I tested Rank Math, an alternative to Yoast SEO in 2022

Summary

  • What is an SEO plugin?
  • Yes, but I already have YOAST, SEOpress and dedicated extensions!
  • Rank Math Features
  • Install step by step!
  • The risk of free extensions
  • My opinion on RankMath

Until now, when we talked about the inevitable plugin to launch a site on WordPress , I shouted without hesitation YOOOOOAST! RankMath is an SEO extension , which allows you to “work” on the natural referencing of your website: manage your titles or descriptions in batches, but also redirections, generate a sitemap or even an SEO audit with points to improve. Unlike YOAST, it’s completely free, and with unlimited usage if you have multiple sites. Here is a presentation of RankMath to give you an opinion !

What is an SEO plugin?

To make it short, an SEO extension will remind you of the good practices of natural referencing, by displaying small lights to tell you ”  heyyyy, you forgot to do that “. Putting all the lights on green does not guarantee you to take the first place on a keyword, but it helps! The SEO extension will show you in a checklist what are the On Page criteria to be respected in the eyes of Google.

Yes, but I already have YOAST, SEOpress and dedicated extensions!

If you already have an SEO plugin like YOAST , SEOPress or other, Rank Math offers you an automatic import when creating the account. That is to say that you will automatically import the settings you had made, so as not to penalize your website in terms of natural referencing, and above all so as not to have to start all over again.

Rank Math automatically detects in your extensions those which will be duplicated in terms of functionality and whose parameters must be importe.

There is YOAST for example, if you had determined titles in a certain way, you will import your variables on Rank Math . I was using an independent plugin to manage 301 redirects, so Rank Math offers me to import the work done!

As you will have understood, by centralizing several functionalities, Rank Math will also allow you to lighten your list of extensions (and the fewer, the better!)

Rank Math Features

RankMath is a free SEO plugin for WordPress , which offers a ton of features. I have tried to list the most important ones below.

Link to Search Console

Rankmath will use the Google API to display search console data directly in your backoffice. The idea is to offer pre-marketed work, with tables that are easier to read than if you do a CSV export from Search Console (example below with the queries that bring the most traffic or clicks to your site). You will still be able to lighten your site by removing the Google Kit Sit extension!

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Manage your sitemap

The sitemap of a site is a file (XML) which is generated at the root of your website and which you submit to search engines, to tell it which URLs it must follow and index (pages, articles, images etc.) This helps Google understand your site and follow all links.

Edit your robots.txt and .htaccess file

Features that were paid for on YOAST and which are available for free on RankMath in the “General Settings” section

Manage redirects

Being able to redirect is an essential feature if you need to develop your site. Not being protected from changing a content of place or even of site, you must be able to tell Google that your content has permanently changed its address: this is the principle of the 301 redirection and this functionality is integrated into RankMath.

If you are using another redirect plugin , RankMath automatically imports your already redirected URL list and disables the original application. Another application less will you tell me? Yes, but on RankMath , it’s not possible to import a file to manage batch redirections, to see if it’s really necessary for you!

On-page optimization

When you write an article, you can (like on YOAST), choose a target query, and optimize the content of your page: green is good, orange can do better and red can be corrected. So far, nothing innovative!

The goal is to achieve a score of 100/100 in terms of content optimization and therefore the chances of ranking with your article! These are basic tips, such as checking if

  • the main keyword is in the title, in the description, in the URL
  • if the keyword is placed high enough on the page
  • if it is repeated often enough on the page but not excessively
  • if the content is long enough
  • if the alts of the images are well informed
  • if you have external links and a good internal network
  • etc….

RankMath offers a larger list of criteria but also the possibility of choosing 5 target queries (the first main word and the other secondary ones). When you start typing a “focus keyword” you see suggestions appear (from google suggest).

Handling 404 errors

RankMath offers to automatically send you 404 errors related to your site, and thus correct them by making redirects or editing broken links (activate the option in “dashboard”): a very practical tool that allows you to do without ‘an extension !

