Rank Math vs Yoast SEO – Which Plugin is Better for Your WordPress Sites?

Updated: 2022-05-25 / Article by: Timothy Shim

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital to getting content ranked well, but it's something many website owners struggle to manage. Because of the complexities involved, “magical cure SEO plugins” like Rank Math and Yoast SEO are popular.

While I don’t encourage thinking of these plugins as miracle workers, they can help guide SEO novices. That’s especially true for businesses that prefer to focus on core competencies instead of learning a whole new skill.

In this context, I plan to compare Rank Math against Yoast SEO in the following:

What is Rank Math?

RankMath
Rank Math Homepage

Rank Math is a relative newcomer to the world of SEO plugins. It was created in 2018 by an Indian company called MyThemeShop. You can use basic features for free, and there’s a complete pro version available for purchase.

What is Yoast SEO?

Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO homepage

Yoast SEO has been around much longer, since 2008. It is the brainchild of Joost de Valk and his team in the Netherlands. Yoast SEO is also available in both free and premium versions.

Quick Rank Math vs Yoast SEO Comparison

FeaturesRankMathYoast SEO
Setup WizardYesYes
Meta HandlingAuto (Based on Title and Excerpt)Semi-auto (Auto Title, Manual Description)
Keyword HandlingManual, Content AIManual, Suggest Expander
Internal LinkingYes, ContextualYes, Contextual
SEO AnalysisYesYes
Readability AnalysisYesYes
Multi-languageYes (Requires WPML plugin)Yes (Readability)
App or Service IntegrationGoogle Analytics, Google Search Console, AdsenseSEMRush, Wincher, Ryte, Zapier, Algolia
SupportTicket, Support Forum, KnowledgebaseEmail, Support Forum, Knowledgebase
PriceFree / from $59 per yearFree / $99 per year
VisitRankMathYoast SEO

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO: Which SEO Plugin Should You Choose?

Rank Math and Yoast SEO both offers features that make them an attractive option for improving SEO. However, remember that these features are mainly guides. In many cases, you will still need manual intervention to use the features.

The features implemented in RankMatch demonstrate the logical flow of SEO driving the process very clearly. It feels like an “A to Z” process that tries to cover the entire usability spectrum in one go. Comparatively, Yoast feels more ad-hoc in many ways.

1. Getting Started

RankMath's Setup Wizard is easy to use
Rank Math's Setup Wizard is easy to use

Rank Math offers a Setup Wizard to help you optimize your website for better search engine visibility. The wizard will guide you through setting up your website step-by-step. It will also provide you with tips and resources to help you achieve better rankings. Once you have completed the setup wizard, you can get further guidance on the Rank Math Dashboard.

Yoast SEO mirrors this with what it calls a “First-time Configuration.” The guide takes you through the configuration process step-by-step. You can choose which features you want to enable and select settings for each feature.

Verdict: Tie

2. Meta Handling

Yoast meets RanMath halfway in this matter. It extracts a meta title from your content title but allows you to modify the content and format. You need to fill in the meta description in a dedicated section for each post.

Verdict: Rank Math Wins

3. Keyword Handling

You can specify meta titles and descriptions on a per-post basis for Yoast SEO
You can specify meta titles and descriptions on a per-post basis for Yoast SEO

Rank Math allows you to specify multiple keywords for each WordPress post, even in the free version. However, I find the analysis the plugin does to be somewhat erratic. For example, I tried to focus keywords – one was OK, the other flagged as potentially not great. Removing one changed the status of the other. It was strange.

Yoast SEO only allows you to provide on focus keyword (or phrase) in the free version. Despite that, the analysis provided was relatively fair, and most budding writers could get away with this single focus.

Verdict: Yoast SEO Wins

4. Internal Linking

Both Rank Math and Yoast support contextual internal linking. That is very important for your SEO since it helps Google associate content or topic. Unfortunately, this feature is only available in the paid version of both plugins.

However, one thing to note is that you can survive without paying for this internal linking. There are free plugins like Internal Link Juicer that work just as well.

Verdict: Tie

5. SEO Analysis

Earlier, I mentioned the slight glitch in the analysis part of keyword handling for Rank Math. That seems strangely entirely different from the overall SEO analysis, which works well for both plugins. Rank Math and Yoast SEO operate on point-based content analysis.

