Tutorial on Using the Yoast Plugin for WordPress SEO:
If you have WordPress installed, but haven’t installed an SEO plugin yet, then you are seriously lowering your chances of being successful with the search engines. To put it simply, the WordPress default settings will not give you the control you need. The best WordPress SEO plugin available today is from Yoast, and it’s FREE.
After installing your plugin, revisit each individual tab and adjust your setting the way you want them. Even before you do that, click on ‘Settings’ and change the structure of your permalinks. I personally like the ‘post name’ option. However for larger, busier sites, another option might work better.
Now you’re ready for setting up your Yoast SEO. From the ‘General’ tab you can link to your website very easily using the webmaster tools that Bing and Google provide. This will allow you to list your site with Alexa without every needing to upload any files to your server.
Once that’s done you’ll need to go to the section called ‘Titles and Metas’. Now you are at the place where real SEO magic is born!
Yoast will allow you to actually force a re-write of the post titles and your page. If your plugin believes it’s necessary to help the theme you’ve chosen, then it will automatically check the box for you. However, if it turns out that some of the page title settings have been ignored, then it could be wise to tick that box manually.
What this function does is to ensure that your title being shown in web browsers, and even more crucially in search results, is the exact one that you’ve chosen.
Yoast gives you a preview so you can check out your title setting. It also lets you know when you have used more characters than you should. Google frowns on that, and can find it using an ellipsis.
This is not really an exact science. Google today will take into account he width of your title characters. That means it is worthwhile to proceed with caution, and use fewer characters than what the plugin suggests.
The general tab holds several other helpful settings as well. It allows you to remove specific page types, like archive pages; so they will not be indexed and won’t have the potential to give you duplicate content, which would cause some issues with your site.
Another very important tab is your post type tab. WordPress usually includes your post dates before your meta description (this text will show below the page title on your search results). However, this plugin will not allow for it by default when it shows the preview. You will have to tick the right box manually on your post types page, that way the date will show up in the preview.
I have personally missed out on doing this on one of my blogs recently. It cause a lot of my meta descriptions to be cut-off by Google. After ticking the box yourself (only for the posts option), the suggest character numbers in the description and your preview will be accurate once again.
You can also change the way your default page titles and posts look. If you’re like me, you really don’t want the site name to be in your title. So you can remove it from your defaults to keep you from forgetting to do so in every individual post.
Some other important settings are linking your site to your Google+, Twitter, and Facebook profiles. Just ensure that you have them all well coordinated together and that they look the way you want them to.