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:
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):
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes. Rank Math has been thoroughly vetted by WordPress and is considered a safe and effective SEO plugin.
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.
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.
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 stay on up-to-date with the latest SEO developments and implement SEO strategies for my clients. Read my full bio here.