In today’s digital world, a website is crucial for businesses and individuals. However, more than simply having a website is required. To ensure that your website is visible and ranks well on search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to optimize it for search engines. This is where WordPress SEO plugins like Rank Math come in.
In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know to get started with Rank Math and optimize your WordPress website for search engines. From installation and setup to on-page and technical SEO, we’ll cover all the essential aspects of using Rank Math for WordPress SEO.
Whether a beginner or an experienced website owner, you’ll find valuable tips and insights in this guide. By the end, you’ll understand how to use Rank Math to improve your website’s search engine rankings and attract more traffic.
So, let’s dive in and learn how to optimize your WordPress website for SEO with Rank Math!
What is Rank Math?
Rank Math is a powerful SEO plugin for WordPress that is designed to help website owners and bloggers improve their search engine rankings by providing comprehensive SEO analysis and optimization tools.
At its core, Rank Math is an all-in-one SEO solution that helps you optimize your website’s on-page SEO, technical SEO, and off-page SEO. It offers a range of advanced features such as local SEO optimization, WooCommerce integration, rich snippet support, and more.
History of Rank Math
Rank Math is a relatively new player in the WordPress SEO plugin market, having been founded in 2018 in India. Despite its short history, the plugin has quickly gained popularity among WordPress users worldwide. Today, it boasts over 1.8+ million active installations and has become a go-to solution for website owners. The plugin has achieved an impressive 5.0 rating based on 5,530 ratings, which is a testament to its popularity and effectiveness.
One of the reasons for Rank Math’s success is its dedicated team of 27 members located remotely across the world. This team is committed to providing top-notch support and regularly updates the plugin with new features and improvements.
Some Awesome Features of Rank Math
Let’s delve deeper into some of the distinctive features that set this SEO plugin apart from the rest.
User-Friendly Setup Wizard
Rank Math eliminates the hassle of configuring your website’s SEO by providing a simple and intuitive Setup Wizard. Unlike other SEO plugins that can be complicated to set up, Rank Math’s step-by-step installation process ensures that you can easily optimize your site.
Upon installation, Rank Math automatically verifies your site’s settings and recommends the ideal configuration for optimal performance. The Setup Wizard then guides you through setting up your website’s SEO, social profiles, webmaster profiles, and other essential SEO settings, ensuring you get everything set up perfectly.
Built-in Data Integration for Improved SEO Analysis
The success of SEO heavily relies on data analysis to understand user behavior and website performance. With Rank Math, analyzing data becomes more accessible through its free Google Analytics and Google Search Console modules. The paid version offers more comprehensive data tracking, including weekly ranking updates, providing even more insights for better SEO optimization. The built-in data integration of Rank Math makes it an excellent tool for improving website visibility and ranking on search engines.
Content AI’s Personal Assistant
Content AI is a personal assistant that aids in creating SEO-friendly Content. Your Content deserves to stand out, and with Content AI, you will stay caught up due to a lack of knowledge on the right words or phrases to use. The AI-generated suggestions provide valuable insights to ensure your Content is well-optimized for search engines.
Advanced Schema Markup
Schema Markup is crucial in providing additional information about your website to search engines and users. With Rank Math, incorporating Structured Data into your posts becomes hassle-free with its user-friendly interface. This plugin supports various Schema types, and you can even set a default category in the settings for more efficient use.
Furthermore, Rank Math’s free version comes with a rich snippet module that provides access to 14 different types of schema. Using this feature, you can improve your website’s visibility on Google’s SERP features and increase your chances of appearing on the first page of search queries.
Customizable Plugin Setup
We at WP Ministry understand the importance of personalizing our plugins to fit our business website’s unique needs. With Rank Math’s modular system, we can configure and set up the required modules and disregard the ones we don’t.
A modular-based system means you can utilize some of the available features as and when necessary. Unfortunately, many SEO plugins need more flexibility to allow you to decide which add-ons or features to use based on your changing requirements. At the time of installation, Rank Math has several modules turned off, including the schema module, image optimization module, and redirects module, which can be enabled to tailor the plugin to your website’s specific needs.
Built-In SEO Analysis Tool
Rank Math offers a powerful built-in SEO analysis tool that gives website owners a comprehensive assessment of their website’s SEO performance. With just a single click, the plugin evaluates 40 different SEO factors to provide you with an overall SEO score and actionable recommendations to improve it. This feature is available in the freemium version of the plugin and acts as your very own SEO auditor, helping you identify areas that require optimization.
However, it is important to note that while the tool covers essential aspects of SEO, it may only address some of the fixes required to achieve excellent SEO results. Complementing Rank Math’s built-in SEO analysis tool with other best practices is always advisable to ensure optimal SEO performance.
Automated SEO Features
Rank Math offers automated SEO features that can save website owners time and effort optimizing their sites. One such feature is the automatic generation of search engine-compatible XML Sitemaps for your site. The Sitemaps are fully customizable, so you can choose what content to include or exclude from the map. With this feature, you can make sure that search engines can easily crawl and index your site’s pages.
