Rank Math or Yoast? My switch - Reasons and How-to

Rank Math or Yoast? My switch - Reasons and How-to

I made the switch from Yoast SEO to Rank Math. You can find out why I decided to switch from the WordPress SEO plugin veteran to the big challenger in this post. I’ll also show you the steps for switching from Yoast SEO Premium to Rank Math Pro.

A decade ago I still had the German plugin wpSEO in use. Today I can no longer recommend it because the development is sluggish.

Therefore, I first switched to Yoast SEO Free and shortly thereafter to Yoast SEO Premium. At that time, the prices were still more humane, so I could justify it that way for my numerous websites.

Technically and feature-wise, I’m still quite happy with Yoast SEO but read on to learn why I switched to Rank Math Business.

Reasons for switching from Yoast SEO to Rank Math

As I mentioned earlier, Yoast SEO is a great plugin. However, after almost ten years of using it, I still decided to switch to Rank Math. The reasons are as follows:

  1. The price: Yoast SEO has raised prices several times in the last few years. On top of that, there are no scales for multiple websites or even an unlimited plan. These circumstances have already taken a toll on my wallet.
    Rank Math, in comparison, costs only $59.00 annually, for unlimited owned websites. Thanks!
    Calculation example:
    5 websites Yoast SEO Premium: $ 445.50 annually (current prices at the supplier)
    5 websites Rank Math Pro: $ 59.00 annually (current prices at the supplier)
    That makes the decision easy.
  2. Compatibility problems with other plugins: Over the years I had issues with other premium plugins like Polylang and Kadence. That’s why I am currently researching an alternative as well.
  3. Functions and Features: Yoast SEO is powerful. But Rank Math is even more powerful.
    For example, RankMath comes with a rank tracker and a schema builder, which you don’t get at all with Yoast.
    Yoast has outsourced many features to additional paid plugins, which are already included with Rank Math Pro. These are: Video SEO, Local SEO, News SEO and WooCommerce SEO. So the whole Yoast subscription will cost you $229.00 annually for just one website.

Other than that, I’ve been super happy with Yoast SEO Premium.

Preparing for the switch

1. Testing on a Stanging site

Since I had never used Rank Math extensively, I created a staging site for myself from bloggerpilot.com. On this copy, I was able to test not only the switch but also the features. This copy ran successfully for me, which is why I then decided to implement it.

You can save this step if you read this guide.

Which data must be transferred?

To avoid data loss when switching from Yoast to Rank Math, you might want to briefly list your most important data. The default settings like Title and Description will be transferred anyway.

For me, the following things were still particularly important:

  1. Redirects
  2. Focus-Keyphrase
  3. Cornerstone content (Pillar content)

Ahead, everything was taken over flawlessly, but the data points are partly named differently.

2. Create a Backup

This step is the most important one of all.

Make a full backup of your blog, preferably right before you install Rank Math.

Create a backup with MalCare or BlogVault.
Create a backup with MalCare or BlogVault.

Since I use BlogVault, I started the backup there before. You can also do the same with a backup plugin like WPVivid.

Now you are ready for the migration.

Step-by-step instructions for the migration

You have decided to migrate and all preparations are done?

Then it’s off to the how-to for migrating from Yoast SEO to Rank Math.

ATTENTION: Uninstall Yoast SEO only after all data has been transferred and you have checked it for completeness.

1. Install Rank Math

1. Install Rank Math Free from the WordPress repository.
1. Install Rank Math Free from the WordPress repository.

If you have purchased the Pro version, skip the installation of the Free version and start right away with the upload and installation from the RankMath backend.

Then activate the plugin.

2. Connect Rank Math

2. Connect Rank Math to your account.
2. Connect Rank Math to your account.

Now click on the new menu item “Rank Math” in the WordPress admin and then on “Connect Your Account”.

If you are new to the plugin and have not purchased a Pro version, create a new account so you can use all the features.

In my case, I connect to my pre-purchased Rank Math Business account.

Finally click on “OK, Activate now”.

3. Setup Wizard

Either the setup wizard of the search engine extension starts by itself now, or you start it yourself by clicking on Rank Math > Dashboard > Setup Wizard.

  1. Setup Wizard: Erste SchritteFirst steps: Here you select the desired mode, and how deep you want to go into the SEO settings. For me, I choose “Advanced”. If you are entirely new to SEO, you can leave it at “Simple” and switch later if necessary.
    Click “Start”.
  2. Setup Wizard: ImportierenImport: This step is crucial for us. Make sure that all items are selected under Yoast SEO. I also once had two Schema plugins active that the Setup Wizard recognized. However, I don’t want to import anything here, so I disabled them.
    Click “Start Import”.
    The import process may take some time depending on the size of your blog. Do not continue until the progress bar is at 100%.
    Click “Continue”.
  3. Setup Wizard: Deine SeiteYour Site: This is where you enter the basic information for your site. Most of the data should have already been taken over by Yoast. This is a good time to review and complete.
    Click “Save and Continue”.
  4. Setup Wizard: AnalysenAnalytics: This step is optional, but highly recommended. Only if you give Rank Math access to Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you can benefit from the analytics tools including Rank Tracker.
    To do this, click “Connect Google services”.
    (If you don’t want to do this, go to “Skip step” below.)
    When connecting to your Google account, don’t forget to check all the boxes, otherwise some tools won’t work.
    After that, still select your correct profiles for Search Console, Analytics, and Adsense.
    Click “Save and continue”.
  5. Setup Wizard: SitemapSitemap: In the sitemap setup step you can most likely leave everything as it was taken over. The last two options News Sitemap and Video Sitemap are only needed in special cases.
    Click “Save and continue”.
  6. Setup Wizard: SEO-OptimierungenOptimization: You can use the default settings for the SEO optimizations. External links should not be set to nofollow in general, but only if they are paid links.
    Click “Save and Continue”.
  7. Setup Wizard: BereitReady: Congratulations, you did it!
    All your Yoast SEO data has been applied to Rank Math.
    Click “Return to Dashboard” or “Set Up Advanced Options”.
See also
Best WordPress Affiliate Plugins

I don’t want to go into the advanced settings here. If you use them, you don’t need any help with that anyway.

