Rank Math vs Yoast SEO- Which One Should You Go for as a Beginner?

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO

Faisal Sarker March 21, 2022

23 Min Read
Category: Plugins

Yoast SEO was the undisputed king of the WordPress SEO plugin category, for a very long time. It had all the features that you would require in order to optimize your content for search engines, in a single place.

However, since the inception of Rank Math, the market share of Yoast SEO decreased significantly. The reason behind this radical change is the sudden rise of Rank Math with some amazing features. Furthermore, they brought these features with a lot less pricing point.

Thus, while Yoast SEO boasts an impressive amount of experience in the SEO industry, Rank Math is not a walkover. They have enough features to compete with the giant of the industry toe to toe.

As you can guess, picking one from Rank Math and Yoast SEO is not an easy choice. That’s why we will not show which plugin is superior and which one is less feature-rich because both of them are almost similar.

So we will try to show the key difference in features and use-cases for the plugins so that you can better understand the suitable plugin for you. Let’s start with the introduction of both plugins once again so that beginners can get the basic ideas about the plugin.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO At a Glance

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is a plugin that helps WordPress content creators to optimize their content for the search engine. It is one of the very first SEO plugins for WordPress, having made its first mark in the year 2008. At that time, there were hardly any SEO plugins around, yet team Yoast worked hard to add features that were necessary for the content creators on WordPress.

Since 2008 Yoast SEO has helped millions of websites worldwide to rank higher in search engines. Yoast’s mission is SEO for Everyone. Our plugin’s users range from the bakery around the corner to some of the most popular sites on the planet.

Yoast Plugin Page on WordPress.org

Rank Math is the newer kid on the block. Launched in 2018, this plugin quickly rose to the top with its array of features that it offered for free. It had almost all the features from Yoast despite being a free option.

SEO is the most consistent source of traffic for any website. We created Rank Math SEO, a WordPress SEO plugin, to help every website owner get access to the SEO tools they need to improve their SEO and attract more traffic to their website.

Rank Math Plugin Page on WordPress.org

Rank Math first launched its pro version in November 2020, almost 2 years after the free version release. However, still, most of the necessary features of the Rank Math stays free to use. Furthermore, Rank Math is still adding newer weapons to its armory constantly to keep up with its close competitor Yoast SEO.

For an absolute beginner in the content field, having two top plugins like Yoast SEO & Rank Math with loads of features for free is certainly a blessing. They are both equipped with features that ensure our content is on the right track to be ranked on search engines. Let’s review the features of Rank Math and Yoast SEO to see if we can find any differentiation.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO- Feature Review

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO Feature Review

Rank Math and Yoast SEO both come with an impressive set of features. Here are the key features that both of them bring in, starting from the Rank Math.

Rank Math Key Features

  • Auto canonical URLs
  • Integrated LSI keyword tool
  • Google Search Console integration
  • Google keyword ranking tracker
  • Ability to import other plugin Settings
  • Role Manager support
  • Google schema markup integratation
  • Social Media Optimization
  • Advanced SEO analysis tool
  • Automated image SEO
  • Ability to modify global meta
  • Single post/page optimization
  • Search Engine verification tools
  • Advanced redirection manager
  • Advanced 404 monitor
  • Ability to add SEO breadcrumbs
  • Advanced link options
  • Local SEO optimization
  • Advanced support for WooCommerce SEO
  • XML sitemap builder
  • .htaccess & robots.txt Editor

Yoast SEO Key Features

  • Very clean, & easy to use user interface
  • Canonical URL support
  • Role Manager support
  • Google schema markup integratation
  • Social Media Optimization
  • Automated image SEO
  • Ability to modify global meta
  • Search Engine verification tools
  • Advanced redirection manager
  • Advanced 404 monitor
  • Ability to add SEO breadcrumbs
  • Advanced link options
  • Local SEO optimization
  • Advanced support for WooCommerce SEO
  • XML sitemap builder
  • .htaccess & robots.txt Editor

Our observation: From our perspective, the primary features of both plugins are quite similar. While Rank Math does offer more features, not all of them are quite essential. Both the plugins meet the requirements of beginner to advanced users quite effortlessly. However, if we compare feature by feature, Rank Math is certainly ahead of Yoast SEO.

To know which plugin suits you the most, first let’s show you the installation process of both plugins.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO- UI & Ease of Use

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO Use Cases

We tried both the plugins on WP Hive and our other sites. Here’s what we found out specifically notable for mention for both the plugins.

The intuitiveness of the Plugin Settings: Rank Math SEO is packed with features. While not all of the features of Rank Math are very much necessary for day-to-day writers or marketers, it did make their UI a bit cluttered. Thus finding an option on Rank Math SEO is quite time-consuming.

In comparison, Yoast SEO lets the users tweak the options in a more organized way. They also offer fewer options to tweak (and mainly the essential ones). Thus is it is quite easy to find an option on Yoast compared to Rank Math.

Single Post SEO Optimization: The single post SEO optimization option on the sidebar is available on both plugin. And we found Rank Math SEO brought more intuitiveness on letting the user know what they need to do in order to optimize their content for better search engine ranking.

