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Owning a website or blog but not facing enough traffic? Or want to make your website being displayed higher in order regarding Google results? Then what you need to know, is the term called SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Making our website SEO Optimized is a really important step to rank in search engine results. If the website is well optimized for search engines as well as users, it will rank higher at the top position and drive incredible traffic for free. One of the best ways to make your WordPress site SEO optimized is using the Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin on our site. In this article, we will learn how we can properly set up the Rank Math SEO plugin for your WordPress site.
Installation of the Rank Math PluginLogin to your WordPress Dashboard and navigate to Add New under the Plugins menu. Search for the WordPress SEO Rank Math from the plugin directory and install it. Activate the Plugin and you will be navigated to the Setup Wizard. At first, it will ask for signing up for the Rank Math account, you can skip signing up. But this will limit some of the features available in the plugin. There are two types of wizard setups:
- Basic Setup Wizard
- Advanced Setup Wizard
The Rank Math DashboardThe dashboard is the homepage within the Rank Math plugin settings which helps in enabling and disabling the modules and features with a toggle button. We can easily manage the entire WordPress SEO from the dashboard page. The Dashboard will also give access to re-run the Setup Wizard in-case if it is needed. You can also import/export and create the backup of your existing Rank Math plugin settings from the Dashboard.
Activation of Rank Math SEO PluginClick on Setup Wizard, then you will be asked to activate the Rank Math SEO Plugin. Before activating the plugin, it will ask you to create a Free Rank Math Account. Click on Activate Rank Math, and it will redirect you to their website. You can register through Facebook, Google account, or Email Id. After registering, it will authenticate your WordPress website or blog. Click on Ok and it will redirect you to the Wizard for setting up Rank Math SEO Plugin. It will detect the compatibility of your WordPress website or blog on its own. Click on the Start Wizard option that you will see in the blue button, and your setup process begins.
Basic Settings for Rank Math SEO PluginThis section will ask you about three basic information about your WordPress site.
Selection of Type of WebsiteHere, we need to choose our Website type viz. personal blog, community blog / News Site, personal portfolio, small business site, webshop, or any other personal/business website. We can select our website category by drop-down menu. Only in the case of Community Blog/News Site, Small Business Site, Webshop, Other Business Website, we will have to fill the Business Type.
Logo for GoogleIn this section, we need to upload a logo of maximum resolution 1920X1080px, for our WordPress website or blog.
In this section, you simply need to set up a default image for social sharing.It means if you forget to add a social sharing image on any of your posts or pages, this image will be used as a featured image. So, once you select the image, simply click on “Save & Continue”.
Setting up the Google Search
ConsoleYou can directly connect to your Rank Math SEO plugin to check the Crawl errors, Keyword statistics, etc. directly in your WordPress dashboard, using this option. Click on “Get Authorization Code”. Now, sign in to your Google account using the same account that you have used to verify your domain ownership. After logging in, you need to give your permission to allow Rank Math Plugin to collect some data from your Google account. Click on “Allow”. Now, you will be able to see the authorization code, just copy it and close the pop-up window. Paste the code and click on the “Authorize” button. The authorization process is complete, you can now see the verified sites under the “Search Console Profile” drop-down menu. After setting up the search console profile, click on “Save or Continue”.
Settings of SitemapsA sitemap is generally used for indexing your website faster in Google and other search engines or for crawlers to index your website faster. It helps in generating the XML file of your entire WordPress blogs and pages along with updating the frequency and number of images.
1.SitemapsThere are two options for sitemaps – On and Off. It is recommended to keep it On.
2.Include ImagesIt is recommended to On the Include Images option in the sitemap. As soon as you include the images in your WordPress website or blog sitemap, Google will rank your images.
3.Public Post TypesIn this section, we need to select the types of pages and posts we want to index in our search engines. For example, if you have a blog then select Posts and Pages, if you have a service website then select Services, Clients, and other types of pages.
4.Public TaxonomiesThis is not a mandatory option to select. It helps in indexing your categories and tags. After all the sitemap settings are done, click on Save and Continue.
SEO TweaksYou should only enable those options in SEO Tweaks which will benefit your WordPress Website or Blog SEO, though you can also leave all the default options as it is
Noindex Empty Category and Tag ArchivesIf you want to prevent empty categories & tag archives from getting indexed in any search engine, then leave this option ON. It will also protect your site from Duplicate & Thin Content issues.
Nofollow External LinksYou can leave this option OFF, as it is recommended not to add rel=”nofollow” to every outbound link.
Open External Links in New Tab/WindowSuppose you link out to any external site and when your visitors will click on that link, it will simply open up their site in a new tab. This option provides you with this facility. So, its basic job is to retain your visitors on your site. After all the steps are done in SEO Tweaks, click on Save and Continue. Now you will see a message “Your Site is Ready”. So, with this, it comes to the basic settings. We need to go to the WordPress Admin Dashboard for the Advanced Settings.
Setting up of Advanced Options in Rank Math SEO PluginSet up of advanced options is also easy. I am going to show you the advanced options of the Rank Math SEO Plugin.
404 MonitorOne of the most known errors of a blog or any site is the 404 error which usually appears when someone visits any of your pages or post that is removed or deleted. 404 errors can drastically affect your site. This option will help you to monitor all the 404 pages of your site so you can recreate the pages/posts or simply redirect those pages/posts to any relevant pages/posts.
RedirectionsThis option simply redirects all those pages/posts (throwing 404 error) to any relevant page/post. You can leave it OFF because it’s not a good practice to redirect any posts/pages to any random pages on the site.
Schema MarkupThis option helps you to add Schema on your site and posts. To enable this option, switch it ON and select the “Schema Type for Your Posts & Pages”. After it is done, click on “Save and Continue”. Now you will be redirected to Rank Math SEO Plugin Dashboard for some additional settings. Hover on the “Rank Math” on the left panel and click on “General Settings”.
LinksIn this section, you can make modifications to the behavior of the links of your site.
- Strip Category Base: This option will strip the category from all the URLs. So keeping it OFF is for better navigation on your site.
- Redirect Attachments: It helps to redirect attachments, you can easily redirect the URL of your attachment to the post that is associated with images. Though, it restricts your images on sitemap for Image SEO.
- Redirect Orphan Attachments: Orphan media refers to the images and attachments that are not associated with any post. You can put the Orphan Media Link for redirection to the Website Homepage URL.
- Remove Stop Words from Permalinks: This option will remove the stop words such as A, An, The, etc. from the auto-generated URLs. But it is recommended to turn Off this setting.
- Nofollow External Links: It will nofollow all the external links is not a good practice, so it is recommended to turn Off this setting because Google will not consider you an authority website.
- Nofollow Image File Link: It is recommended to enable the Nofollow Image File Link as it will make nofollow only the links that are associated with images. You will also see Nofollow Domains and Nofollow Exclude Domain.
- Open External Links in New Tab: If you enable this option then the user will see your external links in the new tab and helps us to increase the dwell time and doesn’t let our visitors leave our site.
ImagesAdd missing ALT attributes: Enabling this option will lead to automatically adding an ALT tag in your images where there is no ALT tag available. So it is recommended to turn On this option.
- ALT attribute format: After turning ON the Add missing ALT attributes, then it will ask you the ALT Attribute Format. Put %title% in this section. It means that your image should be related to any title as Rank Math supports many variables to create a useful format.
- Add missing Title attributes: Title Attribute is nothing to do with SEO. It provides additional information to the users whenever they hover over any HTML element with the added Title Attribute. It increases CTR. So, indirectly it influences the SEO.