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Rank Math vs Yoast SEO: Which One Is Better for SEO? (2020 Edition)

Trying to decide between Rank Math vs Yoast SEO to handle search engine optimization on your WordPress site?

If you want to optimize WordPress SEO, you absolutely need an SEO plugin. And when it comes to WordPress SEO plugins, Yoast SEO is definitely the biggest name in town and has been since pretty much the beginning of WordPress.

However, while Yoast SEO does get most of the press, that doesn’t mean it’s your only quality option for SEO on WordPress. There are several other popular plugins including Rank Math, the one that we’re going to be comparing with Yoast SEO.

Rank Math is a relative newcomer (when compared to Yoast SEO), but it’s rapidly grown in popularity and has a legion of loyal fans, as evidenced by its official Facebook group.

So, which one should you pick in the Rank Math vs Yoast SEO comparison? Well, that’s the topic of this post.

We’re not necessarily going to pick a “winner” and “loser”. Instead, we’re just going to highlight what each plugin does well and how they compare so that you can pick the option that best fits your needs, knowledge level, and budget.

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

Ready? Let’s dive in!

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO — Introductions

To kick things off, we’ll quickly introduce Yoast SEO and Rank Math to set the stage for our more hands-on comparison.

Yoast SEO

Originally launched all the way back 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 kind of the “de facto” WordPress SEO plugin. For example, if you read a tutorial about WordPress SEO, it’s probably going to just assume that you’re using Yoast SEO.

Beyond being the most popular WordPress SEO plugin, it’s also just generally one of the most popular WordPress plugins of all time, with over 288 million downloads to date.

Rank Math

Rank Math, on the other hand, is the WordPress SEO upstart. It was launched in late 2018, though it had been in development for multiple years before that. While the SEO plugin is new, Rank Math comes from an established WordPress development team in MyThemeShop.

Since its launch, Rank Math has rapidly grown in popularity and it now deserves the crown of the second-most popular WordPress SEO plugin*. In under two years, it’s gone from pretty much zero to an active install count of over 500,000 sites, which is impressive for a WordPress plugin. It’s accomplished this growth largely on the back of a lengthy free feature list, as you’ll see below.

*Technically, All In One SEO Pack is the second-most popular plugin by active install count at WordPress.org. However, Rank Math definitely has more momentum and has a much higher new download count.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO — Features

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

In terms of the sheer number of features available, Rank Math offers more than Yoast SEO, especially when only comparing the free versions. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “better” because the key 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 to Rank Math.

Rank Math

Free Features:

  • Focus keyword analysis (supports multiple keywords) – enter one or more focus keywords and see how optimized your content is for those keywords.
  • Local SEO and Knowledge Graph – optimize your site for local SEO (only one location for free)
  • Image SEO – improve image SEO and automatically set alt and title tags.
  • Internal Link suggestions – Rank Math will suggest other content on your site to link to while you’re working in the editor.
  • Breadcrumbs – add breadcrumbs to your site.
  • Link Counter – count the number of internal and external links in your content.
  • Redirections – create and manage 301 and 302 redirects.
  • Google Analytics – add the tracking code and view information.
  • Basic WooCommerce SEO – set product/shop titles/descriptions.

Premium Features:

  • Google Trends integration
  • Google Video SEO sitemap
  • Google News SEO sitemap
  • Multiple locations for local SEO
  • Google AdSense earning history
  • Automatically watermark social media images

One nice thing about Rank Math is that all of these features are modular – so you can easily disable any features that you aren’t planning to use.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO has a more limited feature list in its free version, but the Yoast SEO team does offer multiple pro add-ons that you can use to extend the core features. However, as we mentioned above, you will see that Yoast SEO charges for several features that Rank Math gives you for free, such as a redirect manager, multiple keyword analysis, and internal link suggestions.

Basic Features:

  • Set SEO titles/meta descriptions – create templates that automatically apply to content and manually adjust SEO titles/descriptions for individual pieces of content.
  • Sitewide schema – add sitewide schema markup.
  • Content schema type – set a custom schema type for individual pieces of content (you can also set a sitewide default).
  • Search Console – verify your site with Search Console.
  • Set social media descriptions – control text and images for Facebook and Twitter.
  • Basic WooCommerce SEO – e.g. set the titles/descriptions for products and shop pages.
  • Cornerstone content – mark important pages as “Cornerstone” to help optimize them and get more internal links to them.
  • Breadcrumbs – add breadcrumbs to your site.
  • Link Counter – count the number of internal links in your content.

Core Premium Features:

  • Redirect Manager – create and manage 301 and 302 redirects.
  • Internal link suggestions – Yoast SEO will suggest other content on your site to link to.
  • Internal link blocks – add a block that automatically includes relevant links instead of manually adding them.
  • Multiple focus keywords – analyze your content for multiple focus keywords.

