If are using WordPress you will definitely need a SEO plugin to get better search rankings and traffic for your websites. Just like you probably do, I was using Yoast WordPress SEO plugin for a decade, until I discovered RankMath a better WordPress SEO plugin. Yoast is definitely a good WordPress SEO plugin that helps you follow SEO best practices but does not monitor or measure your SEO traffic performance. Along with Yoast I had to use Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Keyword Ranking Tools like Accuranker, Semrush etc. It is much more difficult for non-technical bloggers and website owners to understand usage of all different tools. On the other hand, RankMath WordPress SEO plugin is like a Swiss army knife of SEO. RankMath has everything you need to optimize your website for search engine rankings, track and measure your SEO performance.
How to install & setup RankMath WordPress SEO Plugin
Let’s start with the fundamentals first i.e. installing RankMath WordPress SEO plugin on your website or blog.
RankMath setup tutorial using the wizard steps:
Total Time: 30 minutes
Download and Install RankMath WordPress SEO Plugin
Obviously the first step is to download RankMath WordPress SEO plugin from their official website. You can upload the downloaded plugin code on WordPress plugin installation page. You can also search for RankMath (free version) in WordPress plugin directory. It is recommended that you also signup for an account on RankMath website.
Initiate RankMath Setup Wizard
Choose RankMath Setup Mode
RankMath WordPress SEO plugin has 3 modes:
3. Custom Mode
Most users reading this article can simply go and choose the “advanced” mode as it has most of the options which can also be configured easily.
This page will also perform compatibility check to make sure that your server has the required configuration to setup RankMath WordPress SEO plugin.
Import WordPress SEO Settings
RankMath WordPress SEO plugin was initially built by the team behind MyThemeShop in 2018. They launched a dedicated website rankmath.com and starting growing from 2019. They have gained so much traction in just matter of years. Comparatively WordPress has been in the market since 2003 and Yoast was founded in 2010.
It is obvious that most WordPress users would be already using other SEO plugins. So RankMath allows you to import import all your settings from other plugins like Yoast SEO, AIO Schema Rich Snippet, Redirections etc. All your data from other plugins like Yoast should be automatically migrated in this import process.
RankMath Site Settings
The first thing search engines want to understand is what is your website about. Using this RankMath site setting you can specify if your website is a blog, an online store, a website for an organization, or something else. If you select business, RankMath will further give drill down options to specify the type of business and company name.
You also need to upload a logo and default image that will be displayed when your website link is shared on social media. RankMath WordPress SEO plugin also recommends the image size, a small but essential information. It’s great that RankMath SEO plugin has taken care of such minor details in the product.
Connect Google Services to RankMath
Google Services Integration is one of the key differentiating factor between Yoast and RankMath WordPress SEO plugin. You can connect to your Google Services like Google Search Console and Google Analytics. You will be able to track and measure all SEO data at one place i.e. your WordPress dashboard.
RankMath promises not to store any of this information, nor aggregate it or sell it. They say that this data will only be used to display your information on your own website. However RankMath gives you choice to skip some permissions if you like. Obviously, denying some permissions might hinder some functionality, and you should be all right with that. I recommend that you enable all the permissions to get maximum benefits out of RankMath WordPress SEO plugin.
RankMath Google Analytics Integration
Once you click “Connect Google Services” you will have to login with your Google Account. You need to provide permissions for RankMath WordPress SEO plugin to see and download your Google Analytics data. If you are new to Google Analytics, RankMath WordPress SEO plugin can setup new Google analytics account for you.
RankMath Google Adsense Integration
Most bloggers out there use Google Adsense to monetise their traffic. RankMath WordPress SEO plugin also integrates with Google Adsense and shows you reports on your revenue numbers as well.
RankMath Google Search Console Integration
While Google Analytics shows you a lot of information about your traffic, it misses out on details of specific keywords since the search traffic is encrypted. This is where Google Search Console data comes handy in providing all actual search keyword and other metrics seen by Google.
