May 6, 2021

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO – Best WordPress SEO Plugin In 2021

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Rank Math vs Yoast SEO – Best WordPress SEO Plugin In 2021

When you are trying to optimise your search engine optimisation for your WordPress website, trying to choose between Rank Math vs Yoast SEO can be difficult. A search engine optimisation plugin is essential as it is the easiest way to know if your content is search engine friendly and it allows you to quickly make any changes needed to improve your SEO score.

With that said, which SEO plugin do you choose? In 2021, Rank Math vs Yoast SEO seems to be the biggest battle in the WordPress SEO plugin world right now.

On the one hand, you have Yoast SEO, which for many years was the clear number 1 plugin to manage your on-page SEO needs and is still the most recognisable name when it comes to WordPress SEO. Now, Yoast has a pretender to that throne of best WordPress SEO plugin with Rank Math, who compared to Yoast are a relative newcomer to the scene but is growing rapidly in popularity.

Although there are other WordPress SEO plugins available, we believe there are only 2 you should really consider for your WordPress website and in this guide, we will compare Rank Math vs Yoast SEO to show you everything you need to know so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your needs.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO – Introductions

To get started, we will introduce both Rank Math and Yoast SEO so you know a little more about each plugin. Having a little background will help you with the Rank Math vs Yoast SEO comparison.

Yoast SEO

Rank Math vs Yoast SEOYoast SEO was the number 1 SEO plugin for WordPress for many years. Although there have been other SEO plugins available, none offered the ease of use, integrations and features that were offered by Yoast SEO.

Launched back in 2010, Yoast SEO quickly became the default SEO plugin for WordPress users, so much so, that if you were reading a WordPress SEO blog post they would usually just assume you were using Yoast SEO instead of any other plugin.

Rank Math

Rank MathCompared to Yoast SEO, Rank Math is the relative newcomer to the market having been launched in 2018 after years of development.

Since Rank Math launched it has been growing in popularity and is currently the 2nd most popular WordPress SEO plugin behind Yoast SEO although this gap is closing all the time. Rank Math benefits from a lengthy free feature list, ease of use and integrations to match and in some cases, beat Yoast SEO.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO – Free Features

When it comes to Rank Math vs Yoast SEO, both have free and premium versions. In this guide we will concentrate on the free features of both plugins as who does not like free, right?

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Rank Math

Although Rank Math is a newcomer to the market compared to Yoast SEO, the number of free features you get far outweigh those of Yoast. Even though there are more free features, it does not necessarily mean Rank Math is better than Yoast SEO, however, if you will use the additional features, it is definitely an advantage to Rank Math.

So, what features do you get in the free version of Rank Math?

  • Google Search Console Integration – Easily connect your Search Console account to Rank Math to automatically submit sitemaps and even view a range of analytics information directly on your WordPress dashboard.
  • Google Analytics – Add your Google Analytics tracking code to Rank Math and view your analytics data. No need to install any additional plugins.
  • XML Sitemap – Automatically creates an XML sitemap for your website that is more customisable than the standard WordPress sitemap.
  • Title/Meta Description Templates – Provides you with the ability to create templates for title and meta descriptions that automatically apply to your content. You can then edit these as needed on a page or post.
  • Image SEO – A similar feature is the Image SEO feature that allows you to set alt and title tags for all images that you upload. Again, these can be edited as required.
  • Social Media Descriptions – Automatically control text and images for both Facebook and Twitter.
  • Multiple Focus Keywords – You have the ability to use multiple focus keywords and analyse how optimised each one is for your page or post with an easy to use interface.
  • Schema/Structured Data – Easily set up sitewide schema markup information with the ability to edit this for specific pages or posts.
  • Local SEO – You have the ability to optimise your site for one local SEO location in the free version.
  • Woocommerce SEO – Rank Math includes basic Woocommerce SEO features to set product/shop title/meta descriptions.
  • Breadcrumbs – Easily add breadcrumbs to your WordPress website.
  • Link Counter – Rank Math shows you the total number of internal and external links in your content such as pages and blog posts.
  • 404 Monitor – The can be a great feature if you have a lot of content. It will show you all 404 errors on your website meaning you can redirect any common errors to other pages or posts on your site.
  • Redirections – Another great feature if you need to quickly redirect from one page to another such as 404 errors.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO still offers a great range of free features, although not as many as Rank Math do for the free version, however, with the experience they have, you know that these features will be very good at what they do.

