Author: Santiago Hernandez
Time to read: 25min
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Rank Math: Review of the Best WordPress SEO Plugin of the Year

In the age of the internet and Google, Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is the key to getting page views. While it’s a simple concept, actually optimizing every aspect is a challenge, so WordPress SEO plugins have been developed to help that.

Rank Math is one such plugin. It’s a highly rated software and has often been compared to Yoast SEO. But how exactly does it work, and why do so many people like it? We’ll cover all this and more in our review. Keep reading to learn more about this game-changing plugin!

 

At Ticksites, we help website owners, agency partners, and freelancer partners install, integrate, and optimize their sites. Whether you’re managing SEO for WordPress website or a 1,000, we’ve got your back!

 

What is Rank Math SEO plugin?

Rank Math is a WordPress SEO plugin that uses different tools to perform search engine optimization on your content. You may also select which five keywords at most Rank Math will optimize your content, whereas most other free plugins only focus on one.

It is often compared to Yoast SEO because of its similar features and mechanics. Rank Math will essentially “rank” your site pages using more than a hundred criteria according to how optimized it is for search engines. It will then provide suggestions on how to optimize the page further. Aside from SEO, it will give tips for other optimization types, such as copy editing, image and page metadata, etc.

Now that we’re done with the general claims, here are some details about how Rank Math works.

 

 

Rank Math Set Up

Setting up Rank Math is a matter of using the setup wizard to configure the different modules and import SEO data

 

Step one: Wizard Setup

First, you have to follow the Setup Wizard prompt and connect your account. That means that inevitably you will have to create a free account on their platform. Doing so ensures your access to the full features of the plugin on your website. Afterward, you can either automatically configure a default setting or further customize the plugin for your needs.

We advise you to customize the plugin in Advanced Mode. When selecting this, you will first have to provide some preliminary info about the site you are optimizing. Save your progress afterward and keep going.

Next, you will have to connect to your Google Analytics and Search Console. The plugin assumes that you are already using these for your website set up; otherwise, we highly recommend you enable these services. Afterward, allow Rank Math to access the Analytics and Search Console data.

Rank Math will next try to form a sitemap for your website. The XML feature of Rank Math will ask what content on your site you want to be shown, images you may wish to include, and more. You may also opt to exclude certain pages from your sitemap. However, Rank Math has a default setting for the site mapping, which we think works very well.

Now, you can look at the optimization tools you want to be applied to your site. Some settings will exclude content from being checked, such as “noindex” and “nofollow.” It’s up to you if there are pages you want to tag with these, but we recommend that you be very selective about it.

After enabling automatic updates, you can now check the dashboard of the plugin. Or, you can keep going through advanced options. One of the options will be assigning roles for who can configure Rank Math for the website. Then there’s the Rank Math Schema which will detect 404 errors and redirect away from them.

On the other hand, the Schema Markup tool will show more optimized results from searches, and you can apply this to your website. We highly appreciate that Rank Math has this built-in because most Schema Markup tools come as independent plugins.

Next comes the more complex configuration of the Rank Modules.

 

 

Step Two: Setting Up The Rank Math Individual Modules

What makes Rank Math unique is its modular setup. Rank Math is basically like a suite of SEO tools that you can toggle on and off to maximize and customize your experience ultimately. Aside from some of the more common modules such as monitoring 404 errors, supporting mobile pages, and SEO imaging, Rank Math also has site mapping and metadata editing.

After you have finished entering all your primary data into Rank Math, you can now select your modules to keep on. Remember that each module needs to be configured according to your needs, but that is mostly a one-time thing that should have you set for years to come.

It is also no problem configuring the modules because the settings are intuitive, but Rank Math does an excellent job of providing information for each setting. One such setting allows Rank Math direct access to your Google Analytics, which will make configuration much more effortless.

But of course, the more modules you enable, the more you will have to configure. This job becomes less overwhelming when you consider that multiple accounts can be connected to the plugin so that several can share in the optimization of your website. Aside from each module's settings, Rank Math has a General Settings tab wherein you can edit the basic settings of the plugin.

Step Three: Importing SEO Plugin Data

We like Rank Math because if you were already using an SEO plugin before, Rank Math makes it easy to drop that plugin. How exactly does it do that? By allowing you to import SEO data. The setting can be found under Status and Tools like the “Import & Export” option. Locate the import file carrying your previous SEO data and bring it into Rank Math.

Some examples of the data that it can import would be keyword optimization. If you previously had optimization data entered into your past plugin, export that data, import it into Rank Math, and Rank Math will automatically score it according to its standards. With the Rank Math Premium, there are additional keyword trackers. These will further monitor the chosen keywords you have inputted for optimization.

