Rank Math Vs. Yoast - 

Which Is The Better SEO Plugin?
updated on
December 22, 2022
Terry Williams
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Candidate #2
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Key Differences Between Rank Math & Yoast

  • Rank Math offers more free features than Yoast and more advanced features overall.
  • Yoast has one mode, while Rank Math has three (Easy, Advanced, and Custom).
  • Rank Math is a lighter plugin than Yoast (3 times lighter).
  • Yoast has a stronger focus on content optimization than Rank Math.
  • Yoast has been around since 2010 and is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin; Rank Math has been around since 2018 and has outstanding reviews but fewer users overall.

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Rank Math Vs. Yoast

The ever-changing landscape of search engine optimization (SEO) may or may not be your personal passion, but if you're a business owner who wants your website to show up in search engine results, it's an essential element of success. Investing at least some time and energy in optimizing your website is an absolute must. And, while you don't have to be an expert to improve your rankings, you do need to understand some of the fundamentals of SEO and apply them consistently and strategically.

Long ago, in the dark ages of Google, the SEO journey could feel like a lonely one. Fortunately, with the current wealth of SEO plugins on the market, that's no longer the case. In fact, with so many options to choose from, it can be tough nowadays to know which SEO tool will ultimately be the best choice to get you where you want to go.

If you have a WordPress website and are seeking SEO plugins, you've no doubt heard of Yoast SEO and Rank Math SEO. Both plugins have exceptional ratings and are popular amongst SEO novices and advanced users alike.

While it's obvious that Yoast and Rank Math both bring a lot to the SEO table, there are some key differences between them that may make one or the other the clear winner in your eyes. In this comparison, I'll take a look at their features, setup process, user interface, keyword analysis, and pricing. By the end, you should have a better sense of which one might be the right choice for your particular circumstances.

But first, a little background on each of these plugins:

Rank Math

Rank Math launched in late 2018 and was founded by an experienced WordPress development team based in New Delhi, India. Its current team is remotely located across the globe and consists of more than 27 members.

Though it's still a young plugin, Rank Math has quickly gained momentum and popularity. It currently has more than 1.5 million active users, a 4.9 out of 5-star rating on the WordPress website, and is one of the most popular SEO plugins on the market (Yoast is number one).

Rank Math touts itself as the "Swiss Army Knife of SEO tools for WordPress" and aims to give you "complete control over your entire website's on-page SEO". It's known for its wide spectrum of features, robust free version, and appeal to more advanced users with some SEO experience under their belts (though it's also suitable for beginners).

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Yoast

Yoast Seo Logo
Yoast SEO launched back in 2010 and was created by Joost de Valk of the Netherlands (first name pronounced Yoast, in case you're curious). What started as a hobby project quickly became a full-blown operation with over 150 employees and today Yoast has over 11 million active installs.

Yoast's tagline is "SEO for everyone" and it aims to simplify and streamline SEO optimization for users of all experience levels and backgrounds. It has been the go-to WordPress SEO plugin of choice for over a decade, and has a 4.8-star rating on the WordPress website based on 27,531 votes. Impressive.

Known for its helpful content optimization suggestions and success in bringing SEO savvy to the fingertips of the masses, Yoast remains the most popular WordPress SEO plugin on the market.
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Core Features

Rank Math and Yoast both offer a wide array of features geared toward improved SEO for your website. While some features are common to both plugins, others are unique to one or the other. In addition, some features are free while others are only available with a paid subscription (which features are free and which are premium varies between the two programs).
Let's take a peek at some of the core features of each plugin to see how they compare with each other:

Features Rank Math & Yoast Have in Common

Free Features

SEO Templates

Rank Math and Yoast both allow you to create unique templates that are automatically applied to content. You can manually adjust meta titles and descriptions within these templates as needed.

XML Sitemap

If you think that WordPress falls short in the XML sitemap realm, you can use either Rank Math or Yoast to customize a more detailed version for your website.

Focus Keywords Analysis

Both platforms allow you to enter a keyword and find out what degree of optimization your content has achieved for it. But, while Yoast only allows you to check one keyword for free, Rank Math allows you to monitor multiple keywords.

Sitewide Schema

Both plugins allow you to add sitewide schema markup for free. They also both include options for controlling the schema markup for individual content pieces.