RankMath WordPress SEO plugin can also verify your website with Google Search Console automatically. Going even one step further, RankMath will also submit your sitemaps to Google Search Console automatically!
RankMath Settings for Google Search Console, Analytics and Adsense
We recommend that you use a single Google account across Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Google Adsense. Even if you have different accounts, you can give access to one common account and use that account with RankMath WordPress SEO plugin.
Even if you have multiple sites connected with same account on Google Search Console, you can specify the site in RankMath Settings.
Similarly you can select Google Analytics Account and Property. You can also allow RankMath to automatically install the Google Analytics code, anonymise IP addresses and enable cookie-less tracking. Rankmath WordPress plugin also allows you to use self-hosted analytics JS file which increases the performance and PageSpeed score.
RankMath WordPress SEO plugin currently does not support Google Analytics 4, but I’m sure that they will support Google Analytics 4 by the time it becomes mainstream.
RankMath WordPress Sitemap Generator
Sitemap will have list of links to all the posts and pages on your WordPress website. While search engines can index your website even without a sitemap, they may miss few links. Having an sitemap and submitting them to search engines will inform them about all the links on your website.
RankMath has a built-in, Google compliant sitemap generator that will create your website’s sitemap automatically. This is similar to what even Yoast SEO plugin had and you don’t have to use any other plugin just to create a sitemap. The sitemap will include images, public post types and public categories.
RankMath WordPress SEO Tweaks
RankMath team has given extreme attention to detail in their product and given several simple but important WordPress SEO tweaks.
For example – sometimes you create categories and tags, but never use them. This results in links that have no content or less content which search engines do not value and will dilute your SEO strength. You can now automatically add “no-indexes” the categories and tags that do not have any posts in them.
Secondly it is common to have external links in you content but many times you forget to mark those links as “nofollow” and open in new tab. RankMath WordPress SEO plugin can automatically add nofollow attribute to external link and open them in new tabs. This is personally a big time save for me!
RankMath Role Manager (Advanced Setting)
When you have a site with huge traffic, you will also have several team members working on the site.
Using Role Manager feature in RankMath WordPress SEO plugin you can assign specific permissions to team members.
RankMath 404 Redirections
Managing broken links is crucial SEO activity. Not only does RankMath WordPress SEO plugin has option to setup redirections, it can also monitor and inform you about 404 errors on you website.
This is the last step in the advanced configuration and end of the setup wizard.
RankMath Image SEO
It is most common for users to upload an image but miss adding an ALT attribute. ALT attribution is very important feature for image SEO and RankMath has made life easier with automation.
Additionally RankMath WordPress SEO plugin can automatically add missing TITLE attribute and image caption.
RankMath Link Counter
For a long time backlinks have been an important ranking factor in SEO. RankMath WordPress SEO plugin can keep an track of links to every single post. RankMath WordPress SEO plugin can track both internal and external links.
RankMath Local SEO
Even today, majority businesses are local business and transactions are being done in the offline world. Small local business get discovered online and get increased footfalls. RankMath WordPress SEO plugin allows you to enter details of local business like business type, address, open hours, phone number etc. RankMath WordPress SEO even supports multiple location and location detection.
RankMath News & Video Sitemaps
Google lifted the special requirements for news sites several years ago. Today all websites including blogs are eligible to be listed on Google News. RankMath WordPress SEO plugin can create fully compliant news sitemaps and also configure additional data for your post, which is essential to appear in Google News properties.
If your website has videos, RankMath WordPress plugin can also autogenerate video sitemaps.
RankMath Instant Indexing
You might have noticed that any new content takes several days(if not weeks) of time to get indexed on Google, Bing and other search engines. RankMath WordPress SEO plugin uses official API’s to inform search engines about your new content.
