What is Rank Math SEO?
Rank Math SEO is one of the best WordPress plugins to optimize your site for higher SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Pages). It was launched in 2020 and quickly joins top-tier SEO parties such as Yoast and AIO SEO.
The plugin packs a ton of tools and features to optimize your website’s content, from keyword research to SEO analysis, the plugin got it all. It’s essentially an affordable solution to all things SEO on your WordPress site. Well, the free version is more than enough but however, the paid ones are really affordable and contain a lot of features at a low price point.
Why you should use Rank Math over other SEO plugins?
Before we get into the setup process, let me clarify to you why you should use Rank Math SEO over other plugins.
There are a lot of WordPress SEO plugins that are wider and older than Rank Math, but still, choose Rank Math. Why? Because of the features, the plugin includes is far superior to any other plugins that could offer.
Let me clarify, Rank Math contains a ton of features available completely for free when compared to any other plugins such as Yoast or AIO SEO. Even on the premium side, Rank Math offers a lot more than you could possibly imagine.
Moreover, the plugin is extremely light, meaning that it could take up less memory on your site, leading to a faster page speed (PS. Page speed is a ranking factor). Again, I will not be going deeper into Rank Math.
Setting up Rank Math SEO
Installing and Activating Rank Math SEO
Getting started with Rank Math is extremely easy and the same as you would install any other plugin for WordPress. Follow the below-mentioned steps to install and activate Rank Math. However, when installing Rank Math Pro, the process will be slightly different, mentioned after the classic steps.
Installing the free version of Rank Math SEO
- Login to your WordPress dashboard and head over to the “plugins” section.
- Click “Add New” and type “Rank Math” on the search bar to find it.
- Click “Install now” and then “Activate” next to the first search result namely “Rank Math SEO”
This will install and activate the plugin on your WordPress site. If you want to opt-in for the pro version (I highly recommend to), follow the next steps.
Installing the pro version of Rank Math SEO
Before installing pro, you should obviously purchase it. Head over to Rank Math’s site and select the pro plan that costs you $59. Then create an account on Rank Math to complete the purchase. There are other plans to choose from but this is the cheapest and best fit for most people. Once you purchased it, the download fill will be added to your Rank Math account.
Before installing the pro, the free version is required. Follow the previous steps and install the Rank Math free version before proceeding with the installation of the pro version.
- Login to your Rank Math SEO dashboard (In case if you haven’t) and you will be taken to your account page by default (If not, you can click “My Account” on the menu bar to access it)
- You can see your newly purchased pro version under product downlands on the dashboard. Click “Download” next to it and the plugin will be downloaded as a zip file.
- Now, log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to the plugin section and click “Add new”
- Instead of searching for a plugin, click “Upload Plugin” at the top and upload the zipped file you just downloaded from the Rank Math site.
Importing data and settings from other SEO plugins
If you want to import all the data from other SEO plugins, you can do that with ease. Rank Math supports almost all other major SEO plugins to import data from. However, if you want to set it up as new, you can just skip this section.
Once you installed and activated the plugin, you will be taken to the wizard to configure it but you must click “Return to dashboard” at the bottom to exit the wizard to import the data.
On the Rank Math dashboard, click “Import & Export” at the top.
Scroll all the way down to find your previously used SEO plugins under “Other Plugins”. All the data will be auto-selected for you, and you will just be required to click “Import”.
Now, all the data from that plugin will be imported into Rank Math.
Configuring Rank Math SEO using the setup wizard
Now, let’s set up the Rank Math for the site and configure it for the best performance.
Once you have installed the plugin, you will automatically be taken to a setup wizard. If not, you can open the wizard by going into Rank Math → Setup wizard from the left sidebar. You will then be asked to connect your Rank Math account before proceeding with the process.
Just click “Connect Your Account” and follow the on-screen instruction to link your account.
Let’s get started with the setup wizard. Before proceeding with it, you will be asked to choose either basic or advanced based on your expertise. Choose “Advanced” and click “Start Wizard”.
So now the setup will consist of 5 steps and we will go through each of them.
Step 1 (Your Site)
In the first step, you will be required to fill in some basic details of your site such as the type, name, alternative name, whether it is based on a person or an organization, a logo to be fed to google and a logo to be used when your site is shared on social media. Fill in the information as per your site and click “Save and continue”.
Make sure to follow optimal resolution when uploading the logos. For example, for social media, 1200 x 630 pixels is recommended, and for Google, a square-sized image is recommended which means the length and height should be equal in size. You can easily use Canva to resize or create a logo in minutes.
Step 2 (Analytics)
The next step is to connect your Google account. This will link your Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Google AdSense directly to your site. Click “Connect Your Account” and follow the process to link your account. Once done, you will be granted a page like shown below.
Here, you can select your Google property for your site.
The first is for Search Console. By default, the site will be auto-selected based on the URL of your site (If you already submitted your site to the search console). If not, use the drop-down and select your site. Make sure to turn on “Enable the index status tab”. This will pull your site’s status from the search console and display it directly in the analytics window, just like shown below.
Now, select your analytics property. Just like Search Console, your site will be either auto-selected or you can select it manually from the dropdown.
Then toggle “Install analytics code”. This will automatically install the required code snippet into your site.
