Rank Math vs Yoast SEO: Which is the Best SEO Plugin in 2024?

Definitive comparison of Rank Math vs Yoast SEO

Rank Math and Yoast are both popular SEO plugins for WordPress. I have used both of them for WordPress SEO, but I also installed and tested each plugin again to compare them for this guide.

Right out of the box, Rank Math offers most features for free. These include 404 monitor, redirections, local SEO, WooCommerce SEO, and many more—features that Yoast reserves for its premium plans.

However, Yoast is not without its merits. It’s the most widely used and trusted SEO plugin and has unique features such as readability analysis, crawl optimization, and the ability to remove “replytocom” variables.

In this Rank Math vs Yoast comparison, I will show you how both plugins perform in terms of:

  • On-page SEO
  • User experience
  • Performance
  • Value for money

Let’s geek out on this, shall we?

An Overview of Rank Math and Yoast SEO

Rank Math Yoast SEO
Keyword Analysis
Lets you optimize your content for up to 5 keywords but you can change the limit using hooks and filters.
Limits you to 1 keyword for the free version and 5 for the premium version.   
On-page SEO
Allows you to see how SEO-friendly your content is using color codes (Red, Orange, and Green) and a score ranging from 1 – 100. Basic readability tool, automated image SEO, internal linking suggestions, and contentAI for better content optimization.
Only use color codes to score your content optimization. Has an advanced readability tool. Integrates with Semrush to optimize your content for related keywords.
Technical SEO
XML sitemaps, 404 monitor, redirection manager, ability to edit the .htaccess file, SEO analyzer.
XML sitemaps, crawl optimization,robots.txt, .htaccess
Supports 15+ schema types including video, article, podcast, etc. Ability to create custom schema types or import one from your website using JSON-LD
Limited schema types including articles, news, FAQs, etc. It does not allow you to create a custom schema type.
Integration and Compatibility
Support major page builders including Divi, Elementor, Oxygen, Page Builder, etc. Compatible with most plugins and themes.
Limited free plan. Pricing starts at $99 per year. Offers add-ons include WooCommerce SEO, Local SEO, Video SEO, and News SEO each costing $79 per year.
Multi-CMS SEO plugin available in WordPress, Shopify, NeoCMS, TYPO3, and Drupal. Seamless integrates with Semrush, Wincher, WooCommerce, Zapier, etc. Compatible with most themes.
Limited free plan. Pricing starts at $99 per year. Offers addons include WooCommerce SEO, Local SEO, Video SEO, and News SEO each costing $79 per year.
Download Rank MathDownload Yoast SEO

When it comes to WordPress SEO, Yoast has held the reputation of being the most popular SEO plugin.

In fact, at the time of writing this review, the plugin had over 5 million active installations. 

Yoast SEO 5 Million active installations

Among its features is the undisputed readability tool that helps you publish clear and easy-to-understand content. 

As a business writer, I agree that this is a pretty nifty tool. Because let’s face it, what’s the need to publish that piece if your readers can hardly understand it?

Rising up the charts is Rank Math. The plugin is the product of the brilliant minds behind one of the most reputable theme developers, MyThemeShop.

However in late May 2023, Group.one ( the same company that owns WP Rocket) acquired Rank Math to add SEO tools to the software portfolio.

As a strong Yoast competitor, Rank Math has gain popularity over the years and at the time of writing this review the SEO plugin had garnered over 2 million active installations.

From Setup to Launch: Rank Math vs Yoast SEO 

Both Rank Math SEO and Yoast offer a clean and organized dashboard that allows you to navigate through the different settings with ease. They also do an amazing job onboarding new users to use the plugin.

Let’s get started by taking a look at how each SEO plugin handles onboarding and how its user interface (UI) fairs.

Rank Math

Upon installing Rank Math, it’ll launch a setup wizard that’ll guide you through the process of setting it up. 

image 39

In the start wizard, Rank Math will give you the option to choose the mode that you want to use during the setup. The Easy mode does the heavy lifting for you, where the plugin will set up the recommended SEO settings for your site. 

