Just over a year ago, we did something that we thought we'd never, ever do. We parted from a plugin that we've been using since the launch of this blog. Yep, we replaced the Yoast SEO plugin with Rank Math. A year later, we took a step further and upgraded to the Pro Add-on. Did we do the right thing? Read on to find out.
I'm sure you've heard the saying - 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it', right?
Well, this is not always the case. The Yoast SEO plugin wasn't broken. It was doing its job very well, in fact. I'd say curiosity got the better of us, and we simply wanted to try out Rank Math.
We'd already heard a lot of great things about the Rank Math SEO plugin. People in the blogging, WordPress and web design niche were raving about it, so we wanted to give it a try for ourselves. And so we did. We swapped the Yoast plugin for Rank Math, and it was straightforward to do.
Rank Math, the company, was founded in 2018 and has since been going from strength to strength. Rank Math offers a free SEO plugin for WordPress-hosted websites and blogs. Rank Math SEO Pro (premium add-on version) is what we will focus on in this review and overview, although we will briefly discuss the free plugin.
What can we say? Both Fabrizio and I were blown away, and not lightly either. The one stand-out element that we love most about Rank Math SEO is its ease of use. The UI is simply the best of all SEO plugins out there. It's so easy to use too.
And then we come to the insanely ludicrous amount of features the plugin comes with. It's mind-blowing, really it is. And for the record, we're talking about the free version before we even get into the pro-add-on plugin.
Of course, there are simply way too many features for us to list in this post. Every feature comes with a benefit, and we'll discuss some of those later in this review of Rank Math. But, needless to say, Rank Math SEO exceeded all of our initial expectations.
Check out the full feature list for Rank Math here.
Nothing is actually wrong with Yoast's SEO plugin. I'm not going to start slating it for no reason just to get you to try Rank Math.
Joost De Valk and his team have spent years making their plugin the best in the industry. Setting up Yoast SEO is simple, and the Wizard will guide you through the setup quickly if you're a none-techy and first-time user.
That being said, there are a few things that might not appeal to everyone regarding Yoast's SEO plugin. None-techies, in particular, may find Yoast SEO quite challenging to use, especially the advanced options and configuring third-party applications and services into Yoast, etc.
In addition, the optimization UI of Yoast's SEO plugin is a bit annoying, especially where it is currently placed. It would be better if the page optimization options panel was placed in the sidebar instead of below the post editor. This would make it easy to view SEO scores as you are writing your post.
As some of you may know, Fabrizio works as a freelance web designer and developer and spends time building websites on his computer. As a result, installing and configuring Yoast SEO has not been easy. I know that he's been running into a few functionality issues while working on WordPress sites in a local development environment.
After trying Rank Math on a local server, these issues were corrected. But, of course, this isn't to say that there's a problem with Yoast's plugin. Instead, it could simply be a problem with the local development environment configuration.
One thing I will say is that Rank Math has helped to improve our workflow. There is no lag, slow loading, or waiting for the SEO changes to update when writing blog posts or saving. Everything happens in real-time. Here's a snapshot of the Snippet Editor.
To clarify, none of the issues mentioned above is to say that Yoast's SEO plugin is terrible, but it could definitely be improved in a few places. It could also be a lot more user-friendly. However, for us, Rank Math SEO is the next-gen SEO plugin for WordPress, and after a year using the free version and over a month using the pro-add-on, we'd highly recommend it.
What you really want to know is why we upgraded to Rank Math Pro?
We upgraded because both Fabrizio and I agreed that some of the pro-add-on features would benefit our blog. Our mission over the next few years is to make our blog more human and search engine friendly. We haven't paid that much attention to SEO in the past and feel it's about time we did. And for this, we needed an SEO plugin that would help us implement new ideas and ultimately reach our goals.
Right then, I've already shared with you why we chose to go with Rank Math Pro; let me share with you some of the key features that we think you'll love about Rank Math SEO.
If you’re already using the freely accessible version of Yoast SEO, then you might want to consider changing over to the Rank Math free version, and here’s why – You get access to over 100 features!
That’s just mind boggling, don’t you think?
A free plugin that gives you access to as many features as most other premium SEO plugins do. In addition, Rank Math has been developed with speed and performance in mind without compromising functionality, so you’re not trading your trusty old SEO plugin for any old plugin.
Now, as for the features of the pro-add-on version of Rank Math SEO Pro, honestly? We would need to write a separate blog post to list them, so we're not even going to bother trying. Instead, we're going to highlight a few of the stand-out features –
Setup wizard – The setup wizard takes all the work out of setting up the best SEO settings for your website or blog; even migrating from your old SEO plugin is done with a single click. You can decide which level to choose from for your SEO; Easy, Advanced, and Custom Mode.
The best UI for an SEO plugin – Yep, whether you agree or not, in our opinion, the user interface is the best of all SEO plugins. All the information you need is displayed on the page you want to optimize, and navigating through the most essential options is quick and effortless. In addition, you don’t need to keep refreshing your page to see the changes occur; your optimization occurs in real-time.
The Rank Math tab let's you preview, add focus keywords, edit snippet, and check your SEO score.
Modules - There are a plethora of modules that you can activate in your Rank Math SEO plugin. If you are using the accessible version of Rank Math, you know you get access to a host of modules. However, the premium add-on plugin has plenty more to offer. These additional modules include; 404 monitoring, image SEO, Local SEO and Knowledge Graph, Redirections, Structured Data, WooCommerce, and more.
Google Analytics integration and advanced SEO analytics – You can easily connect your Google Analytics account and view your data right in your dashboard, as well as get access to excellent features that will let you track keyword rankings, position history, and more.
