Before we take a dive into the differences between the top two WordPress SEO plugins; Rank Math and Yoast, let’s go over their necessity on your site.
Today, it isn’t enough for your company to simply create a stellar WordPress website. You need your website to be found by a target audience. Meaning ultimately that your website needs to appear at the top of search engine result pages (SERPS) for a variety of keywords. To do that, you need search engine optimization (SEO).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of techniques, done consistently, over time which helps search engines understand your website and move it up to the top of the list of results when a consumer searches online for one of your products. For example, let’s look at a few steps in the process:
- Your bubblegum company creates a website using keywords and phrases in the content. The content includes your blog, product descriptions, landing pages, and any other written text.
- Mary is looking for coconut-flavored bubblegum. She opens Google and enters the phrase “coconut-flavored bubblegum.”
- Google begins searching every web page for instances of the phrase “coconut-flavored bubblegum.”
- On your website, the phrase appears in banners, product descriptions, and a blog announcing this new flavor.
- Google finds your website and assesses your use of the phrase and how often you use it. It likes what it sees.
- In a matter of seconds, Google provides Mary with a list of websites that discuss “coconut-flavored bubblegum”, and your website is at the top of the list. This makes it more likely that Mary will visit your website and make a purchase.
The higher your website appears in the search results affects whether your ideal customers visit your website. An SEO plugin can help you drop those words and phrases into your website content as you create it. Two such plugins are Yoast and Rank Math. Here are some things you need to know about each plugin in order to make your decision about which one to use.
Basics of the Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin
Of the two SEO plugins, Yoast has been around longer, and has more WordPress installs. Yoast SEO helps users determine how to construct content on a page in order to have the best chance of ranking. Yoast provides recommendations via keyword density, content length, phrases and more. The company has a team of developers, architects, and more that strive to constantly improve the plugin with each update.
Some of the most popular features of Yoast SEO include:
- SEO analysis
- Search engine result previews for both mobile and desktop
- Full control over the breadcrumbs on your website
- Advanced XML Sitemap functionality
- Canonical URLs to avoid content duplication
- Suggestions for internal linking
- Social media preview for the page
- Creates text that allows for synonyms and related keyphrases
- Insights tool that helps create focused keyword and keyphrases
- Creates text that allows for synonyms and related keyphrases
Basics of Rank Math
Rank Math, another extremely popular WordPress SEO plugin, was developed in 2019, but the people who’ve adopted it have written rave reviews (including ourselves). The developer’s goal was to put all the tools you need to create SEO rich content in your hands, with their plugin, it’s obvious that it will be on the user’s website.
The plugin has created a targeted group of tools to help you create SEO content as you create content on your website. These tools include;
- A setup wizard with easy to follow instructions
- Modular frame
- A user interface that’s easy for you to use
- Modular frame
- A support team to provide help as needed
- Lightweight code optimization for speed in finding SEO keywords and phrases
- Edits the titles and descriptions of your website’s content in bulk to help eliminate mistakes.
Comparison of Yoast and Rank Math on Set Up Configuration
Setting up a plugin and running it for the first time is always worrying for anyone with a custom WordPress install. When you install Rank Math, you find an installation wizard that guides you through five steps. You have the option of creating your account with Google, Facebook, or your email. The five steps for setting up Rank Math include:
- Site name
- Search console details
- Sitemap configuration
- Advanced optimization (or skip)
- Confirmation of the setting
With Yoast SEO, you need to navigate your way through eight steps. You also get a setup wizard to help you through the basics. Unlike Rank Math, there is a tutorial video embedded in the setup instructions to get additional help at any time.
Overall, both of these plugins offer a straightforward set up with an installation wizard to help you along the way. However, Yoast does have a few additional steps while Rank Math fails to provide a video tutorial for those who struggle with computer basics.
