We think WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is a great plugin. With the out of the box settings Yoast helps easily set meta titles, descriptions, set canonicalization, no index pages and even do basic 301 redirects. One of the more convenient and beneficial things Yoast provides is a structured xml sitemap. There are some more awesome out of the box settings but I will discuss those in another post. For now though I would like to you show how we configure WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast to maximize our on site SEO.
The sections we will be configuring are:
Titles & Metas
Under “Sitewide meta settings” check the Noindex subpages of archives. This will add a “noindex” tag to archive pages and help reduce index bloat.
Post Types Tab
Under the “Post Types” tab we set the default template for our Pages and Posts. Here we also start no indexing superfluous pages in an effort to reduce the “Index Bloat”. By default the titles are going to pull a whole bunch of items and try to shove them in the the template. We like our titles to read “Keyphrase City ST | Branding” for pages and a slight difference for our blog pages so they read “Blog Post Title | Branding”. (we do this for vanity) In order to achieve this for Nice and Easy Web Design we cleared out the “%%title%% %%page%% %%sep%% %%sitename%%” from the Title template sections and replace it with “%%title%% | Nice & Easy Web Design”. Now Yoast is going to pull the page title (normally they h1) and applies it to the title. This setup has the title on our “Web Design” page reading “Web Design | Nice and Easy Web Design” and our more specific “Web Design & SEO Honolulu” page reading “Web Design & SEO Honolulu | Nice & Easy Web Design”
After we have set the Title Template for the page and post section we then want to noindex non important pages to reduce the index bloat. This is done by checking “noindex, follow” under each other section on the page, the example above shows the media section, but do this for all of the sections other than posts and pages.
Just like the on the “Post Types” tab on the “Taxonomies” tab we want to check “noindex, follow” for each of the sections. Again this is in an effort to reduce index bloat.
Just like the on the “Post Types” tab on the “Other” tab we want to check “noindex, follow” for each of the sections. Again this is in an effort to reduce index bloat. Note(We make service industry websites and done really want the author page to come through, if you run a blog you may want to leave your author page indexable.)
Your XML sitemap is like a blueprint for your website it helps to make sure that all of the search engines can find all of your pages and will take cues from it , a structured XML Sitemap like the one that comes with Yoast is even better. The default XML sitemap comes with a few options that when optimized help the search engines better understand your website.
We check “Disable author/user sitemap” This will make the author page that we have noindex not show.
Under the Exclude post types we check all that are not “Posts & Pages”. If you leave these options unchecked but have none of those post types your XML sitemap will have a 404 in it. (we really dont want to stop the crawlers for crawling our XML sitemap because of 404s) Next we check all items under taxonomies. This is again to prevent 404s from showing up in our xml sitemap.
For the permalinks section we only adjust 1 item. Here we check “Redirect attachment URL’s to parent post URL” this will prevent images and other media items that share a name with your pages from showing up as individual pages. (This most often happens when keyword rich file name images are placed on keyword rich pages)