RankMath Third-Party WordPress Plugin Support
RankMath WordPress SEO plugin is compatible with a lot of third party plugins. Here are some of the popular plugins that work well with RankMath:
- Advanced Custom Fields (ACF)
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
- Google Web Stories
- Ad Inserter
- WP Rocket
RankMath Compatible WordPress Themes
RankMath WordPress SEO plugin will work well pretty much any WordPress theme and theme builder frameworks. Here are some of the popular themes that work with RankMath:
- Divi Theme & Page Builder
- All MyThemeShop Themes
- Themify Builder
- Beaver Builder
- Page Builder Framework
- Ultimate Blocks
Shortcomings of RankMath
Although it is not a big deal breaker for most, there might be few shortcomings of RankMath WordPress SEO plugin.
Especially since RankMath is new in the market it might not be having compatibility with many other plugins in the market.
For example WP recipe maker specifies integration with Yoast Schema and not with RankMath. However RankMath suggests to use schema specified by WP recipe maker itself. Being new in the market it is understandable that RankMath will take more time for seamless integrations with thousands of plugins out there. I do suggest you to check compatibility with your theme and plugins.
Next biggest issue is that RankMath does not show up optimization score for older posts. You need to manual re-save each post to get an optimisation score for that post. This is a hideous manual task if you have thousands of posts.
RankMath also does not provide 24×7 support. Although their support is good and fast on weekdays, there was absolutely no one to respond over weekends. If you are working on hobby project or individual working on weekends, you might have to wait for 2 days to get a response to your support tickets.
RankMath vs Yoast SEO Plugin
Yoast SEO plugin has been in the market for a decade and obviously the market leader in WordPress SEO plugin. But throughout the history incumbents have been disrupted by newer products. It is amazing what RankMath has accomplished in matter of few years. To some extent comparing Yoast to RankMath is like comparing Orange to Apple. Yoast helps you improve SEO for your website content and really good at it. If you use Yoast, you will also need additional tools to track the keyword rankings. You will also have to manually keep looking at data at multiple places like keyword tracking tool, Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
RankMath on the other hand, is a complete suite for WordPress SEO. It does everything what Yoast does along with much more features. RankMath integrates with Google Services (Google Analytics, Google Search Console) to setup and analyse data. You get a complete picture of SEO data into one place right inside your WordPress dashboard.
If you have read my article till here, I would simple recommend you to switch from Yoast to RankMath WordPress SEO plugin.
RankMath WordPress SEO Pricing
Just like Yoast, RankMath WordPress SEO plugin also has FREE and paid options. RankMath free version does pretty much every the Yoast paid version does. However to truly use the capabilities of RankMath(including Google Connect) one needs to use the paid version.
RankMath PRO is priced affordably at $59/year for unlimited websites, 500 keywords and great support. You need to be owner of all the websites that use RankMath PRO plan and you cannot use it on client websites.
If you are building websites for clients, you need to use RankMath BUSINESS plan. RankMath BUSINESS plan costs $199/year and it can be used on 100 client websites with 10,000 keyword tracking. RankMath BUSINESS plan also comes with client management features.
As you can see from the above RankMath is priced very very low compared to competitors like Yoast, AIO SEO or SEOPress. The competitors don’t even have all the features that RankMath offers or charge additional with additional plugins for some of the features. Popular keyword tracker tools like AccuRanker or SEMRush are way more expensive.
Overall RankMath pricing is very affordable for every WordPress website owner and I suggest that you the grab the early pricing offer!
Frequently Asked Questions about RankMath SEO Plugin
Which SEO plugin is best for WordPress?
What is RankMath?
Is RankMath better than Yoast?
RankMath is definitely better than Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. Yoast just helps you improve the content and does not offer any analytics. Yoast also sells multiple separate plugins for news SEO, WooCommerce SEO, local SEO etc. RankMath has every feature that Yoast has, along with hundreds of other features at the price lower than Yoast.
Is Rank Math free?
Is Rank Math safe?
Is Rank Math PRO worth it?
How to you change from Yoast to Rank Math?
Which WordPress SEO plugin do you use?
Thanks for taking time to read my article. Now that you are here, would you mind sharing which WordPress SEO plugin you use? Have you tried RankMath? Please share your experience in the the comments below 👇
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