Similar to other WordPress plugins, the Rank Math SEO plugin can be installed within your WordPress environment from the Plugins > Add New section as illustrated below:
Setting Up Rank Math
Once you have activated the plugin, navigate to the Rank Math tab within your WordPress dashboard. Doing so, will launch the setup wizard.
With the setup wizard launched, you will be required to connect a free Rank Math account to your site.
Some of the benefits to having this carried out include:
- In depth SEO analysis: Helps in carrying out SEO analysis tests within your website.
- Keyword suggestions from Google: Enables you obtain keyword recommendations that you can use, of which are similar to your input.
Step 1: Getting Started
Within this section, you will be required to select one of the three modes that Rank Math plugin provides. For this lesson, we will select the “Advanced mode”.
Here you can as well check whether the plugin is compatible with your site. If it is you will find the message within the screenshot “Your Website is compatible to run Rank Math SEO”. You can always click on the “more” link to check on the tests carried out. If on the other hand the plugin is not compatible, there will be a message on the conflicting items.
Step 2: Import
In a case whereby you have a previously active SEO plugin, you can import SEO settings from the plugin within this step.
Step 3: Your Site
This section allows you to define the category your site falls under. Whether a personal blog, community blog, personal portfolio, small business site, webshop, other personal website, other business website.
Here you can also define your logo for Google. This is what will be rendered on the knowledge graph.
Still within this section, you can also set the default social share image, of which is rendered once you share your site on Facebook.
Step 4: Analytics
This segment allows you to connect your site to Google services and fetch data from Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Adsense.
Within the Search console section, you will need to select your site.
As for the Analytics section, you will need to select your account, property and view. If you have also not installed Google analytics, you can do so from the “Install analytics code” toggle option.
Also ensure that you exclude logged in users in order to avoid internal traffic from affecting your analytics data.
In the Adsense segment, you can select your adsense account. However, this is only possible if you are using the pro version of the plugin.
Step 5: SiteMaps
A sitemap is basically a blueprint for your site that helps search engines quickly find content on your website such as pages and posts.
Rank Math provides an option to quickly generate a sitemap for your site.
The plugin also provides an option to determine whether to include images, public post types and public taxonomies within your site map. Enabling these options will also lead to enabling of SEO options for the public post types and public taxonomies.
It is recommended to use this SItemap generator feature while using Rank Math and enable all these options.
Step 6: Optimization
In this step, you can carry out a few SEO tweaks which include:
Noindex Empty Category and Tag Archives: These are mainly categories and tags that do not have any posts associated with them. When this option is enabled, these items are not indexed, which helps in preventing negative implications on page ranks.
Nofollow External Links: Adds a “nofollow” attribute to all external links. External links are links that you add to posts or pages. Adding the nofollow attribute to them individually can be time consuming, which is where this option comes in.
Open External Links in New Tab/ Window: This option will force all external links within your posts and pages open in a new tab by adding the target=”_blank” attribute.
Step 7: Ready
This option serves as a confirmation section that your site is now ready, having carried out all the steps above. It also provides an option to enable automatic updates of the plugin as well as links to helpful Rank Math resources.
Setup Advanced Options
These options are triggered by clicking on the “Setup Advanced Options” button within the “Ready” section.
This option helps in determining which user roles have rights to edit or view various Rank Math settings.
404 + Redirection
These options help you monitor if your site users are encountering any 404 errors while browsing through your site and create custom redirects to avoid this.
Schema markup is basically a semantic that enables search engines to better understand your site content and hence leading to much more informative search results.
With this option, you are in a position to configure the default schema type for posts, pages and created custom post types.
Note: All the above settings can be altered later on from the Rank Math dashboard section, and hence if you need to tweak something, there is always a chance to do so.
We also recommend checking out our practical lessons, for more insights on how to optimize your site using the Rank Math Plugin.