Rank Math WordPress SEO Plugin

I will walk through the entire setup of the free rank math SEO plugin for WordPress websites which can work for you better than any other WordPress SEO plugin. Learn the most effective WordPress SEO optimization Rankings strategy for free. SEO tools such as Rank Math are essential for good WordPress site search engine results.

What is Rank Math?

Rank Math is a WordPress SEO plugin packed with features to optimize your website for search best practices. The critical difference between Rank Math and other SEO plug-ins such as Yoast is the features. In addition, it offers more features in the free version than others do in free versions of the plugin.

Does Rank Math SEO use Artificial Intelligence?

At the end of 2021, Rank Math SEO integrated Artificial Intelligence into its plugin to help with your focus keyword. It is being called Content AI. Rank Math is claiming to be the First WordPress SEO Plugin that uses AI. From what I have seen, it looks to be somewhat comparable to Surfer SEO, but I have not played with it yet, to say. But if it is anything close, it will defiantly keep Rank Math as the absolute best SEO plugin for WordPress sites. Going beyond SEO analysis and SEO settings will help create SEO optimized content with perfect keywords and phrases used.

Is the Rank Math Content AI free?

Right now, they are giving five credits to everyone that has a free account. So if you have the 59 a year plan, then you get 25 AI credits and more with the business and agency plans. 5 credits should be enough to help you optimize the five pillar pages of your WordPress site, and I believe that is very generous of Rank Math.

Is rank Math Better than Yoast SEO?

To me, the results I got from changing from Yoast SEO to Rank Math were unbelievable. I changed several sites over and saw my SEO rank grow. I was thrilled that it was as easy as a couple of clicks in Rank Math to change from Yoast SEO.

Cost Difference for the paid version of Rank Math SEO plugin Vs Yoast SEO plugin

Yoast SEO costs $89 per year for one site, and then you have options of buying other parts of Yoast SEO such as woocommerce SEO, local SEO, and such, things that Rank Math offers for free.

Rank Math is $59 per year for the paid, and you can put it on an unlimited number of personal websites! And with Rank Math, you do not have to purchase other features, it comes with it! Of course, they do sell higher subscription models, such as for businesses and agencies, but you can see what you get with rank math is far better than what you get with Yoast SEO. So yes, Rank Math vs Yoast SEO, rank math wins hands down.

Are there other good WordPress SEO plugins?

If you have a WordPress website I fully think Rank Math is the best WordPress website search engine optimization tool for the best chance at ranking on search engines. So aside from Yoast SEO, there is All-In-One SEO (AIOSEO) and SEOPress, and I am sure others.

Is Rank Math really the best WordPress SEO Plugin?

To me, Rank Math is the winner. And its super-fast growth of the number of installs shows it is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin for 2022. There are a lot of popular SEO plugins out there, but none offer the growth that Rank Math has over 2021 and heading into 2022. And for a free SEO plugin, I believe it beats all of the other SEO plugins for fast results on search engine rankings. And I absolutely love how it ties in with google analytics and google search console to give you better visuals of the data.

#Step 1: Installing & Activating Rank Math SEO Plugin

Before setting up anything, we have to install & activate the Rank Math SEO plugin. Follow the steps to install the Rank Math SEO Plugin Properly.

Step 1: Log in to your WordPress dashboard and hover over to “Plugins” at the left panel

Step 2: Now Select “Add New”.

Step 3: Now, at the right side top, you will be able to see the “Search Plugins” option; type on that box Rank Math and wait, it will show you the Rank Math plugin.

Step 4: Now click on “Install”

Step 5: Once it is completely installed, then click on “Activate”.

We’ve successfully installed and activated the Rank Math SEO Plugin.

Once activated, you will get a Rank Math SEO option under installed plugins. Then, simply click on “Setup Wizard”.

#Step 2: Connect Free Account

Now Rank Math will give you an option to connect a free account, and it’s necessary to use the plugin so simply click on “Activate Rank Math”.

Now it will ask you to log in. If you don’t have an account yet, simply click on “Register Now” > “Use Email Address. “

Now enter your “Name & Email Address” and click on “Register”. Now you are registered, it will show you a warning that you will activate Rank Math on your site.

Click on OK.

Once you click on OK, you will get the “Rank Math Start Wizard”.

Now simply click on “Start Wizard”.

Now you will be taken through the five steps Rank Math SEO Plugin Basic Setup Process.

#Step 3: Basic Settings For Rank Math SEO Plugin

Your Website – Website Name

On this screen, you will see three different options. Let me walk you through one by one.

Select The Type Of Your Site

Under this option, you have to select the type of your blog. As we’re setting this up for our blog so we will select “Personal Blog”.

