Rank Math vs. Yoast SEO: Which One Is Better for SEO?

Are you trying to choose between Rank Math and Yoast SEO to handle search engine optimisation on your WordPress site?

If you want to optimise WordPress SEO, you need an SEO plugin. And when it comes to WordPress SEO plugins, Yoast SEO is definitely the biggest name and has been used since the inception of WordPress.

Although Yoast SEO gets the most publicity, that doesn’t mean it’s your only great option for SEO on WordPress. There are several other popular plugins, including Rank Math, which we’re going to compare to Yoast SEO.

Rank Math is a relatively new plugin (when compared to Yoast SEO), but it has grown rapidly in popularity and has a lot of loyal fans, as evidenced by its official Facebook group.

So, which plugin should you choose when comparing Rank Math and Yoast SEO? However, that is the topic of this post.

This doesn’t mean we’re picking any “winners” and “losers.” Rather, we’ll simply outline the strengths and differences of each plugin so you can choose the one that best suits your needs, experience level, and price range.

We’ll start by introducing each option in a little more detail. Then, we’ll compare them in depth across different categories.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO: Introduction

To start things off, we’ll quickly introduce Yoast SEO and Rank Math to set the stage for our more practical comparison.

Yoast SEO

Originally launched in 2010, Yoast SEO is by far the most popular WordPress SEO plugin. It was founded by Joost de Valk, who was an SEO consultant before launching Yoast SEO.

In many ways, Yoast SEO is just like a “real” WordPress SEO plugin. For example, if you read an SEO tutorial, it will likely assume you’re using Yoast SEO.

In addition to being the most popular WordPress SEO plugin, it is also one of the most popular WordPress plugins ever, with over 288 million downloads to date.

Rank Math

Rank Math, on the other hand, is a newer product from WordPress SEO. It was launched in late 2018, although it had been in development for several years before that. Rank Math is a relatively new SEO plugin, although it originates from a well-established WordPress development team at My ThemeShop.

Since its launch, Rank Math has grown rapidly in popularity and now deserves the crown of being the second most popular WordPress SEO plugin. In less than two years, it has grown from almost zero to over 500,000 active installs on sites, which is impressive for a WordPress plugin. It has achieved this growth largely on the back of a long free feature list, as you will see below.

Technically, All-in-One SEO Pack is the second most popular plugin by number of active installs on WordPress.org. On the other hand, Rank Math is undoubtedly more popular and has received a lot more new downloads.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO: Features

Now, let’s get into the more practical section of the Rank Math vs Yoast SEO comparison, starting with a look at the features of each plugin.

Rank Math outperforms Yoast SEO in terms of feature count, especially when comparing only the free version. This doesn’t mean it’s “better,” because the main thing here is whether or not you’ll actually use those extra features.

However, if you will use those extra features, that’s an advantage for Rank Math.

Rank Math

Free Features:

1. Set SEO titles and meta descriptions. Create templates that are automatically applied to content and manually adjust SEO titles and descriptions for individual pieces of content.

2. Set social media descriptions: control text and images for Facebook and Twitter.

3. Focus Keyword Analysis (supports multiple keywords): Enter one or more focus keywords and see how well your content is optimised for those keywords.

4. XML Sitemaps: Create more customizeable XML sitemaps than the default WordPress sitemap feature.

5. Structured Data/Schema: Set sitewide schema markup and also control schema markup for individual pieces of content.

6. Search Console: Connect your site to Google Search Console to automatically submit sitemaps and view Search Console analytics all inside your WordPress dashboard.

7. Local SEO and Knowledge Graph: Optimise your site for local SEO (only one location free)

8. Image SEO: Boost image SEO and add title and alt tags automatically.
9. Internal Link Suggestions: While you’re working in the editor, Rank Math will suggest other content to link to on your site.

10. Breadcrumbs: Add breadcrumbs to your site.

11. Link Counter: Count how many links your article has, both internal and external.

12. Redirects: Create and manage 301 and 302 redirects.

13. 404 Monitor: Monitor your site for 404 errors. You can then redirect common 404 errors to other pages on your site.

14. Google Analytics: Add a tracking code and view information.

15. Basic WooCommerce SEO: Set the title and description for the product/shop.

Premium Features:

1. Keyword rank tracking: track your site’s search engine rankings and keyword performance over the  last 12 months (quite unique)
2. Google Trends integration
3. Google Video SEO sitemaps
4. Google News SEO sitemaps
5. Multiple locations for local SEO
6. More pre-defined schema types (20+)
7. Google AdSense earnings history
8. Automatically apply watermarks to social media images

The fact that Rank Math’s features are completely modular means you can easily turn off any functionality you won’t be using.