Comparison of Yoast and Rank Math on User Interface
When it comes to SEO plugins and apps, you spend a lot of time with the user interface. Most people prefer an interface that’s clean and simple to use. You don’t need to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to use a tool. It should help and not be a drain of your time and resources.
The Yoast user interface is plain and simple without any frills. It seems that the designers went for functionality more than aesthetics. The user interface offers well-defined files with all the tools in the appropriate file. This plugin is easy to use and logically organized but there aren’t a lot of bells and whistles.
Rank Math also offers a clean and simple user interface. From the user interface, it’s easy to turn each tool on and off. You see a box for each of the tools along with a clear description of what it is and its current status. While Rank Math is simple, it seems more modern and visually appealing than Yoast.
Both user interfaces are clean and easy to use, although we prefer Rank Math due to it’s awesome integration with Elementor.
Comparison of Yoast and Rank Math on Keyword Assigning
With keyword assigning, you can identify keywords, write title and meta description, and set the permalink. This is the core function of the SEO plugin, and both of these plugins are capable of doing these tasks.
With the free version of Yoast, you can assign one keyword to be optimized inside your content. You must purchase the full version of the plugin if you want to optimize multiple keywords. A color-coded system — green, yellow, and red — allows you to easily tell the level of optimization with your keyword. This plugin makes it easy to analyze SEO score, readability score, and Google page preview.
After you create an account, which is free, Rank Math will allow you to assign up to five keywords to optimize on your website content. Your title, meta, and permalink setup operates the same way that it does in Yoast. In the place of a color-coded system, this plugin assigns a value between zero and 100. Once your score is over 80, it’s the same as turning green in the Yoast plugin.
One feature that Rank Math has that Yoast lacks is that it will automatically start suggesting keywords and phrases as soon as you start creating content. While Rank Math does have an extra feature in this category, both programs are very similar.
Comparison of Yoast and Rank Math Performance
You want an SEO plugin that performs quickly and without glitches. Rank Math claims that it is fast, efficient, and lightweight. However, when you use both apps, it’s hard to tell a difference between the two in terms of performance. Without a real difference between the two plugins, you have to turn to the other categories and features to make your final decision on which to adopt for your website.
Comparison of Yoast and Rank Math on Pricing
As of 2020, Rank Math is a free plugin, and you get to use all the available tools and features. Of course, it’s a fairly new plugin. As it ages and adds additional features, it may offer a premium option for additional benefits – which it does plan on releasing in 2021, with loads of incredible features with Schema and more.
On the other hand, Yoast is a freemium SEO plugin. Your company can opt for the free version, but you won’t get access to all the tools and features. It’s important to note that the tools and benefits that you get with the paid version aren’t available with Rank Math.
Comparison of Yoast and Rank Math on Google Search Console Integration
During the setup process with Rank Math, you have the option to go ahead and integrate your Google account. You simply enter your Google information. The plugin finds and pulls your information onto the WordPress dashboard. This makes it very easy to set up and use. However, while Yoast does allow you to integrate your Google account, you can’t see your information on your dashboard. Depending on your company’s needs, this can be a very valuable feature.
Comparison of Yoast and Rank Math on XML Sitemap Integration
When you need to index your website, the Sitemap file is essential. Both Rank Math and Yoast SEO plugins create the sitemap automatically for you, making them equally beneficial for your company.
There are very few major differences between Rank Math and Yoast. With more than a decade of use, Yoast already has a large following and it’s trusted among its users. While Rank Math is new on the scene, it’s getting good reviews and will probably continue to evolve and add features in the future.
Here at Direction, we switched to Rank Math, primarily due to its ease of use and low learning curve, powerful out-of-the-box SEO features, and the undeniable fact that, overall, it provides us the necessary functionality to optimize our customers’ website with confidence.
At Direction, we partner with our clients to help them create a digital experience for their customers. We understand the importance of SEO plugins and the rules for creating this type of content so that it consistently ranks high among all the popular search engines. Contact us today to learn more.