If you were surprised at the mention of a Rank Math Premium, keep reading since we will discuss the price packages in a bit.

 

Understanding Rank Math

So what is there to do now that you have configured the modules? It’s simply time to use Rank Math in the way that it was meant to be used. We will give you a quick rundown of how. There are three key things you need to know when using Rank Math. We will begin with learning how to run the SEO analysis function.

 

SEO Analysis Function

Rank Math can perform an SEO analysis on your entire site just through its main SEO analysis function. It can be found under the main Rank Math Menu as “SEO Analysis.” Click the “Start Sitewide Analysis” to allow it to begin running. Just from one pass of the function, Rank Math will tell you SEO errors, issues, or mistakes that you can quickly fix once spotted. Some of the things it will show you are absent page titles, missing tags, broken links, and issues on certain pages' performance.

When Rank Math shows you the issues on your website optimization, it will also give you a score. Their score is very much intuitive and just like any ordinary grading system. On each aspect, Rank Math will tell you whether your website passed the test, received a warning, or failed the test.

Failed tests indicate that there is a significant lack of SEO optimization in that aspect. These are first on your priority list of website data that you need to revise to bump up your Rank Math grade by a lot.

Warning indicators on certain aspects mean that although it is not as lacking as the “failed test” ones, you still need to improve them to bring your site up to scratch.

Of course, the passed tests pretty much mean that aspect or page is fine as is.

Rank Math and its sitewide SEO analysis function is something we do not often find in SEO plugins. Because websites carry many pages and data, the fact that Rank Math can analyze all of these at once is a huge advantage. Otherwise, you would often have to analyze the elements of your site individually. It doesn’t hurt to run this sitewide analysis every so often so that you can regularly check up on any possible SEO issues your website may have.

 

Rank Math Scoring

When you are editing through Rank Math’s Block Editor, the SEO optimization score will appear at the top on the right-hand side. You may also click on that score to view more options.

These options will include the focus keywords you want to optimize and recommendations on how to bring up your score to get Rank Math’s green light. The scoring itself is a numerical score out of 100, which is similar to what Yoast uses.

If you received a score above 80, then the content you are editing pretty much gets the green light. It is well-optimized and ready for publishing. If you received a score between 50 and 80, your content is somewhat optimized but needs a lot of improvement to fully receive relevant traffic. Receiving a score below 50 means that you need to revisit the entirety of your keyword optimization. But don’t worry about starting over -- Rank Math is ready with plenty of suggestions.

Rank Math is a bit more organized than most plugins when it comes to recommending improvements. You can view suggestions and errors on different tabs. Each indicator or question mark gives you more info on why it received that score and how you may change it.

You might be asking yourself, is it okay to receive a score below 100/100? Rank Math gives you an interval of 81-100 for scoring your optimization because not every page will be completely optimized. You still want the content to be fun, inspiring, and engaging, not just paraphrasing several keywords that are a chore to read. SEO is there to help you, not limit you.

Anyway, there are three more essential tabs for Rank Math to help you optimize your website. These are a .txt configuration tab, a schema markup tab, and a preview tab for social media publishing. The free Rank Math allows for a maximum of one schema per page and it also comes with a builder tool for adjustments.

The schema markup, in particular, is a massive advantage of Rank Math, but it is only available in the premium version.

 

Rank Math Premium vs. Free

 

What Is Available In Rank Math Premium?

We have only discussed the free version features so far and have only briefly mentioned the extras in the premium version. Now let’s see whether or not Rank Math premium is worth the extra cost.

All in all, we would say that you get everything you already need from the free version. However, there is an added value to Rank Math premium, and you’re about to see why.

  • Rank Math Premium offers the following additional features:
  • Local SEO
  • Ranking and Optimization for 500-1000 keywords
  • Multiple Schema Markup
  • Keyword Tracker
  • Integration of content with Google News, Trends, and Videos
  • Additional WooCommerce Options

 

Keyword Tracking and Ranking with Rank Math Premium

If you are going to buy Rank Math Premium, it will probably be for its buffed keyword tracking and ranking. As we mentioned, you can track a whopping 500 to 1000 keywords and have them ranked and optimized. On Rank Math Premium, you get immense extra information such as keyword clicks, impressions, and ranks. It also shows real-time analytics of increasing or decreasing traffic.

To get this hefty feature, Rank Math Premium begins at a yearly fee of $59. In our opinion, that price is worth it. Still, you get plenty of utility out of the free version, which is adequate for most WordPress websites. While most plugins’ free versions aren’t comparable to their premium versions, Rank Math makes the difference here.

 

Comparing Rank Math to Similar SEO Plugins

There is a whole list of good SEO plugins out there, so naturally, the question is: why should you choose Rank Math? Well, we’ve found several reasons to put Rank Math ahead of them.

