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5.3 Installing and Configuring the SEO Framework Plugin

Annoyed by Yoast's pop-ups and advertising? In this lesson, I'll show you how to use the SEO Framework plugin to optimize your SEO.

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5.3 Installing and Configuring the SEO Framework Plugin

Hello and welcome back to this Tuts+ course on Essential WordPress Plugins. In this part of the course, we are going to look at an alternative SEO plugin called the SEO Framework. So I'm gonna be installing the free version and this comes up fourth when we search for SEO. Now, there are other SEO plugins which are more widely used. For example, Yoast, we've already looked at, the All In One SEO pack is probably the original SEO plugin that people use before Yoast was introduced. And I've used it on many clients sites. But I don't find it has the sort of flexibility that you need from an SEO plugin when it comes to optimizing individual posts and pages and getting that traffic light to help you identify whether your posts and pages were optimized. Now, the SEO Framework, having done a little bit of research, I think that's a plugin that would do that. So again, as with so many of these plugins, there is also a premium version. So you can upgrade and get extra features if you want to. But let's install it on our site. So here I am in the add new plugins screen. I'm gonna search for SEO, and then I'm gonna install the SEO Framework. I then click Activate as usual and that will activate the plugin. So to start with, it's identified that I've got multiple SEO tools detected. And that's because I already have Yoast installed from the previous part of the course. So I've now gone into the plugin screen and I've deactivated Yoast so I won't be getting those problems. Now, what I could do because I've already used another SEO plugin is migrate that data. So here on the SEO framework website, it tells you that there's another plugin that you can use called the SEO Data Transporter plugin. And I could install that on my site, it's free, and use that to transport my data and my settings from Yoast to the SEO framework. I'm not gonna do that because I want to explore this plugin and show you how to set it up. So I'm imagining that we're starting from scratch and this is our first SEO plugin. So let's have a look at some of these settings. So we've got layout, and we've got the pixels and characters in titles and descriptions. We've got title settings, and it's using that same character here that I was using before. And again, the separator, you can change that if you want to, you can add prefixes if you want to. You've got meta settings for descriptions, and that's something that you work on on the individual pages. Automated descriptions can be added, and I would enable that, but also going toward my content, way irrelevant, and override it with a manual description. I've got homepage settings here, so this is where you would change the title and the description of your homepage. So with Yoast, you do it when you're editing the page itself, but with this plugin, you do it in the settings. And again, I can add things such as metadata and additional characters. I can now index the homepage if I want to which I definitely wouldn't do because I want robots to be finding that. And I've also got Social Meta Settings, so this is where I would setup my Facebook and Twitter accounts. It doesn't allow you to add Pinterest as Yoast does but I don't use Pinterest for my website myself so I'm not worried about that. It includes short links but tells you it has no SEO value so I'm gonna ignore that. And then schema output, which will help with sending data to search engines. The options that it gives you here are breadcrumbs and sitelinks, that's something useful. We want to enable people to do that from their search engine. And we've got other options here around the presence, I've got a person here, and that's gonna be me. I don't have a logo. But you can add that in your search engine results if you wanted to, if you're an organization. So that'd be a really powerful way of encouraging people to click through and come to your site. And again, that's enabled in Yoast as well, so we've got social again, and we've got settings for robots. Again, as with so many of these plugins, I'm gonna stick with the defaults because to be honest, it's not the settings I'm interested in. It's more how you optimize individual pages. So we've got a site mapping output which is very important. We've got a robots.txt being generated, we've got metadata, pings and styling for the sitemap. And again, the important thing is that you've got a sitemap so don't worry too much about all those settings. So all of those settings are in this one screen. So another one here that is useful is post types. You can disable SEO for additional post types in your site if they are being set up. Let's have a look if we've got that for archives as well because I disabled it for the tags before. Here we go, so we've got no index to tag archives. So that big page that we had on Yoast, that basically translated this into plain English. That's what we've got here so I'm not gonna index all the pages as well, just the category archives. And I don't want the no index posts and pages but I do want the no index media. In Yoast, we have the option to redirect to an image itself rather than an attachment page. I'm just simply gonna no index those attachment pages. And again, I'll save the settings. So now let's have a look at our post and how we can optimize that. So I've clicked through to it but I'm gonna go back because here we have a really interesting set of traffic lights, which is in my Posts screen. So we've got the title, which has been generated, the description which has got green. And then we've got other issues here because it's not being published yet. So let's take a look at the page. I'm gonna publish it. So it will then get a little bit of more of a green light for being published. I'm gonna scroll down and now we have our SEO settings. So my meta title is is too long. Now that's too long, largely because the name of my site is a bit long. So I'm gonna get rid of the quick guide too because all I need here is activating WordPress Multisite. Or alternatively, I could remove the block name and again it becomes too short. So I'll keep that there. Now that's an automatically generated description from the first few words of the post and I don't want that. So that's getting a good and you can see as I typed there, this went from red to amber to green to show that it's okay. Now interestingly, I think if I did 87 or 88 characters, Yoast actually gave me an amber for those, it didn't like them. But with this plugin, it's saying that's okay. So let's have a look at the social, that's all okay. So if that's shared on social, it's happy with that. And then for visibility, I've got greens, I've got default settings here. So we have the SEO settings and it's looking at my meta title and my meta description in terms of traffic lights, but it's not looking at my actual content. So you can see that it's not as powerful as Yoast for doing that, which is a shame. So I'm gonna update that. Now if I wanted to add those features, I could upgrade to the premium version. So let's take a look at the premium version of the plugin. So the plugin has this extension called Focus which comes with the premium version of the plugin and that does what we've done in the free version of Yoast. So that gives us our meta title and page title which we've already done, paragraphs, subject density, linking and page URL for example. You can also add a dictionary to it. And you can get it with this Extension Manager so I can download that if I want to, but I also have to get a license for it. If I get the essentials version, which is $49 a year, I get this Focus and I also get some other extensions as well. So if you want that functionality with this particular plugin, you have to pay for it. And that's up to you whether you decide that the adverts and the pop-ups that you sometimes get with Yoast are sufficiently annoying that you're prepared to pay another developer for their plugin. So that's how you use the SEO Framework plugin to optimize the SEO on your site. In the next part of the course, we're gonna move onto another essential plugin and that's the Jetpack plugin. And I'll show you what Jetpack is all about. See you next time and thanks for watching.

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