Top 10 Yoast SEO Functions for WordPress

If you have a WordPress website and are familiar with SEO, chances are you have the Yoast SEO plugin installed. However, not everyone takes full advantage of its capabilities. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 functions of Yoast SEO for WordPress and how to use them for your website.

1. Generates XML Sitemaps

Proper organization is essential for SEO, and an XML sitemap is an integral part of that. Upon installation, Yoast SEO automatically generates an XML sitemap and consistently updates it when you create new content. You can easily change your XML settings by going under SEO > XML Sitemaps in your WordPress admin dashboard.

2. Automatically Submits XML Sitemaps to Google/Other Search Engines

Yoast SEO automatically sends updated sitemaps to Google and Bing, helping search engines quickly add new content and keep other indexed pieces of content up-to-date if you change them. Under the XML sitemap options, you can also choose to have it ping Yahoo and every time you post new content.

3. Allows You To Create Custom Meta Header/Description

With Yoast’s plugin, you can write two headlines, one for people and one for search engines. You should also add a custom meta description for your content. Not only can this help target the right keywords, but you can also hand-craft an enticing description that makes more people choose your page when browsing the search results. You can access both of these things in the SEO box directly under the normal post/page editor.

4. Check Focus Keywords

You can easily check that you’re not going under or overboard with keyword density and get reminded that you need to fix your page/post URLs/slugs and other things that impact your on-page SEO. It can be a great overall reminder that keeps you on track post after post. You simply enter your focus keyword in the normal SEO box under the post/page WYSIWYG editor and see what pops up under it.

5. Lets You Add Page Redirects Easily

If you update a post or page of content on your website, but your old one is still receiving the most traffic, it can be a great idea to add in a simple redirect to the new version. This can indirectly help your SEO by providing your visitors with more up-to-date/better/clearer information, possibly leading to more sharing and general user engagement.

6. Lets You Add Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs visually demonstrate the organization of a site and the specific area of a site you’re currently visiting. Not only can breadcrumbs help your visitors navigate your website, but it can also help Google (and other search engines) figure out if/how related your website is to a specific topic or keyword. You can enable breadcrumbs under the internal linking options.

7. Allows You To Change Permalinks

Under the permalink options, you can manage the URL or slug for posts or pages. This function helps make up for slightly wrong links to your pages from other sites or from your own pages. If somebody accidentally puts in a number or something excessive at the end of a page URL, it will automatically turn back into the clean/correct URL.

8. Automatically Remove Stop Words From Slugs

This function removes stop words from slugs. This basically means that even if you don’t type in a specific slug for every post, the stop words (that Google recommends keeping out of the URL as they don’t offer any meaning) will be automatically removed.

9. Helps You Bulk Edit Titles/Descriptions

The plugin offers a bulk title editor and a bulk description editor, enabling you to mass-edit titles and descriptions of your older posts and pages with ease.

10. Helps You ‘Hide’ Specific Posts/Pages From Search Engines

With Yoast SEO, you can easily choose to hide any post or page from inside the WYSIWYG editor of said post or page. Simply go under advanced options and change “Meta Robots Index” to ‘noindex’. Now, as long as the robots listen to your command, only people with the direct link can find your page.

In conclusion, Yoast SEO is a powerful tool for optimizing your WordPress website. By taking advantage of its capabilities, you can improve your website’s SEO and increase traffic. If you’re new to SEO, check out our Beginner’s Guide to WordPress SEO. Share any tips you have for Yoast SEO in the comments section below.

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