Looking for an easy Guide to properly setting up the Rank Math SEO plugin for WordPress?
Rank Math is the fastest-growing SEO plugin for WordPress. It is the best alternative to the well-known Yoast SEO plugin. Actually, It is better than the free version of Yoast SEO in many areas. It is designed by a well-known company MyThemeShop.
The Rank Math plugin is completely free and easy to use. This plugin offers lots of premium features and functionalities without paying a single penny. The features offered by Rank Math were previously available only on the pro versions of SEO plugins.
Rank Math plugin is a beginner-friendly SEO plugin. Still, many beginners don’t understand many SEO options offered by this plugin. So, to make it easy for beginners we have created a detailed guide to set up Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin.
In this article, we are going to share a step-by-step guide to setting up Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin.
A Guide to Setup Rank Math SEO Plugin Properly
#1 Setup Wizard
When you install and activate Rank Math for the first time, you will be automatically redirected to the Rank Math setup wizard. The setup wizard will help you to configure the essential SEO settings. If you don’t want to start the setup wizard now then you can also cancel the process by clicking on the return to dashboard button. But, we don’t recommend it, you should complete this process as soon as possible. So, let’s begin.
The Setup wizard will first ask you to connect your site with your Rank Math account. Connecting isn’t required to use this plugin, but a feature called Rank Math Content AI will not work without connecting to a Rank Math free account. So, click on Connect Your Account button.
Now you will be redirected to the Rank Math website page, here you have to register for a free account (if you don’t have one). After registration or login, you will be asked to activate the rank math plan, click the OK, ACTIVATE NOW button to complete the connection process.
Getting Started [Mode Slection]
After the account linking process, you’ll be asked to select a setup path mode out of 3 available options – Easy, Advanced, and Custom Mode (For Pro Users Only). In easy mode, Rank Math will set up most of the configurations for you automatically. The advanced mode gives you the option to configure additional advanced SEO settings yourself. And Custom mode is only for Pro users, which allow you to upload previously saved or exported Rank Math settings file. If you need full control over your website SEO settings then you should go with the Advanced Mode. So, select Advanced Mode and click on the Start Wizard button.
Import SEO Settings
On the next tab, you can import SEO settings from other SEO plugins (if you already using any). Rank Math gives multiple options to select from like Import Settings, Import Post Meta, Import Author Meta, Import Redirection etc. If you don’t want to lose any settings from the previous SEO plugin, then we recommend you keep all options selected. After selecting all import data options, click on the Start Import button.
Now, Rank Math will import all data and set all settings for you automatically.
Your Website Info
In this section, Rank Math will ask you for some information about your website. Then, based on your provided information Rank Math will automatically insert a code to your website that helps search engines like Google understand what your website is about. Whether it is a personal blog, news site, portfolio, small business, online shop, or something else. Apart from website type, you have to upload a square logo image and default social share image (Used when no images are available on your website post or page link while sharing it on social media). So, choose the options according to your website type and click on Save and Continue.
Connect Google Services
On the next page, Rank Math will ask you to connect your site with Google Services [Search Console, Google Analytics and Google Adsense(Pro Only)]. By connecting, you can view Google Analytics data directly from your Rank Math Analytics tab (Dashboard>>Rank Math>>Analytics). It also helps you track your website keywords and ranking by using data from Google Search Console. But, it will consume lots of server resources that can slow down your website. So, we don’t recommend connecting your Google Services account with Rank Math plugin. If you still want to do, then just click on Connect Google Services button and grant permission to access your site analytics data to Rank Math SEO plugin from your Google account. If you don’t want to connect click on the Skip Step button and move on to the next tab.
On the sitemap page, you can control which post types and pages you want to include in your website sitemap. Also, Rank Math will automatically generate a Google-compliant sitemap for your website. It also gives to option to include images and taxonomies in the sitemap. Here are recommended settings for sitemap:
Sitemaps[ON]: Turn on the toggle to allow Rank Math to generate an XML sitemap for your website.
Include Images[ON]: Turn on this toggle to include uploaded images into the sitemap.
Public Post Types[ON]: Select Post and Pages both (Important) to include them in the sitemap.
Public Taxonomies[OFF]: If you want to create a separate sitemap for your website categories then select the Categories option. We recommend keeping it off to save your website from a thin content penalty.
After enabling the required option, click on Save to Continue button to go ahead.
On this page, we will do some important SEO tweaks related to your website content. The first option “Noindex Empty Category and Tag Archives”, if enabled simply restricts empty category and tag pages from getting indexed. The second option “Nofollow External Links”, if enabled adds rel=”nofollow”, tag to every external link on your website. The third option “Open External Links in New Tab/Window”, if enabled automatically inserts the target=”blank” tag to every external link to open them in a new tab. Below are recommended setting for SEO tweaks options:
Noindex Empty Category and Tag Archives [ON]: Keep it on to avoid indexing of thin or no content Category and Tag archive pages.
Nofollow External Links [OFF]: Keep it disabled, you can manually add rel=”nofollow tag” at any link that you want to make nofollow. Making all external links nofollow is not recommended for most websites.
Open External Links in New Tab/Window [ON]: Enable it to stop users from leaving your website. If this option is enabled all external links will open in a new tab on the user’s browser. Your website will be remained open in the original tab.
After enabling recommended options, click on Save and Continue button to move forward.
Now you are on the ready page, this page doesn’t contain any important settings. Here, Rank math is asking to enable auto update of the plugin. Sometimes auto-update can create unknown bugs and errors. So, it is always recommended to keep auto-update disabled. Disable it and click on Setup Advanced Options for additional advanced settings.
On the advanced options page, the first tab is role manager. If your website has multiple authors or admins, then you can limit Rank Math plugin features according to user roles. To do this, simply turn on the role manager toggle and select what specific users are allowed to do and what not. If you are the only author and admin of your website, then you don’t need to enable it. Click on Skip Step for the next tab.
404 Monitor + Redirection
On this tab, you can enable or disable the 404 monitor and redirection option. The 404 monitor automatically searches for broken links and reports them to you. You can see and fix all broken links detected by the 404 monitor tool at the Rank Math plugin interface (Dashboard>>Rank Math>>404 Monitor).
The Redirection tool helps you to fix the non-working faulty links by redirecting them to a working link permanently or temporarily. You can also create manual redirects directly from the Rank Math plugin Interface (Dashboard>>Rank Math>>Redirections).
Both of the tools are very useful, so it is recommended to enable both of them. Enable them and move to the next tab by clicking on Save and Continue.
The last tab of Advanced Options deals with schema markup. Schema helps search engines understand your content type. It is recommended to enable schema type for both posts and pages. If it is enabled, Rank Math will automatically add schema metadata to all your website posts and pages. Below are recommended schema markup settings for most of the websites:
Schema Type [ON]: Keep it on to enable schema for your website posts and pages.
Schema Type for Posts [Article]: Here you can select the default schema type for every new post you create. You can also change it later through the post editor. For most website Article should be a default rich snippet. So, select Article from the drop-down menu OR select any schema type according to your website niche.
Article Type [Blog Post]: By default, Blog Post is a perfect option.
Schema Type of Pages [None]: It is recommended to not select any default schema type for pages. You can manually select this during page creation through the editor. So, set the None option for pages schema type.