Another feature, Rank Math, allows you to add relevant Knowledge Graph meta tags to your website. These meta tags can help your site rank for more keywords and increase your visibility on the SERPs. By commanding a larger area on the search engine results page, you can attract more clicks to your website and drive more traffic and revenue.
In addition, Rank Math also automates image SEO by adding ALT and Title attributes to all images on your website. These attributes provide search engines with information about the images on your site, which can help improve your site’s ranking on image search results. With this feature, you can ensure that your images are optimized for search engines without spending time manually adding attributes.
If you want to discover all the amazing features that Rank Math offers, we invite you to read this blog post, where we delve into each feature in detail.
How to set up Rank Math?
Setting up Rank Math on your website is a straightforward process that can significantly improve your website’s SEO performance. Here, we’ll go through the essential steps to set up Rank Math on your website.
Step 1: Install Rank Math Plugin
To install Rank Math, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the Plugins section.
Search for Rank Math and click Install.
Once the installation is complete, click “Activate” to start using Rank Math.
Step 2: Choosing the Right Configuration
When setting up Rank Math, one of the first things you’ll need to do is choose the proper configuration for your website. To accomplish this, navigate to Rank Math > Setup Wizard within your WP admin.
Here you will be presented with three distinct options.
- Custom Mode (Pro).
The Easy setup option is recommended for beginners and those needing more SEO experience. With this option, most configurations will be set up automatically, and you can change them later from the plugin’s settings page. However, we recommend choosing the Advanced setup option if you want better control over your SEO settings.
Select the Advanced option and follow the prompts to start the setup wizard. Remember that some WordPress hosting solutions may differ from Rank Math SEO. If you encounter any issues during the setup process, it’s best to contact your web hosting provider for assistance.
Import SEO plugin data to Rank Math
NOTE: If you have previously used an SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO, you will recognize this interface. However, if you haven’t used any SEO plugin before, you will directly proceed to step 3.
Importing SEO data to Rank Math can be easily done if you switch from another SEO plugin. In the Rank Math setup wizard, you will be prompted with an option to import your existing SEO plugin settings.
To proceed with the import, choose the SEO plugin you wish to import from and click the importer button. Afterward, you can run the importer by clicking the “Start Import” button. All the settings from the previous plugin will be imported to Rank Math, making it easier for you to transition from one plugin to another.
It’s important to note that not all SEO plugins are compatible with Rank Math’s importer. You may need to manually transfer your SEO settings if you encounter any issues during the import process. However, most popular SEO plugins are supported by Rank Math, so the importing process should be seamless.
Step 3: Setting up Your Website Details with Rank Math
Before proceeding to configure your website details, you will need to select the type of website you have. This step is crucial as it will help Rank Math understand your website’s structure and recommend the most suitable SEO settings. Rank Math provides several options to select from, including,
- Personal Blog
- Community Blog/News Site
- Personal Portfolio
- Small Business Site
- Other Personal Website
- Other Business Website
What does each option signify?
Personal Blog: Ideal for individuals to share their expertise and experiences with others.
Community Blog/News Site: Suitable for publishing news articles and other journal-related content.
Personal Portfolio: Display your previous works and demonstrate your capabilities.
Small Business Site: Websites aimed at enhancing the online visibility of small businesses.
Other Personal Site: Websites of a personal nature not included in the aforementioned categories.
Other Business Site: Websites related to businesses not included in the aforementioned categories.
These options can be grouped into two categories: personal or business sites. Although they share many similarities, business sites have additional options such as business type.
After that, you have to add your website name, An alternate version of your site name (for example, an acronym or shorter name) and a person or organization name.
You also have to upload your website logo and a social share image. The logo appears on the Google search results page, and the minimum size requirement is 112 x 112 pixels. The social share image appears when you share your website link on social media, and the recommended dimensions for this image are 1200 x 630 pixels. Choosing these two is important because a lack of images can make your website look unprofessional.
Press “Save and Continue”.
Step 4: Connect to Google Services
Setting up Google services with Rank Math is the next crucial step. You will need to configure two major Google services,
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics.
If you haven’t already, we strongly advise creating a profile and integrating these services. It’s an essential step that will allow you to gather valuable data and insights about your website’s performance.
Rank Math will show you an interface like this.
To connect your Google services, locate and select the “Connect Google Services” option.
After that, you will see a new window where you have to choose the Google account you have used for the website verification.
After choosing the Google account, proceed to grant Rank Math permission to access your associated data from Analytics, AdSense, and Search Console.
Once granted permission, Rank Math will display an interface resembling the one pictured. If you possess both Google Analytics (GA) and Search Console (GSC) accounts, simply provide access to your profile, enabling seamless integration with the appropriate GA and GSC profiles.
Once all necessary information has been inputted, simply click “Save and Continue” to proceed.
