Yoast SEO has been the de facto WordPress SEO plugin since its inception in 2008, anyone new to the game or an SEO veteran has used Yoast SEO at some point and probably continues to today. However, there is a new kid (plugin) on the block, looking to take the #1 crown from Yoast.
Meet Rank Math, a more recent, feature packed SEO plugin to help your WordPress website improve rankings. Today we are going to take a deeper dive into both plugins with a comparison of some key features.
Both plugins cover the basics well, this includes:
- Auto canonical URLs
- Bulk edit page titles and descriptions
- Optimise page titles and descriptions per page/post
- Content analysis
- XML sitemaps
- Add Open Graph data
- Edit robots.txt and .htaccess files
- Search engine verification
- Add nofollow, noindex attributes
- Add social media meta data
Plugins can add bloat to WordPress, making websites slower to render and load which in turn isn’t good for SEO. This is where Rank Math claims to have the upperhand over Yoast in terms of bloat. For the overall Yoast suite there are 1075 files, 95k lines of code and a plugin file size of 26.4MB. Rank Math suite has 415 files overall with 29.6k lines of code and a smaller plugin file size of 8.5MB. Overall Rank Math makes less PHP requests compared to Yoast.
Schema has become an integral part of any SEO strategy with Schema markups for a range of businesses and applications from articles and events to Podcasts and local business markups, all designed to help your service/product stand out within SERPs. Currently the Yoast plugin has the ability to add the article Schema to websites, in comparison Rank Math has the ability to add 14 different Google Schema markup types including the job posting, product, restaurant and video Schema with 193 local business types to choose from. Adding Schema to WordPress in the past has always been a bit of a challenge however Rank Math has made this a lot easier.
Redirects are a vital part of SEO, ensuring that visitors can find the correct content they are looking for and also keep link juice flowing throughout the site. While Yoast allows you to directly add redirects to the .htaccess file (dependent on file permissions), Rank Math will automatically redirect old URLs to the new updated one within WordPress for you, the redirection manager within Rank Math also allows you to add 301, 302, 307, 410 and 451 redirects. Perfect for if you are not confident editing the htaccess file manually or don’t have access. As well as this Rank Math has a simple and advanced 404 monitor which will proactively check the website for 404 errors.
Breadcrumbs are a great way to show Google the structure of your website and an excellent way to lower bounce rate and enhance user experience. Both Yoast and Rank Math allow breadcrumbs to be added to WordPress however, Yoast requires more tweaking compared to Rank Math. Yoast requires you to add further shortcode to your theme files to display breadcrumbs whereas Rank Math will automatically add this to your theme for you.
Yoast and Rank Math allow you to add a focus keyword for optimising individual pages and posts and more. With Yoast you can set 1 focus keyword whereas Rank Math will allow you to add up to 5 per page/post. You can also track your rankings in Google from within Rank Math for free, integrate with Google Search Console and also find LSI keywords all in one place.
Which to Pick?
To summarise, Rank Math does everything that Yoast does and more! I would recommend using Rank Math due to the speed factor and ease of setting up Schema. Although this choice is all down to personal preference, you can always give the plugin a try and easily export your current Yoast parameters to Rank Math using the easy to use migration assistant. Still need more convincing? You can see a full list of side by side comparisons here.