How to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress (with tutorial video)

Learning how to set up Yoast SEO for Wordpress is super easy. Here's how it's done!

Matthew James Oxlade
Updated on

You have built a WordPress site and you want to optimise your content so it shows neatly in Google, and possibly even ranks high for it, too. The Yoast SEO tool is simple to use, but I get how some people might not know what they are doing when it comes to the set up. Here’s how to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress in just a few minutes.

Watch the video tutorial

What is Yoast SEO for WordPress?

Yoast is the best SEO plugin for WordPress in my humble opinion. There’s a lot of great other ones out there, but Yoast is one of the most popular it’s got over 5 million active installations on WordPress at any given moment.

That’s a lot. So what are we going to do is re-configure Yoast SEO on this website (Ten Minute Digital **note: Ten Minute Digital was rebranded as Matt, Simplified in 2020**). I’ve already gone through the Yoast SEO set up but what I’ve done is I’ve rolled it back and I’m going to re-roll it out to the Ten Minute digital to show you how to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress.

How to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress

Let’s just jump straight into how to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress. It’s easy.

Step 1 – Install the Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin

To start, we’ll jump into the dashboard of our WordPress website. Down on the left, go to the Plugins section. Click on ‘Add New Plugin’ and search for ‘Yoast’.

Step 1 How to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress

We’ll just type in ‘Yoast’ to the search.

Once we have found Yoast in the search results that automatically populate, you can click on ‘Install’ and then ‘Activate’.

Step 1 How to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress

Step 2 – Open the configuration

The very first thing Yoast does is tell you there’s a notification at the top to help you get  cause of wants you to set it up.

You can start the configuration from the notifications or you go to your dashboard from the ‘General’ title under the SEO banner on the left hand side.

Let’s just go straight into the configuration.

Step 3 – The environment

Environment - Yoast SEO tutorial

The environment is your website, and Yoast is asking if it can tell Google that your site is ready to be indexed. Indexing is the process of getting your pages and posts registered by Google and other search engines so they show up in results.

If you choose Option B (my site is under construction and shouldn’t be indexed), Google and other search engines will be blocked from the indexing process.

Most sites generally should choose Option A. The only time I would choose Option B is if I’m making some really crazy changes to the website and I don’t want Google to partially index things that aren’t ready for use by your customer. So let’s just go Option A and click next.

Step 4 – Choose your site’s format

Site type for Yoast SEO

So what is Ten Minute Digital? Is it a blog, or is it an online shop? Is it a news channel? Google and other search engines use something called a schema markup and a schema markup presents things differently in the search results.

Regardless of your web design, your content can automatically be adapted and placed in different areas of Google and other search engines. For example, choosing a ‘news channel’ here will mark your site’s schema as a source for news. Continuing with this example, all published content through your blog will be marked as news and therefore appear in the news section of Google’s search results.

Google news schema markup example

You can make changes to your content on a case-by-case basis afterwards, but make your choice here based on what your site’s goal is so you have to make less changes to content later on.

Step 5 – Choose if your site is about a business or person

How to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress (schema markup)

Ten Minute Digital is organization’s not about me, even though I’m kind of a soul runner here. if it was about my photography stuff, I would go person and I’d put in my name, but the name of the organization would throw it in there. That’s the name of the business, provide an image for the organizational logo. And so that’s where.

It pulls in these business logos on any local SEO. So if he got up in Brisbane, and let’s just say, we’re looking for alpha digital.

See how it pulls all this stuff from the side here. So logo, pitches, reviews. Or their Facebook link, that kind of stuff. So that’s what this section here is asking for. What’s the name of it? What’s the logo. What’s the Facebook page. What’s the Instagram one and so forth. So I’ve put in my Instagram URL there and I’ve put in my link to this YouTube channel.

Step 6 – Choose what appears in search results

How to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress (with tutorial video)

but you, you would fill out as many of those as you have, or you want to actively promote if we then go to next search engine visibility. So do you want your blog posts in search results? Yes, obviously, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want that and should search engines, show pages and stuff, which results I think they answer for both of those should all always be yes, but you can make exceptions.

So if you have a page that doesn’t really do anything and shouldn’t show up in search engines, but is part of say a sales funnel. You would answer yes. Here, but you make an exception after the fact. so just on that one page, you can say don’t index that page. so we’ll just say yes for both of those, because I think, you know, nine times out of 10 we’ll want them all index multiple authors.

Step 7 – Choose single or multi-authored content

How to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress (with tutorial video)

Are there multiple authors publishing content on the website? Ten Minute Digital is just me (Matt Walter), so I’ll choose ‘No’. If you have multiple blog authors, choose ‘Yes’.

Step 8 – Choose your default title metadata

How to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress (with tutorial video)

By default, Yoast fills the title of your pages with some default metadata. It normally pairs your page/post title with your site title. For example, my about page might be:

%%Page Title%% | %%Site Title%%
About | Ten Minute Digital

Yoast gives you the choice of how you want the page or post title separated. Type in the site title (normally your business name) and choose what styled separator you want. You can choose anything you think looks best – there’s no wrong answer here and is purely cosmetic.

Step 9 – Opt-in or opt-out of sharing your data

How to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress (with tutorial video)

Can Yoast make it easier for you? I don’t know how you feel about sharing your usage data, sometimes I say yes and sometimes I say no. I guess it depends on how much I trust the business. I don’t have an opinion either way on Yoast. It’s totally your choice and doesn’t change anything in terms of features.

Step 10 – Consider learning more about Yoast

How to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress (with tutorial video)

We’ve completed all the choices of the configuration, but this only gets you started with the basics of Yoast. The basics are great for most users, but there is so much you can do with Yoast. The configuration is only setting the defaults to work for you.

You can make changes to specific areas of Yoast and you can learn all of that over at Yoast’s website or by signing up to their mailing list (for me, I’m going to pass on that one).

Step 11 – Enjoy that you’ve set up Yoast

How to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress (with tutorial video)

Congrats! So what we’ve done is set up Yoast SEO plugin in under 10 minutes. Look at this lady waving at you. She’s proud of you.

Last step on How to set up Yoast SEO for WordPress (with tutorial video)

So that’s how you install Yoast onto WordPress. Super easy, done in less than 10 minutes.

You’re good to go. You’ve told Google to index your site and given some basic styling rules around how the pages and blog posts are shown in search results. Yoast will handle the rest and you should start to see your webpages and blog posts appearing in Google a few days after submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console.