In this article, we are going to explain everything about an amazing Rank Math plugin.
You will get handy tips to optimize your website so that your website can be found better and get more visitors to turn them into clients and make more money.
Rank Math plugin has a lot of Pro features for free. It’s better than Yoast SEO, and it’s all about optimizing your website for the search results.
Your website can look so much better adding rich snippets, stars, information about a company, image of our logo, etc.
Table of content:
Installing Rank Math Plugin
Let’s immediately dive into the detailed description of how to install and configure the Rank Math plugin.
Installation of Rank Math plugin
Before we start with the installation, be sure to back up the website.
We can download the Rank Math plugin from the official site or directly from the WordPress dashboard.
Plugins -> Add New -> and type Rank Math in search box
Connect the plugin
After installation, we need to connect the plugin with a free Rank Math account.
Create a free account
The link will take us to the Rank Math website where we can create a free account if we already don’t have an account.
We can sign up with our Facebook account, Google account, or an email address.
Activate the plugin
After we create a free account we need to activate the plugin.
Also, we can check if our website is compatible with Rank Math plugin.
If everything is fine, we can start a wizard.
Import previous data
Rank Math will automatically detect which SEO plugin our site running.
If we already have Yoast SEO or some other plugins, Rank Math plugin can import all that data for us.
Fill information about the website
Here we need to fill in some information. What kind of website is it? Is it the webshop or is it a personal blog, community blog, news site, small business website.
Then what kind of business type is it, company name, logo, and default social share image.
This data will be used for knowledge graph metadata.
Google Search Console
We need to use the Google Search Console. It will help us to get a lot of important information that will help us to make our website even better and be found easier.
In order to use data from google search console, we need to get an authorization code.
If we don’t have a Google account, we can create a Gmail account easily. Then we need to verify our website in google search console.
When our website is verified we just need to click on the “Get Authorization Code” link and copy and paste code.
Setting up Site Map
Sitemaps are really important. A sitemap is actually an XML file that contains all important information about our website.
Google, Bing, or any other search engines can better crawl our website and get all the important information.
Rank math plugin gives us the ability to include pages, posts, product pages, images, categories, and product categories.
Our suggestion: Be sure to include Sitemaps, Images, Posts, and Pages. Everything else st to off.
Set up some SEO Tweaks
Now we need to set up some SEO Tweaks for optimization.
We can choose whether to index or not empty category and tag archives. Also for all external links on our website, we can set a Nofollow tag and set all external links to open in a new window.
Our suggestion: Leave everything as default.
When we save this setting Rank Math will take us to the final window. Here we can enable the auto-update feature.
At the bottom of this window, we can open settings for some advance options.
Setup Advanced Options – Role Manager
This is a feature for websites that have multiple administrators or authors.
We can give administrators, editors, and authors access to certain features within RankMath.
We can not replace our Role Manager plugin (if we use it) with this future. This feature is focused on SEO permissions for Rank Math futures only.
If you do not have more than one administrator or author, leave this setting off.
Setup Advanced Options – 404 + Redirection
This feature is really great. The 404 monitor allows us to know if any visitors try to open a page that doesn’t exist.
Knowing that we can fix that issue by redirecting them to some other page, like home page, 404 page, or to a specific page that we have created for this purpose.
Our suggestion: Use a 404 monitor and redirects.
Setup Advanced Options – Schema
This is the best reason to use Rank Math SEO plugin. This feature enables us to add Google Schema structured data to our posts, pages, etc.
With Schema, we can give Google and other search engines more information, so they can make our search results look better.
So when someone sees our page in a search result, besides title and description he can see rating, reviews, price, and much more.
We can choose from 14 different Schema available to us and assign them to pages, posts, products, and etc.
Our suggestion: We definitely want to use this feature. Assign appropriate Schema to pages, posts, and products.
For example, if we have a blog about dogs, then we will select the Article Schema in the post settings. But if our blog is about cooking and our all posts are recipes then we need to set Recipe Schema for posts setting.
Rank Math SEO Settings
Now that we have completed the installation we can set some of the options in the Rank Math dashboard.
