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How to Use Rank Math SEO Plugin to Optimize Your WordPress Website 

Alekh Verma | February 27, 2023
Rank Math

Previously, using SEO for websites was a tactic to raise one's ranking in search engine results. However, as more website owners understand the value of SEO, it has become a crucial tool. You must stay up with your rivals if you want your website to be found. In this tutorial, we'll use the Rank Math SEO plugin to level the playing field and improve your WordPress website.

What is Rank Math?  

Rank Math's feature-rich SEO suite-style plugin allows you to guarantee that your website is optimized using the best techniques for search engines. If you've ever used any other WordPress SEO plugin, you should have a basic understanding of how Rank Math might function.

Because Rank Math is a freemium plugin, it offers more functionality in the free edition than other plugins do, which is a key distinction between it and other SEO plugins.

Core Features of Rank Math 

What distinguishes this SEO plugin from the competition in terms of features? Let's look more closely.

  • Ease of Use 

Many of our clients lack the time necessary to go down and configure every last detail of their WordPress sites. True, they need to manage their businesses. The simplicity of use of Rank Math, even when installed through the Setup Wizard, is what makes it so amazing. You are guided through the setup process step-by-step on how to configure parameters that are appropriate for your website.

  • Data Integration Comes Standard 

Understanding data, including how consumers find, use, and engage with your website, is the foundation of SEO. This is accommodated by Rank Math by incorporating Google Analytics and Google Search Console modules in the free version. The commercial version is considerably better since it allows you to track weekly ranking and has access to even more data.

  • Schema or Rich Snippets are included 

It is more important to use schema markup in your SEO campaigns as search engine algorithms change. A sort of HTML markup called schema aids search engines like Google and Bing in comprehending the content of a page and how it ought to be displayed in the search results pages.

For the query "What are fundamental web vitals?" two examples of how Google displays results on a search results page are the "Direct Answer" and "People Also Ask" boxes. Your website's chances of appearing in these or other featured snippets increase if a schema is integrated into it.

You typically need to install a few plugins before you can implement schema across your entire site. However, the free edition of Rank Math's plugin comes with a full snippet module. This indicates that there are 14 various kinds of schemas available to you, all of which can be used right away. This is crucial if you want to have a chance of having your material appear in Google's SERP features, which almost always appear on the first page of search results.

  • Configurable and modular-based

To suit the requirements of our business website, we want to be able to adjust and customize the plugins we utilize. This is made possible by the modular design of Rank Math, which enables us to customize and set up the modules we require while ignoring the ones we don't.

Because the system is modular, you can use certain features as you require them. Unfortunately, a lot of SEO plugins don't let you choose which add-ons or capabilities to utilize based on your shifting needs. Rank Math comes with a number of modules disabled upon installation (including the redirects, schema, and image optimization modules), which can be enabled at a later time.

  • Built-in SEO audit

The one-click SEO audit module of this plugin is another noteworthy feature. The plugin's analysis feature in the freemium edition shows your SEO score and what you can do to raise it. (Consider it as having your own SEO auditor available.)

While this feature is amazing, it's important to note that it just addresses the essential elements of SEO and doesn't address every change a website should make in order to improve its SEO performance.

  • Automated SEO basics

In order to execute SEO fundamentals, we rely on tools or features as the field of SEO develops and content creation and link building become more time-consuming. One such automation function is the image optimizer module of Rank Math, which lets you configure the plugin to automatically add the image title and ALT text.

Because Google and other search engines don't know what graphics or other features your image contains, alt text in photos is crucial. Google is not as "seeing" as you or I am. To give search engines a description of the image, we utilize ALT text. In order to make a website accessible to persons who have visual impairments and rely on screen readers to understand the information, it is essential to incorporate ALT text.

Rank Math and Other SEO Plugins 

When you search for "Rank Math" online, blogs comparing Yoast SEO and Rank Math as SEO plugins are the majority of the search results. Who ought to win? Answering the question is challenging.