Make sure to toggle “Install analytics code” only if you haven’t installed it manually, as it might create a duplicate snippet that will conflict with the analytics data.
Then, if you have an AdSense account, you connect using the next section.
Step 3 (Sitemaps)
In this step, you can create a sitemap for your site.
A sitemap is a file that triggers and pings the search engine whenever your site has been updated or changed.
A sitemap is not required because the search engines will automatically look for the changes on your site but it is recommended, to speed up the process. On the sitemap settings, don’t change anything, and let that be as it is. However, if you want to exclude something, you just do it with the corresponding toggle. I recommend you keep it as it is.
Step 4 (Optimization)
This page will allow you to change some of the basic SEO settings of your site. You can select to noindex empty categories and tags, no-follow external links or open external links on a new page.
No index empty categories/tags – This will prevent Google or other search engines from indexing any categories or tags that don’t have any posts or pages.
No-follow external links – This will create a no follow tag for any external links you place on your site. The no-follow tag will basically tell search engines not to follow “this” link and prevent the creditability that the linked site gets from your site.
Open external links on a new page – When turned on, all the thirty-party links on your site will open automatically on a new page.
Leave everything as it is.
Step 5 (Ready)
There aren’t many options on this step. Just a toggle to turn on auto-update for the plugin. It’s up to turn it on.
Now, click “Setup advanced options” at the bottom to open the next wizard.
Advanced Options Step 1 (Role Manager)
Role Manager is extremely useful if you have multiple people working on your site. It can be used to give or restrict access to a specific feature of the plugin to specific roles. For example, you can prevent access to the analytics and general settings of Rank Math to authors because they don’t really want to see or tweak them. Right?
Turn this on if you have multiple people. Under each role, you can toggle on or off the access based on your needs.
Advanced Options Step 2 (404 and redirection)
In this step, you can turn on the 404 monitors to log any visits that land on the 404 page. A 404 page is displayed when a user lands on an invalid or deleted URL on your site. For example, If a user enters example.com/one and there is no page on your site with that URL, the user will see the 404 page.
It is really important to log them to view how many visitors are encountering the 404 page and redirect them to any relevant or home page.
This usually happens when you delete a post or page and people still trying to visit the same. It is the best SEO practice to redirect them to any other relevant post or page, or just simply to the homepage.
And that’s what the 404 monitors and the redirection tool do.
Turn both of them on.
Advanced Options Step 3 (Schema Markup)
Schema Markup allows the search engines to understand your content better and displays richer snippets on SERP.
Select the best-suited schema type for your posts and pages such as e-books, articles, podcasts, software, and more. The default settings are mostly perfect unless your site falls under other categories. Just go through all the schema types and choose the one that suits your site.
This is just a general option; each page can be individually tweaked for the schema type.
Now that we have completed all the basic and advanced setups you should be doing first. Let’s optimize your content with on-page analysis.
Optimizing your content with Rankmath’s on-page SEO analysis
When writing the post, you should first focus on user intent and optimize it to rank higher on search engines. Writing content is all up to you but Rank Math will give you suggestions on improving them.
On the right sidebar, you will be presented with a Rank Math SEO metrics that give you a score out of 100 on how optimized your content is to rank on the target keyword.
Try to get as much higher as possible to increase the chance of ranking higher on SERP. However, don’t always aim for 100 because it is not mandatory and kind of difficult to achieve it.
Enter your keyword in the “Focus Keyword” area and the plugin will start to give a score based on your content.
Each and every metric will guide you in getting the green check to it. You can just follow those instructions and you will automatically maximize the chance of getting into higher SERPs. Moreover, RankMath has a dedicated article on how to pass all the metrics and get a higher score.
Now, let’s talk about content AI. It is one of the best features that Rank Math offers. It is an AI that analyzes your content and the top-ranking pages on SERP based on your focus keyword and gives you suggestions to improve them.
To be clear, the AI will compare your article with other top-ranking articles and gives you a suggestion to match (or improve it).
The suggestions include
- Word Count – Required words on average
- Link Count – Required internal and external links on average
- Heading count – Required headings including H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 on average
- Media Count – How many images or videos should be included
After the scores, the tool will suggest related keywords, questions, and links that can be included in the article.
This will be extremely helpful in writing an article with relevant and related keywords. You can learn more about Content AI from Rank Math‘s official site
Analyzing your website’s SEO performance with Rankmath
Rank Math has a built-in tool to analyze your overall website and gives you scores and suggestions to improve them.
To access the tool, hover your mouse over Rank Math on the left sidebar and click “SEO Analyzer”.
Then click “Start SEO Analyzer”.
The tools will start to scan your site and give you a score out of 100 based on various factors.
Below the scoreboard, you will see all the tests in which your site has passed and failed. On the failed test, Rank Math will provide you the information on why it has failed, and how to fix it. Moreover, the tool will also include which posts or pages are the reason for your site to fail the test.
You can just go through each of them to fix your SEO errors by following the instruction provided.
So we have come to the end. In this article, we have gone through how to install and activate the Rank Math plugin, setup it up using the Wizard that contains basic as well as advanced options, and optimize your individual and overall contents using Rank Math SEO analyzer.
Rank Math SEO is one of the best plugins that you must include in your WordPress directory.
If you have any doubts, feel free to ask me in the comments down below.