Congratulations! You have finished installing and setting up Rank Math.

4. Check the success

The installation and migration went smoothly thanks to the fabulous import feature. However, we don’t blindly trust the promises of plugin developers, so now we take a close look at all data points.

It would be fatal if meta data maintained over many years were lost. A direct loss of visibility in the major search engines could be the direct consequence.

Take your time with this step and check carefully!

  1. Meta data of the posts and pages:
    Überprüfe sorgfälltig, ob auch alle Meta-Daten übernommen wurden.Open some posts for which you have fully entered the meta data. Check if all data and settings have been transferred to the new WordPress SEO plugin as desired.
  2. Redirects:
    Schaue, ob alle Weiterleitungen in Rank-Math vorhanden sind.If you used Yoast SEO Premium like I did, check carefully if all your redirects were transferred. Also test later if the redirects work correctly if Yoast was deactivated and deleted.
  3. Activate only necessary modules:
    Aktiviere nur wirklich benötigte Module.You can find the modules directly in the dashboard of the SEO plugin. Here you should really only activate what you really need. AMP, for example, will hardly be needed by any of you.
  4. Go through all settings again:
    Klicke dich noch mal durch alle Funktionen durch.Like to call me over carefully, but when it comes to search engine optimization I don’t want to make any mistakes. That’s why I really go through all settings again and check everything for correctness.
    This way I get to know Rank Math Pro even better.

Don’t go to the next step until you have really checked all data!

5. Remove old Yoast data

So the SEO data in the new SEO tool is complete.

However, there is still Yoast data floating around in the database that is no longer needed. They only consume memory and make database queries slower.

Disable and delete Yoast SEO.
Disable and delete Yoast SEO.

To delete the old data, you now need to disable and delete Yoast SEO. To do this, click on Plugins in the left menu and scroll all the way down. Now select Yoast SEO and Yoast SEO Premium if you have it installed and select Disable at the bottom. Then do the same again, but select delete. Confirm each time with “Apply”.

Clean the old Yoast SEO data.
Clean the old Yoast SEO data.

Only now you can delete all old data.

To do so, go to Rank Math > Status & Tools > Import & Export > Other Plugins and click on the button “Clean” (badly translated and should probably mean clean).

That’s it!

Advantages of Rank Math over Yoast SEO

Rank Math and Yoast SEO are two popular SEO plugins for WordPress. Both offer basic features like optimizing titles and meta descriptions, creating XML sitemaps, integrating Google Analytics, and checking SEO factors like keywords and readability.

Still, Rank Math offers some advantages over Yoast SEO:

  • More features in the free version: the free version of Rank Math offers more features than the free version of Yoast SEO, including support for unlimited keywords, schema integration, and the ability to edit search results.
  • Easier navigation: the user interface of is more intuitive and easier to navigate than that of Yoast SEO.
  • Better keyword analysis: Rank Math offers better keyword analysis than Yoast SEO, including the ability to include LSI keywords and synonyms.
  • Faster loading speed: Rank Math is faster and more resource efficient than Yoast SEO, which helps improve the loading speed of your website.

I find the ability to track keywords very exciting. Even though I currently do this in Semrush, I will consider moving this to the WordPress admin.

Overall, Rank Math brings many useful features beyond those of Yoast SEO, making it easier for users to achieve their SEO goals.

Rank Math vs Yoast SEO

Rank Math vs Yoast

Even if you already know the two rivals, I still want to elaborate on the differences between the two most popular SEO plugins.

What is Rank Math?

Rank Math is relatively new to the WordPress cosmos. However, it has rapidly become a user favorite thanks to its rapid development. It offers numerous features such as keyword analysis, sitemaps and internal links, a user-friendly interface, and a comprehensive guide to SEO optimizations. The SEO plugin is a cost-effective alternative to other SEO plugins and offers excellent value for money.

What is Yoast SEO?

Yoast SEO is probably the oldest SEO plugin and has a powerful customer base. The plugin offers features such as optimizing meta tags, checking content for readability and keyword density, and generating XML sitemaps. Yoast SEO is one of the most popular SEO plugins and is used by many website owners to optimize their content for search engines and improve their ranking in search results.

My conclusion

So another personal era passes for me. Yoast SEO and I have bagged a lot together. Many great rankings, which may be due to the capabilities of the plugin. But also many tragic crashes in the Google SERPs, which I am probably solely to blame for.

As you can see, I have already answered the question Rank Math or Yoast for me. With Rank Math Business, I’m confidently moving into a new future with BloggerPilot. The rest of my websites will follow the pilot shortly. As they should.

I’m especially looking forward to the new schema features and analytics for my daily work.

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4 Comments

  1. Rank Math also offers a built-in SEO Analyzer and connects with Google Search Console to view website data within the WordPress dashboard.

    1. I have been using Rank Math for the last one year but now while writing a post the score and after making the post public appear different. Why?