Step 5: Configure Sitemaps in Rank Math
A critical element to consider in your website’s SEO strategy is the sitemap, which is crucial in facilitating efficient navigation for search engines through your site. A sitemap enables search engines to easily comprehend the hierarchical relationship between your web pages by providing a structured and organized overview of your content.
When it comes to this particular phase, you must choose whether you would like Rank Math to produce the sitemaps for you or not. Our recommendation is to opt for Rank Math’s automated sitemap generation.
Enabling this feature unlocks a myriad of additional options, as depicted below.
To maximize the potential of the plugin and sitemap configuration, we highly recommend that you activate all of these features. You will also come across two additional options.
- News Sitemap: You will generally activate News Sitemap when your website is included in Google News.
- Video Sitemap: You will generally activate video Sitemap when your website has video content.
Once done, press the “Save and Continue” button.
Step 6: Optimizing Your SEO Tweaks
As the last step in the wizard, paying attention to even the minor details of your SEO strategy is crucial. We suggest employing the following settings per our expert recommendations to ensure optimal results.
Noindex Empty Category and Tag Archives (Turn On):
In the case where a category on your website is empty, Google may index it and classify it as a page with insufficient content. This can have detrimental effects on your website’s overall performance. To steer clear of such issues and comply with SEO best practices, it’s crucial to prevent blank pages from being indexed.
Open External Links in New Tab/Window (Turn On):
By opening external links in a new tab, your website visitors can freely browse the linked site without repeatedly hitting the back button to return to your site. Instead, they can click back to the tab your site is on, saving them the hassle of navigating back and forth. Ultimately, the objective is to create a seamless and effortless user experience for your website visitors.
Nofollow External Links (Turn Off):
To maintain a healthy balance of external links on your website, we suggest using the “Nofollow External Links” feature on a case-by-case basis rather than for every external link. Search engines consider external links a crucial ranking signal, as they indicate that you’re helping readers find relevant information. When deciding whether to use a follow or nofollow link, ask yourself if the link will benefit your readers. If not, using a nofollow link is best to avoid any negative impact on your search engine rankings.
And then press the “Save and Continue” button.
Step 7: Ready
As you probably guessed, the Ready tab does not contain any settings, but it is just a confirmation page for you to complete the steps until now. Here is how it looks like and what the different sections and the red marks links point to.
Enable auto-update plugin
We highly recommend enabling this option since Google’s algorithm constantly evolves. If you continue to use an outdated version of Rank Math without updating it, you may miss out on the latest updates and optimizations that could enhance your website’s performance.
Explore the following resources to maximize your experience with Rank Math:
- Click on “Click Here” to access our knowledge base on how to score 100/100 with Rank Math Post Tests.
- Join our free Facebook community to connect with other SEO professionals and experts for assistance with any SEO-related issues you may have.
- Utilize Rank Math’s Knowledgebase to improve your technical knowledge on how to implement the technical side of SEO.
- Subscribe to our dedicated YouTube channel and continue to expand your SEO knowledge.
- Gain access to our 24×7 online support forum for assistance with any queries or concerns you may have. Business/Agency license holders receive extra support from our team.
Next, let’s click on “Setup Advanced Options” to begin configuring advanced settings.
Step 8: Advanced Options
When you click “Setup Advanced Options” you will discover yourself on a new page. You would only experience this if you chose the easy mode.
Rank Math offers a wide range of role management capabilities that you can customize on this page.
You can activate this choice if you plan to utilize the role management features, such as working with a team and assigning specific duties to team members. After enabling it, a lot of options will become available for each role. Here’s an example with only one row displayed.
Here are all the roles you will see the permissions for.
404 + Redirection
By using Rank Math, you’ll have access to an outstanding 404 error monitoring tool and an impressive redirect manager. Enabling these features will help you bid farewell to broken links.
After doing the needful, don’t forget to proceed to the next step.
Structured data or schema markup is the code language that search engines use to interpret and comprehend the content of your web pages. This semantic vocabulary aids search engines in describing and classifying the information on your website.
Schema has been increasingly significant in recent years, and its importance is expected to grow even further in the future. Rank Math offers a complete Schema manager that enables you to include Schema metadata in all your posts, and you can configure some default settings on the page. The following are the settings available on the page.
As you can observe, Schema is activated by default, reflecting its critical significance. At present, you may keep the settings at their default values.
After completing the necessary steps, click on the “Save and Continue” button to finalize the setup and go back to the dashboard.
Hopefully, now you have complete knowledge about Rank Math. Our comprehensive guide covers all the essential steps required to get started with Rank Math, including installation, configuration, and customization. By following these steps and utilizing the features offered by Rank Math, you can enhance the visibility of your website and attract more traffic, leading to increased engagement and conversions.
STILL, HAVE CONFUSION?
At WP Ministry, we’re ready to provide assistance whenever you need it. We can install the premium version of Rank Math on your website and optimize it for better search engine visibility and increased traffic.
Don’t hesitate to reach out – let WP Ministry take your website to the next level!