A link counter

On your backoffice in the list of pages or articles, you see (as for YOAST) the color dots of RankMath. This then tells you whether to edit the article to make adjustments and optimize the page’s SEO. On this list, you will also see:

  • the number of external links
  • the number of internal links
  • the number of inbound links (backlinks).
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RankMath is in the process of implementing an additional feature at the link level, an internal linking suggestion option (practical for those who have large blogs and who no longer remember that two articles can easily be connected)

Image optimization

Rankmath does not intervene directly on the weight or the size of the image but rather on the missing attributes. If I can only recommend that you fill in the ALT of the images , it happens to forget. And even if it is not very serious, it is not very good either! So RankMath proposes to replace the missing alts according to different variables (file name, article title, image name followed by the article title etc). If you take care to name your images well, you can choose “filename”, the alt of the image will automatically be its name.

This again avoids using a plugin dedicated to that! What is valid for the alt of the images is also valid for the title.

The SEO audit

At a glance, RankMath gives you an SEO score with an overall score out of 100 as well as the good points and the points to improve: playful and fun!

Configuring rich snippets

RankMath offers you to set up “  rich snippets  ”: this is a way of being able to present your content differently in Google results, by responding directly to a request from the Internet user. You have certainly already seen this for cooking recipes, right? It works for different types of presentation: the list of events, song titles, videos, reviews or stars etc…

Instead of putting your hands in the code and trying to understand the notion of “shema.org” or “snippet”, RankMath does the work for you, by automatically generating the rendering, you only have to fill in the related fields. For example, for a recipe, choose “recipe” then indicate the ingredients, the type of recipe, the preparation time, etc.

Install step by step!

I show you how it works with an existing site. The tutorial is really nice and installs Rank Math in 2 minutes including data transfer!

Install the extension from your backoffice (or download here ). The first step is to create an account, you will receive your login and password by email. Each time you use the extension on a site, you will simply need to fill in this combination to connect the extension to your account;

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Follow the steps, including importing data (seen previously) but also linking your site to Search Console via RankMath.

Your extension is now installed and default settings are applied: they do not endanger the referencing of your site. The list of features being important, I invite you to follow the RankMath guide to configure everything correctly: https://rankmath.com/kb/how-to-setup/

The risk of free extensions

You wonder how Rank Math manages to live by offering more free features for an unlimited number of sites than YOAST offers by paying 39€ (per site). This is the magic of competition!

Will it stay free? Yes, to date, RankMath announces that all the features present will remain free, but that additional paid modules will be offered! We can also wonder if they don’t want to make us dependent on the tool and then put a paid subscription ????

Another often frequent point: we find a great free extension but the developer’s business model does not last long, he becomes discouraged and the extension is abandoned. This is not the case with RankMath, I can assure you, which already has more than 100,000 downloads and new projects!

My opinion on RankMath

I have not yet deployed RankMath on all my sites but I immediately liked:

  • the ton of free features. To say that I was hesitant to take a paid subscription to YOAST!
  • the grouping of several extensions in one : I like to optimize, and the optimization of a site, it also passes by its structure, its weight, its reaction time! The more extensions there are, the greater the risk that the site will be heavy or face a bug one day. For my part on average, RankMath will allow me to delete 5 other extensions!
  • still from an optimization point of view, I like the idea of ​​being able to deactivate or activate what we need in an extension: RankMath is an extension with lots of free options, à la carte
  • the enriching and formative side provided by RankMath : the possibilities are enormous but so is the help. Systematically, for each configurable action in the plugin, there is a link to a guide or a FAQ

Like all SEO extensions, RankMath will not work miracles, installing it on your site will not propel you to the first position on Google , consider it a guide!

To get an idea of ​​the plugin, 2 solutions: you install it but you risk conflicts with your existing extensions (take care to deactivate them before) or you test the RankMath demo here: https://demo.rankmath. com/wp-admin/

5/5 - (2 votes)

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