How to Configure Yoast SEO to Boost Rankings: Advanced Guide 2021

Last Updated on July 30, 2021 by Steve

If you are reading this guide you should have Yoast installed and you have a pretty good understanding of how to use its core SEO settings and features. In this article we are going to dig deeper into Yoast SEO advanced settings. If you are a beginner to Yoast I would suggest reading our other article, How to Configure Yoast SEO to Boost Rankings Free 2021, to get started.

Search Appearance Options

Need to know how to edit knowledge graph and schema.org data? If you didn’t use the configuration wizard you can access this under the Search Appearance area.

General Tab

You can edit your organization and or person data by clicking on the General tab.

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Yoast SEO Knowledge Graph Schema General Tab
General Tab

 

Yoast SEO Knowledge Graph Schema
Knowledge Graph & Schema.org

Yoast supports many structured data. Yoast adds JSON-LD to your site’s code and they support OrganizationPersonWebSiteWebPage, and article schema. You an check your site to make sure its setup correctly by using the Google Structured Data Testing Tool. This tool is being deprecated but still works at the time of this posting. Its being replaced by the Rich Results Test.

Google Structured Data Testing Tool
Google Structured Data Testing Tool
Rich Results Test
Rich Results Test Tool

If your site is set up properly with Yoast SEO everything should be green when you use the Rich Results Test.

Rich Results Test Tool Status
Rich Results Test Tool Status

Some amazing ways to automate alot of your on page SEO is provided in the Search Appearance area.

Yoast basically lets you set templates for the SEO titles and meta descriptions for all posts, pages, custom post types, taxonomies, custom taxonomies and archive pages.

Yoast SEO Content Types
Yoast Content Types Tab

You can use a wide range of variables to dynamically insert information, including information in custom fields. You can find help and details about Snippet Variables by clicking on the Help icon, question mark.

Yoast SEO Help
Yoast Help Icon

After clicking on the question mark help icon support from Yoast SEO documentation appears:

Yoast SEO Snippet Variables Help
Yoast SEO Help

Other things that you can do in this area include:

  • Control noindex tags for specific types of content. If you make something noindex, Google won’t index that type of content in the search results. This is powerful so use it carefully. Only change the default settings if you know what you’re doing and the implications.
  • Control whether or not the Yoast SEO meta box should appear for specific types of content.

Taxonomies Tab

The Taxonomies tab can help you to clean up your site’s permalinks structure.

A useful feature you have available is the ability to remove the category slug from your URLs:

Yoast SEO Taxonomies
Yoast SEO Taxonomies

Breadcrumbs Tab

Breadcrumbs are a feature that help users to navigate your site and look like this:

Yoast SEO Example of Breadcrumbs
Example of Breadcrumbs

You can enable this feature here but you will also need to add a small code snippet to your theme for this to work. Need help getting this code inserted or configuring Yoast? Try out one of our maintenance or troubleshooting plans.

Yoast SEO Enable Breadcrumbs
How to add breadcrumbs using Yoast SEO

The options that are available on the Breadcrumbs tab are self explanatory, if you don’t know what options to choose then leave at default.

RSS Tab

Last but not least, the RSS tab lets you insert extra content before or after your post content in your RSS feed. You can also dynamically insert information by using some variables.

Yoast SEO RSS Settings
This lets you add content before or after posts in your RSS feed

Social Options

You can configure settings for how your website interreacts with various social networks in the Social area:

Yoast SEO Social Settings
Yoast SEO advanced social media settings

You will want to leave the settings at default, most of the time.

Tool Options

The Tools area lets you access various types of editors. You also have the option to import or export Yoast settings. The ability to import or export is a big time savor if you have multiple sites to configure.

Yoast SEO Tools
A list of the Yoast SEO Tools

A nice feature in the Tools area is the ability to edit your robot.txt file right from your dashboard. You do not need to FTP to your site with the help of this tool.

Click on the File editor option:

Yoast SEO File Editor
Yoast SEO File Editor

Click on Create robots.txt file, then Yoast will help you create one if you don’t have one already. If you have one already then you will have the option to edit it here.

Yoast SEO Create Robot File
Yoast SEO lets you edit your robots.txt file from your dashboard

If you don’t see the File editor option, this means one of two things.

  1. Your .htaccess file or the folder in Nginx isn’t writable on your web server. You can reach out to your hosting provider for assistance with this.
  2. Your WordPress install has file editing disabled.

Summary

You will only need to set Yoast’s features once, most of the time. The Yoast SEO meta box will be the only area that you will use on a everyday basis once you get it all configured.

For every post, you should, at a minimum:

  • Enter a focus keyphrase. You don’t need to address every single suggestion from Yoast SEO, but trying to get a green light is usually a good goal.
  • Configure the SEO Title and Meta Description. Even if you set up a good template, you’ll still want to manually edit these for most posts to make them as optimized as possible.

Other things that you might want to address include:

  • Readability
  • Social settings, especially if you think a specific piece of content has a chance of doing well on social media

Leave a comment if you have anything to add or suggest, we value your input. If you like this article maybe you would be also interest in our shared hosting or VPS hosting solutions. All WordPress optimized. You may also like to try one of our maintenance plans or troubleshooting services.

Author

  • I have been in the information technology field since I left the United States Army over twenty years ago. Skills and experience include a Bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems with a Specialization in Databases and a Master's in Computer Information Systems Management.

    I fell in love with WordPress over 10 years ago and spend most of my time designing, building and administering WordPress based sites. I am fluent in multiple programming languages including Python, PHP, SQL, Java and C#.

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