Logo For Google

Under this option, choose any image or your logo that you want to show on Google.

Default Social Share Image

This option simply allows you to set up a default image for your social sharing.

It means if you forget to add the social sharing image on any of your posts or pages, then this image will be used as your feature image.

So once you select your image, simply click “Save & Continue”.

Google Search Console

This option enables you to connect your with Rank Math SEO plugin to check the Crawl errors, Keyword statistics, and so on directly in your WordPress dashboard.

To enable this feature and connect your site, just click on “Get Authorization Code”.

GSC (Google Search Console) setup step 1 Rank Math Plugin

It will now ask you to sign in to your Google account, so make sure to sign in to the exact same Google account you have used to verify your domain ownership.

Once you are logged in, it will ask your permission to allow Rank Math SEO Plugin to collect data from your Google account.

Click on “Allow”.

GSC setup step 2 Rank Math Plugin

Once done, it will show you the authorization code. Simply copy it and close the pop-up windows.

GSC setup step 3 RankMath Plugin

After pasting the code, you will have to click on the “Authorize” button.

After completing the authorization process, your verified sites will now start appearing under the “Search Console Profile” drop-down menu.

GSC setup step 4 Rank Math Plugin

So simply select your current site, where you are installing the Rank Math, and click on “Save or Continue”.

Sitemaps

This option will help you to generate the sitemap for your blog or site.

Just uncheck the “Categories” option under Public Taxonomies to prevent duplicate or thin content issues.

Apart from that, leave all the other options as it was before.

Sitemap ON, Include Images ON, Post & Pages ON, and then simply click on “Save & Continue”.

SEO Tweaks

Under this option, simply leave all the default options as it is.

Noindex Empty Category and Tag Archives: ON

To prevent empty tag archives and categories from getting indexed in Google or any search engines, leave this option ON.

It will protect your site from Duplicate & Thin Content issues.

Nofollow External Links: OFF

Leave this option OFF because we don’t want to add rel=”nofollow” to every outbound link.

Open your External Links in New Tab/Window: ON

Leave this option ON so if you link out to any external site and your visitors will click on the link, it will simply open up their site in a new tab.

It will help you to retain your visitors to your site.

Now you will get a message that comes up to you “Your Site Is Ready“.

Once you get this option, now you will be able to see “Return to the dashboard, Proceed to Help Page, & Setup Advanced Options”. Simply click on the “Setup Advanced Options”.

SEO Tweaks Setup in Rank Math

Setup Advanced Options in Rank Math

Setting up Advanced options in Rank Math SEO Plugin is very easy. Let me walk you through this procedure as well.

404 Monitor

404 error is one of the most know errors of a site or a blog.

When someone visits any posts or pages, it usually appears, but that post or page has been removed or deleted.

404 errors can drastically impact your SEO, and to tackle this issue, turn on this option.

This option will monitor all of the 404 pages of your site so you can recreate the pages/posts or just simply redirect those pages/posts to any relevant pages/posts.

Redirections

This option enables auto-redirection means it will simply redirect all those pages/posts (throwing 404 error) to any relevant page/post.

Leave it OFF as this is not a good practice to redirect any posts/pages to random pages.

Schema Markup Settings In RankMath SEO Plugin

This option helps you to add Schema to your site and posts. Switch it ON and then select the “Schema Type for Your Posts & Pages”.

Once you are finished with all of these settings, Simply click on “Save & Continue”.

Now you will be redirected to the Rank Math SEO Plugin Dashboard for some additional settings.

Once we’re done with the basic settings, now we can move further to set up the Advanced Settings of Rank Math WordPress SEO Plugins.

Simply hover over “Rank Math” on the left panel and click on “General Settings”.

#Step 4: General Settings of Rank Math

Under the General Settings of Rank Math SEO Plugin, you will find 9 different options. Let me walk you through each one of them.

Links

This option is related to the links of your site. Select all the options as shown below.

  1. Strip Category Base – OFF

If you turn it on, It will strip the category from the URLs. So leave it as it is for better navigation on your site.

  1. Redirect Attachments – OFF

This option needs to be off to include your images on the sitemap for Image SEO.

  1. Remove Stopwords from Permalinks – ON/OFF (Your Choice)

This option will remove all stop words such as A, An, The, etc. from the auto-generated URLs.

You can turn it ON if you like, but we edit our URLs manually before publishing our posts, so it’s an optional feature for us.

  1. Nofollow External Links – OFF

It’s not a good idea to add the nofollow attribute to every Outbound Link.

Because it shows to Google that you don’t want to share the Link Juice or Page Rank with anyone and you want to keep it for yourself.

So don’t use rel=”nofollow” if the site you’re linking to is authoritative.

