Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

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Rank Math SEO PRO
Rank Math logo

Rank Math SEO PRO

It goes without saying that, although it is obvious, no SEO plugin works miracles just by installing it. If you are not a professional SEO, the best thing to do is to use it as a guide of good practices and use the minimum actions that are recommended to offer better results in search engines, but do not allow yourself to be governed by style.

It is also not a good idea to become obsessed with trying to get “all green” as some users of this type of add-ons tend to do. This does not always mean that you are guaranteed good results. Although SEO doesn’t keep me awake at night, I don’t neglect it either.

Writing for humans

In the end, what remains and works is still what really interests, entertains, is useful or all of them together.

As a result of the agony of “overSEO”, there are already too many texts, and entire blogs, that are written for an algorithm, masses of irrelevant filler straw, often ridiculous and absurd syntax just to crush keywords. All of it adorned with hundreds of annoying, superfluous tidbits as a lure for the occasional distracted click.

Some of the blame lies in the way these plugins are used, starting with intoxicating the style by misunderstanding the suggestions to achieve a certain score and ending up sacrificing the natural tone in exchange for the illusion of a better position in Google.

Hello, Rank Math

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions
First analysis of Rank Math SEO PRO

The three plugins that I have used in depth are: Yoast Seo, possibly the most popular, The SEO Framework, the lightest, and Rank Math, which I think is evolving very well to eat the toast of the most used ones. In fact, the free version of Rank Math is quite sufficient and has standard options that in Yoast, and other plugins, are payment making, it one of the most compensated options to start with.

After testing these three plugins for long periods of time and having enough elements of comparison, I have decided to stay, at least for a while, with Rank Math. So I got the pro version to play with it more thoroughly.

It’s not my intention to turn this text into a comparison, there are already hundreds of posts that “fight” Rank Math with Yoast and other add-ons. Even Rank Math is presented as an alternative to Yoast SEO.

At the bottom of this text you will find an initial list of pros and cons. A preview, for its price and options, I think it is the most balanced of the three in their respective modes of payment.

How much does it cost?

There are two premium versions.

 
   

The PRO, which costs 59 dollars plus taxes (although if during the purchase process from Spain you put your VAT equivalent number (the prefix ES + DNI number + letter) you pay it without taxes, since the purchase is made through an authorised seller in Santa Barbara, California (USA).

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

This version allows:

-Unlimited installations on personal pages. (I still don’t know how they will control that they are truly personal).
-Track 500 keywords.
-24/7 support.
-Renewal is annual and costs the same, $59.

The other plan called BUSINESS already goes up to $199 for 10,000 keywords, 24/7 priority support and the option of unlimited installations on client sites.

Installing

There’s not much mystery here, if you’re familiar with WordPress it’s business as usual. If you’re a newcomer to this stuff, it’s explained here in a nutshell less than two minutes video.

To install and activate the Pro version, after purchaseyou must first have the free version installed. The PRO does not work without it.

Even warning when a new update is available for Rank Math, always update the free version FIRST. Only after updating the free version rank Math, you can update the Rank Math PRO version.

If you look at the screenshot with the screenshot of today’s announcement, until the free version is updated, the link to update the PRO version is not even shown. Once you finish updating the free version, the link for PRO appears.

 
   
Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions
Updating

Configuration wizard

Once installed and activated we get the configuration wizard.

Here, the most important thing is that if you are using another SEO plugin, do not uninstall it because the wizard will first detect it and, if it is compatible with the Rank Math configurator, you will be able to import all the settings of your old plugin.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

Now you will be able to import your settings from both the free and premium versions of Yoast SEO and the All in One SEO Pack.

Once you have imported the configuration and verified that everything is in order, it is advisable to uninstall the old plugin to avoid conflicts.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

The process is very intuitive and simple, you can opt for the first option “easy” which is the fastest and most basic or jump to “ready” and resume the configuration at any time from this same wizard that you will find above the main panel of modules.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

Full integration with Elementor

The integration with the Elementor visual editor is complete, smooth and responsive.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

When both plugins are installed and activated, a new SEO settings tab appears in Elementor that allows you to access all the Rank Math Meta Box settings in the same way you can find them in both the classic editor and the Gutenberg block editor.

Watermarking of images shared on social networks

When people say that Rank Math has a lot of options, they are not fooling you. There are so many, that reviewing them one by one would be an eternal tome. Here you have the list of things you can do with it.

A curious thing, and one that can be quite useful, is the possibility of adding a watermark to the images that are shared on Facebook and Twitter.

This can be used to add branding, signatures or image or video playback icons, although for Facebook they warn the following:

“Be careful with this option. Although this option will help to increase the CTR on Facebook, it could be penalised if overused.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions
You can configure different layouts and locations and set a default one.

I have tried to add a bigger transparent watermark to centre it and it has given some errors in Elementor, it is pending to test it better.

