WordPress SEO Setup Guide: Titles & Meta
In this tutorial on the plugin WordPress SEO, we’re going to teach you how to configure your Title & Meta settings for best results, including Meta Descriptions that will appear under the titles of your Google search results.
Step 1) Login to the WordPress Dashboard.
Step 2) From the Admin Panel, click on SEO >> Titles and Meta. In the General Section of the toolbar at the top of the page, you can enable a force rewrite title feature that allows WordPress SEO to auto-detect whether it needs to rewrite a title for better SEO. You can also choose a Title Separator (the symbol that splits up a URL) using the examples shown below.
Step 3) The next section is the Homepage. From here, you can click on the blue link marked Editing the front page itself to be redirected to your Homepage so that you can set the Title and Meta Description of your Homepage.
Step 4) Once redirected to your Homepage, scroll down the page until you find the WordPress SEO by Yoast section, where you can create a focus keyword, SEO title and meta description for your Homepage.
Title Settings for Your Homepage, Posts, Categories and Tags, Author, and Date Archives
To start editing these, you first need to be familiar with the variables provided by the plugin.
- %%date%%: Replaced with the date of the post/page
- %%title%%: Replaced with the title of the post/page
- %%sitename%%: The site’s name
- %%sitedesc%%: The site’s tagline / description
- %%excerpt%%: Replaced with the post/page excerpt (or auto-generated if it does not exist)
- %%excerpt_only%%: Replaced with the post/page excerpt (without auto-generation)
- %%tag%%: Replaced with the current tag/tags
- %%category%%: Replaced with the post categories (comma separated)
- %%category_description%%: Replaced with the category description
- %%tag_description%%: Replaced with the tag description
- %%term_description%%: Replaced with the term description
- %%term_title%%: Replaced with the term name
- %%searchphrase%%: Replaced with the current search phrase
- %%sep%%: The separator defined in your theme’s wp_title() tag.
Step 5) Back on the Titles and Meta settings, the next section is Post Types. From here, you can set the title and meta description template, allow or disallow robots to follow links, hide the SEO Meta box and show the date in a snippet preview for Posts, Pages and Media files.
Step 6) The Taxonomies section is next, and it allows you to do the same as Step 5 for the Categories, Tags and Format (Archives) of your website.
Step 7) The Archives section is next, and focuses on setting the Title and Meta template for your Author Archives. If you are a one-author blog, you can disable the feature so that any link will 301 redirect to the Homepage.
Step 8) You can set the Date Archives Title and Meta next, and the same rule applies as Step 7: One-author blogs should disable the feature as it looks the same as your Homepage and could be seen as Duplicate Content, which Google is not going to like.
Step 9) The Special Pages section is for pages that will not show up in search results, and include Search Pages and 404 Pages. You can set the title templates in this section.
Step 10) The Other section of the Titles and Metas settings is used to create Sitewide meta settings, including Noindex for subpages of archives (which will stop the likes of /page/2 archive pages showing in search results), meta keywords tags.
The noodp and noydir will help prevent search engines from populating data about your website in search results that has been pulled in from the DMOZ and Yahoo Directories.