WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin is one of the must-have plugins on any WordPress website (that is not hidden from the public eye).
WordPress itself doesn’t have built-in features that would allow the admin to micromanage SEO aspects of a website in a convenient manner, such as page titles, meta tags, sitemaps, etc.
Below I will point out some of the most important settings that you should configure and pay attention to. Of course the importance of these may vary by case, but it should paint a general picture.
It is imperative that you don’t forget to set your info in Dashboard > SEO > Titles & Metas > Home. This is your most valuable online real-estate, use it wisely. I suggest going with something similar to the screen-shot below.
Search engines display a maximum of 156 characters from the Meta Description tag, so keep your description short and tailored for humans, not robots. A nice, readable description will go a long way.
In Dashboard > SEO > Social > Facebook, you can set an image that will show up on Facebook when someone will like or share your homepage. We use an image with our logo, so as to keep our presence consistent. You can try using your logo as well, or maybe a photo of your property. Just keep in mind that usually this photo will be displayed at a small size, so don’t try to display text or other stuff. A square-format logo should work best.
In Dashboard > SEO > Titles & Metas > Other, I suggest checking the “noindex, follow” check-boxes for Author and Date Archives. Additionally, in 99% cases it is a good idea to disable both of them as well.
At the first glance all these settings and options may seem overwhelming, but in reality, all it takes is some patience and attention to details. Most of the check-boxes and options have clear descriptions, so make sure to read them all.