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How to Use Yoast SEO to Optimize Your WordPress Website – P2 – General Settings

In the article “How to Use Yoast SEO to Optimize Your WordPress Website – P1“, we already learned how to use some basic settings of Yoast SEO plugin to optimize your WordPress website. So in this part, I will continue with some settings related directly to displaying content on search engines and social media.

Set Up The Display Of The Website’s Content On Search Engines – Search Appearance

On the search engine results pages (SERPs) of some giants like Google, Bing, … your website generally displays with brief information like this:

Meta description and title shown on SERPs

  • The Title of the post or page that is searched for.
  • The Meta Description that gives a short description of pages, post, or the content that are mentioned.

Normally, a website doesn’t automatically generate as well as optimize these content for SEO. Thus, you have to code or use a plugin to add them.

When you install Yoast SEO, it automatically creates the SEO title and Meta Description so you just need to edit the content for these sections to make it reasonable. The Search Appearance section of Yoast SEO allows you to do it. In the Admin Dashboard, choose SEO > Search Appearance.

Here, Yoast lets you edit the Title and Meta Description of each type of content like homepage, single posts, pages, archive pages, libraries, categories, tags, …

Besides, there are more options like turn on/off breadcrumbs, show/hide posts on SERPs, setting up RSS, …

Now, let’s learn each kind of setting carefully.

Set Up General Display for Website

In the Search Appearance section, choose the General tab.

Here, there are options for you:

Title Separator

Choose a symbol here to separate different parts of your title. For example, if you choose “-”, your title will be like this “GretaThemes – Homepage”.

Set up the title separation with Yoast SEO

Homepage

This is where you set up the display of your homepage’s content.

Using Yoast SEO to optimize the display of your homepage’s content.

In this area, you can add texts to the SEO title or Meta description boxes. However, if you do this, these texts will stay static, so when you change the content of the homepage, it won’t be changed accordingly.

Yet, you can use snippet to make it more convenient as whenever you change the homepage’s content, it can change the title and page description automatically (taken from the new content).

Normally, Yoast sets some snippets in default for you, and you can delete or add them by clicking Insert snippet variable.

General Information of a Website

In the Knowledge Graph & Schema.org section, you have two options to declare that your website is personal or it belongs to an organization.

If it belongs to an organization, you should fill in the company’s name and logo.

Declare that your website is personal or belongs to an organization in Yoast SEO

If your website represents a person, you should choose a user account on your website and add an avatar for this user.

Choose a user account on your website and add an avatar in Yoast SEO

Set up the Content Types

Now, move to the Content Types tab. In this tab, you can set up the display for Posts, Pages, and Galleries.

Optimize the display for Posts, Pages, and Galleries using Yoast SEO

These content types all have similar settings including four sections like the image below, so I will just set up one type as an example for you. As for others, you can follow similarly.

Set up the Content Types

Explanation:

  • Show Post (or Pages / Galleries) in search results?: In other words, do you want search engines to index this content? If yes, it will display on SERPs and this content can affect your website’s SEO ranking and vice versa.
  • Date in Google Preview: It can display the date that Google indexes your content.
  • Yoast SEO Meta Box: Yoast provides you with available boxes to fill in information like title, description, keywords, … This button allows you to turn on/off the display of these boxes.
  • SEO title & Meta description: this part is similar to the homepage settings above. I still recommend using snippet to ensure that each post/page displays different corresponding content for each post/page. If your post has more special content, you can use custom fields following this guide.

Settings for Taxonomies

Let’s move to the Taxonomies tab.

Similar to Content Types settings, here you can set up the appearance of each taxonomy on SERPs like Categories, Tags, Formats, Gallery Categories, Gallery Tags, Folders, Tags.

Because the settings sections for each taxonomy are similar to the Content Types setting (exclude the index date), you can do the same.

Set up the taxonomy section just like the Content Types section

Settings for Social Account

Connect with Social Account

In the first tab named Accounts, if you already declared your website as Organization before in the Search Appearance, you will have these boxes to fill in all the URLs or Username as well as the social networking sites of your company here:

Use Yoast SEO to connect with social accounts

In contrast, if you chose Person for your website, this information boxes will be hidden so you don’t have to add anything.

Display Content on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

You can allow all the three social sites to automatically take the description and featured images of posts or pages to display on them when sharing a URL from your website.

These three social networking sites all use Open Graph metadata to get the above data, so you just need to choose the Enable button in the Facebook tab.

Display content on facebook, twitter, and pinterest by using Yoast SEO

By doing so, the preview of the link you share on Facebook and other sites will look like this:

The preview of the link you share on Facebook and other sites will look like this

As for Pinterest, you have to get the verified code of Pinterest and enter it to the Pinterest confirmation box of the Pinterest tab.

How about Twitter? There are two options for display and description depending on your interest. I often choose Summary with large image. It looks good to me.

Settings for Displaying on Facebook

Staying at the Facebook tab, there are extra options to set up and optimize the display of your website’s Frontpage information when you share it on Facebook (1) and set a default image to display if your ULRs don’t have featured images.

Use Yoast SEO to optimize the display of your website on Facebook

In Frontpage settings, you can set up a default featured image, title, and description for your homepage.

As for URLs without images, for example, some pages like Contact page don’t have featured images, when you share it to Facebook, the default image you set here will display as a featured image.

Remember that Facebook has its own rules and guides for the size of featured images when you share an URL. Therefore, to display your featured image in the most beautiful way, you should follow its guides carefully. You can read this post to learn more about it.

The two sections are optional. If you’re sure that you already set up all the content above for each page, you can skip this part.

Final Words

After reading this post, you can complete all the major settings for Yoast SEO plugin. In the next article, I will continue to write about how to optimize content according to the suggestion of Yoast SEO to optimize your WordPress website. Keep following us!

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