Go to WordPress dashboard -> Rank Math -> General Settings
Strip Category Base – If we turn it on, it will remove part of link for category links:
If we turn Strip Category Base on, we can not turn it off anymore. We can, but if we do so we can get multiple 404 errors because links will not exist anymore.
Redirect Attachments – If we set this on attachments that is found through a search result on Google will link to the post where they appear in.
Redirect Orphan Attachments – Here we need to put a link where we want to redirect attachments without a parent post. For example our homepage.
Nofollow External Links – If we link to an external website, we want Google to follow that link because when we link to other websites and other websites link to us, it can be good for our SEO and search results.
Nofollow Image File Links – As with external links, our recommendation is to leave this off. There’s really no need to be paranoid about nofollowing external links.
Open External Links in New Tab/Window – We recommend turning this future on because if someone click on an external link he will not leave our website.
So this is how should settings for link look:
Breadcrumbs used to be important for SEO but now it’s not that much. Google is advancing every day and Breadcrumbs is no longer needed for google to understand our site’s hierarchy.
This is entirely up to you whether you want to have breadcrumbs or not. If you opt for them, our recommendation is to leave all settings as default.
But you will have to add the code in your theme by yourself, which a lot of people don’t know how to do it.
Here we have two options, Add missing ALT attributes, and Add missing TITLE attributes.
It is not good for SEO to have images on the website without ALT or TITLE attributes.
This will allow Rank Math plugin to dynamically add those attributes on all images where we didn’t or where we forgot to add them.
Attributes will be generated from the file name. This is a great future. We strongly recommend to turn on both futures.
This is really useful. We can verify all major search engines in one place.
We don’t have to upload files or add codes to our websites manually. Just enter the verification code here and Rank Math will do the rest.
A robots.txt file is a plain text file that can be used to give specific instructions to search engines or web crawlers about which pages on a site to index and which not.
If you already have this file in your root directory this option won’t take any effect.
Here we have the option to show our SEO result on pages and posts. We’ve talked about this before. This is a new feature, and for now, we would suggest you not to use it.
.htaccess is a special configuration file that provides a series of commands to control and configure the server.
Among other things, with the .htaccess file, you can redirect pages or the entire site, set password for a specific folder, change the way URL pages are displayed, and much more.
This is another good feature that Rank Math plugin provides us. the ability to easily change our robots.txt and .htaccess files directly from WordPress.
But be advised, one small mistake in .htaccess can prevent access to the website. So live it as it is.
This is a handy option. We can easily see if someone visits a page that no longer exists. Then we can make redirection for that page and correct the error.
These errors can easily happen when, for example, we change the post URL and forget to make redirection to the new URL.
Set 404 Monitor to Simple mod and put 0 in the Log Limit field, like this:
Find out why 404 and not any other number
This is another great option that Rank Math plugin gives us. We now have all the information from the Google Search Console available on our website.
Some webmasters neglect the data available in the Google Search Console. Data such as position for keywords or crawl errors is very important.
Knowing this data can help us to identify content strategies so we can focus on new keywords better.
In the Search Console Profile field set your domain property and live the rest as it is.
Debug Redirections setting is for admins only and instead to redirect us it will show us debug console.
Fallback Behavior allows us to set where we want to redirect visitors if they try to open a page that doesn’t exist.
We can choose to redirect them to the default 404 pages. Or we can send them to the Home page, but this is not recommended. Because visitor expected to see a certain page and suddenly finds himself on the home page and this can be a little confusing.
Or we can use custom redirection and point them to the page that we created for this purpose.
We are not limited by the default 404 page and this is great.
We should live Auto Post Redirect option off because this will set redirections to be handled by WordPress. Those redirections will be more advanced than the 301 redirect type. We don’t need that. Set this page like this:
SEO Titles & Meta
Let’s now take a look at SEO titles and meta, and keep in mind that those settings are really important.
They will save us a lot of time, not only for everything we’ve done on our website. It will also help us when we create a new blog post or a new product. Then these settings will determine how that page will be optimized.
Even though we can change all the settings over here, we can always override the settings in individual blog post pages, WooCommerce pages and other kinds of pages that we have.
Here we have some global options for meta. What we must include is to all our pages be index. This Is very important!
Capitalize Titles will automatically capitalize the first letter in all titles on our website and this is a nice feature.