  1. Nofollow Image File Links – ON/OFF (Your Choice)

This option adds the nofollow attribute to the external images. This depends upon you whether you want to turn it on or not.

  1. Open External Links in New Tab/Window

Must enable this option while setting up the Rank Math Plugin. This option adds “target=_blank” to the outbound links.

This helps us to increase the dwell time and doesn’t let our visitors leave our site.

Images

Under this option, you will find all the settings related to Image SEO.

  1. Add missing ALT attributes – ON

Google crawlers can’t see any image, but they can read the ALT Text of an image. ALT Attributes help Google crawlers to understand what your image is all about.

So you should always add ALT Text in your image.

If you forget to add ALT text to your image, and if this option is ON, it will automatically add the ALT Text on that image for you.

  1. ALT attribute format – %title%

Turning ON the previous version is good but wait…

How will the Rank Math Plugin understand what should be inserted as an ALT Text on the image?

You need to specify that here. Then, simply select “Post Title” from the dropdown list.

It simply means that the plugin will add the Post Title as the ALT attribute of any image you forgot to add the ALT Text.

  1. Add missing TITLE attributes – ON

Title Attribute has nothing to do with SEO.

But it provides additional information to the users whenever they hover over any HTML element where we’ve added the Title Attribute.

It increases CTR. So not directly but indirectly, it influences the SEO.

Breadcrumbs

We use this setting on the site with lots of posts and pages for better navigation and to enhance how users find their way around our site.

  1. Enable breadcrumbs function – ON

It doesn’t matter you’ve lots of pages or not; we recommend keeping it ON.

  1. Separator Character

Select any character that you wish to use as a separator that appears between different items.

  1. Show Homepage Link – ON

Keep this option ON as it helps to enhance the Breadcrumb functionalities

  1. Other Options – Leave Other Options As It Is

Several other options are available under the Breadcrumbs option of the Rank Math SEO Plugin, but you don’t have to do anything else.

Leave all of the default settings as is.

Webmaster Tools

Webmaster tools such as Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, etc., want you to verify your site.

They give you several options to verify our site, and one of the most famous options is pasting an HTML Tag between <head> & </head>.

So this option helps you to add those HTML Tags without editing your themes.

Simply Sign Up for the third-party Webmasters Tools, get their verification codes, and paste those codes here to verify your domain ownership.

Edit robots.txt

We use the robots.txt file to allow or disallow any search engine crawlers from crawling & indexing our site.

If you do not have custom robots.txt, copy the code we’ve shared below, paste it right in the box, and click on “Save Changes”.

If you’re a WordPress user, then you can use this robots.txt code. Simply replace your sitemap URL with “https://your-sitemap-url.com/”

User-agent: *

Disallow: /wp-admin/

Disallow: /cgi-bin/

Disallow: /comments/feed/

Disallow: /trackback/

Disallow: /index.php

Disallow: /xmlrpc.php

Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php

Sitemap: https://your-sitemap-url.com/

Note: Use it with caution because the improper use of this can prevent your site from Crawling & Indexing.

Edit .htaccess

“DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES HERE”

I repeat, do not make any changes here if you don’t know what you are doing. It can break your site.

Others

  1. Usage Tracking – ON/OFF (Your Choice)

This option has nothing to do with SEO, but it will help improve the plugin if they find any issue by collecting non-sensitive diagnostic data and usage information.

  1. Show SEO Score – ON/OFF (Your Choice)

This option is up to you; I like to have it on.

Leave the other two options (RSS Before Content & RSS After Content) as it is.

404 Monitor

The 404 monitor lets you see the URLs where visitors and search engine crawlers run into 404 not found errors on your site.

You can leave all the default option as it is.

Search Console

If you have connected and authorized the Rank Math with your Search Console, then you don’t need to do anything; just leave everything as it is.

And if you haven’t connected your search console then follow the step given in the Google Search Console option above.

#Step 5: Title & Meta

This option is related to the SEO Titles & Meta Options of all your pages & posts.

  1. Robots Meta

Leave all the boxes unchecked as it is. You can also change this option for individual posts, pages, taxonomies, etc.

  1. Local SEO – Person/Organization (Choose Yourself)

This option helps you or your business site with Local SEO.

Select “Person” if the site represents any individual person and Choose “Organisation” if the site represents any business or organization.

Enter your or your business name under the “Name” option, Upload the “Logo” & Enter the homepage URL.

Enter your Email, Phone & Address. Select the About Page & Contact Page.

  1. Social Meta

Enter the relevant Social Media Page or Profile URLs, Secret Key, etc. to their respective field.

  1. Homepage

Leave everything as it is.