Yoast SEO

The list of features in the free version of Yoast SEO is limited, but the Yoast SEO team offers several pro add-ons that you can use to enhance the core features. However, as we mentioned above, you’ll notice that Yoast SEO charges for many of the features that Rank Math gives you for free, such as a redirect manager, multiple keyword analysis, and internal link suggestions.

Basic Features:

1. Set SEO titles and meta descriptions. Create templates that automatically apply to content and manually adjust SEO titles and descriptions for individual pieces of content.

2. XML Sitemaps: Create more customisable XML sitemaps than the detailed WordPress feature.

3. Focused Keyword Analysis (single keyword only) Enter a focus keyword and see how optimised your content is for that keyword.4. Sitewide Schema: Add sitewide schema markup.

5. Content Schema Types: Set custom schema types for different pieces of content (you can also set sitewide defaults).

6. Search Console: Verify your site with Search Console.

7. Set Social Media Descriptions: Control text and images for Facebook and Twitter.

8. Basic WooCommerce SEO: Set titles and descriptions for products and shop pages.

9. Cornerstone content: Designate important pages as “cornerstones” to improve them and increase the number of internal links leading to them.

10. Breadcrumbs: Add breadcrumbs to your site.

11. Link Counter: Determine how many internal connections are present in your writing.

Key Premium Features:

1. Redirect Manager: Create and manage 301 and 302 redirects.

2. Internal Link Suggestions: Yoast SEO will suggest other content to link to on your site.

3. Internal Links Block: Add a block that automatically includes relevant links instead of adding them manually.

4. Multiple Focus Keywords: Analyse your content for multiple focus keywords.

5. Related Keywords: Generate related keywords based on data from SEMrush.

There are also other premium add-ons available for specialised SEO strategies from Yoast SEO. These give you features that are primarily exclusive to the premium version of Rank Math, while the free version of Rank Math also offers some local SEO tools:

1. Local SEO: Adds structured data for local businesses and knowledge graphs, improves your contact page, and supports multiple physical locations.

2. Video SEO: Get Google video listings for your videos and improve video SEO even more.

3. News SEO: optimise your site for Google News, ping Google when you publish a post, create XML news sitemaps, and more.

4. WooCommerce SEO (Advanced): Get access to WooCommerce SEO features like social media graph information, a clean XML sitemap, and more.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO: The Setup Process

Both Yoast SEO and Rank Math do an excellent job of introducing you to the key configurations. Both are generally quite user-friendly.

Overall, this category is a toss-up, and it really depends on your personal preference as to which one you prefer.

Rank Math

When you first launch Rank Math, it opens a setup wizard to help you configure important basic features. To access additional features, you can choose to link your free Rank Math account. You don’t have to do this to use the plugin, but you will need to connect a free account to unlock all features.

Overall, the wizard is quite well done and offers a customised experience for basic vs. advanced users:

In the setup wizard, you will configure:

1. Basic schema information

2. Google Analytics and Google Search Console integration, if you want to use them.

3. XML sitemap.

4. Other basic settings, such as whether to noindex empty categories and tag archives,.

Once you go through the setup wizard, it also gives you the option to set advanced options that will unlock some additional steps, such as:

1. Role Manager (to limit Rank Math access to specific WordPress roles).

2. 404 error monitoring.

3. Redirects.

4. More detailed schema markup settings, such as setting default schema types for individual post types,.

After you complete the setup wizard, it will also launch you into the module manager, which lists every single feature and lets you:

1. Enable or disable each module.
2. Configure all the modules you have enabled.

If you are in easy mode, you will not see all the modules. You will need to enable advanced mode to see every single module.

Yoast SEO

Like Rank Math, Yoast SEO includes a configuration wizard that helps you get up and running quickly, although you will need to launch it from the WordPress toolbar.

This wizard also does a great job of taking you through all the important settings, like:

1. Basic sitewide schema data

2. Whether to index your site or not

3. SEO title templates

The Yoast SEO dashboard will highlight any potential problems with your website, as well as offer some advice and recommendations:

Like Rank Math, Yoast SEO also uses a modular approach that lets you disable features you don’t want to use. You can view features in the Features tab and turn off specific features using toggles:

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO (User Interface)

When we compared the setup process above, you already got to see some parts of the user interface. Next, we’ll look at what the user interface is like for everyday activities, such as setting up optimisation for an individual post or page.

