Rank Math, it is a WordPress SEO plugin to help optimization on your blog, ecommerce and niche website. The Rank Math plugin is easy to use and has an installation wizard and I will walk you through WordPress SEO Step by Step.
Rank Math comes in a free version but also there is a pro and business version depending on the features you are looking to implement.
In this video tutorial, I am going to walk you through, how to use Rank Math’s setup wizard to set up WordPress SEO rules on your website.
These rules and settings are necessary for WordPress SEO performance, and the setup wizard makes it easy to set up and get up and running in no time.
Let's start the setup process to increase your WordPress SEO Rankings
Click on the tab to start the Setup Wizard.
When you install Rank Math for the first time, the setup process is automatically initiated. But, I have already installed it so I am taking you through from the dashboard.
The next section is the mode selection. As you can see, Rank Math supports 3 modes currently:
- Custom Mode, which only available with the Pro version.
As for the easy and advanced steps, they are not entirely different.
The advanced mode has more steps that have some additional advanced settings to configure.
We’re going to use the setup on the Advanced Mode to optimize our WordPress SEO, then mark each step based on if it appears in easy or advanced mode.
You can switch modes any time, so even if you’re not sure if you’ll be able to follow the steps in the advanced mode, choose it. You can always switch to the easy mode.
So highlight the advanced section and click on the Start Wizard button.
This tab is where you input your website information.
Whether it is a blog or an online store, and based on your response, Rank Math adds the appropriate code to your website so that Google also understands this about your website.
So go ahead and select the website or business type.
Under Company Name go ahead and make sure you add that.
Now let’s go and upload your website logo, by click on add or upload file.
It will take you to your wordpress media and go ahead and pick your business logo and upload file.
It is always good to add your social media icons for better search results.
Moving to the Next Step
Once you’ve configured all the settings in this section, click the Save and Continue button to move to the next step.
You cannot improve what you cannot measure. This is a common saying in business.
Rank Math includes a powerful analytics module that will give you access to all the important numbers in your business right inside your WordPress admin. This will show you your Worpress SEO ranking so you can make the neccessary adjustments.
First things first, here is what you will see on the page when you open it.
Click on the giant button in the middle of the page asking you to connect Google Services.
That is because once you do, Rank Math can bring in tons of data from Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and even Adsense.
On the next page, Choose Your Google Account And Continue
The next steps are for granting permissions.
Since Rank Math will perform many tasks for you, it does require permissions for many things.
Here are the requested permissions, one by one.
Create a new Google Analytics Property. This is useful if you haven’t set up Google Analytics on your website.
Rank Math Permission One.
Edit Google Analytics management entities. This is needed if Rank Math sets up your analytics account for you.
Rank Math Permission Two.
View your Google Analytics data. This one is obviously needed to fetch the data and display it on your website.
Rank Math Permission Three.
View your AdSense data. As we mentioned earlier, Rank Math can fetch your AdSense data as well, if you’re the same email. So, this permission is needed for that.
Rank Math Permission Five.
View and manage Search Console data for your verified sites. Again, this is needed to fetch and display your search console data.
Rank Math Permission Six.
Manage the list of sites and domains that you control. This permission is needed to verify your website with Google Search Console automatically.
Once you go through all the dialogue boxes, you will see a summary of all the requested permissions. Verify all this information and permissions, and hit the Allow button to proceed.
Confirm Permissions And Proceed.
You will be returned to the setup wizard, but now you will see these options.
Now, you will be able to configure your Search Console, Analytics, and AdSense configuration. Let us give you a quick overview.
Inside the Search Console tab, you need to select your website from the Site drop-down and your target country in the Country drop-down.
In the Analytics section, you will select your Account, Property, and View. If you’ve used Google Analytics, this should be familiar. If this is a new site and you haven’t installed Google Analytics yet, you can use the toggle option to let Rank Math do it for you.
The AdSense data module is available only for Rank Math Pro users.
Once you’ve configured all these settings, click the Save and Continue button to proceed to the next step.
The Sitemap important for WordPress SEO
Sitemaps are indexes for search engines to quickly find the pages and posts on your website. You can think of sitemaps as indexes that you’d find in a book. Rank Math has a built-in, Google compliant sitemap generator that will create your website’s sitemap automatically. That means you won’t have to use any other plugin just to create your sitemap. Sitemaps are good WordPress SEO practice, so you should always have on for your site.
These are all the options that you’ll find in the sitemaps section of Rank Math.
All The Options In The Sitemap Step
Let us explain each of the options.
This option lets you enable or disable the sitemap feature altogether. If you’re already using a sitemap plugin, then you can choose to do so.
You can choose if you want to include images in your sitemap. It is turned on by default, and I would recommend that you keep it that way. The only time we would recommend you turn this off is when you have a large number of images on your website.
If toggled on Includes Images, you can check Posts and Pages however this will be displayed and selected by default.
