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The need to manage SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on WordPress, or optimize your website for search engines, has given rise to the development of numerous plugins with SEO functionality. Among them, two of the most famous are Yoast and Rank Math.
Yoast SEO has remained at the top of the class practically since WordPress was created, but a new challenger, Rank Math, may just topple its crown.
Both plugins offer an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, making managing WordPress SEO accessible to anyone, even novices. Furthermore, both are constantly updated to ensure compatibility with the latest versions of WordPress and to always offer the best possible performance.
Yoast SEO: The original WordPress SEO plugin
Yoast SEO has been called in the past WordPress SEO when it first launched in 2010, which may explain why it has dominated SEO plugin rankings for so long. Creator Joost de Valk cultivated his obsession with WordPress by creating smaller SEO plugins for WordPress that eventually merged into one super plugin. Yoast SEO is considered to be the most popular plugin of all time. Now, Yoast has employees around the world and earns $ 12 million annually.
Considered the godfather of SEO, Yoast has now expanded to include tutorials on how to make the most of search engine optimization, as well as offering custom SEO plugins for eCommerce, video SEO and news SEO.
Rank Math: the new entry on the starting blocks.
Rank Math was first created in 2018 and started in New Delhi, India. Since its launch, it has exploded in popularity, with over 500.000 users downloading Rank Math in less than two years. While not currently listed as the most popular second-rate WordPress SEO plugin (All In One SEO currently sits behind Yoast SEO), its sudden rise to fame makes it arguably the second most successful SEO plugin of 2020. .
Why has it been so successful? Rank Math has a list of free features pretty impressive so far unrivaled with other SEO plugins. A Premium version is available, but for many the free version is all they need.
After all, the commercial approach of Rank Math is rather elementary, in order to scratch an already established giant such as Yoast SEO, the only useful strategy to be able to succeed in the enterprise is to offer already in the free basic plan the features that in Yoast SEO are only featured in the paid commercial plan.
Yoast SEO Vs. Rank Math - Getting started
Both Rank Math and Yoast SEO have handy wizards to help you get started. Which one you prefer is up to you, but here's how they both walk you through the setup process.
The Yoast SEO wizard comes straight from the WordPress dashboard . Part of the setup includes showing you some of the features you want to use and important parts of the plug-in's functionality.
Yoast has an eight-step setup process with a built-in demo video, which is very useful for the Yoast SEO beginner. The wizard is quite logical and guides you through setting basic data such as website and organization type, through more complex steps such as site indexing and search engine appearance.
The Yoast SEO setup wizard allows you to disable features like:
- Readability analysis
- Text link counter
- XML sitemaps
- Admin bar menu
But it also explains what they are so you know what you are turning on or off. The setup wizard is very easy to follow and friendly for new users.
The wizard Rank Math's configuration tool distinguishes between basic and advanced settings, so you have the ability to change simple aspects of your site instead of having complete control of the changes. You can also link it to your Rank Math account to access more features of the plugin, but this is not mandatory. If you want to switch from easy to advanced mode, that's also possible.
Like Yoast SEO, the Rank Math wizard is fairly easy to follow and walks you through simple steps like adding your website and company information, to integrating with software like Google Analytics. It also runs a diagnostic test to report any compatibility issues and runs a comprehensive list of them, so it's clear if there's a problem before you start using the plug-in.
Rank Math and Yoast SEO are pretty much side by side in terms of setup, as both are simple to follow for both beginners and veterans of SEO plugins.
Yoast SEO vs. Rank Math - Keywords and Keywords
Keywords (known in technical jargon as Keywords) are arguably the most essential part of SEO success. So how do they both fare in keyword optimization and analysis? Keywords are a vital part of your digital strategy, and Rank Math has the advantage here with the ability to analyze up to five keywords for free, while Yoast SEO only offers one. Here's what they both have available to improve your keywords.
Yoast SEO allows you to analyze your single keyword in the free version (more options are provided with Premium), evaluate how good it is, and show you a list of suggestions. The score it gives you is assigned on a red to green traffic light system and also allows you to analyze the readability score.
You can get the most out of Yoast SEO's premium package here as it allows you to rate keywords in multiple languages, present and past, and single and plural word forms.
Rank Math offers more in-depth keyword evaluation than the free version of Yoast. It provides a zero to one hundred ranking, with a green (forever) if you go above eighty. Like Yoas, it also provides a readability score and helps you check if you've used the keyword an adequate number of times (and asks you to use it in the title). Rank Math also offers a list of tips like Yoast SEO, but it shows up immediately as soon as you start typing the keyword.
Yoast SEO vs. Rank Math: The list of free features
Rank Math has a whole host of free features you can use, while Yoast SEO has a smaller free list. The question is whether the additional free features are a benefit to the user. Here is a list of the main free and premium features that both SEO plugins have to offer.
What free features do they both have?
Both Yoast SEO and Rank Math share the following list of free features:
- SEO Templates: Easily set templates for content, including SEO titles and descriptions
- XML sitemap and site level schema markup
- Social media descriptions - for Facebook and Twitter
- Adding breadcrumbs - to facilitate site navigation
- Search Console: Rank Math does this through integration with Google Search Console
- Counter for internal links
- Adding descriptors and titles for simple WooCommerce SEO
Rank Math - Free Features
Rank Math offers an additional list of free features over Yoast:
- Integration with Google Analytics
- Multiple keyword analysis: up to five free keywords
- Local SEO and Image SEO
- 404 Error handling
- Recommendations to internal links when creating content
- Redirect manager
- Counter for external links
The one feature that Yoast SEO has that Rank Math lacks is the ability to mark your pages as "Cornerstone", to highlight important pages, optimize them, and add more internal links.