  1. Post Formats Archive

We’re going to mark it as No Index so Google or any Search engine crawler will not index it.

So leave all the default options as it is and if you’ve changed it before then change it as we are going to show you below.

Format Archive Titles – %term% %sep% %sitename%

Format Archive Descriptions – %term_description%

Format Archives Robots Meta – We will use “Custom” settings.

Format Archives Robots Meta – Tick “No Index & No Archive” Boxes.

Format Archives Advanced Robots Meta – Tick all the boxes and add the value i) -1, ii) -1 & iii) Large

  1. Author

If you want to show author archives so enable this option.

It will help your visitors to read posts of any specific author on your blog by clicking on their names.

But if you disable this option, when your visitors click on any author’s name, they will be then be redirected to the homepage of your site.

Archive – Enabled

Author Base – Author

Author Robots Meta – Default

Rest Of The Options – Leave The Default Settings

  1. Misc Pages

Just change those options that we’re going to show you and leave the other options as it is.

Date Archives – Disabled

Noindex Search Results – ON

Noindex Paginated Pages – ON

Noindex Archive Subpages – ON

Noindex Password Protected Pages – ON

  1. Posts

This option automatically generates Meta Title, Meta Description, etc. for your pages/posts. It helps you with several other things related to single post types.

But for better On-Page SEO we always prefer to use customized Title instead of automatically generated titles by this plugin.

But you can set it up as we have shown below.

Single Post Title – %title% %sep% %sitename%

Single Post Description – %excerpt%

Schema Type – Choose Whatever Suits Your Site. For us, It’s “Article Schema”

Headline – %seo_title%

Description – %seo_description%

Article Type – Blog Post

Post Robots Meta – Default

Link Suggestion Titles – Titles

Primary Taxonomy – Categories

Add SEO Meta Box – ON

Bulk Editing – Enabled

Custom Fields – Leave The Field Black

  1. Pages

This option helps you with the SEO Options for the Single Pages of your site.

Single Page Title – %title% %sep% %sitename%

Single Page Description – %excerpt%

Schema Type – Choose Whatever Suits Your Site. For us, It’s “Article Schema”

Headline – %seo_title%

Description – %seo_description%

Article Type – Article

Page Robots Meta – Default

Link Suggestion Titles – Titles

Add SEO Meta Box – ON

Bulk Editing – Enabled

Custom Fields – Leave The Field Black

  1. Attachments

This option helps you with the SEO Options for the Media Attachments of your site.

Single Media Title – %title% %sep% %sitename%

Single Media Description – %excerpt%

Schema Type – Choose Whatever Suits Your Site. For us, It’s “Article Schema”

Headline – %seo_title%

Description – %seo_description%

Article Type – Article

Media Robots Meta – Default

Bulk Editing – Enabled

  1. Categories

This option helps you with the SEO Options for the category pages.

Category Archive Titles – %term% %sep% %sitename%

Category Archive Descriptions – %term_description%

Category Archives Robots Meta – Default

Add SEO Meta Box – ON

Remove Snippet Data – OFF

  1. Tags

Tags Archive Titles – %term% %sep% %sitename%

Tags Archive Descriptions – %term_description%

Tags Archives Robots Meta – Default

Add SEO Meta Box – ON

Remove Snippet Data – OFF

#Step 6: Sitemap Settings

This option enables you to change the XML sitemap settings of your site.

  1. General Settings

Links Per Sitemap – 1000

Images in Sitemap – ON

Include Featured Images – ON

Exclude Posts – Leave it blank

Exclude terms – Leave it blank

Ping Search Engines – ON

  1. Posts

Include in Sitemap – ON

Image Custom Fields – Leave it blank

  1. Pages

Include in Sitemap – ON

Image Custom Fields – Leave it blank

  1. Media, Categories, Tags – OFF

Leave all these options as it is. However, we’ve to keep this option OFF to prevent Thin Content & Duplicate Content issues.

#Step 7: Role Manager

This option enables you to grant users with specific roles in your site to change or modify the Rank Math SEO Plugin Settings.

You can select this per your needs and requirements or you can follow our settings.

#Step 8: 404 Monitor

You don’t have to set anything here as this option helps you find 404 pages on your site.

This is an important option to improve your site’s User Experience by finding & removing 404 error pages/posts from your site.

#Step 9: Redirection

This option helps you to redirect any link of your site to any other link on your site. For example, you can use this to redirect 404 error pages/posts to any relevant pages/posts.

Click on Add New, enter the Source URL & Destination URL, and click on the Add redirection.

Other Settings

You can leave all these other settings as it is. However, if you want more help, you can check the Help option in the left panel of your WordPress dashboard under Rank Math.