Rank Math Vs Yoast may be a close call if you’re deciding on which WordPress SEO plugin to use.
Yoast is a traditional WordPress plugin that initiates many new bloggers and marketers into the world of SEO and both programs have substantial benefits however you’ll find that Rank Math offers a lot of features without confining them to a premium subscription.
Overall though, the SEO secret weapon that not most webmasters haven’t discovered yet is neither Rank Math nor Yoast…
It’s a new and powerful SEO tool called Surfer that analyzes top-performing pages on Google based on your target search term and creates a recipe to rank for that specific term.
Now if you were looking for Yoast SEO vs Rank Math you probably weren’t expecting a totally different SEO tool but the good news is Surfer offers a 7-day money-back guarantee on this powerful tool, so you can try it risk-free!
In terms of Yoast Vs Rank Math I would have to pick Rank Math; Yoast has been around for years and it feels like they’ve become complacent and aren’t interested in innovation anymore,
They are the go-to tool and heavily target beginner bloggers which removes the need for them to focus on more advanced features since a smaller amount of their user base would actually make use of them.
Rank Math feels much more dynamic with regular updates and more powerful features on offer.
I think it is best summarized by the fact that when you sign up you’re presented with an option that allows you to select either a simple or advanced setup. You can plug and play without getting too involved or fine-tune the details to your liking.
This particularly helps with things like no-following your tag and category archives, I have seen plenty of sites improve rankings from taking out hundreds of these thin pages from Google’s index.
Yoast SEO allows this however it doesn’t seem to guide you to it as Rank Math does.
Generally speaking, Rank Math’s default settings seem much more in line with best practices for an SEO plug-in.
Rank Math Vs Yoast SEO: Key Differences
Yoast SEO vs Rank Math Focus Keywords
In general Rank Math is a much more extensive WordPress plug-in and is additionally totally free.
You can even add up to five focus keywords for free – Something that the Yoast SEO plugin limits only to premium subscribers.
With that said, I do find multiple keywords to be a bit frustrating as it’s difficult to optimize a single piece for multiple keywords with the same level of priority.
For instance, your title is a massive influence but you’re probably only going to have a single keyword in the title.
Any time I add in extra’s I get my main one to green while the others fall behind.
I can imagine it’s useful for things such as plurals and synonyms but I would rather pick these up naturally as I write.
That’s just my preference and I’m sure there are SEO’s out there who’d delight in fine-tuning multiple keywords; however, I get the most success out of specifically targetting only one keyword and then ranking for additional terms incidentally.
Both Rank Math and the Yoast SEO plugin use preset formulae for optimal keyword density though, in reality, every search term will have a slight difference in preference with Google.
That’s an advantage that Surfer holds as it works out ”true density” by detecting the keyword density of pages that are highly ranked on Google for a particular search term.
In fact, it takes note of the common keywords those top performers share and provides you with a formula based on the comprised data.
If you put your Surfer-approved content into WordPress you may find that Yoast or Rank Math don’t agree with your keyword density.
Personally, I’m more likely to believe Surfer’s data-driven results and this serves to prove how regularly the Rank Math and Yoast density estimates can be incorrect.
Yoast SEO Vs Rank Math – Keyword Research
It’s worth mentioning that Rank Math includes keyword suggestions.
This is huge for beginners!
I recall when I started blogging with an online magazine startup; we used to write content that was interesting to us and then just throws in a random topic into the Yoast focus keyword field.
Write good stuff and people will find you on Google, right?
How wrong we were… to this day I cannot believe our ignorance.
It goes without saying that the startup no longer exists.
I began my first site soon after and used the same approach – as I was aiming to get traffic from Facebook rather than Google.
Months later I learned about keyword research – identifying the content people are actually searching for and catering to that rather than writing content and hoping it would get discovered randomly.
By including relevant search terms as suggested keywords, Rank Math could be saving hundreds of bloggers from making the same mistakes I did.
Very few bloggers jump right in with a SEMrush or Ahrefs subscription and I can’t imagine that many go straight to Google’s free Keyword Planner either.
To get suggested keywords just start typing in the focus keyword field and suggestions will appear in a drop-down list.
Yoast SEO plugin vs Rank Math Content-Length
Yoast is content with any posts over 300 words long, why this is the case I have no idea.
Perhaps because it is also intended for Woocommerce product descriptions.
Most SEO unanimously agrees that it is typical to publish posts over 1,000 words.
