Okay, so last night I got even grayer, struggling with multiple screens and mayhem of installing and configuring Yoast SEO. Turns out, I missed a key step — and to add insult to injury, the Yoast SEO configuration wizard presents its own confusions. This will clear all this up for you new users of the WordPress.Com business plan.
Start with Verifying Your Site on Google’s Search Console
As I said in my last post, the Google Search Console is NOT the same as Google Analytics. It’s a separate webmaster tool. There are many steps to this, as my agony-aunt, confident and friend-for-life, the Happiness Engineer explained. And I missed a step. You can find the WordPress help file for this here.
As before, we fire up the webmaster tools–and we’ll be asked to Add a Property. We put in our blog’s URL.
Then we’ll be asked to verify which Google account it goes with. This is straightforward.
For a WordPress.com site, you cannot use the recommended method. WordPress.com doesn’t allow you to upload the HTML verification file–we’re supposed to use the Alternate Methods tab.
Next, we click the little bubble in the HTML tag method. And we get a code that looks something like this to go copy and paste back into the WordPress Dashboard.
We go back to the WP ADMIN dashboard now.
We click on settings to get to the TRAFFIC menu.
Then we scroll waaaay down the page to the Google site verification console. This is where we’ll put in that code–and we put in that code! And we save settings!
And here is where I goofed up.
There were MORE STEPS beyond this.
The Missing Steps in Setting Up Verification in the Google Search Console
Now you have to choose Domain Name Provider AS WELL!
Click on that button and choose OTHER for your domain Name Provider.
Select OTHER and you will get this “google-site-verification=Some bunch of letters and numbers. This is the verification CODE that you will need to put into your WP ADMIN console. Copy that code. You’re going to need that code.
Next: Click the ADD button on the DOMAINS menu on the WP ADMIN panel
The Domains panel opens up into this menu below.
Okay. Now CLICK ON THE DOMAIN. You’ll get this next screen for WordPress Name Servers
Hit the little > button to go to your domain records:
Change the “A” to “TXT”
Now hit the ADD DNS RECORD BUTTON and put in the verification text –that code I told you to copy — from Google.
How I Messed Up: A Cautionary Tale.
WordPress.com’s instructions for how to do this were totally spot-on. For me the fail occurred because the final instructions I needed were in a hard-to-read GIF. I didn’t realize it was a GIF. Only when I was patiently walked through this by my Happiness Engineer did I figure out where I went wrong.
After all this, it can take UP TO 72 HOURS for verification from Google to take place. I had a better experience; it actually took no time at all. NOW we’re ready for the Yoast SEO configuration WIZARD.
Seems friendly enough. But it was very easy to get stuck.
And now here is the next screen. Easy. I chose Option A as I already had content.
So, onward. Choosing time was pretty easy.
Okay, so this seems to be . . .a bit detailed. They’re clearly getting their hooks out to grab as much detail about you for later up-selling. Oookaaay. They’re supposed to be helping to optimize search engines for business issues so. . . alright.
A bit more nosy, but there are plausible benefits to be obtained here by giving up some information. Hmm. The next screen seems okay but I left the settings where they were. I may change this when I start doing video walk-throughs, which is one of the things I plan to do, one day.
And the next screen is super-easy.
And THEN! There’s THIS!
Since we’re already all authenticated, we just hit the Authenticate Button. You’ll get a code. And then when it works, you WILL NOT GET a screen that helps you know you were successful. It will tell you if you fail but not if you succeed. So just NEXT after hitting that button.
You get this next screen:
You can use the default. Or any of these symbols. It will just separate your blog name from the page title for easier reading.
The wizard sells you the newsletter if you haven’t already gotten it. And then the next screen is an advertisement for even more stuff.
And then, FINALLY! You’re done.
THANK YOU, HAPPINESS ENGINEER!
A Final Note: All That Work and It’s Not Working
I went to the Yoast SEO dashboard, looked at this post, and what did I see? THIS!
I’ll be discussing the utility of this plug-in in future posts. And how to fix THIS apparently very common bug. Does it just take a day or so to kick in? Will I have to talk to a Happiness Engineer? So far the fixes described here are not the problem.
AND THEN, MIRACULOUSLY, it turned on. No idea why or how that happened.
Will this be worth all this money, time and effort? We shall see! ~ Lola