Video: Yoast WordPress SEO Setup Guide – Titles & Meta Settings
In this tutorial, we’re going to teach you how to set up the title and meta settings in Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. Starting off from the WordPress dashboard, we’re going to kick this off from within the SEO plugin which you can click here, just here in the left hand side of the menu after installing it on SEO.
Now it is the general settings at the moment. So what we need to do is on the left hand side, click Titles and Metas. Now first off, we just have the General Settings tab. The very first one is the ability to force rewrite titles. Now, if you’re viewing your website and you notice that the title tags are not showing as they should, you can just simply check this box and then a plugin will handle the force rewriting of those titles.
For the most part though, it will actually automatically detect whether it needs to or not and turn that on or off as required, unless you manually overwrite that of course, which we’re doing this now for the demonstration.
Next up we have sitewide meta settings. The first one is to set “noindex” on subpages of archives. So as it says here, if you want to prevent page two and any further instances of archived pages showing up in search results, you just simply need to check that box. So when you have say – maybe you have a category called Music. If your category Music has many, many posts, there will be many, many pages listing of those posts.
So you can actually choose to make sure those don’t show up in search results.
Secondly, we have the ability to use meta keywords. Now meta keywords used to be a very powerful part of an SEO strategy for a website but unfortunately it was very highly abused to the point that search engines don’t really care about this anymore. So while you can use to turn this on, it’s really a waste of time to do so.
The next setting we have is for no ODP. ODP stands for open directory project. It’s from an organization called DMOZ and what this will do when you enable it if you choose to enable it is it will prevent search engines from using a description, if you have one, on that particular directory from showing us the snippet for your website and search results.
This is the same for the next setting, no Yahoo director. Yahoo also has their own website directory and by disabling this or by checking this box rather, you can choose to not show the Yahoo snippet either. For most websites, this isn’t a concern. People seem to have stopped using these two directories over time. So for the most part, you won’t need to worry about that.
Finally, we have the opportunity to clean up the head. What this does is it just enables you to customize what shows in the head of your document. Now by default, there will be some RSD links, WLW manifest links, short links for posts and RSS links. These aren’t actually visible to anyone that’s viewing your website, unless they choose to go and show the source for the particular page they’re on.
It’s up to you if you would like to do it. It does make the head of your document a little bit cleaner, which results in making for a slightly smaller page. So it’s up to you if you want to do this. They’re all disabled by default and it’s perfectly fine to use it just the way it is.
Now we will scroll back up and we’re going to move to the home tab. Here we can set the title template and meta description template for the home page. Currently the title template is just set to the default. It will show you the site name, the page number such as if you’re on page two of your home page, if you have a very long list of posts on your home page. It will show that’s on page two or three or four and so on. After the page number, if it chooses to generate one, we have to separator. The separator is usually just a dash unless it is previously configured in your theme. It’s something other than a dash.
Finally, it will then display the site description. So what this would mean for WPKB, it would be WordPress Knowledge Base, separator, then the site description which is “The Best WordPress How-tos”. But of course, we can just leave it as it was before. The meta description template is something that you can set as well. You can use the same tags that are up here or you can choose to write it yourself. So you might choose to say, “WordPress Knowledge Base is a site dedicated to WordPress tutorials and helping users find answers to common problems.”
When you’re done there, naturally you just click Save Changes. The next tab is regarding post types. So when we’re talking about post types, in this sense, we’re talking about posts, pages, and media.
We have a few more settings here that are probably new to us. So straight up, we have the title template once again and it’s exactly the same as it was before. Once again, you can change this or you can leave it as it is. For the most part though, leaving it just as it is, is perfectly fine.
Once again, you can set the meta description template but thereafter we can choose to set custom meta robots tags. The first option there by checking it, will set it to “noindex” and “follow”.
Noindex means that search engines should not index that page. They still can and in some instances they still might but for most, it will definitely make it not appear in the index.
Follow is just regarding the links that appear in that post or on that page. So, if you have any links to other websites or links to other pages on your website, it will still follow it as links through and this just helps create a better idea of what your website contains for search engines, so as to better deliver the best search results to the people using them.
Next, we can choose to not show the author relationship profile. This is particularly handy if you don’t have a Google Plus profile but if you do, you should leave this enabled because it will allow you to show your Google Plus image right in the search results. So if you do have a Google Plus profile, it’s worth leaving this enabled.
Even if you don’t, you can still leave it enabled anyway. It’s really just a way to micro manage this particular setting for your website.
Next, we have the ability to not show the date in the snippet preview. Now, all posts have a published date. By enabling this, we allow that to appear in search results. Of course you can choose to disable that and finally, we have the WordPress SEO meta box. What this means is that we can hide the SEO meta box.
I will just show you an example of what that is now. So if we just quickly go to add a new post and we scroll down, just below the post, this is the WordPress SEO meta box. So enabling that setting will actually hide that. So that’s really all you need to know for the post types settings because these are all the same for your post pages and media. You can configure them as you see fit.
Next, we have taxonomies. This is just a nice way of saying categories and tags. Once again we have the title template. It just says the term title. So if you have a category called “music” you might have something that says music archives with the page separator and then a site name. You can once again set a meta description template. It’s very handy to do this because it will allow search engines to get a better idea of what your site has or what that particular category has.
Once again we’ve got the ability to customize these meta robot tags to noindex, follow and also disable the WordPress SEO Meta Box. The settings that are available here at the same for your categories, tags and your format. The format by default will have noindex and follow enabled. You can leave it just as that.
Finally we have Other. This is in regards to your author archives, data archives and special pages. So starting at the top with author and data archives, we can see here the title template is slightly different. So the title template has the name and then the author at the site name. So this might say, “Joe, author of WPKB”. Once again, we can set the meta description template. We can also choose to noindex that page and all of the pages therein.
In doing so, that will also make sure that any links from that page will still follow though. Finally, we have the option to disable the author archives just as we do have the option to disable the date-based archives. If you have a one-author blog, it’s handy to disable the author archive because it’s just going to look the same as your home page. But otherwise, you’re welcome to keep that enabled.
The date archives, these can be handy to disable if you would like. They will most likely look a lot like your home page and as it mentions here in the description just below it, it could be seen as duplicate content.
It’s up to you to decide if you really do or don’t want to disable that. But unless you’re running a site which is a news website that has posts that really do need to be categorized strictly by a date, then you can probably be safe to disable that.
As far as special pages go, the two that we have available to us are the search pages and the 404 pages. Here we can see the title template for search pages. It just says, “You have searched for,” the search phrase, what page it’s on, the separator and then the site name.
That’s the standard and the default and it’s totally OK to leave it like that. Finally, we have the 404 pages. Again, it just says, “Page not found”. It will have the default separator and they list your site name.
That covers all the settings as far as titles and meta tags go for Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. Once you’re finished changing your settings, you just click Save Changes for all of it and it will make sure that those are reflected ongoing. If you have any questions on how to further use this, please ask in the comments below.