This is ideal, especially for beginners who are new to WordPress SEO and don’t know what settings to configure and what to leave.

And if you’re already an expert, you can choose the Advanced tab, where you can configure every setting yourself. 

In case you’re migrating from Yoast, Rank Math makes it easy right in the setup wizard allowing you to import all your Yoast settings in one click.

importing features from Yoast in Rank Math

Moreover, Rank Math lets you easily verify site ownership on Google Search Console with just one click through a free Rank Math account.

Once you’ve finished setting up the plugin it’ll launch a dashboard, where you can manage all its tools in a modular-based style. 

Rank Math tools

Whether you’re new or a WordPress veteran, Rank Math is well-refined, giving you an excellent experience to configure the settings quickly.

Yoast SEO

When it comes to providing new users with a smooth setup experience, Yoast is also not left behind.

Immediately after installing the plugin, Yoast will launch the setup wizard.

Yoast setup wizard

The plugin will begin by analyzing your site and running SEO data optimization. According to Yoast SEO, its site indexables will immediately improve technical issues without you needing to do anything. 

Similar to Rank Math, the plugin enables you to configure fundamental settings such as your website details and social profiles.

Moreover, Yoast uses a modular approach to help you enable or disable any feature you may not need.

image 35

Yoast’s setup steps are more brief than Rank Math’s, as the plugin handles all the basic settings for you automatically. 

However, few don’t imply it’s better. 

Yoast isn’t as feature-rich as Rank Math. And the fact that Rank Math allows you to choose which setup mode you want to choose makes sense as to why Rank Math has more steps.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO: User Experience

I love how both plugins are concerned about the user experience. But let’s dig into what it’s like to use the plugins to optimize your pages or posts for search engines.

Rank Math User Interface

Rank Math is compatible with both the Block and Classic Editors.

In the block editor, you’ll be able to see the Rank Math icon on the top toolbar when you open a page or posts.

When you click on the icon, it’ll display a meta box on the sidebar. 

Rank Math metabox

The meta box consists of the General options, where you can set your page’s focus keyword, the preview of your meta tags, and the meta descriptions on Google. 

You’ll also get access to the Schema tab, which allows you to configure schema markup for your pages and preview your page on social platforms.

I like the way Rank Math is strategically positioned on the sidebar of the block editor. It’s a brilliantly convenient spot that lets you access the tool without any pesky scrolling.

And the cherry on top? The tool only appears when you click on the Rank Math icon on the top toolbar, ensuring that distractions are kept to an absolute minimum.

Yoast SEO UI 

When editing a post, Yoast SEO displays a meta box below the block editor. 

Yoast metabox

I honestly like how minimalistic the design of Yoast’s meta box is—simply free from noise. However, I have to admit that the position of the meta box is less than ideal. It’s just not convenient. 

Here’s the problem.

Every time you need to enter your post’s meta descriptions, you have to scroll to the bottom of the editor.

And while Yoast does offer a widget on the sidebar, it’s not terribly useful, especially if you’re using the free plan. 

Yoast sidebar metabox widget

But even so, there’s no denying that Yoast’s minimalist design is a thing of beauty—it’s just a shame that the position of the meta box doesn’t quite live up to convenience.

Rank Math vs Yoast: On-Page SEO

Both Rank Math and Yoast allow you to analyze how well your pages are optimized for search engines. They take into account metrics like keyword usage, content readability, meta descriptions, internal linking, and more. So let’s see how Rank Math vs Yoast measures up when it comes to on-page SEO.

Rank Math allows you to analyze your content for up to 5 keywords while in Yoast SEO you’re limited to one.

Rank Math free account allows you to check how your content is optimized for search engines for up to five keywords. 

keyword analysis in Rank Math meta box

Even better, you can change the limit by employing the following filter code snippet to any limit. 

/** * Change the Focus Keyword Limit */ add_filter( 'rank_math/focus_keyword/maxtags', function() { return 10; // Number of Focus Keywords. });

Meanwhile, Yoast free plan only limits you to one keyword. But even after upgrading to their paid version, you can only optimize your content for up to five keywords. 