Rank Math gave a certain point for more important to less important SEO checklists and gives the content combined marks from 0-100 on how optimized the content is for SEO.

On the other hand, Yoast introduced a green/red light indicator to know if the content is sufficiently optimized for SEO, where it is harder to know how much you could’ve done to improve the optimization.

However, both the plugins give suggestions on what more you can do to further optimize the content, which surely helps in the above regard.

Our observation: we think Yoast SEO did a better job making it easy for users to work with the plugin to optimize their content.

Pros & Cons of Rank Math & Yoast SEO

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO - Pros & Cons

Both Rank Math and Yoast SEO are good at what they do. There’s hardly anything to differentiate them. However, we still tried to find out some specific differences between these two plugins just so you can make a better decision in choosing one from these two plugins.

What Rank Math does Better

  • In a single post, Rank Math allows you to add up to 5 focus keywords for free while Yoast SEO allows adding just 1 focus keyword. This increase the chance to optimize your content and target more keywords.
  • Rank Math’s Rank Tracker tool is a tool that makes tracking keyword position easier. If you use Yoast SEO, you will miss this feature and perhapse use another tool to get this important data.
  • With Rank Math, you will get a dashboard with data from Google Analytics (if you choose to integrate Google Analytics), a feature yet to be introduced by Yoast SEO.
  • Unlike Yoast SEO, Rank Math offers the very important URL redirection feature in free version.
  • Rank Math is priced lower than Yoast SEO.
  • Rank Math offers addon modules to further extend the built-in features.

What Yoast SEO does Better

  • If you’re an online business owner, Yoast SEO will be a great choice for your given it’s better dedicated WooCommerce SEO support.
  • Yoast SEO has a more user-friendly interface than Rank Math, which we found to be a bit cluttered.
  • Integration with SEMRush is great inclusion for better SEO suggestion.
  • Yoast SEO is actively installed on more than 5 million sites compared to Rank Math’s 800,000+. This vast popularity shows the impact of Yoast SEO on WordPress SEO industry.
  • Yoast SEO is in WordPress SEO industry for a long time and is more stable.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO- Technical Test by WP Hive

WP Hive Plugin Insights
WP Hive

WP Hive Automated test is the best way to know the technical insights of a plugin. WP Hive automatically tests all the plugins on WordPress.org and Yoast SEO & Rank Math is no different. Here’s the test result for Rank Math and Yoast SEO.

Rank Math: WP Hive Test Findings

The Rank Math plugin was free of any errors, as the WP Hive test found out. It is also compatible with the latest PHP and WordPress versions. The plugin is also quite frequently updated.

WP Hive Plugin Test - Rank Math

The plugin was also quite less memory-consuming, with an average memory usage of 354 KB. This is less than 74% of the plugin on WordPress.org. The impact of Rank Math on the website is also very insignificant, just 0.03 seconds, making it faster than 99% of the plugins on WordPress.org.

WP Hive Plugin Test - Rank Math

Overall, Rank Math is a fast plugin with less impact on your website.

Yoast SEO: WP Hive Test Findings

Yoast SEO also did not have any major issues. While it consumes a bit more memory than Rank Math, it does not really have any JavaScript, PHP, Activation, or resource errors. Just like Rank Math, Yoast SEO is also updated regularly.

WP Hive Plugin Test - Yoast SEO

As we have already said, the Yoast SEO does use more memories than Rank Math. With 1500.06 KB average memory usage, this plugin consumed more memory than 93% of plugins.

However, similar to Rank Math, this plugin also does not decrease the page speed of the website. The average impact on loading of the website containing Yoast SEO is just 0.06 seconds, which is lesser than 99% of the plugins on WordPress.org.

WP Hive Plugin Test - Yoast SEO

Overall, Yoast SEO performed great on our tests barring the high memory usage.

Our observation: Both Rank Math and Yoast SEO are top-notch plugins. Thus, as expected they both yielded get results on our tests. However, Rank Math did surprise us with a better position due to its surprisingly less memory usage.

Setting up Rank Math & Yoast SEO

Setting up SEO Plugins Rank Math vs Yoast SEO

The setup wizard of both plugins is easy to follow. Let’s show you the process of installing both the plugins, starting from the Rank Math.

Rank Math Setup Wizard

Installing the Rank Math plugin is just like installing any other plugin. If you’re an absolute beginner, you can follow our easy guide to Installing a WordPress Plugin.

Once you install the Rank Math plugin, you will be redirected to the below screen, which is the setup wizard of the Rank Math. By clicking the Connect Your Account button, you will be able to connect your Rank Math account to your website.

Setup Wizard - Rank Math

After that, you’ll see the options to choose a mode of Rank Math that you’re willing to use, with the choice being Easy, Advanced, or Custom.

Rank Math Mode Selection

After that, you will find the options to select the type of your website type, upload a default feature image for social media, and a default logo for google.

Rank Math Website Basics

In the next screen, you will be asked to connect to Google Services, which is needed, in order to show the Google search data of your website.

