard to manage it properly but with all those numerous options, they get stuck.
      I am sure, people would want something easy to understand. I have tried to cover each and every aspect of this plugin.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Have a great week ahead.

  2. Hi Ravi,
    Yet another wonderful tuto!
    Thanks for sharing more about Yoast.
    Though I have installed it I am not aware of some of its features you mentioned in this post.
    As Bren said, I am bookmarking it for my further use.
    Thanks for telling it in a very easy way to understand.
    Best Regards
    ~ Philip

    1. Hey Philip,

      This plugin has numerous of options which can help you grow for sure. Just like you, most of the people don’t use its features at it best.
      People complain about Facebook thumbnails and description, it can be solved using Yoast SEO.
      Thanks for sharing your views.

  3. Hey Ravi
    This is a pretty deep tutorial of Yoast. I am using it for a long time and it is indeed an amazing plugin for SEO. For proper usage of Yoast, it is necessary to setup it properly.
    Thank you for the detailed info on Yoast setup.

  4. Ravi, you mentioned XML sitemaps… which elements should be sitemapped?

    I currently have my posts, pages and the media as 3 key items which are in sitemaps through Yoast. Do you think I should get the rest of the custom posts etc. included in the sitemaps as well?

    Any advice welcome.

    1. Hey Ahmad,

      Posts, pages and media files are enough to index your website. The custom posts are already included in the main sitemap of the posts. No need to create a separate sitemap for that.

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