While content length isn’t really a direct ranking factor since Google is always looking for the most relevant and comprehensive answer to a query most top-ranking posts will be thousands of words long.
In general, it is a good idea to Google your search term and looks at the length of other top performers in your niche.
Some queries can be answered fairly briefly and Google will make it clear if it prefers shorter content for that specific term.
Rank Math is better with a minimum of 600 words and writing more results in higher scores.
However, both Yoast SEO and Rank Math use preset formulae of word count when in fact, this should be dynamic.
Of course, you write however many words you want – and Rank Math will award you with its SEO score – but it is a bit misleading that both use an arbitrary minimum figure.
If you don’t enjoy manually working out the word counts of high-ranking articles for each post, you can use Surfer.
It analyzes the top performers and presents you with the optimal word count.
In the case of this article, it recommends 3,647 words – which is more than ten times what Yoast recommends as a minimum.
It is certainly less of a grind writing to satisfy the SEO plugins but if I were a beginner and followed these recommended minimum lengths then you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now.
When working out word counts it is also advisable to ignore results that rank highly through sheer authority, instead, you want to look at the smaller players as they will have achieved that position through their on-page optimization in contrast to thousands of backlinks.
In Surfer you receive a content rating and domain score allowing you to find these perfect-SEO performers with fewer backlinks and therefore top-quality content in Google’s eyes.
Yoast SEO vs Rank Math scoring
Yoast SEO employs a traffic light system whereby you start off as red and as you write, improve and expand on your content you move towards green.
This is a very simple concept and I’ve never had any trouble explaining it to writers or clients.
However with simplicity comes limitation, you certainly get a lot more granularity when using Rank Math.
Use Rank Math and you still have red, amber, and green coloring but these are combined with an overall score out of 100.
Moreover, another great thing about Rank Math is that it divides its guidance into basic SEO and additional which is psychologically impactful.
The downside of Rank Math is that it could easily scare off beginners, Yoast is bad enough at throwing you into a world of alt-text and similar jargon – although they have a site full of entry-level SEO guidance.
Rank Math breaks these down into essentials and nice-to-haves meaning that it is comparatively not only more advanced than Yoast but it could be considered more beginner-friendly, too.
The downside is that you do feel compelled to try to achieve 100/100.
Once you consider that SEO is dynamic and ever-changing however it becomes clear that this isn’t necessary, optimizing for a set formula is nonsensical and you reach a point of diminishing returns once you are above around 70/100.
With Yoast the light turning green gives you a sense of fulfillment and you can move on to your next post – of course, that’s a much achievement in terms of SEO, compared to spending hours perfecting a single piece.
Sometimes it won’t make sense to optimize fully because both WordPress SEO plugins don’t see the full picture of your website.
One client site I work with uses a silo structure where the main product landing pages replace the category archives and I achieved this with a plugin since you generally don’t want to repeat keywords in your URL, this can be complex as both WordPress SEO plugins can’t see what the URL plugin is doing.
Here’s a fictional example of dog walking.
That would be the product page and link out to all of the articles in that category.
Now suppose I had an article that targeted a location.
This is not optimal as it repeats the keyword ”dog walking”. Therefore the best URL structure would be the following:
But both SEO plugins want you to use your focus keyword in the slug, they cannot understand that half of the keyword is already in the URL.
Needless to say, not a single post on that client site has a super-high score with Rank Math.
As per usual with SEO, the moral of the story is to optimize for humans, not robots – and use your own brain.
Yoast SEO vs Rank Math Google Search Console Integration
Google Search Console is a powerful platform that lets you see your ranking keywords, impressions, and clicks, it is compatible with both Yoast SEO and Rank Math.
There aren’t many gifts from Google when it comes to SEO but Google Search Console is one of them.
Rank Math goes a step further and actually allows you to view your Google Search Console Data within WordPress; though for a lot of people this wouldn’t be considered a game-changer given you only need to visit Search Console to see the data.
With that said, if you have multiple employees working on your site then having the data in one place can be easier than sharing Gmail account information.
It is common for SEO’s to also run multiple sites and take steps to conceal themselves from Google,
since it is against Google’s policies to link between your own sites to improve rankings.
Some SEO’s even believe that just owning multiple sites that rank well could result in penalties from Google, in order to guard against this they create new Gmail accounts for each one rather than having multiple sites under the same one.
Some SEO’s will take this to the next level and employ the use of different IP addresses and incognito windows, making it much harder to just quickly log into Search Console to check your stats. Rank Math is clearly superior here for seeing how your site is doing quickly.