Rank Math Connect with Google Services

The next step of the setup wizard will let you create a sitemap for your site for the search engine.

Rank Math Sitemap Settings

After that, in the final section of the setup wizard, The last step of the setup wizard will let you tweak some common SEO essentials that include Noindex Empty Category and Tag Archives, Nofollow External Links, and an option to Open External Links in New Tab/Window.

With that, the setup wizard is completed. The setup wizard is very intuitive, and we think it sets up the website owner perfectly to get the best of the plugin and prepare the site for the search engines.

Now let’s take a look at the Yoast SEO setup wizard.

Yoast SEO Setup Wizard

Once you complete the installation of Yoast SEO, you will find an option called SEO in the sidebar of the WordPress Admin Dashboard. By entering the SEO option, you will find an option called First-time SEO configuration. Click on that option to start the installation wizard.

Yoast SEO installation wizard starts with Environment setup, which will let you choose if the site is is live and ready to be indexed, or not.

Yoast SEO Setup Wizard

After that, you will be asked to choose the site type.

Yoast SEO Site Type

The next screen will ask for the Organization/Person details, depending on the purpose of the website.

Yoast SEO Installation Wizard

On the next page, you will be asked to modify the search engine visibility.

Yoast SEO Installation Wizard

If your site has multiple authors, state that in the next stage.

Yoast SEO Installation Wizard

The next screen will let you set the site title and how it will be presented.

Yoast SEO Installation Wizard

With that, the setup wizard will be completed.

The setup wizard of Yoast SEO does not cover as many aspects of the site’s SEO as Rank Math. However, it is much easier to get through the quick setup wizard of Yoast SEO and set up your site.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO- Pricing Comparison

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO

Rank Math was a free plugin for almost two years, up until November 2020 when they first introduced a pricing plan for the plugin. To date, the base price of Rank Math is lesser than that of Yoast SEO. Here’s the pricing plan for both plugins.

Rank Math has three pricing levels named Pro, Business & Agency. The cheapest plan is the only one that comes with unlimited (personal) website support. However, it only lets you track 500 keyword rankings, unlike the Business & Agency package that lets you track the progress of 10,000 & 50,000 keywords respectively while offering 100 & 500 websites.

The price of the Pro, Business & Agency package of Rank Math is $59, $199, & $499 respectively.

Yoast SEO doesn’t have multiple packages on offer. They have a single package that lets you use the plugin on one site. So if you want to use the plugin on multiple sites, you got to purchase multiple licenses. However, you’ll get discounts for purchasing multiple licenses and the total cost will decrease as you purchase more.

The price of the Yoast Premium is $89.

Our observation: If you look at the cost-efficiency, Rank Math is much more cost-efficient than Yoast SEO.

Frequently Asked Question – Rank Math vs Yoast SEO

Have any questions about Rank Math or Yoast SEO? Don’t forget to ask us. Meanwhile, here we answered some of the common questions on Rank Math vs Yoast SEO.

Which is best, Rank Math or Yoast SEO?

There’s no clear winner between Rank Math and Yoast SEO.

Is Rank Math good for SEO?

Rank Math is a good plugin for SEO. For on-page SEO, this tool has been a revolution for the WordPress industry, competing for toe to toe with Yoast SEO.

Is Yoast still the best?

While Rank Math is getting increasing popularity, Yoast SEO is still the most popular plugin with over 5 million active installations.

Is Rank Math Safe?

Rank Math is completely safe. We haven’t found any site-breaking issue or plugin conflict for using this plugin.

Also Read: Ahrefs vs SEMrush: Which One to Choose As Your SEO Tool

Over to You

The popularity of Yoast SEO and Rank Math is unmatched in the WordPress industry. Both of them are near perfect and help you wonderfully to optimize your content for SEO.

If you are someone who likes to tweak with more features, Rank Math is the better choice for you given its large array of features. However, for people who like to keep it simple and only looking for the essential features, Yoast SEO might be the better option.

Another thing that might influence your decision is the stability of the plugin. Since Yoast SEO has been around for a long time and is used by much more users than Rank Math, it has a great reputation behind its name and fame.

If none of this seems like your reason for choosing an SEO plugin, you should try both plugins. Both the plugins are packed with all you need, so you should only make the final choice after trying both the plugins and see which one suits you the most.

To get a more detailed comparison like this, do follow WP Hive on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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Faisal Sarker

Faisal is a tech blogger who excels at WordPress Content Writing. Apart from sharing useful info pieces that help people around the world, he also likes to travel and read books of all genres in his leisure time.

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2 replies on “Rank Math vs Yoast SEO- Which One Should You Go for as a Beginner?”

Yes, the Yoast SEO plugin is considered the most popular SEO plugin which is used by over 5 million happy users. But, personally, I find Rank Math to be the best free SEO Plugin because of the features they provide compared to Yoast. As a blogger, I wish I could produce such a great article like this. I love reading articles from wphive. It has lots of insights that could benefit the readers.

Thank you for being a regular audience, Jay. We hope you’ll continue to read our articles in the days to come. And we’re always trying to provide you with helpful articles like this one.

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