Understanding the two plugins' most important differences is the difficult part of comparing them. Yoast is a typical WordPress SEO plugin; Rank Math is an all-inclusive SEO suite. So, is comparing the two realistic? I disagree as an SEO strategist.

Rank Math has many components and features that set it apart from other add-ons. As a result, RankMath looks significantly better than Yoast in comparison because it contains all the features you require in a single, lightweight plugin. Take site speed as an illustration. Google, as well as your intended audience, favors websites that load quickly on both desktop and mobile devices. 

Unfortunately, you must install additional plugins in addition to Yoast in order to access the same functionality that Rank Math provides out of the box. Ironically, fewer installed plugins result in a lighter site that loads quicker in any case. For me and other SEO experts, this is one of the most compelling features of Rank Math.

The built-in data modules of Rank Math are a further feature not included as standard with other SEO plugin solutions. To deliver the same level of data analysis as Monster Insights, Yoast requires the installation of another plugin.

One other area where Yoast fails is in the implementation and use of schema markup. Despite Yoast's typical inclusion of the web page, organization, article, and other schemas, we frequently need to install additional plugins to have the schema we need for our content components. One illustration is the schema for frequently asked questions on our website, made possible by the Helpie plugin.

How to Set Up Rank Math

1. Installing the Rank Math Plugin

Open the WordPress admin interface. Click the "Add New" link under the "Plugins" heading in the left-hand navigation column. Enter "Rank Math" in the "Search plugins..." box. Once you've located the plugin, select "Install Now."

Add new

The plugin has now been installed, but before you can use it, you must activate it. Select "Activate" from the menu.

Rank Math SEO

2. Connecting and Configuring Rank Math

You'll be directed to a screen requesting you to connect your website to Rank Math after activating the plugin. The plugin can be used without a connection, but for the purposes of this tutorial, we'll establish one. I will thus use the "Connect Your Account" button.

Connect Account

Rank Math will ask you whether you want to import your previous settings if you're currently using another WordPress SEO plugin. You won't have to go back and edit earlier posts, which will save you time. Rank Math will automatically address several issues that your existing SEO Plugin might be causing even though you were unaware of any issues.

You will then be prompted to select a setup path. Right now, there are two options: "Easy" and "Advanced." The sophisticated settings will still be available later during plugin configuration if you select the Easy setup. We'll take a little more of a dig into this topic by selecting the Advanced option. I'll thus select "Advanced" and select "Setup Wizard."

Setup Wizard

Here is where you may post photos for Google and social sharing and tell Rank Math about your website:

  • Personal Blog: Select the heading that most accurately describes the subject of your website. Because multiple schema types are utilized for various topics in SEO, this is significant. This will remain set to "Personal Blog."
  • If you have a site logo, upload it here for Google's logo. A photo of you is also relevant if it's a personal website. Although it is desirable, a square image is not required. If it isn't, search engines that use squares to display results may crop your picture.
  • Facebook shares will automatically utilize this image as their default social share image. It will be utilized by other social networks that also use Open Graph Metadata. They suggested rectangle-shaped dimensions, so that's what I'll upload. Although squares are more common, you can find share photos on Facebook. Again, you'll want something with your logo on it for a commercial website.
Website Blog

When done, select "Save and Continue" from the menu. A connection to the Google Search panel is advised by Rank Math. Although it's not necessary, it will significantly increase the plugin's functionality. Let's set it up now. Select "Get Authorization Code" from the menu.

Connect Google Services

You'll be prompted to sign into your Google account in a pop-up window that appears. After connecting, a code will appear in the pop-up window. It should be copied and pasted into Rank Math's "Search Console" section. Choose the website you want to configure from the drop-down menu if you have more than one website connected to Search Console.

Search Console

Click the “Save and Continue” button.

