Yoast and All In One SEO have been the most widely used SEO plugins for a long time. Now, Rank Math SEO has arrived, a new plugin that helps you configure the SEO of your WordPress page in a simple way, do you want to know it a little better?
What is Rank Math SEO?
Rank Math is an SEO suite for WordPress, despite being a little over a year old, this plugin has positioned itself as a benchmark and the best alternative for Yoast SEO on the market. The spearhead of this plugin is that it offers all of Yoast SEO’s premium features for free.
Among all the options we have, Rank Math SEO allows us to configure the metadata of the pages and posts, the ALT texts of the images, the Google sitemaps and we can even monitor redirects and 404 errors on our page.
Installing it is as simple as accessing the WordPress plugin repository, clicking the “Add New” option, searching for it, downloading it and installing it. If you prefer, you can download it from its official page and upload it to your WordPress.
Once installed you will have to activate it, for this you will have to create a free account —if you don’t have it yet—. If you have it, you will only have to enter the username and password and click on Activate Rank Math.
How to set up Rank Math
Once activated, Rank Math will show us a wizard that will help you start the basic configuration of the plugin. If you skip the wizard by mistake, you can always retrieve it from the initial menu. If you are new to SEO and you are not sure what options to configure, follow the advice of the wizard, since you will be able to configure everything that is most important.
When you start the wizard, you will receive information about the compatibility of your page with the plugin itself. In this section you will be shown details about:
- PHP version.
- WordPress version.
- PHP DOM extension.
- PHP GD extension.
- PHP SimpleXML extension.
- Other plugins in conflict with Rank Math.
If you were a Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack user, you can choose to import the settings that you already had configured. When importing the settings, you can even select which settings you want to import and which ones you don’t. By default, Rank Math SEO recommends that you import all the settings, as it will automatically disable any other SEO plugins you have installed.
The next thing you will have to configure is your site. To do this, you will be asked for some information:
- Category: It can be a personal blog, a company page, an online store, etc.
- Logo: You can upload your page logo —or your brand’s— for Rank Math, configure it as Favicon in Google.
- Image: This is the image that you want to be displayed when you share your page and your content on networks. In case your articles have featured images, you can set these to load when sharing.
Google Search Console
The next thing you will have to do is link Rank Math with your Google Search Console account. In this way, you will get data on crawl errors, keyword analysis and all the information that you usually find in Search Console from your WordPress dashboard.
To do so, you just have to activate the “Active / Inactive” button and select the option “Obtain authorization code”. It will redirect you to a page where you will see your Google account and you will have to select the one you have linked to Search Console.
Rank Math SEO also offers you the possibility of generating sitemaps of your page. These maps can be configured and customized.
What can I configure with Rank Math SEO?
Once the plugin is configured and synchronized with Search Console, you can configure various aspects of the SEO of your page to optimize its performance and save time.
Tags No Index
The first thing you can turn on or off is for Rank Math to automatically set the “No Index” meta tag on empty Category and Tag pages, known as Thin Content, empty or low-quality content. If we activate the automatic configuration, the plugin itself will activate the pages marked as “No Index” when they have content.
No Follow Tags
We can also automatically configure the links to be “Nofollow”. The plugin will automatically add this tag to the links that are created every time an image is loaded. These links usually lead to several pages within the same website whose content is the image and the description.
By activating the “No Follow” attribute, we tell Google not to follow these links, as they are Thin Content pages.
In the same way, you can activate the option for “External Links Nofollow”, which will allow you to tag affiliate links and for low-quality sites.
Finally, you can choose another option that will allow you to automatically add a “target =” attributeblank»To external links, so that your links open in a new tab.
Finally, you can activate the option “Remove the category base”, which will make your URLs more SEO-friendly.
Redirection and 404 error
If you activate 404 error monitoring, the plugin will inform you of all 4040 errors that robots or users have found on your page. It is a good way to control the possible errors that occur when performing 301 redirects.
If we activate the «Redirects» function, you will be able to carry out different types of redirects, both permanent and temporary, with a very simple interface.
Another feature of Rank Math is the option to add ALT attributes. This will help you create the ALT attributes of the images, which will be added automatically to all those images that do not have it. You can also automatically add the “Title” attribute to images that do not have it.
You can also select the “Enriched Snippet” option, which will allow you to activate the structured data to mark the content of your page. This improves positioning and helps Google interpret what type of content you are showing. Rich Snippets or Enriched Fragments are one of the aspects that should be monitored the best on our pages, as it has become an important positioning factor for Google.
Rank Math SEO has a module that will allow you to activate the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), with which to improve the position of our page in SERPs, rewarding the loading speed. For Rank Math to manage AMP, you will have to download the “AMP Plugin” from the WordPress repository.
In addition, Rank Math has many modules that you can install to configure and manage different actions within your page. For example, it has modules for Woocommerce to optimize product pages, or the SEO Analysis module that will allow you to analyze your site and will offer you advice and warnings to correct all SEO errors.