Have you ever done a fresh install of Yoast SEO for WordPress on your WordPress website? Or perhaps you haven’t installed Yoast SEO yet, and you’re wondering what to expect? Perhaps the better question would be: have you ever tried our Yoast SEO configuration wizard? Our wizard takes care of all the little things that you should configure in Yoast SEO. Things that you might forget in your eagerness to get started with your newly set up website. But how do you start the configuration wizard? And what exactly do we cover in each step? Let’s dive in!
Where can I find the Yoast SEO configuration wizard?
Of course, you want to jump right in and configure the plugin, using that Yoast SEO configuration wizard. Once you have installed the Yoast SEO plugin, you’ll see this notification in Yoast SEO > General > Dashboard:
The configuration wizard helps you to easily configure your site to have the optimal SEO settings.
We have detected that you have not finished this wizard yet, so we recommend you to start the configuration wizard to configure Yoast SEO.
There is a link in this message, which takes you to the Yoast SEO configuration wizard.
Note that if this isn’t the first time you’re using the configuration wizard, you’ll still find a link to run the wizard again, but the message will instead say:
Want to make sure your Yoast SEO settings are still OK? Open the configuration wizard again to validate them.
Once you’ve opened the wizard, we’ll guide you through the steps via a few questions. If you answer these, we’ll implement the right settings for your website, based specifically on your answers.
Step 1: Is your site ready to be indexed?
The first question determines whether you want your site to be indexed or not. The reason we ask, is that one of the most important checks in our plugin determines whether Google can index your site or not. Google needs to be able to reach your website and index it, unless you don’t want that. And there could be good reasons why you might not want that: perhaps you’re working on a development site, on a staging server or just don’t want the public to see your site yet. If that’s the case, no problem! Just set your preference in the first step of our wizard, then click ‘next’ to continue.
Step 2: What kind of site do you have?
In the next step, we will ask you about the type of site you have. It could be a blog or an online shop, but might as well be a news site or a portfolio.
One of the reasons we ask this question is because it’s essential for you to take a moment and think about this. What is your site about? Having a clear idea of this will help you focus on what’s important for you site.
Let’s take yoast.com, for example. We have two different sections on our website yoast.com:
- Our blogs: an SEO blog and a dev blog. In these blogs, we share knowledge about both SEO and software development in all its facets.
- Our online shop. We run an online shop and you’ll find our premium plugins and online courses in there.
Following our mission, “SEO for everyone”, both parts of our website are equally important. Sharing knowledge is our main goal. We use our products to provide even more insights and tools, or to deliver our knowledge to you in a structured package.
So, decide for yourself what your answer to this question should be. That’ll make it easier to configure several features of our plugin and, in fact, of your website later on. For us, as plugin developers, the information we get from this question is also useful for future improvements. For instance, it can help us to prioritize future additions to our plugin for specific types of sites.
Step 3: Is it you or an organization?
For the right metadata, we ask you to choose between organization and person here. Is your website about you, or an organization you represent? If you are a person, we would like to include your name. If you are a company, you can add the name and logo.
This information will be included in the metadata of your website, with the goal to provide Google with the right information for their Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge Graph is the block of information you see on the right-hand side of the search results, for instance when you do a company search for Sony or Apple.
In addition to your name or company name, we also ask you to let us know which social profiles you have. Again, so we can provide Google with the right information for their Knowledge Graph. Google seems keen on delivering answers to their visitors right away, so you’d better make sure your information is on Google.
With social being a part of the Knowledge Graph, and your website being linked on all your social profile pages, be sure to fill this out as completely as possible.
Step 4: To show or not show posts and pages
The description in the image below is pretty clear: this is where you can set posts and pages to hidden or visible for the search engines. If you already know that you don’t want posts on your site to show up in the search results, you can set this to ‘no’. Not sure? Read more about indexing in Yoast SEO.
Step 5: How many people are publishing content on your site?
We want to know if your website has multiple authors. There’s a reason for that: when your site only has one author, WordPress will still generate author pages. And if you write all the content on your blog yourself, your blog page will show the exact same collection of posts as your author page. Which, indeed, is duplicate content.
We call something duplicate content when the majority of a page is the same as the content on another page. Google will get confused, won’t know what page to rank first, and might decide to rank both a bit less. You obviously want to prevent that. As we can guide you in this case, we added this check to our Yoast SEO configuration wizard.
Step 6: Optimizing your page title
This step in the wizard asks you to think about your branding. The website name you enter here is the name that our default page title template will put at the end of each page title. The default page title template looks like this:
title - page - sep - sitename
The last part of that template is
sitename, and that’s what you fill out here. Be sure to add it, but keep it short, so the focus will be on the page or post title. It’s nice to have some of your branding in here so people will recognize your pages in the search result pages. If they already know you and your site, they’re more likely to click on one of your links.
The third part of the page template is
sep, which stands for separator. A page title that follows our template could be “Some title of a post – Yoast”. The hyphen in there is the separator you set at this step in the Yoast SEO configuration wizard. Using an uncommon separator might make you stand out from your competitors in the search result pages. You could also choose to pick the smallest separator, to squeeze in another character or two.
Read more: Titles and meta variables in Yoast SEO »
Step 7: Awesome tips and new products in your inbox
As SEO is an ongoing process, our goal is to keep you up-to-date on any changes in Google’s search result pages or Google’s algorithm. We do that by posting on our SEO blog, but also with our newsletter. In the newsletter, we highlight new developments in search, in WordPress, and in our company – if relevant. Simply insert your email address, and we’ll keep you in the loop on all things SEO!
Step 8: Upsell: you might like…
Call it whatever you want (upsell, spam, useful information), but we have to tell you about our premium plugin in our configuration. Because we deliver incredibly useful SEO extras with that premium plugin, for a reasonable price. To name but a few:
- Better keyword optimization, because you can optimize not only for your focus keyword, but also for synonyms, and taking word forms into account.
- What about a redirect manager? We’ll not only show you your 404s, but will also make it very easy to redirect, and thereby fix them.
- Social previews, so you’ll know exactly what your website will show on Facebook and Twitter, and the option to tweak that.
- A year of updates for all premium features, so your entire plugin will always be 100% up-to-date.
- Email support for as long as you have Premium. This means you can email our 24/7 support team with any questions you have about the plugin.
In addition, we offer some hands-on online courses to improve your SEO game even more. Be sure to check them out; you can always decide later which SEO aspects you want more guidance on.
Step 9: Get started with the Yoast SEO and readability analysis
All the steps above have one goal: prepare you and your website for SEO. But while this wizard will help you get the general settings of your plugin right, your job optimizing your content is far from done.
If you have used our plugin before, you’ll know it also analyses your content in real time, while you write your posts or pages. On the page/post edit screen, where you write your content, you’ll find this analysis in the sidebar and the so-called meta box. For more insights into how to use the SEO and readability analysis, we finish our Yoast SEO configuration wizard with a helpful video. It tells you more about that specific part of the plugin, so you don’t just set it and forget it. Be sure to watch that video!
The configuration wizard makes things easier for everyone
Now you know why you should give our Yoast SEO configuration wizard a spin, and why it asks certain questions. The wizard’s got you covered by setting things correctly under the hood of your website, so you can focus your efforts on optimizing your content.