Yoast SEO also offers other paid add-ons for specific types of SEO. These give you features that are also mostly only available in the premium version of Rank Math, though Rank Math does include some local SEO features in its free version:

  • Local SEO – adds structured data for local businesses/Knowledge Graph, enhances your contact page, and supports multiple physical locations.
  • Video SEO – get your videos listed in Google Videos and add other video SEO enhancements.
  • News SEO – optimize your site for Google News, ping Google when you publish a post, create an XML News sitemap, and more.
  • WooCommerce SEO (Advanced) – get access to more WooCommerce SEO features such as social media graph information, a cleaner XML sitemap, and more.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO — Setup Process

Both Rank Math and Yoast SEO do a good job of onboarding you with important settings. Both are just generally pretty user-friendly, as well.

Overall, this category is a toss-up and really just comes down to personal preference in terms of which one you prefer.

Rank Math

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

Overall, the wizard is quite well done and offers customized experiences for basic vs. advanced users:

The Rank Math setup wizard

The Rank Math setup wizard

In the setup wizard, you’ll configure:

  • Basic schema information
  • Google Analytics and Google Search Console integrations, if you want to use them.
  • XML sitemap.
  • Other basic settings, such as whether to noindex empty category and tag archives.
Using the setup wizard to configure features

Using the setup wizard to configure features

Once you go through the setup wizard, it also gives you a choice to set up advanced options which will unlock some additional steps for things like:

  • Role manager (to control which WordPress roles can access Rank Math).
  • 404 error monitoring.
  • Redirection.

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

  • Enable/disable each module.
  • Configure all the modules that you’ve enabled.
The modular feature managed in Rank Math

The modular feature managed in Rank Math

If you’re in Easy Mode, you won’t see all of the modules. You need to enable Advanced Mode to see every single module.

Yoast SEO

Like Rank Math, Yoast SEO includes a configuration wizard to help you quickly get up and running, though you’ll need to launch it from the WordPress toolbar.

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

  • Basic sitewide schema data
  • Whether or not to index your site
  • SEO title templates

The Yoast SEO dashboard also includes some tips/suggestions and will flag any potential issues with your site:

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

Managing Yoast SEO's features

Managing Yoast SEO’s features

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO — User Interface

When we compared the setup process above, you already got a look at some of the user interface. Next, we’ll take a look at what the user interface is like for day-to-day actions, e.g. setting up the optimization for an individual post or page.

We’ll also showcase a few of the most unique interface parts outside of that.

Rank Math

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

You can open the Rank Math settings by clicking on its icon on the Toolbar. The settings sidebar is divided into four tabs:

  • General – edit the snippet details, set a focus keyword, and view analysis.
  • Advanced – configure robots meta information, such as adding a noindex tag.
  • Schema – set up schema markup/structured data.
  • Social – set up social graph information for Facebook and Twitter.
The Rank Math interface in the block editor

The Rank Math interface in the block editor

Another unique part of Rank Math is its Analytics interface. Depending on whether you have the free or pro version, you’ll be able to track:

  • Search Console reports (e.g. search impressions and keyword positions). Free.
  • Keyword rankings/performance. Paid.
  • Traffic statistics from Google Analytics. Paid. Rank Math will also match these to each piece of content’s SEO score.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO gives you two ways to set up your SEO information while working in the editor for an individual piece of content:

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

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

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

The Yoast SEO sidebar interface

The Yoast SEO sidebar interface

You can expand each section to view more information. For example, if you’ve enabled the schema markup settings, you can set an individual piece of content’s schema type from the Schema section.

You can also click on the “preview” options to view your snippet information in a popup:

The Yoast SEO snippet editor

The Yoast SEO snippet editor

The other option is to use the meta box, which appears below the editor and divides its settings into four columns:

  • SEO – set titles/descriptions, view keyword analysis, and control advanced settings such as robots tags and canonical links.
  • Readability – view the readability analysis tips.
  • Schema – choose a schema type for this piece of content.
  • Social – set up open graph information for Facebook and Twitter.
The Yoast SEO meta box

The Yoast SEO meta box

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO — Keyword Analysis

Both Rank Math and Yoast SEO support keyword analysis while you’re creating content. That is, you can add the keyword(s) that you’re targeting and the plugin will analyze your content to tell you how well-optimized it is and if you need to make any changes.

This is another section where it really just depends on your personal preference and which interface/approach you prefer. One advantage of Rank Math, however, is that it lets you analyze multiple keywords for free. With the free version of Yoast SEO, you can only analyze a single keyword (though the premium version allows multiple keyword analysis).

Rank Math

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

  1. Give you a score from 0-100. along with some color-coding. If you score above 80, you’ll get the “green”, which is good.
  2. List specific tips and whether or not you’ve met them. For example, is your focus keyword in the SEO title? How many times did you use it in the content?