Sitemap Settings

Sitemaps aid in the discovery and comprehension of your website's contents by search engines. They are a crucial component of your SEO stratgey.

  • Sitemaps - Sitemaps can be turned on or off with this option. The setting ought to be active by default. You can proceed if the toggle switch is blue.
  • Include Photos - Whether or not your posts' and pages' images are incorporated into the sitemap is controlled by this setting. The majority of us will want to include photographs. It multiplies the ways that the site can be found. Although not necessarily necessary, photos are permitted. Turn off this option if you don't want the photographs from your website to be included.
  • You can choose which posts and pages are included in your sitemap using the public post types feature. These custom post kinds will appear if you have any. Deselect the post type if you use it for content that is password- or paywall-protected and not accessible to the general public.
  • Public Taxonomies - Categories and tags make up taxonomies. Similar to the Post Types option, you should deselect any private taxonomies.

When done, select "Save and Continue" from the menu.

Sitemap

SEO Tweaks Settings

These are the parameters that will be used for the articles and pages you create.

  • Empty Category and Tag Archives for Noindex: This stops new taxonomy and categories from being added to your sitemap that is empty. Keep it on since search engines may penalize you for having empty sitemap categories.
  • Nofollow External Links - This setting is inactive by default, most likely because WordPress nofollows links in comments by default. Although the idea of nofollow links is straightforward, the topic is relatively nuanced and has several opposing viewpoints. I wouldn't advise adding nofollow to all of your outbound links on the majority of websites. So, unless you have a compelling justification for (or opinion on) using it, disable this option.
  • New Tab or Window to Open External Links - It's up to you whether clicking your links opens a new browser tab or window. It used to be considered impolite to impose actions on a visitor's computer or gadget. But it's much more widely accepted now. Additionally, clicking external links in a new tab keeps the user in the first tab on your website. Increasing the likelihood that they'll visit your website again after clicking the external link.

The link selections don't alter your current content, it's important to remember that. When the page renders, they are added "on the fly." Therefore, the choices you make here can be simply modified.

SEO Tweaks

Select "Save and Continue" from the menu.

The setup wizard comes to a conclusion here. Anytime you want, you can go back to the settings you've chosen. Enter the WordPress admin dashboard and select Rank Math > Setup Wizard.

3. SEO Analysis Should Be Your First Stop After Setup

This tutorial falls short of thoroughly covering all of the setting choices and adjustments available. Spend some time exploring all of the Rank Math settings and possibilities. However, an excellent place to start is with an SEO study, which Rank Math excels at.

Click the "SEO Analysis" link after hovering the mouse over the "Rank Math" item in the left column navigation. Select "Start Site-Wide Analysis" from the menu.

SEO Analysis

The details of the graphs showing the analysis results are below.

SEO Analysis 2

Any components that produced warnings or failed tests should be addressed as soon as possible.

Basic SEO

Rank Math has offered solutions for numerous errors and alerts. Check those out. They contain a wealth of useful knowledge and SEO expertise.

Basic SEO Errors Fix

4. A Quick Look at Rank Math in Action

Rank Math works in the WordPress editor in addition to evaluating your website and assisting you in making improvements. The first thing you'll see is a score in the editor's upper right corner. It's the Gutenberg editor we’re using here. Things will appear slightly different if you continue to use the "traditional" WordPress editor.

WordPress editor

When you click on the score box, the magic happens.

Rank Math Settings

Similar to what we saw in the site-wide analysis, it launches a single-post analysis. Additionally, there are many suggestions for enhancing SEO for your post or page, much as the site-wide study. Additionally, when you utilize the plugin, you'll discover more advantageous adjustments.

To Sum It Up

In conclusion, Rank Math is a strong tool that elevates your WordPress SEO without requiring the installation of additional plugins. It makes sense to switch to this tool in order to improve your WordPress SEO efforts. However, WordPress compatibility should be your primary concern before switching plugins.

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