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October 3, 2020

Yoast has been a staple for years. Its been replaced on all my websites with Rank Math for SEO

When it comes to WordPress, the Yoast plugin has been nearly synonymous with WordPress SEO. The idea of using anything else seemed a bit too alternative for me- especially using a plugin called “Rank Math” for SEO. For years, I don’t think I ever saw a serious site NOT use Yoast. The websites that didn’t use it were neglected relics that never updated past WordPress 3.0.

So, naturally, for years, I have used Yoast for all my clients’ WordPress websites. Yoast is considered reliable and gives you the standard SEO functionality any respectable website has.

I never loved using it, though. So it piqued my curiosity when I heard some SEO pros mentioning how much they loved Rank Math. I downloaded it for one of my websites to play with.

Yes, I’m one of those nerds who thinks downloading new plugins is playtime. In the name of curiosity, play, and improvement, I’ve tried many plugins over the years. I’ve tried plugins to select what plugins load on which page to speed up general load times. I’ve tried various SCHEMA plugins in my dissatisfaction with Yoast. I’ve tried different caching, CDNs, back-ups, and redirect plugins.

I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly integrating Rackmath was. In minutes, it quickly slid into my website like it always lived there.

It did not take long for me to replace Yoast on all my personal websites with Rank Math. To me, this is big news. I considered Yoast a part of my “launch trinity.” For every website launch, I like to have solid hosting and plugins for SEO, backups, and security.

For me to make the switch is a big deal in my world. So I’m going to explain why I love Rank Math now and am leaving Yoast in the dust.

Rank Math has so much!

Over the years, I found myself having to bandaid around the things I felt lacking in Yoast. I wasn’t the only one. I know an SEO analyst who insisted on making her sitemaps rather than use one generated by Yoast. We all have our preferences in how we work (you can see my preferences here)  but Yoast never completely took the cake for the SEO nerds I know.

Here are the highlights for me.

Better SCHEMA (Structured Markup)

SCHEMA plugins, in my experience, can be terrible. I’ve tried a lot of them until I found one I was happy with. Well, Rank Math has replaced that too.

Yoast seemed to dangle the promise of robust SCHEMA either with “just enough” functionality or an add-on I’d have to pay for that. It missed the mark for custom post types and having a UI that gave me a feeling of control.

Rank Math solves all these issues with more precise and obvious controls for SCHEMA. It even has nifty Gutenberg SCHEMA-enriched blocks like the FAQ and How-To templates.

Put merely, Yoast offers the very minimum in terms of SCHEMA. Rank Math is more comprehensive, user-friendly, and robust.

Google Analytics data. You can see this in your Rank Math for SEO plugin menu

Just like with Yoast, connecting to Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools is a breeze.

The difference is I can delete the Monster Insights plugin because Rank Math will show analytic and console data in my dashboard now. That’s another win!

Yoast Prioritizes Ads in Your Dashboard

And constantly wants you to buy their premium add-ons. I don’t like ads on my dashboard- it eats load time, my visual landscape in the dashboard that could show useful data instead, and is invasive. I’m happy not to have to be repeatedly asked to rate or buy something for Yoast.

Rank Math Monitors 404 and Redirects

No more redirect plugins. Rank Math’s got it and keeps an eye on 404 Errors for free.

While installing Rank Math for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised by it, suggesting I deactivate my redirect plugin since it can take over the work it was doing. I didn’t have to do anything. Rank Math grabbed all my setup redirects from the old plugin.

Giving it even more of an edge over Yoast, Rank Math monitors 404 errors too.

Also, Rank Math is compatible with AMP and Woocommerce. Yoast makes you pay for that.

Rank Math has better content suggestions than Yoast.

It just does.

Both plugins score your content in terms of readability, keyword usage, meta tags, and other things. Its a way of getting immediate feedback that can help develop your content.

Yoast gives good advice, but it was always elementary. Like it took solid SEO best practices and dumbed it down. It makes sense they would do that, but when you start trying to write quality content to rank, it doesn’t give you much in the way of helpful advice.

But I started ignoring Yoast’s scoring feedback for the most part. Rank Math seems to lift the standards higher, and it’s refreshing. Instead of pleasing Yoast with the bare minimum, Rank Math often challenges me to push my work a little further. In turn, I’ve learned a few things and implemented better practices.

I also appreciate Rank Math for SEO analysis of titles. We all know how important titles are to content, so have a specific feature to help you nail the titles is nice. Its something I’m putting a lot of effort into improving on.

Ease of Use and Experience

I find using Rank Math for SEO much more pleasant and much less obtrusive. As I’ve hinted at before, Yoast desperately wants you to purchase an add-on. They sprinkle ads everywhere on your dashboard. While I don’t know if Rank Math will follow this pattern once it releases its premium version this fall, I like not having to tolerate them for the time being.

I also found setting up everything with the Wizard just as easy as Yoast makes it. I like that it tries to do all the no-brainer redundant work for me, such as copying over my meta description to the OG meta tags.

I like its organization. I enjoy that I didn’t have to “learn” how to use it. It is expertly designed to be intuitive to use. If you’ve used Yoast, you’ll know your way around Rank Math quickly.

It gives me a little less work to do that makes Rank Math the superior SEO plugin.

Download Rank Math for SEO with WordPress

Is Yoast a Bad Plugin?

Absolutely not. Yoast is and has been the go-to SEO plugin for all these years for a reason. However, I’m excited to see something better come along to challenge Yoast’s supremacy.

Yes, Yoast and Rank Math do the same things. They are not going to rank you in Google automatically. They are only to perform the necessary optimizations and make helpful suggestions for reaching your ranking goals.

But Rank Math has been a nice change from Yoast. Yoast has had to please the masses and keep SEO from being overwhelming. Therefore, it always felt rudimentary.

I love Rank Math for SEO. It has surprised me by how easy it was to set up, how much it does while not feeling cluttered, and I’ve enjoyed working with it more than I ever have with Yoast. I got to delete plugins since it could perform jobs Yoast doesn’t do (at least for free).

Give it a shot and see if it’s the better choice for your website.

I found this easy guide for WordPress SEO in 2021. And if you’re wanting to learn more about website development, you can see a recent post I wrote about my favorite places to learn code here.

Share and Enjoy !

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