Yoast SEO vs Rank Math Elementor SEO integration
If you use the Elementor plugin to build pages then you’ll have a problem with Yoast SEO vs Rank math since Yoast SEO is unable to read Elementor plugin content.
As you’re no doubt aware, editing in Elementor means you’ve practically disabled the default WordPress editor for that page, once you’re in the Elementor editor SEO can become more difficult.
Again Rank Math seems much more innovative, providing Elementor plugin integration.
It is also simple to use.
If you’re using Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin then you should see an SEO tab at the top of the Elementor editor. Once opened it functions in the same way as the usual Rank Math plugin panel only it is able to detect the Elementor content.
You should be warned though that while Elementor is fantastic for building beautiful landing pages, there are some SEO repercussions.
Speed is the main concern as all of those elements add up to some serious code bloat.
Speed plays a significant role in rankings, I have actually previously tripled site traffic just by fixing page speed – first with a site that lost 80% of its traffic after I installed banner ads, I regained this traffic by removing the ads and installing Nitropack and then I applied this knowledge to another site to achieve a similar result.
With that in mind, it is generally best to keep Elementor just for pages that really need to be beautiful – such as landing and funnel pages.
For blog, content stick to Gutenberg and just use a simple shortcode plugin for visual elements like summary boxes.
If you do need to use Elementor then you can make sure your page speed is optimal by using a tool like WP rocket or Nitropack.
Both of these tools are capable of turbocharging your site speed with very little work.
Yoast SEO Vs Rank Math Readability
I don’t put any trust in Yoast’s readability score in WordPress; while there’s no doubt a correlation between user experience and rankings that will continue to grow, I don’t believe in Yoast’s readability metric.
SEO Content should be written with humans in mind, that’s for a number of reasons.
Not only do you want to keep readers on your site – to prevent them from clicking back and signaling to Google that they didn’t like your site – but if you’re doing SEO the odds are you actually want them to engage and purchase something.
You cannot achieve this if you’re not writing for your audience,
if the target audience is 10-year-old school maths students then write for them,
if it’s a PHD research site then the writing style will obviously differ.
Instead of relying on making the plugin turn green, just focus on writing content that’s readable for your target audience in a human sense.
That is going to be more difficult and time-consuming if you’re editing line by line trying to make the light go green by adding in more full stops and active voice.
Of course, you may not be much of a writer. I trained as a journalist so that’s hardly fair, but I would suggest you go out and learn to be a better writer rather than relying upon Yoast to tell you how in isolated snippets.
Rank Math’s readability is much more relaxed – which is better in my view.
Use a table of contents plugin to break up the text, use short paragraphs, and include images. That’s it.
A high-powered alternative to Rank Math and Yoast SEO is surfer; rather than relying on set formulas based on a handful of ranking factors, Surfer employs cutting-edge data-driven insights to create the perfect recipe for your content.
At this time, Surfer does not yet have a WordPress plugin like Rank Math and Yoast SEO, instead, it is a separate application almost like working with Google Sheets – and it does provide a chrome extension allowing it to be used in Google Sheets like the SEMRush content editor.
Using Surfer is simple. First, sign up. Then go to the Content Editor and put in your target keyword from your chosen Keyword Research tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush.
Select the location you are targeting and whether you want desktop or mobile.
Mobile or desktop selection largely depends on your audience; for this piece, I used desktop as it seems logical that if you’re searching SEO software or Yoast SEO vs Rank Math then you’ll be using a desktop.
If your audience is looking for fashion or beauty products then perhaps mobile would be most appropriate; you can also elect to use Natural Language Processing (NLP) which includes more analysis-based wording.
Surfer will then generate a template, go into the template and click customize.
This is where the magic happens, you’ll notice that Surfer has identified the top 10 results for your criteria.
It has ticked those that have a content score as opposed to a ranking just through domain strength.
With this information, it has created a recipe for all of the features your article must have to rank highly, such as length, headings, bold words, keywords, and more.
The extra perk of Surfer is as a workflow tool since you can copy the shareable link for the template and send it to your writers if you have them.
You can also flesh out the structure of the article by putting in headings so the writer knows exactly what to cover.
They also don’t need to be SEO trained as it is so simple to use and they need only get as many keywords green as realistically possible.
So in terms of Yoast SEO and Rank Math the latter is clearly superior since Rank Math has more features despite being free and keeps adding fresh new features in updates.
But… to truly supercharge your rankings, consider purchasing Surfer today!