Rank Math’s list of suggestions includes both on-page SEO as well as other factors such as title/content readability:

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

Yoast SEO

With the free version at WordPress.org, Yoast SEO only lets you analyze a single keyword for each piece of content. If you upgrade to the premium version, however, you’ll be able to analyze multiple keywords.

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

The analysis works pretty much the same as Rank Math – you enter your keyword(s) and then Yoast SEO gives you a score and also compares your content to its list of specific suggestions.

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Yoast SEO’s score is less specific, though. There’s no numeric rating and there are only three options:

  • Green (good)
  • Yellow (ok)
  • Red (bad)
The Yoast SEO keyword analysis

The Yoast SEO keyword analysis

Yoast SEO also separates its readability analysis into its own score, also with its same scoring system. The readability analysis can be a little quirky as the score weighting sometimes feels arbitrary.

For example, it’s possible to jump from red to green just by changing a single letter in your content. In general, you should pay more attention to the specific readability tips than your actual score.

The Yoast SEO readability analysis

The Yoast SEO readability analysis

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO — Pricing

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

This is a big change for Rank Math as, for a long time, it only came in a free version. However, the developer launched the Pro version of the plugin in November 2020. It adds new features and doesn’t affect any of the existing features that were already available for free.

Overall, Rank Math’s premium version is more affordable than Yoast SEO for three reasons:

  • Rank Math’s top-level prices are lower than Yoast SEO (though that might change).
  • Rank Math’s premium plan supports unlimited websites, while Yoast SEO doesn’t offer an unlimited license.
  • Rank Math only has a single premium plan with all the features, while Yoast SEO has multiple premium extensions. For example, if you want to add Local SEO support, that’s a separate purchase.

Rank Math

Currently, Rank Math offers two plans for its premium version:

  • Pro – $59 – use it on unlimited personal websites and track up to 1,000 keywords.
  • Business – $199 – use it on unlimited personal and client websites and track up to 20,000 keywords.

These prices are marked as a special “launch offer”. If Rank Math does move to charge the full list price, you would pay:

  • Pro – $129
  • Business – $429

It’s hard to tell whether Rank Math really will charge these prices in the future or if this is going to be an evergreen discounting strategy to add urgency.

Yoast SEO

There are two types of premium offerings for Yoast SEO.

First off, there’s the core premium plugin, which gets you access to features like multiple keyword analysis, internal link suggestions, and more. The core premium offering costs $89 for use on a single site – you can also get discounts for multi-site licenses:

Yoast SEO premium pricing

Yoast SEO premium pricing

Then, there are also four premium extensions for specific types of SEO:

Rank Math vs Yoast — FAQ

To finish things out, let’s go over some frequently asked questions you still might have after our comparison.

In general, Rank Math has more features than Yoast SEO, especially when comparing the free versions.

Yoast SEO is more popular – in fact, it’s one of the most popular plugins of all time. However, it’s also been around a lot longer than Rank Math. Given how young it is, Rank Math is quite popular.

According to WordPress.org, Yoast SEO is active on 5+ million sites (which is the highest designation at WordPress.org – it’s likely a lot more than that) while Rank Math is active on 600,000+ sites.

Which Plugin Has Better Reviews?

Both Yoast SEO and Rank Math have excellent reviews at WordPress.org. In fact, they’re both rated 4.9 out of 5, though Yoast SEO has a much larger review base:

  • Yoast SEO – 4.9-star rating on over 27,284 reviews.
  • Rank Math – 4.9-star rating on over 2,064 reviews.

Is Rank Math Safe?

Because Rank Math is a newer plugin while Yoast SEO has been around for years, some people worry about the safety of Rank Math.

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

The 2,000+ people who gave it a 4.9-star rating at WordPress.org aren’t wrong.

Is Rank Math Better Than Yoast SEO?

Well, this one is pretty subjective, and it’s what we tried to get into in this post. Rank Math does offer more features than Yoast SEO, especially when you’re talking about the free versions.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for your site – it really just depends on whether or not you think you’ll actually use those features and how much you value going with the “more established” option in Yoast SEO.

Summary

In your Rank Math vs Yoast SEO quest, 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 a “mistake” choosing either plugin. It’s more about picking the plugin that best helps you achieve your SEO goals.

Overall, Rank Math certainly gives you more features in the free version. For example, you’ll get analysis for multiple keywords, 404 detection, a redirect manager, local SEO features, internal link suggestions, and more. Those are all things that Yoast SEO either charges for or doesn’t offer.

If you think you’ll use those features, then maybe Rank Math is right for you. However, if you’re the type of person who just uses your SEO plugin to set some SEO titles/descriptions and maybe optimize for a single keyword, you’re not really getting much extra value from those features.

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

To sum up:

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

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

The post Rank Math vs Yoast SEO: Which One Is Better for SEO? (2020 Edition) appeared first on Kinsta.

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