We’ll also show some of the most unique interface parts.

Rank Math

If you’re using the WordPress block editor (Gutenberg), Rank Math integrates fully into the block editor. That is, you won’t be using the “meta box” approach you get with the classic editor.

You can open Rank Math settings by clicking its icon on the toolbar. The Settings sidebar has four tabs:

1. General: Edit snippet descriptions, set focus keywords, and view analytics.

2. Advanced: Configure robot meta information, such as adding a noindex tag.

3. Schema: Set schema markup/structured data.

4. Social: Set social graph information for Facebook and Twitter.

The Rank Math analytics interface is another distinctive feature. Depending on whether you have the free or pro version, you’ll be able to track the following:

1. Search Console reports (such as search impressions and keyword positions). Free.

2. Keyword rankings and performance are paid. Paid.

3. Traffic statistics from Google Analytics. Paid. Rank Math will also match these to the SEO score of each piece of content.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO gives you two ways to set your SEO information when working in the editor for the same piece of content:

1. You get a meta box at the bottom of the editor, which appears in both the block editor and the classic editor. This is the “old” way to configure Yoast SEO.

2. If you’re using the block editor, you’ll find a new Yoast SEO option in the editor sidebar.

You can choose the way that works for you, which is nice if you prefer the meta box approach (since Rank Math doesn’t give you meta boxes in the block editor).

If you use the sidebar in the block editor, you’ll have access to all the options in one column:

Each area can be expanded to display more detail. For example, if you’ve enabled the Schema Markup setting, you can set the schema type of a different piece of content from the Schema section.

You can also click the “Preview” options to see your snippet information in a popup:

Another option is to use the Meta Box, which appears below the editor and divides its settings into four columns:

1. SEO: Set the title/description, view keyword analysis, and control advanced settings like robot tags and canonical links.

2. Readability: View readability analysis tips.

3. Schema: Choose a schema type for this piece of content.

4. Social: Set Open Graph information for Facebook and Twitter.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO: Keyword Analysis

When you’re creating content, both Rank Math and Yoast SEO support keyword analysis. That is, you can add your target keywords, and the plugin will analyse your content to tell you how well it’s optimised and whether you need to make any changes.

This is another section where it really comes down to your personal preference and which interface/approach you prefer. However, one benefit of rank math is that it lets you analyse multiple keywords for free. With the free version of Yoast SEO, you can only analyse a single keyword (although the premium version allows multiple keyword analysis).

Rank Math

Even with the free version, Rank Math lets you analyse up to five focus keywords at a time. All you have to do is enter the keyword you want to target and Rank Math will:

1. Give you a score from 0-100. Do some colour-coding as well. If your score is above 80, you’ll get “green,” which is good.

2. List specific tips and indicate whether or not you’ve accomplished them. For example, is your focus keyword in the SEO title? How many times have you used it in your content?

Rank Math’s list of tips includes on-page SEO as well as other factors like title and content readability.

You can switch between different keywords by clicking on them in the list. For example, if you choose a different focus keyword, the analysis will change to focus on that specific keyword.

Yoast SEO

With the free version on WordPress.org, Yoast SEO lets you analyse only one keyword for each piece of content. However, if you upgrade to the premium version, you’ll be able to analyse multiple keywords.

Again, as we showed you in the user interface sections, you can access the analysis tips in the sidebar of the block editor or in the meta box at the bottom of any editor.

The analysis works very similar to rank math: you enter your keyword, and then Yoast SEO gives you a score and also compares your content to its list of specific suggestions.

However, Yoast SEO’s score is less specific. There’s no numerical rating and only three options:

  • Green (good)
  • Yellow (ok)
  • Red (bad)

Yoast SEO separates its readability analysis into its score as well, with its own scoring system. Readability analysis can be a bit quirky because the score weightings sometimes seem arbitrary.

For example, it’s possible to go from red to green by changing just one letter in your content. Generally speaking, you should pay more attention to the detailed readability advice than to your score.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO: Pricing

Both Rank Math and Yoast SEO are available for free on WordPress.org. Again, both developers also sell premium versions with more features.

For a long time, Rank Math was only available as a free version. This is an important update. However, the developer launched a pro version of the plugin in November 2020. It adds additional functionality without changing the free functionality that already exists.

The premium version of Rank Math is typically less expensive than Yoast SEO for three reasons.