You can also view individual post and page SEO data as well as links and traffic. In addition, the search box lets you search for a particular blog post or page, view its performance, and make improvements if needed. All of these features are designed to save you time. You will not need to spend money on external SEO auditing tools to improve your content and SEO.
Ranking keywords – If you’ve only been ranking only for a few keywords for each of your posts, you might have noticed that you’re also ranking for other keywords and generating traffic from those keywords that you never optimized for. With Rank Math, you can rank for multiple keywords. And for older content, you can rewrite and target new keywords you might have never ranked for before and drive new organic traffic from those keywords.
Advanced Schema generator – Schema is essential for providing additional information about your website and content to the search engines. Rank Math makes it easy to include structured data in your blog posts with a single click. There are several Schema types you can choose from, including book, course, event, job posting, recipe, and more.
Schema markup validation – Need to check your Schema markup? You can do so right in your WP dashboard using the validation tool provided.
Knowledge graph meta – Rank Math can help you rank for more keywords, thus getting more of your content noticed by adding relevant knowledge graph metadata to your blog.
Keyword comparison and Google trends tool – Writing SEO-friendly content could not be more straightforward with Rank Math. By integrating with Google Trends tool, you can do keyword research, compare keywords, and identify new opportunities.
XML Sitemap – Using a separate plugin for your Sitemap is no longer needed. XML Sitemap is included in Rank Math, perfect for telling search engines which page you’d like to have indexed.
Video Sitemap – Want your video posts to be included in your search engine listings? Rank Math Pro can append your videos with the correct metadata to help index, thus allowing you to drive more views to your videos.
Image SEO – One area of SEO that is often overlooked is image SEO. Rank Math Pro can automate your image SEO by adding ALT and Title attributes to all of your images.
Preview Snippet Editor - With one click of the Edit Snippet button, you can easily make your listing stand out by writing the best title and description for your SEO post using the pop-up editor.
So, these are just some of the standout features, but as we said, there are far too many to list them here. So, instead, you’re better off actually learning about them on the Rank Math website yourself.
Overwhelmed by features???
We will say that if you’re new to SEO or don’t want to concern yourself with all of the intricate and technical parts of doing SEO for your blog, website, or content, you may not need the pro-dd on. For the most part, you can do basic SEO with the none-paid version of Rank Math.
That said, it's worth paying a little attention to each of the features in Rank Math free and the pro-add-on plugin. You'll benefit from improved SEO, increased traffic, and revenue from your blog or website.
If you're using another SEO plugin, such as Yoast SEO, you can easily import data from that plugin to Rank Math. This is useful and means that you should not lose all your settings, rankings, and traffic.
You can access this feature by going to Rank Math > Status & Tools > Import & Export.
Over the last ten years or so, we've used only a handful of SEO plugins, including the most popular, Yoast SEO, the free version. Fabrizio has also used SEOPressor Connect on a few smaller websites, which is comparatively similar to Rank Math.
We liked SEOPressor Connect a lot; however, some compatibility issues with that plugin meant we couldn’t use it on this blog. Unfortunately, those issues were never addressed by the developer, at least not for us.
So, in comparison, Rank Math takes everything to the next level. Like we said initially, the none-premium version of Rank Math itself is a force to be reckoned with. Not even the premium version of Yoast SEO offer the level of features the accessible version of Rank Math provides. It doesn't even come close.
Previously, we've experienced issues with SEOPressor causing CPU throttling and memory usage, especially when using the website auditing tools; we're not sure if that is still the case today.
Using Rank Math Pro hasn’t caused us much concern with any plugin conflicts or over-usage of memory and resources. Our blog still loads relatively quickly, although we're always working on improving page speed and experience.
Yoast SEO, again, we've not had many issues with. It’s a fantastic all-around plugin—however, Fabrizio nor myself like the UI. And as I said, Fabrizio had some problems with the plugin’s functionality when working specifically with locally hosted WordPress sites.
For those of you reading this Rank Math review, here’s the obligatory pros and cons list, if you can call it that. Let’s start with the good points –
OK, so what about the bad points?
Now here’s where things get interesting. Right now, Rank Math is very affordable. We feel as if we should say it’s under-priced. To give you a better idea of what we mean, let's compare Rank Math with some other popular SEO plugins –
Rank Math Pro costs just $59+ taxes per year. You can use it on unlimited personal websites.
Compare that with Yoast's SEO premium plan which will set you back $199 per year for a single site. That's quite astonishing.
AIO SEO is also $49 for a single site per year.
And SEOPressor Connect is $108 per year for unlimited websites.
There are essentially two premium plans for Rank Math SEO:
Perfect for bloggers, solopreneurs.
Ideal for businesses and freelancers.
We can see why many WordPress users are migrating over to Rank Math and Rank Math Pro from their old SEO plugins. As we said earlier, we certainly feel like this is the next-gen SEO plugin, with so many features, advanced tools, top-level performance, it’s hard to find a reason not to like Rank Math.
Sure, the pro-add-on plugin might not be for everyone. If you’re not a techy person or don’t care too much about the intricate parts of SEO, then you don’t need to bother with it. That said, at just $59 bucks for unlimited personal websites, you might as well grab his plugin while it’s at such a low annual price.
Both Fabrizio and I agree that Rank Math and Rank Math Pro Add-on are great products. Magnet4Blogging uses Rank Math Pro because our long-term goal is to create better content and improve our existing content for you and the search engines in the future. It gets a well-deserved 4.7 out of 5 from us.
Video coming soon: We're working on a great video tutorial on using Rank Math Pro, so be sure to check back soon. Or why not subscribe here to get a notification of when the video is live!
About the Author - Samantha Van Marciano is a part-time writer and editor at Magnet4Blogging. She brings with her 20 years of marketing experience. She specializes in both website statistical and data analysis.