 

Compared to Yoast SEO

 

Whenever Rank Math comes into the discussion, Yoast SEO is usually not far behind. It’s because Yoast is currently touted as possibly the best WordPress SEO plugin so far. But in our opinion, Rank Math can do most of what Yoast does, plus a lot more.

Some of the areas in which Rank Math has the upper hand would be its schema markup system, its wide range of allowable focus keywords, its sitewide SEO analysis, and its web page or link redirection accompanied by a 404 monitoring--not to mention the modular set up which makes configuration much more straightforward.

Another valuable point in Rank Math’s favor is its User Interface. People often underestimate the value of a well-designed UI, but Rank Math certainly didn’t. For us, it improves user experience and overall makes optimization a smoother process.

So does Rank Math actually compete with Yoast? In our opinion, it does. Rank Math deserves the amount of clout Yoast has and more.

 

Compared To All In One SEO (AIOSEO)

 

AIOSEO is the second most popular SEO plugin when looking at download numbers. With more than two million installations, AIOSEO is another solid contender for comparing Rank Math too. And we think it is a more fair comparison than against Yoast, because AIOSEO is indeed more similar to Rank Math.

AIOSEO uses modules as well for its configuration and setup, but the purchases are per add-on and not per package or license. It also performs keyword optimization very well, just like Rank Math and Yoast, but includes features that neither of those plugins has at the moment. Those features include:

  • Yandex Webmaster and Webmaster Tools
  • Social Media Profile to Website Integration
  • Integration of More Webmaster Tools such as Bing, Google Search Console
  • Integration of Google My Business and Local SEO
  • Comprehensive and Sitewide SEO score

The last item on the list there is a beast on its own, in the same way that Rank Math can run a sitewide analysis with just a click of a button.

If you think you can make better use of these AIOSEO features, it may be a better option. You get much of what Rank Math can do, plus a few unique features. AIOSEO also costs less than Rank Math at around $49.5 per year. While this seems overall more worth the price at face value, note that purchasing AIOSEO is only valid for a single website.

On the other hand, buying a premium license of Rank Math will allow you to use it on an unlimited number of websites.

 

Compared To SmartCrawl

 

Although AIOSEO and Yoast are big names in the SEO plugin scene, SmartCrawl is somewhat smaller. But it has its own merits and can be compared to Rank Math as well. One of the biggest things about SmartCrawl is its user interface design. It is much more classy and beautiful than nearly any other SEO plugin we have encountered. But as one of the WPMU DEV plugins, which are often known for their UI and designs, this is only expected.

But in terms of functionality, what does SmartCrawl have to offer? SmartCrawl does an excellent job of analyzing entire websites on SEO scoring and standards as well. It provides suggestions on how to improve your SEO and can do so, of course, on individual pages.

SmartCrawl does well for small websites or websites that only need the essential SEO plugin to do most of the basic features. The plugin's entirety comes without any cost; if there is anything you have to pay for, it is only plugin dev support.

So what does that mean in comparison to Rank Math? Simply put, Rank Math can do much more than SmartCrawl. Rank Math brings in so many more features and on a larger scale. So if you’re going for the big guns, we’re pretty sure Rank Math is what you want.

 

FAQ

Now that we have gone over Rank Math's basics, its pricing, and how it compares to its peers, let’s tackle some frequently asked questions.

 

What Does Rank Math Do?

Rank Math is one of my WordPress plugins that perform Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO. It analyzes your website's contents and provides suggestions on how to improve using focus keywords, metadata, and other features such as repairing broken links or identifying website errors.

 

Does Rank Math Improve Site Traffic?

SEO plugins improve site traffic by helping you implement keywords so that Google searches will lead to your website. Although the SEO strategizing has to come from you, Rank Math allows you to implement that SEO strategy in a modular and straightforward yet effective way.

 

How Much Does Rank Math Cost?

Rank Math already has most of its features available on its free version. However, you can purchase a premium Rank Math license for $59, which will earn you a few more optimization features that can be performed on an extensive scale.

 

Rank Math In Summary

 

If you are looking for a plugin to improve your WordPress SEO, then you have a fantastic option through Rank Math. It is vital to find an SEO plugin that can perform all the features you are looking for and discover a few more new features along the way.

We believe that in Rank Math, you will find precisely that. It has a smart and effective user interface, can be configured through its modular setup, and has features specialized in blocking editors and sitewide analysis.

And even after comparing Rank Math to the other top SEO plugins currently on the market, Rank Math still holds its own. Its development team is excellent at providing support for its plugin. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start bringing in the site traffic through the Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin.

Author: Santiago Hernandez
Updated:
April 2, 2021
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Updated:
April 2, 2021
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