This is how the logo is added in the top left corner.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

Options to get bored

But the real kicker is in its modules, you can deactivate the ones you don’t need so that the plugin consumes less resources. Everything is now much better organized than the last time I used it.

You have modules for SEO for WooCommerce, bbPress and BuddyPress, for local SEO and Knowledge Graph and ACF compatibility, among many other things, all of them generous in configurations.

These are just some of the tools only available in the Pro version that I’ve already tested for three days.

Schema, structured data

 
   

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

One of its main claims, it is presented as the most powerful and advanced schema generator.

Schema Markup provides additional information about your blog to search engines.

In a nutshell, Schema Markup is a standardised vocabulary that you can add to your blog’s HTML to help search engines understand what your content is about and reflect it in the SERP (search engine results pages).

At Rank Math Pro this module has been designed to include structured data in the entries without complications, in just a few clicks. It includes many Schema types and you can also set a default category in the configuration.

In his blog you can find a complete user guide so you don’t get lost among its many options.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

A paradise for data junkies, connected to your Google accountThe plugin dumps and presents all this information in a way that you can interpret it at a glance.

While many highlight this feature for its usefulness, I still prefer to consult the stats at my leisurely pace in their respective sources where appropriate.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

Dashboard view of the analytics dashboard

<h3″>404 Monitor

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

This is where broken pages are monitored which result in a negative user experience and also affect SEO.

It has two modes, Simple and Advanced.

The simple mode only shows a list of broken links and the advanced mode adds information about the referring URL and the user agent. This is useful to get clues about the source of the error and see if it is a real 404 or if it is someone mistyping an address by mistake.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

However, there is a warning that the advanced mode, as it collects more information, consumes more resources. It is advisable to activate it for the time necessary to detect specific real errors and then return to simple mode.

Don’t get obsessed, many of these 404 warnings are visitor typing errors, half-witted crawler bots or, as in my case, references to missing image sizes that are no longer in use.

For this example just remove the reference to that thumbnail in the post. Depending on what you are interested in, you can either remove the ad from the list or endorse it with a redirect.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

Redirects

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

Essential function. Although this can be done manually, it is more laborious and delicate.

Rank Math Pro makes this job as easy and quick as ticking an option and the task will be done automatically.

If you need to change the slug of a published post, the plugin will automatically create a 301 redirect. Never again will you leave dead links by mistake or forgetfulness.

In addition, it will display this warning on the redirects created when visiting the link (only if you are an administrator). The visitor will simply be redirected without waiting. You will also be able to consult the list of redirects in case you want to delete them or modify them again at any time.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

Image SEO

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

Another option to keep in mind. Image SEO is something that some people don’t pay attention to or don’t give it the importance it really has. In my case it is vital. A good part of the organic traffic I receive comes from images.

It is common that over time we neglect the boring task of filling in these image fields and it has not occurred to us to automate it, at least for the new images that we upload.

One day you discover that you have hundreds or thousands of orphaned Alt and Title and solving it by hand can mean hundreds of hours of work.

Rank Math Pro allows you to automatically add those missing ALT and Title (and other) attributes to all images at once while preserving the ones you already added and you can also add new ones manually at any time because this automatism will only continue to act on empty fields.

From now on, you can forget about it and fix them without haste knowing that at least they are no longer empty.

With this function, you can avoid installing one of the two or three existing plugins for this purpose, which are either cumbersome or do not allow for very advanced configuration.

Until today I have been solving this with a snippet graf that only added the ALT (using the title of the post) to the images that didn’t have it. The options in Rank Math PRO go much further.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

Sitemap, news and video

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

Another interesting function, which is further expanded in the PRO version.

In addition to being able to create the general sitemap.xml (which includes references to the number of images contained in each article), a news map and a video map can be generated.

The latter two will appear in the general map. All of this is also highly configurable.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

The plugin also takes care of chunking the maps into the quantity of your choice (they recommend blocks of maximum 200 links) and generating and adding thumbnails to the video map.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions

Affiliate program

Disclaimer
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links.

As almost all plugins with Premium version also have affiliate programme. The selection process is not automatic, it is subject to an evaluation of the potential affiliate to know the profile of their channels.They offer 30% of each sale made from your links and pay when you accumulate earnings of at least 200 dollars.In addition, they do something a little different from the rest to encourage the activity of the users who review. They have a monthly contest in which they reward the best fixed article published and the best video telling the experience with the plugin. The best article is rewarded with 200 dollars and the best selected video also receives 200 dollars.

Rank Math SEO PRO, first impressions
Winners for March and April

New pieces can be entered each month and the same person can win both prizes in one month. These prizes do not necessarily depend on whether the publication receives a lot of traffic. Here you have all the information about this monthly contest.PROS

  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy to set up
  • Lots of useful options
  • Activation/deactivation of modules
  • Good documentation

CONS

  • Although it is advertised as lighter than its competitors, in its Pro version, with all the modules active, the impact on the loading speed is too noticeable due to the increase in requests.
  • Small bugs with some configuration in Elementor.

(Review in update)

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