1. Rank Math’s top-level prices are lower than Yoast SEO (though this may change).

2. Rank Math’s premium plan supports unlimited websites, while Yoast SEO doesn’t offer unlimited licences.

3. Rank Math has just one premium plan with all the features, while Yoast SEO has several premium extensions. For example, if you want to add local SEO support, you’ll need to make a separate purchase.

Rank Math

Rank Math currently offers two plans for its premium version:

1. Pro: $59; use it on unlimited personal websites and track up to 1,000 keywords.

2. Business: $199. Track up to 20,000 keywords and use it on as many personal and client websites as you want.

These prices are marked as a special “launch offer.” If Rank Math charged the full list price, you’d have to pay:

1. Pro, $129

2. Business: $429

It’s hard to tell if Rank Math will actually charge these prices in the future or if this will be an evergreen discount strategy to add urgency.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO comes with two different types of premium solutions.

First, there’s the Core Premium plugin, which gives you access to features like multiple keyword analysis, internal link suggestions, and more. The Core Premium offering costs $99 per year for use on one site; you can also get discounts for multi-site licences.

Additionally, there are four premium extensions available for different forms of SEO:

  • Video SEO for WordPress: $79/year for one site.
  • Local SEO for WordPress: $79/year for one site.
  • News SEO for WordPress: $79/year for one site.
  • Yoast WooCommerce SEO: $79/year for one site.

Yoast also lets you buy all 5 plugins for a total of $229 per year.

Rank Math vs Yoast: FAQs

To wrap things up, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions that you may still have after our comparison.

Which WordPress plugin offers more features?

When comparing the free versions, Rank Math often offers more functionality than Yoast SEO.

Which plugin is more popular?

Yoast SEO is more popular—in fact, it’s one of the most popular plugins ever. However, it’s been around for a long time before Rank Math. Considering how new it is, rank math is pretty popular.

According to WordPress.org, Yoast SEO is active on 5+ million sites (which is the most on WordPress.org—maybe even more), while Rank Math is active on 600,000+ sites.

Which plugin has better reviews?

Both Yoast SEO and Rank Math have great reviews on WordPress.org. In fact, they both have a rating of 4.9 out of 5, although Yoast SEO has a much larger review base.

1. Yoast SEO: Has a 4.9-star rating on over 27,284 reviews.

2. Rank Math: It has 4.9 out of 2,064 reviews, giving it one star.

Is rank math safe?

Since Rank Math is a newer plugin while Yoast SEO has been around for several years, some people are concerned about Rank Math’s safety.

Don’t worry! Rank Math still comes from an established WordPress development team (MyThemeShop) and has built a good reputation in the time it’s been available.

The over 2,000 people who have given it a 4.9-star rating on WordPress.org aren’t wrong.

Is rank math better than Yoast SEO?

Well, that’s quite subjective, and that’s what we tried to find out in this post. Rank Math offers more features than Yoast SEO, especially when you’re talking about the free version.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be better for your website; it really depends on how much you value the “more established” option of Yoast SEO and how much you’ll actually use those features.

Summary

In your Rank Math vs. Yoast SEO exploration, it should be pretty clear that both are quality SEO plugins. The numbers and reviews don’t lie.

Basically, you’re not going to make any “mistakes” in choosing either plugin. It’s more about choosing the plugin that best helps you achieve your SEO goals.

Overall, Rank Math definitely gives you more features in the free version. You’ll receive, among other things, internal link recommendations, 404 detection, redirect management, analysis for multiple keywords, and much more. These are all things that Yoast SEO either charges for or doesn’t offer.

If you think you’ll use those features, rank math is probably right for you. However, if you’re someone who only uses their SEO plugin to set some SEO titles and descriptions and maybe optimise for a single keyword, you’re not really getting a lot of added value from those features.

The nice thing about Rank Math is that it’s modular, so you can disable any feature you don’t want to avoid bloating (the same is true for Yoast SEO).

In short:

  • 1. If you want the most features, Rank Math is the frontrunner right now, especially when comparing free versions.
  • 2. If you’re not going to take advantage of those extra features and you just want something to control your SEO titles, descriptions, and other basic settings, you can simply choose based on your preferred interface. Or, if you respect Yoast SEO’s extensive track record, you may want to choose the “Established Option”; having a ten-year track record is undoubtedly beneficial.

Finally, if you’re wondering what we use at Kinsta, we’re currently using Yoast SEO to optimise the post you’re reading right now (and everything else). If you want to join us, you can check out our full guide on how to use Yoast SEO.

Do you have any additional questions or thoughts on how Rank Math and Yoast SEO compare? Have you tried both? If so, which one did you prefer? Let us know in the comments!

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