In the OpenGraph Thumbnail field, we need to add an image that will be used as a default image for social sharing. This image will be used only if we don’t have a featured or product image.
Settings for Global Meta should look like this:
In order to see all the settings, Local SEO must be enabled in our Rank Math dashboard.
Here we need to enter all relevant data for our website like our logo, URL for our website, email, address, and etc.
There is no need to write in which field what data goes. Just fill them in with the information for your website.
This tab does not require any special explanation. Just fill in the fields for social media platforms that you use.
Here we don’t have to do anything, we can skip this tab.
Here we can set the formation of titles and descriptions of posts in the archive pages.
Rank Math plugin has already set this to default. For Archive Titles: %term% Archives %page% %sep% %sitename%
And for Archive Descriptions: %term_description%
We can live this as it is and down we can set Robots Meta for Archives if we want to override global robot meta that we already made.
If you want you can adjust the title and description of the posts in the archive differently or to set the target robot differently but our suggestion is to leave these settings by default.
If we have more authors we can enable this option so Google can know to search and index them. But if we are the only author on the website then we can disable it.
If we enable this option we can also like in Post Formats adjust title and description for format in the author category.
We should prefer that people find important pages on our website instead of the author page so we suggest you to disable this option.
Date Archives – We don’t need dates in our titles so we can disable this.
404 Title and Search Results Title – We can live this as default. Of course, if you want to change the default look you can do so.
For the next 4 option, Noindex Search Results, Noindex Paginated Pages, Noindex Archive Subpages, Noindex Password Protected Pages, we recommend you to turn them on all.
We want to narrow down the selection of pages to be indexed to make more relevant pages better indexed.
So this page should look like this:
Posts, Pages, Attachments, Products, Custom Layouts, Categories, and Tags
We discussed these settings already in the wizard so we don’t have to change anything here because it’s already perfect.
Lets now set up Sitemap
So what are sitemaps? The sitemap is an index of all the content on our website which helps search engines to easily discover our content.
With a sitemap, we can be sure that Google and other search engines can know everything about the content on our website, and whether they index it or not.
Also with sitemaps, you can prioritize certain pages. So if there’s a really important blog post on our website, we can say to Google, this post is important, rank it first of all my posts.
Links Per Sitemap – By default, the Rank Math plugin set max number of links to 200. If we have more pages we can change that here.
Images in Sitemaps – Yes we want images in sitemap so turn this on.
Include Featured Images – Yes we also want to include features images in our sitemap so turn this on.
Exclude Posts and Terms – If for any reason we want to remove a particular post or category from the sitemap here we can enter the ID and it will not be indexed in the sitemap.
Ping Search Engines – When we change something on website this option will tell Google that our website has changed so that needs to be index again. Of course, we want that.
So this tab should look like this:
Depending on what you have installed on your website, you’ll see different post types over here. We can have posts, pages, media, products, and etc.
It is up to you to decide what types of posts you want in the sitemap.
Our suggestion is to include only posts, pages, and products, and to exclude everything else.
As with the types of posts, we can have different taxonomies here depending on what we have on our websites like categories, product categories, tags, and etc.
It’s totally up to you if you want to have these taxonomies in a sitemap.
Our suggestion is to include categories and product categories and exclude everything else.
So now we need to do just one more thing but very important. In order to be found on Google, we need to submit our new sitemap.
To do that we need to go to Google search console, log in, select property (if we have more that one website), and then in right sidebar menu click on the sitemap. Then we will see filed where we can submit our sitemap.
To get our sitemap link go to WordPress dashboard -> Rank Math -> Sitemap Settings and on top you will see link for the sitemap.
As you can see the Rank math plugin is great and it is very easy to work with him. The publisher has thought of every aspect of SEO optimization.
And best of all the features that are premium with other SEO plugins, with Rank Math plugins are free.
The publisher has also announced a premium version and I just can’t wait to see what else they will add in this amazing plugin.
I also want to emphasize that the support is great and that the publisher regularly updates the rank math plugin.
One of the advantages for users who use the Elementor page builder is that now with the Rank Math plugin they can do onsite SEO directly in the Elementor page builder, which was not the case with the Yoast plugin.