How to Setup YOAST Plugin and Maximize SERP – Step by Step Configuration

As the leader of SEO Plugins YOAST has very simple interface. Last update they put wizard to make you do setup with closing eyes.

To make it easier to implement this guide, I recommend you to guide yourself in the screenshots of each section and leave it on your blog. I have studied the plugin in different tutorials and the configuration shown is correct and appropriate

Many of the default configurations are ready and do not need to be modified, however, there are other parts where it is necessary to change some elements. If you have any special needs or need to make any changes, do not hesitate to do so.

Let’s start it step by step.

Control Panel

YOAST Control Panel

In this first part we can find basic options of the plugin that will help us to better understand how it works and everything it offers. These are:

General. A tour that explains quickly the use of the plugin and its components and the option to reset default settings (in case of making a mistake or some similar scenario where it is necessary to have everything again as if the plugin was just installed).

Tracking. A simple button where we can allow our activity to be tracked by the creators of the plugin and thus improve the user experience. Not very important.

Features. Activating this option has more control over other blog authors by not allowing them to redirect entries or not index them. I recommend you check this box.

Google Webmaster Tools. To check different Webmaster tools the ones offered such as Alexa, Bing, Google and Yandex. Also includes the pinterest option.

Your Info. This is one of the most important sections of the plugin where we define the title, meta description, keywords and some other important aspects of our site and how it appears in Google results.

This includes entries, pages, home page, categories, tags and more.

Titles and Metas

YOAST Title Metas Step By Step Configuration

To modify the titles, descriptions and keywords of entries and pages, we can use the section that appears in the editing menu of content in WordPress, where there is also the text editor and everything related to the publication.

But for the other components of the blog, everything can be modified from the Titles and meta tags part in the SEO options of the plugin.

This section contains the following tabs:

General – Here I do not recommend you to change anything since the plugin is adapted to what your site needs or with the correct configuration from the factory. If you need to change something for some special reason, go ahead.

Home – Change the title and description of your home page. If in your case it is a personalized one that you created, then enter that page and modify the title and description in the part of up to down.

Input Type – modifies the default template of the title and description of the entries pages and objectives. You can also modify it in a personalized way within each entry or page.

Taxonomies – To modify title and description templates in categories, tags, format and photo tag.

To create templates in each of these tabs you can use the variables that come by default and can be found by clicking the Help tab at the top of the desktop.


%% sitename %% – site name (can be set in Settings> General)
%% page %% %% sep %% – page number and separation
%% sitedesc %% – site description (can be configured in Settings> General)

As well as these you can find others more.


YOAST Social menu step by step configuration

This section is dedicated to the configuration of the plugin with social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus).


On the first tab we will configure Facebook and your fan page. Check the first box that says Add Open Graph metadata. This will allow Facebook to “extract” data from the pages of your blog that you share with your fans correctly (title, metadata, etc.)

Then click the button that says Add a Facebook administrator to access Facebook insights. It can be a user or if you have a dedicated application you can also use it.

Below, add the URL of your Facebook page and fill in the settings of the main page (image url, title and description). When you’re done click Save Changes.


In this tab you can activate the box Add meta data of Twitter Card, which will allow the social network to know that this site belongs to your profile and that you publish by that means. It’s like a form of authentication. For this also add your Twitter username on the bottom.

Google Plus

Finally, in the option of Google Plus we can also activate the box to correctly extract the information from our page and entries and add the URL of our Google Publisher page. Good branding and optimization for the Google social network (preferred by Webmasters than by “normal” people).

XML sitemaps

XML sitemaps

A sitemap consists of a document in .XML format which creates a structure of all the components and pages of your site or blog. The purpose of a sitemap is to inform search engines about this structure so that it is easier to index each and every one of your pages.

In this section of WordPress SEO by Yoast we can activate sitemaps and configure so that different search engines are notified about the changes that are made over time. We also have the option to exclude entry types (entries, pages or categories), taxonomies and select the number of entries per page.

You may have a 100% dedicated plugin dedicated for sitemaps (for example, Google XML Sitemaps); If this is the case, disable the plugin or disable the sitemaps option in WordPress SEO by Yoast.

Although I do not think it will affect much to have both activated, better to stay with one.

Advanced – Yoast SEO

Advanced - Yoast SEO

Permanent links refers to the configuration and structure of the URLs and addresses of your website.

One of the basic configurations of WordPress that must be done right after the installation is to put that the permanent links have a format with the name of the entrance; That is, with keywords related to the content being published.

They can also be configured with dates and other attributes, but the name of the entry is most advisable. In this menu of WordPress SEO by Yoast we can find some modifications related to the permanent links:

In the first option, to activate the box we can eliminate the word “category” of the URL of the categories.

In this way if you have a category called Shopping Guide, the url would become instead of -purchases

This first box is optional and it is up to each user to turn it on or off.

The other option that you can modify is to redirect the URL’s of attachment to the URL of the parent post. This is useful if you have many images or attachments and you do not want your visitors to reach the page of each of these files (since it does not help).

The other options in this section of Permanent Links are a little more advanced and I do not recommend modifying them unless you need something specific as they can cause some problems in your site (if you do not know what is done when activated).

It’s best to leave them like this

Internal Links

In this option you can add and configure the calls “Breadcrumbs“. This is a series of links where the navigation is displayed and where in the site a user is located. For example, if I find myself reading a post called “How to write a book in 5 days”, the breadcrumb shown might be:

The blog of the writer (blog name)> Blog> Guides for beginners (entry category)> How to write a book in 5 days (name of the entry)

This gives us a better idea of ​​where we are and how we can return to the previous section easily.

The breadcrumbs in WordPress SEO by Yoast are more advanced functionality and to use them you need to know about development and programming, since each topic is different and the placement of these links will vary greatly.

At the bottom of this menu is a link that explains how to add them or if you already know how, simply copy and paste the code that is provided in your theme.


Many themes or templates include the automatic option to add Breadcrumbs, so if you do not know programming well, use this option best.

RSS Feed

In this part you can configure the content that is displayed before or after the entries when using an RSS Feed.


YOAST tools configuration

If before using WordPress SEO by Yoast you used another SEO plugin like All in One SEO Pack or the Woothemes framework, you can import the titles and descriptions in this menu.

You will also have the option to export the configurations for future use in another installation, in case you are going to move your domain blog or any similar need.

Bulk Editor

If you need to edit titles or descriptions of multiple entries or pages, this menu will save you a lot of time. Make the necessary changes and click Save or Save All.

Edit files

Only for advanced users. Editing the .htaccess file is not recommended if you do not have experience or you do not know how to do it as it may harm and / or damage the functionality of the entire site.


Extensions and other things Yoast offers as a plugin. These are all the options offered by the WordPress plugin SEO by Yoast. Check each one of them, follow the recommendations and successfully complete the configuration within your site

It is not complicated and does not have to be modified too much since many parts come pre-configured.

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