The last option is Public Taxonomies.
This option lets you select which taxonomies will be included in the sitemap.
If you toggle Sitemaps off, all these options go away. Let’s leave it on for now.
Once you’ve configured all the settings in the sitemap section, click the Save and Continue button to move to the next step.
In the optimization step, we are going to tweak some simple WordPress SEO settings on your website that make a big impact. Here are all the options that you will find in this section.
No index Empty Category and Tag Archives.
Many times, you add many categories and tags to your website, hoping to use them in the future, but they don’t get used at all. In WordPress, each category, taxonomy, and tag has an archive page, which is a collection of all the posts in that taxonomy.
By default, these archive pages are indexed, which is fine. But, for the categories and tags that do not have any posts, having them indexed is a waste of Page Rank and your crawl budget.
We recommend that you enable this setting.
No follow External Links.
Normally, you can no follow any link by adding the “no follow” attribute to it by using WordPress’s link manager. But, if you’re adding a lot of links to your posts, no-following them individually can be time-consuming. Enabling this setting will make all external links no follow by default, which will save you quite a bit of time.
Even when you enable this option, you will still retain complete control over your links. Rank Math has another important link management feature, which we call Link Blacklist and Whitelist. Using those options, you can blacklist or whitelist domains or URLs that will override the default behavior you set here.
For now, we would recommend that you enable this option.
Open External Links in New Tab/Window.
When you’re adding external links to your website, you wouldn’t want a user to leave your website and go to the link, right? If you enable this option, then Rank Math will add the code snippet to all your external links, saving you a bunch of time.
Option To Open All External Links In New Tab
Moving to the Next Step
Once you’ve made all the changes to the optimization settings, click the Save and Continue button to move to the next page.
Save Your Changes And Move To Next Step
As you probably guessed, the Ready tab does not contain any settings, but it is just a confirmation page for you completing the steps until now.
The only option here is to toggle on and off the auto update feature.
If you’re using the Easy Setup Mode, then you won’t see the advanced setup option, and you should see the setup completion button instead.
Setup Advanced Options to start configuring advanced options
Once you start with the advanced tab, you will reach a completely new page, Role Manager
Rank Math features extensive role management features, which you can configure on this page. Here is what you should see by default.
Role Manager Settings In Rank Math
If you intend to use the role management features, you work with a team and want to assign specific responsibilities to them; you can enable this option. Once you do, you will see a lot of settings open up for each role. Here is an example with only 1-row showing.
Role Manager Settings Expanded In Rank Math
Here are all the roles you will see the permissions for.
- Shop Manager
- Shop Accountant
- Shop Worker
- Shop Vendor
Please note that you may see more or fewer roles depending on what roles you’ve created and the plugins that you’re using on your website.
Configuring, this is simple. For all the roles on your website, select only the permissions that you want them to access. Then, save your setting. You can always change these permissions later, so don’t worry about being 100% accurate the first time.
Once you configure these options, save your settings to move to the next page.
404 + Redirections
Rank Math features a powerful 404 error monitor and also an amazing redirect manager, which means you can say goodbye to broken links. Here, you have the option to enable or disable these modules. Again, if you’re already using other plugins for these features, you can disable them and use Rank Math instead.
Don’t forget to save your settings and proceed to the next step.
The next step deals with Schema Markup
If you don’t know what it is, here is a brief introduction.
Schema is metadata about your website and your posts that you can add to your website to give context to the search engines. For example, if you have a page about a widget, Google and other search engines don’t know if you are reporting news about the widget, talking about the widget, reviewing the widget, or selling the widget. By adding Schema to your post, you can help search engines understand your page better.
Schema has been gaining importance for the past few years, and it will become even more important in the coming years. Rank Math includes a comprehensive schema manager that allows you to add schema metadata to all your posts, and on the page, you will configure some defaults. Here are the settings on the page.
All Options In Schema Markup Page In Rank Math
As you see, Schema is enabled by default, as it is very important. Apart from that, you get to configure the default schema for posts, pages, and custom posts (if you created them). There are plenty of options available, and with each schema type, you can configure the details inside the post.
Keep in mind that these are simply the default settings that apply to each post when you create it. You can obviously go into the post and change the schema type and the different settings for the Schema. We won’t get into those details here as we’ve already covered it comprehensively in an article about Schema Markup. We suggest that you go through it understand the schema options better. For now, you can leave the settings at the default values.
Once you’re ready, click the Save and Continue button to finish the setup and return to the dashboard.
Here you will find all the modules that have been enabled. Also you should have a review of what other modules are available in the event you need them, for example the woocommerce module if you have a store front.
In CONCLUSION, We hope that you now understand how to set up Rank Math from scratch and also what the various settings mean. I have tried to keep this tutorial as simple as possible, and even included a simple mode in the setup process that will help you out if you’re a beginner and get you on your way to good WordPress SEO practices.
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