The main difference between Yoast SEO and Rank Math is that Yoast turns many of the free Rank Math features into Premium. Yoast Premium users will get the free redirect manager, internal linking suggestions and multiple keyword analysis that Rank Math currently offers for free. However, both Rank Math and Yoast offer several Premium products that would leave preference to the user's needs.
Yoast SEO offers paid add-ons for local SEO, video SEO, news SEO, and more complex WooCommerce SEO. Local SEO supports multiple positions, video SEO helps you to list your videos in Google Video, and SEO for news makes your site more compatible with Google News. The most advanced WooCommerce addon improves your WooCommerce SEO through features like social media reports.
The best feature of Rank Math Premium is that the package offers an annual success analysis of your keywords. There are also additional integrations with Google services such as Google Trends. Unlike Yoast SEO, Rank Math offers Video SEO, News SEO, and Multi-Location Local SEO as part of their Premium package, rather than as add-ons.
Yoast SEO vs. Rank Math: How easy is it to use?
Yoast SEO and Rank Math have very different user interfaces that both offer something to the user.
Yoast SEO allows you to edit using a WordPress meta box or via the Yoast SEO sidebar . The meta box is available for both the classic block editor and WordPress, while the sidebar is only available in the block editor. The sidebar lists all the options for your SEO in one simple viewpoint. You can also easily preview the content, such as how it will appear on Google, Facebook and Twitter.
The meta box has four tabs for SEO, Readability, Scheme and Social. All features are split into these separate tabs, but still allow you to preview your content on Google, as well as toggle between mobile and desktop previews
Which one you prefer will depend on how long you use Yoast SEO. If you've started using the meta box, you may prefer to continue using it on the newer Yoast sidebar.
Rank Math fully integrates with the block editor, so it doesn't have any meta box options. You can open Rank Math in the block editor by clicking on its icon in the toolbar. The Rank Math toolbar is divided into four separate tabs: General, Advanced, Scheme and Social. Rank Math also offers a separate Analytics dashboard that allows you to track Google Console reports in the free version and website traffic statistics versus SEO optimization in the premium version.
Yoast SEO VS Rank Math - Pricing
Rank Math was free until November and now offers a Pro and Business version. That didn't affect the free version, however, and instead offers many of the upgrades that Yoast SEO includes in its paid add-ons (Local SEO, Video SEO, and Advanced WooCommerce SEO).
Here's what to expect when you're looking to purchase a paid Yoast SEO or Rank Math package.
The Premium package by Yoast SEO is for use on a single site and costs $ 89, although you can get discounts for multisite licenses. Initial discounts start at 5% for each additional site and increase significantly when you shop for more than 10 sites.
You also have the add-ons we mentioned earlier, which can be found under “Other plugins” on the website. Video SEO, Local SEO, WooCommerce SEO, and SEO News will earn you $ 69 for every single site plugin purchase.
Rank Math shares his own Premium packages in Pro ($ 59) and Business ($ 199). These are marked as specials, with the Pro normally listed at $ 129 and the Business at $ 429. The difference between these two is quite substantial:
- Keyword Analysis: 500 for Pro and 10.000 for Business
- Web sites: Unlimited personal sites for Pro and additional support for customer sites with Business
- Support: priority support for businesses and support for both 24/24
Yoast SEO vs. Rank Math: which is the best SEO plugin for WordPress?
Yoast SEO has been around for years and remains one of the most successful WordPress plugins of all time. Yet Rank Math has had a huge growth of half a million users in less than two years, making it a worthy rival to the WordPress favorite.
The winners of each category from our point of view are:
- Configuration: for our part it's a draw, as both offer a walkthrough. Although Yoast has detailed videos and demos, Rank Math clearly distinguishes between novice and advanced users with the “Easy” and “Advanced” settings.
- Keyword - For the free version, Rank Math is hands down the winner, with more keywords available and a more detailed rating system than Yoast SEO (0-100 vs. red-orange-green).
- Functionality: Rank Math offers a lot more free features than Yoast SEO, including some basic versions of the features that appear in Yoast SEO Premium and add-ons (like a location for local SEO).
- Ease of use: it depends on your preferences, as Yoast SEO offers more options for editing with the meta box and sidebar options.
- Prezzi: Rank Math is much more affordable and extended across all of its packages, including unlimited use of multiple sites as part of the Premium pricing. Everything is included in one price, unlike Yoast SEO which splits into add-ons and Premium packages.
Wins Rank Math?
It's not unreasonable to assume that Rank Math needs to be cheaper and have more free features to compete with Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO is still much more popular and widely used than Rank Math, although we're interested in seeing how Rank Math develops in the future.
However, they are only SEO plugins
The use of plugins and tools for SEO in WordPress can certainly facilitate some operations and make the work of optimizing your site for search engines more efficient. For example, a plugin like Yoast or Rank Math can help with keyword analysis, sitemap creation, meta tag management, and many other SEO-related tasks.
However, SEO strategy is much more than just using plugins. SEO is a complex and constantly evolving activity, which requires specific knowledge and careful planning to obtain satisfactory results. It is not enough to install a plugin to obtain a prominent position in search results: a well-defined strategy is needed, which takes into account the characteristics of your site and the needs of the target audience.
Furthermore, SEO is not only about your site, but also how it is perceived by search engines. To obtain satisfactory results, it is therefore necessary to also work on the reputation of the online site, for example through the creation of quality content, the optimization of incoming links and the use of social media to promote one's brand.