Google Search Console Integration

This one's a big deal. Being able to access information and analytics from the Google Search Console from right within your SEO plugin is a very convenient time saver. Both Rank Math and Yoast deliver.

Link Counter

Rank Math and Yoast both allow you to count links within your content for free. That being said, Yoast only counts internal links, while Rank Math counts both internal and external links.

Simple WooCommerce SEO

Yoast and Rank Math both allow you to complete basic SEO tasks (such as setting titles and descriptions) for your WooCommerce product and shop pages for free. Yoast also offers an advanced WooCommerce SEO add-on.

Social Media Tools

Both platforms offer a free suite of simple tools for controlling images and text for social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Premium Features

It's not straightforward to make a list of premium features that overlap between Yoast and Rank Math. Why not? Because many of the features that Rank Math offers for free are premium features in Yoast. Additionally, Yoast offers some features as additional add-ons that Rank Math includes in its premium version.

So, while both plugins ultimately offer many of the same features, they may be found at different tiers or price points from one program to the other. In this respect, it's like comparing apples to oranges.

What is clear, however, is that Rank Math offers substantially more features overall than Yoast—and a whole host of them are 100% free. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the breadth of features that Rank Math provides (see a table with a complete comparison here). But if you're an SEO novice, you may never use many of them at all and find the selection overwhelming. Only you can be the judge of that!

Either way, let's dive in a little deeper. In addition to the free core features listed above, each plugin boasts the following (not an exhaustive list):

Rank Math Core Features

RankMath

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Free Features

  • Google Analytics Integration - View Google Analytics information from within the Rank Math plugin by adding a tracking code.
  • Local SEO - You can optimize your site for one location for free with Rank Math.
  • Image SEO - Automatically set alt and title tags to optimize images for Google.
  • Internal Linking Suggestions - Get suggestions for internal linking opportunities within newly created content.
  • 404 Errors - Monitor your site for 404 errors and set up redirects to other pages on your website.
  • Premium Features (Rank Math Pro)
  • Annual Keyword Analysis - This is an unparalleled stand-out feature for Rank Math. It allows you to track the success of your site's keywords and rankings over the past year (12 months).
  • Google Trends Integration - This feature helps you check and compare the search trends for different keywords.
  • Local SEO Multiple Locations - This feature helps you optimize your website for multiple locations.
  • SEO Sitemap for Google Video - Using this feature can give your video content the best chance of ranking in Google Videos results.

Premium Features

  • Annual Keyword Analysis - This is an unparalleled stand-out feature for Rank Math. It allows you to track the success of your site's keywords and rankings over the past year (12 months).
  • Google Trends Integration - This feature helps you check and compare the search trends for different keywords.
  • Local SEO Multiple Locations - This feature helps you optimize your website for multiple locations.
  • SEO Sitemap for Google Video - Using this feature can give your video content the best chance of ranking in Google Videos results.

Yoast Core Features

Yoast Seo Logo

YoastSEO

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Free Features

  • Cornerstone Content - Use this feature to tag specific pages as important and divert extra SEO resources to them (e.g., more internal links).

Premium Features

  • Redirect Manager - Use this feature to manage existing 301 or 302 redirects or to create new ones.
  • Internal Linking Suggestions - Get suggestions for internal linking opportunities within newly created content.
  • Related Keyphrases - This feature uses data from Semrush to generate keyphrases related to the keywords you’re focusing on.
  • Add-On Premium Features
  • Local SEO - This feature helps you optimize your website for multiple locations.
  • Video SEO - With this feature, you can enhance your videos with additional SEO optimizations to improve their Google Videos rankings.
  • News SEO - Give your site the best optimization for Google News plus more.
  • Advanced WooCommerce SEO - Access more advanced SEO options for your WooCommerce site (social media graph information, cleaner XML sitemap, etc.).

Feature List Comparison

Both plugins offer a formidable list of core features, but Rank Math definitely out-features Yoast.

As I mentioned earlier, I really appreciate the breadth and depth of Rank Math's features. Rank Math's free version includes many of the features you have to pay for on Yoast—plus a whole lot more. Yoast offers very few free features that Rank Math doesn't, while Rank Math offers dozens of free features that Yoast doesn't.

With that in mind, too many features can feel like a drawback to some users, especially if they don't know how to use them to their best advantage. If this is the case for you, Yoast may be a more straightforward and streamlined choice that can still give a lot of oomph to your website's SEO presence.