Let’s take a look at the features available on the free version of Yoast SEO:

  • Google Search Console – Connect and verify your website with your Google Search Console account.
  • Cornerstone content – Mark important pages as “Cornerstone” to help optimise them and add more internal links to them.
  • XML Sitemap – Automatically creates an XML sitemap for your website that is more customisable than the standard WordPress sitemap.
  • Title/Meta Description Templates – Yoast SEO provides you with the ability to create templates for title and meta descriptions that automatically apply to your content. You can then edit these as needed on a page or post.
  • Social Media Descriptions – Automatically control text and images for both Facebook and Twitter.
  • Single Focus Keyword – You have the ability to use a single focus keyword and analyse how optimised it is for your page or post with an easy to use interface.
  • Schema/Structured Data – Easily set up sitewide schema markup information with the ability to edit this for specific pages or posts.
  • Local SEO – You have the ability to optimise your site for one local SEO location in the free version.
  • Woocommerce SEO – Yoast SEO includes basic Woocommerce SEO features to set product/shop title/meta descriptions.
  • Breadcrumbs – Easily add breadcrumbs to your WordPress website.
  • Link Counter – Yoast SEO shows you the total number of internal and external links in your content such as pages and blog posts.

Unlike Rank Math, which only offers a single free and premium version, Yoast SEO offers a range of additional premium plugins including Local SEO, Video SEO, News SEO and Woocommerce SEO meaning if you did want to choose a premium version, Rank Math is much better for your wallet than Yoast SEO currently is.

If it comes down to Rank Math vs Yoast SEO and their free features, Rank Math is just ahead, but only if you find the additional features useful. If not, then there is very little between the two plugins when it comes to the best WordPress SEO plugin available in 2021.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO – Other Features & Setup

Now let’s take a look at the other main features and setup processes for both of these WordPress SEO plugins.

Focus Keyword Analysis – Rank Math vs Yoast SEO

Both Rank Math and Yoast SEO use a similar interface when it comes to the analysis of your focus keyword, although as you can see from the feature list above, Rank Math allows you to use multiple focus keywords on its free version (up to 5) compared to only one for Yoast SEO.

Both plugins provide you with an easy to follow list of hints and tips to help you get the best out of your page or post SEO, although Rank Math also lists suggestions for your meta title and description.

The main difference between the two plugins in the scoring system. Rank Math uses a score of 0-100 along with colour coding to show you how well your post or page is set up for your chosen focus keyword. For example, if you have a score of 80 or more, this will appear in green.

In contrast to this, Yoast SEO uses a simple traffic light system of Red (Bad), Yellow (OK) and Green (Good) instead of a number based system like Rank Math. Although this may not seem like much, especially as both plugins have their lists of hints and tips for you to check against, without a number based system it is difficult to know whether your content would count as 80/100 or 99/100 on Yoast as you can with Rank Math.

This could mean you may be leaving out certain improvements to your SEO score as you are unable to see if or where improvements can be made.

What Yoast SEO does have that Rank Math does not is its content readability score and analysis although this is known to be a little erratic at best. You can go from green to red or the other way round by changing something a simple as a letter so we would not recommend relying on this if you are looking to check the readability of your content.

If you compare Rank Math vs Yoast SEO for focus keyword analysis, Rank Math definitely comes out the winner mainly due to the ability to have multiple focus keywords, however, the scoring system is also superior to that of Yoast SEO in our opinion.

Plugin Set Up – Rank Math vs Yoast SEO

When comparing Rank Math vs Yoast SEO we need to look at how easy are the plugins to set up? Well, luckily, the initial set up for plugins are very simple and both have their own setup wizards to guide you through the basics of the process.

Rank Math also offers you the chance to migrate all of your current SEO content over from Yoast SEO if you have decided to switch. This is a great feature and we believe is another reason why the popularity of Rank Math is growing as you can backup your website, migrate from Yoast SEO to Rank Math and if you are not happy, revert back to your backup. It is quick, easy and risk-free.

Where Yoast SEO is ahead is the settings department. This is mainly due to having fewer features than Rank Math, however, it is much easier to set up the more advanced features than Rank Math is, especially if you are new to Rank Math.

Not that Rank Math is difficult, they use a nice, easy to navigate interface, it is just there are more settings to worry about which can seem daunting for newer users.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO is hard to call when it comes to the setup process, however, for new users, Yoast SEO may just pip Rank Math due to having fewer feature settings.

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Conclusion

When it comes to Rank Math vs Yoast SEO and what is the best WordPress SEO plugin it really comes down to preference or what features are better for you for choosing which plugin to use on your WordPress website.

Both are excellent choices and offer some unique features to help you improve your SEO scores. We advise you to test out both plugins, starting with Yoast SEO due to the Rank Math feature automatically converting Yoast SEO to Rank Math.

No matter which plugin you choose, you will greatly improve your SEO score and if you want to know what we use here at Rokit Host? We use Rank Math.

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