Keyword analysis in Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO has a superior readability analysis feature to Rank Math.

Yoast SEO uses the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease analysis to check your content for readability. It checks the length of your sentences, word complexity, the use of transition words, and how much passive voice you’ve used. It also gives you detailed suggestions on how to improve your content, so you’ll know exactly how to adjust how to do it.

Yoast readability analysis

Meanwhile,  Rank Math has a simple readability analysis tool. It only checks if your content has a table of contents, media content (images and videos), and short paragraphs. However, it does not tell you how easy your content is to read and understand for readers.

Rank Math readability analysis

Both Rank Math and Yoast can track keyword trends but Rank Math provides more data.

Rank Math lets you see how popular your keyword is over time right in your WordPress dashboard. You can filter your keyword by country and by period. You can also compare trends for two keywords to see which one is getting more interest over time.

keyword trends in Rank Math

Yoast SEO also lets you track keyword trends, but you need to integrate a Semrush account. Yoast gets the data from Semrush, while Rank Math gets it from Google Trends. However, Yoast only shows basic information about your keyword trends. It shows the information as a curve without the specifics of the trend of the keyword. You can filter the keywords by country, but not by duration.

keyword trends in Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO vs Rank Math: Value for Money

Both of these plugins have free and premium versions, but which one offers better value for money?

Let’s start with Yoast SEO. Yoast’s premium version is priced at $99 per year for one website. If you have multiple websites, you will need to purchase a separate license for each one. 

Yoast pricing

While Yoast SEO Premium does offer some advanced features like internal linking suggestions, redirect management, and content insights, the cost can add up quickly if you have several websites to manage.

But that’s not all. If you want to access additional tools such as:

  • Local SEO
  • WooCommerce SEO
  • Video SEO
  • News SEO

Prepared to shell out an extra $79 per year for each tool for just one site. Meanwhile, all these tools are included in Rank Math Pro.

On the other hand, Rank Math’s premium version is priced at $69 per year ($5.75/mon) for unlimited websites. 

Rank Math Pricing

That’s right—you can use Rank Math Pro on as many websites as you want with just one license. Not only is this more affordable than Yoast SEO, but it also offers more features like advanced WooCommerce SEO, local SEO optimization, and advanced schema markup options.

When it comes to pricing, Rank Math is a clear winner. Unlike Yoast, you get more features and can use it on multiple sites.

Rank Math vs Yoast: Speed and Performance

Website speed is a significant factor that affects a website’s SEO ranking. Both Rank Math and Yoast SEO are well-optimized for speed and performance, but there is more to consider when comparing the two.

Rank Math is built to be lightweight and efficient. The SEO plugin has a smaller code base, with less than 47,146 lines of code.

image 31

It also has a low memory usage of 158.74 KiB, resulting in faster page load times and better overall website performance.

image 32

On the other hand, Yoast SEO is quite bloated. It has a larger codebase than Rank Math, with as many as 65,858 lines of code.

image 33

Yoast SEO uses more memory compared to Rank Math. In our tests, it was found to use 891.06 KiB, which resulted in a page load time impact of 0.122 seconds.

image 34

When it comes to speed performance, Rank Math clearly outperformed Yoast by a huge margin. If speed and performance are top priorities for you, Rank Math is the way to go.

Its lightweight design and optimized code ensure that your website loads quickly and runs smoothly, providing an outstanding user experience.

Final Verdict: Rank Math vs Yoast

Rank Math or Yoast SEO?

The answer depends on your specific needs and budget.

Yoast SEO is a well-established plugin that has been around for a long time and has a large user base. It has several useful features and is a great choice for beginners and those who want a simple and straightforward plugin.

On the other hand, Rank Math is a newer plugin an excellent Yoast alternative that has gained a lot of popularity in a short amount of time. It offers more advanced features and customization options mostly for free. 

The plugin’s clean and intuitive interface and flexible modes also make it an attractive option for beginners.

Have you had the opportunity to try out either of these SEO plugins? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments section below.

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