Setup Process

Neither Yoast nor Rank Math is terribly difficult to install and both have quite intuitive onboarding processes. That being said, you may prefer one experience over the other. Here's a general overview:

Rank Math

Math Rank Logo
Rank Math's setup wizard is pretty straightforward and guides you step-by-step through processes like adding website information, setting up integrations, and configuring your basic schema information, sitemap, and more. It also runs diagnostic testing to ensure that you’re aware of any compatibility issues before starting to use the plugin.

You get access to the most Rank Math features when you link to your Rank Math account, but this isn’t a mandatory setup element (though I'd personally recommend it).

Also, you can select your mode—Easy, Advanced, or Custom (only available with Rank Math Pro). The level of customization you'll have access to during setup will depend on the mode you select. If you wish to change your mode at any time, you can reconfigure within the setup wizard accordingly. Worth noting is that you'll need to enable Advanced mode in order to view all of Rank Math's modules in the module manager.

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YoastSEO

Yoast Seo Logo
To configure the Yoast SEO plugin, you'll need to launch the configuration wizard directly from your WordPress toolbar. As with Rank Math's wizard, you'll be guided through setting up SEO fundamentals such as sitewide schema data and SEO title templates. You'll also have the option of deciding whether or not to index your site.

If there are compatibility issues, Yoast will flag them for you during setup and will provide tips and suggestions for a smooth user experience.

Yoast also provides an integrated demo video that walks you through eight setup steps and offers concise explanations for features you may be enabling or disabling as part of the configuration process. This is definitely a big plus if you're a first-timer in the world of SEO plugins.
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Migrating From Yoast to Rank Math

Migrating from Yoast to Rank Math is an efficient and straightforward process (take it from me).

Simply download Rank Math and begin the Rank Math Start Wizard. Once you've selected your mode (Easy, Advanced, or Custom), you can start importing data from your Yoast account. It doesn't take long, and you can finish off by configuring your settings and deleting Yoast. Voila! Mission accomplished.

Click here for a more detailed video on how to switch from Yoast to Rank Math.

User Interface

Both Rank Math and Yoast are user-friendly and intuitive, so let's get that out of the way. I personally find Rank Math's dashboard to be more contemporary, clear, and accessible than Yoast's. But if you're used to Yoast's more traditional dashboard, you may appreciate the fact that it hasn't been drastically altered over the years.
Let's take a look at how task management differs between the two plugins:

Rank Math

Math Rank Logo
With Rank Math, you can fully integrate your editing into the WordPress block editor, which makes for a direct and streamlined approach to content optimization (no meta box). The settings sidebar is divided into four sections (General, Advanced, Schema, and Social), which are well organized and straightforward to manage.

To keep things differentiated, Rank Math offers an entirely separate dashboard for analytics tracking. Here you can access reports from Google Search Console, traffic statistics from Google Analytics (premium version only), and keyword rankings (premium version only).

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YoastSEO

Yoast Seo Logo
When working on content in Yoast, you can access SEO information in one of two ways: Via the WordPress meta box or the Yoast SEO sidebar (only available in the block editor). The meta box has four tabs (SEO, Readability, Schema, and Social) and allows you to easily preview your content on Google in both mobile and desktop mode.
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Keyword Analysis

Both plugins support keyword analysis throughout the content creation process and, though the experiences are slightly different externally, their core function is quite similar. The most noteworthy difference between the two is that Yoast only supports the analysis of one keyword in its free version, while Rank Math lets you analyze up to five keywords for free.

While I appreciate the added flexibility that Rank Math's generosity affords, more isn’t always better. Often, content can lose its focus and SEO clout when it's optimized for too many keywords. Based on my own experience, it's therefore best to use the multiple keywords analysis feature sparingly.

Rank Math

Math Rank Logo
Enter your target keyword(s) and receive a score between 0-100 that indicates how well you've optimized your content for them. You’ll also get tips and suggestions on how to improve your content further.
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YoastSEO

Yoast Seo Logo
Enter your target keyword (or keywords if you're a premium subscriber) and receive a keyword analysis score as well as specific suggestions for further improving your content. Yoast also provides a readability analysis of your content that offers stylistic advice to help take your content to the next level. If this is a feature you think you'd appreciate, Yoast may have the upper hand in this realm.
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Which Plugin Is Best on Overall Site Performance?