They provide a large list of factors contributing to SEO and match your content against the list. For example, keywords in title and meta, keywords in content, rich elements like images or video, and more. Each item is weighted and flagged red, green, or orange (in the case of Yoast SEO).

Verdict: Tie

6. Readability Analysis

It isn’t surprising that Rank Math and Yoast SEO include readability analysis. Keeping things simple is something basic that many writers (including myself) often forget. The way it works is simple. The plugins simply keep an eye open for red flags like overly long sentences or the lack of paragraphs.

The way the plugins do this combines various tools. For example, Yoast uses the Flesh Reading Ease score, combining it with some basic language technical checks. That includes voice, length, transition words, and more.

Verdict: Yoast SEO Wins

7. Multi-language Capabilities

Yoast SEO claims to work with multiple languages besides English. These languages include German, French, Russian, Greek, Japanese, etc. The language support is admirable since I have to imagine that structure analysis works differently for many languages.

Rank Math, on the other hand, requires you to use another plugin called WPML. While a dedicated plugin has much greater potential, WPML is fully commercial. That means if you use it with Rank Math, your total cost will balloon. WMPL costs a minimum of €99/year ( around $105) for a mere 10,000 words.

Verdict: Yoast SEO Wins

8. App or Service Integration

Rank Math and Yoast SEO work with specific external apps or services to provide a wider range of features. Both work with entirely different services. Rank Math goes the traditional route, allowing integration with Google Search Console, Analytics, and Adsense.

Given that GA4 seems to be raising some confusion, it’s important to note that Rank Math already includes support for the future of Google Analytics.

Yoast SEO used to offer the same, but they somehow sold that feature to Monster Insights. Now they work with alternatives like SEMRush, Wincher, Ryte, Zapier, and Algolia. It is not likely to include Google products in the future.

Verdict: Rank Math Wins

9. Plans and Pricing

Both Rank Math and Yoast SEO have a free plan that includes basic features. It’s a fantastic starting point for those with zero SEO experience. Usage of either one is obviously crippled in both cases, but it’s better than nothing.

Rank Math Pricing

RankMath Plans and Pricing
Rank Math Plans and Pricing

Once you’ve gotten the basics mastered, you can consider upgrading their premium plans.
Rank Math’s premium plans start from $59 per year and run past $499 per year at the high end. The price variation is primarily due to keyword tracking and AI Content credits.

You also need to consider the additional cost of WPML if you need Rank Math to work with other languages. That means the overall cost of Rank Math can be pretty significant.

Yoast SEO Pricing

Yoast SEO Premium
Yoast SEO Premium

Comparatively, Yoast’s premium package costs $99 per year. There are no significant variations or cost add-ons.

Verdict: Yoast SEO Wins

10. Support

If you need help with Rank Math or Yoast SEO, your best bet is to rely on both fields' considerable knowledge base. There is not only direct feature assistance but a wealth of SEO-oriented information from which you can learn.

There is also more direct help available for premium users. Rank Math uses a support ticket system, which Yoast SEO relies on plain old email. Both work fine.

Verdict: Tie

Should I Choose Rank Math or Yoast SEO?

At the basic level, I believe that Rank Math and Yoast SEO offer a good stepping stone into SEO. Yet this is only the beginning, and paying for the premium plan will be a natural progression. The more significant question lies in what features are essential for your business.

If your focus is purely on SEO for your core content, then either plugin will work fine. Yoast SEO, however, goes the extra mile with its language support and multi-service integration capabilities.

The key here is to choose the right tool based on its functionality rather than just looking at how many people use a particular plugin or brand name recognition when making your decision!

I prefer Yoast SEO as it’s less obnoxious about how it tried to get you to upgrade to the premium version.

Conclusion

Many more experienced website owners will scoff at the mention of an SEO plugin. Don’t listen to them. Most of them have been at it for so long that many things have become second nature, and SEO optimization is ingrained into the psyche.

Many websites could do with a better dose of SEO, especially business websites. I understand how important it is to focus on core business competencies, and that is exactly the purpose of SEO plugins like Rank Math and Yoast SEO.

My final advice is to remember to treat these SEO plugins as advisors. You don’t have to do everything they say, especially if it makes no sense in what you’re trying to achieve.

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About Timothy Shim

Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.