We all know SEO is the most important aspect which every webmaster should consider to make their websites rank on search engines and make it successful.
SEO itself is a pretty complex topic but there are many SEO plugins available for WordPress that simplify your SEO efforts and provides necessary guidance to optimize your content for better ranking. Rank Math is a new free WordPress SEO plugin with tons of great features that can help you generate exceptional results and achieve good ranking on search engines in a short interval of time.
I have been using Rank Math from couple of months and I am happy with the results. Its user-friendly interface with lots of awesome features makes this plugin stands out among other popular WordPress SEO plugin. This plugin is completely free with many features that are only available in premium versions of other popular WordPress SEO plugins.
In this article, I will guide you on how to setup the Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin step by step.
To install and activate the plugin, go to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Plugins > Add New. Search for Rank Math SEO.
After you activate the plugin, you need to register on the Rank Math website to unlock the functionalities of this plugin.
Connect Rank Math SEO Plugin
As soon as your installation is done, you will be prompted to connect with your Rank Math account. If you have created the account, you can login directly or go to their site to register.
If you are using Yoast or All in One SEO Pack plugin, you can switch to Rank Math without facing any issues. Rath Math’s has inbuilt import tools that will automatically import your SEO settings from these plugins.
If you are installing on a new WordPress site then you will see the initial setup wizard without any import options. At first, the plugin will check for compatibility with your site.
Once your site is compatible to run Rank Math SEO, you can click on the Start Wizard button.
Under this section, you can select the category of your website, upload your site logo for Google and also set the default image to display while sharing your site on social media accounts.
Google Search Console setup for your site can be a bit tricky but it is fairly simple process. At first, click on Get Authorization Code link. You will be redirected to your Google account login and have to provide permission for RankMath to access your account.
After you allow the permission, you’ll see an authorization code. Copy the code to your clipboard and paste it in the Search Console field.
After that click the Authorize button. Now, if you click on the Refresh Sites button, you will see the list of the site associated with your Google account. If you have already added the property for your site, you can select your site and click on Save and Continue button to move to the next section.
If you haven’t added the property, you can follow the below steps to add a new property for your site in Google Search Console.
- At first, click on Click here link located at the bottom of the setup wizard. You will be redirected to Rank Math Settings Page in your dashboard.
- Now click on “Search Console Verification Page”. It will take you to page which will provide some code to add in the above field to verify your site ownership.
- Copy the code (as pictured below) and paste it in the Google Search Console field. Then click on the Save Changes button.
The above process will add an HTML tag in the head section of your site. Now you have to add a property and verify your site. You can follow the steps below:
- Go to Google Search Console and click on Start Now to login.
- Click on Add Property under the search drop-down.
- Under the URL prefix section, add your site URL and click on Continue.
Since you have already added the authentication code earlier in the head section, your site is verified and the property is also added. You can click on Go to Property link.
You won’t see any data yet if you have just added a new property. You can come back a few days later to check it again.
As you have successfully added the property, you can click on the Refresh Sites button to see your new property listed in the drop-down. Select your site and click on the Save and Continue button to proceed further.
You can leave the settings as it is or make adjustments according to your needs. Enabling the sitemaps will enable the plugin to create an XML Sitemap index for your site to submit to search engines. You can include or exclude posts types, taxonomies, and images in the Sitemap.
Under this section, you can configure the basic SEO settings like:
- Noindex empty category and tag archives
- Nofollow images file links
- Nofollow external links
- Open external links in new tab
- Strip category base
You can leave the default settings as it is or make changes. You can change them anytime from the dashboard.
Once you click on the Save and Continue button, the basic settings configuration is finished and the plugin is ready to use.
However, you can click on the Setup Advance Options button to configure some additional settings.
In this section, there are two options available.
- 404 Monitor and Redirection settings – you can enable or disable 404 error monitoring and redirections for error links found on your site.
- Misc Settings – you can configure the Schema settings for your website to add metadata, resulting in rich search results and more traffic.
After completing this setup, you will be redirected to the dashboard.
Plugin Settings Menu
In the setup wizard, only the important settings are shown. You can explore more and configure additional settings within the plugin from the dashboard under General Settings.
Some additional options available in the plugin settings are:
- Advance breadcrumb options
- Additional Webmaster settings for other popular search engines
- Title and Meta section to configure advanced options for your posts and pages
- SEO analysis of your site to give overview of your site current SEO score
- Import and Export settings for easier export and import of your configuration
Configuring SEO for Posts with Rank Math
Rank Math adds a meta box in the post editor that shows the options to optimize your content for SEO. It provides an estimated SEO score to your content based on Basic SEO, Title and Content Readability and a few other additional factors. It displays an overall post score on the right-hand side based on the dashboard. The higher the score, the better the chances of getting your post indexed on search engines.
For each post, Rank Math provides the following features:
- You can add up to five focus keywords (Yoast SEO free version allows only one)
- Check the readability of your content and title
- Checks keyword density to ensure you have used the keyword sufficiently
- Setup robots meta tags and redirection
- Option to change Rich Snippets based on your content
- Social media settings for Facebook and Twitter.
Rank Math is one of the best WordPress SEO Plugin for your WordPress site. The plugin offers many advanced features like multiple focus keywords, Schema, social media integration, 404 monitors, etc that you’ll rarely find in any free WordPress SEO plugin. The import features make it easier for you to switch to this plugin if you are using any other SEO plugin. Optimizing your site for better ranking on search engines requires lots of error but this plugin makes it super handy.
Do let us know in the comment your favorite WordPress SEO plugin.