While there are many factors that go into assessing site performance, speed is a biggie. And, in this aspect, Rank Math is the clear winner. If having a fast website is important to you (and it should be), then this factor alone could tip the scales toward Rank Math.

Let's dig in:

Rank Math

Math Rank Logo
Rank Math is a lean and lightweight plugin—impressively so, considering the amount of features it packs. It's nearly 3 times smaller than Yoast and doesn’t include additional requests or unnecessary code. Rank Math is an optimal plugin for maximizing your site's speed and overall performance.
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YoastSEO

Yoast Seo Logo
Unfortunately, Yoast has a reputation for being a slow plugin with lots of unnecessary bloat. Not only that, it includes intrusive advertising. If you're seriously looking to streamline your website's overall performance, think twice before installing Yoast SEO.
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Pricing

Rank Math and Yoast both have free versions (though Rank Math's is substantially more generous and comprehensive). For many users, the free version of either program may be adequate. But if you're looking to become a premium subscriber, you'll have some decisions to make:

Rank Math

Math Rank Logo
Rank Math offers two paid pricing tiers. The Pro account is $59 and the Business account is $199 annually. Both levels authorize you to use Rank Math on unlimited websites, but with the Business plan you can track up to 20,000 keywords on personal and client websites, while with the Pro account you can only track up to 1,000 keywords, and only on personal websites. Both paid plans come with 24/7 support options, but only the Business tier guarantees you priority support.
As noted earlier in this article, many paid features on Yoast are actually free (or included at a lower price) with Rank Math.

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YoastSEO

Yoast Seo Logo
Yoast's premium package costs $99 annually and includes full access to the Yoast SEO Academy as well as features such as advanced keyword optimization, internal linking options, social media previews, multiple platform integrations, and more. For $229 annually you can purchase a Plugin Subscription, which includes all of Yoast's premium features plus add-ons (Local SEO, Video SEO, News SEO, etc.).

At the premium level, you'll receive 24/7 customer support and advance access to the latest tools and features.
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FAQ

Which WordPress Plugin Offers More Features?

Rank Math offers more features than Yoast—and many more of them are free. If you’re looking for the plugin with the most features, Rank Math will be your best bet.

Which Plugin Is More Popular?

Based on active users alone, Yoast is the much more popular of the two plugins. That being said, it's a much older and more established program and Rank Math has had a pretty remarkable rise to fame in a relatively short period of time. Though it has less active users, Rank Math may be growing in popularity more quickly than Yoast. I think it's fair to say that they're both popular plugins. You'll have to stay tuned in on this one.

Which Plugin Has Better Reviews?

Rank Math and Yoast both have outstanding reviews overall, but at this moment in time Rank Math has a slight edge on the WordPress website with 4.9 out of 5-stars based on 5,206 votes, versus Yoast's 4.8 out of 5-stars based on 27,532 votes.

Is Rank Math Safe?

Yes. Rank Math has been thoroughly vetted by WordPress and is considered a safe and effective SEO plugin.

Is Rank Math Better Than Yoast SEO?

If you're asking me specifically, my answer is a resounding yes. I migrated everything over from Yoast to Rank Math quite some time ago now and haven't looked back once.

That being said, Yoast is a highly respected SEO plugin with a strong reputation for a reason. Ultimately, the only person who can say which plugin is better for you is you. If you're a beginner, you may prefer Yoast. If you've got some SEO experience, I'd say Rank Math is the obvious choice.

Conclusion

To conclude, Yoast and Rank Math are both robust SEO plugins that include a wealth of offerings in their free and premium versions alike. They have both garnered excellent reputations in the WordPress community, and you won't go badly wrong with either.

That being said, I personally recommend Rank Math over Yoast. I feel that its wealth of features, comprehensive free version, and lean profile make it the clear winner. I've been a dedicated Rank Math user for quite some time now and haven't ever regretted my decision to leave Yoast behind.

As always, reach out to me at SerpFocus with any further questions or comments. I'm here to support you on your SEO and marketing journey, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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From The Author

Terry Williams (fresh)

Terry Williams

For the past decade I've been building businesses and using SEO to rank them in top positions. For the last 5 years I've worked at a premier search engine marketing agency where it's my job to test and use SEO software, plugins, and strategies. Read my full bio here

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