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  4. How to Setup Rank Math

Once you install Rank Math for the first time, you will be greeted with the Setup Wizard we discuss below. If you haven’t yet, install the Rank Math plugin by following the instructions on this tutorial.

If you already installed Rank Math but want to go through the setup wizard again, you can find out how to open the Rank Math setup wizard.

Once the setup wizard starts, you will see the setup initiation screen.

setup-initiation-screen

Rank Math will also perform a compatibility check to see if your website is compatible. If you see any errors, you can click the “More” button to see its details.

more

Once you’re ready, click the blinking “Start Wizard” button.

Start-Wizard

Step 1 – Import Data

Rank Math has built-in capabilities to import your existing SEO settings from your current SEO plugin. This makes switching to Rank Math easy and fast. Most importantly, you will not lose any SEO rankings.

Rank Math will automatically detect which SEO plugin you’re using and allow you to selectively choose which settings you can import. For example, here is how the Import Data screen appears when using Yoast SEO.

import-seo-settings

For Yoast SEO, you have 4 types of settings to import. Here is a brief explanation for each setting.

  • Import Setting: This option imports Yoast SEO’s settings and the metadata you’ve set for your website.
  • Import Post Meta: This option imports the metadata for posts, pages, and custom posts which include the SEO title, description, OpenGraph data, robots meta, and more.
  • Import Term Meta: This option imports the metadata for the category, tag, and other taxonomy’s archives.
  • Import Author Meta: This option imports the metadata for author pages.

By default, all these options are selected which means all the available settings will be imported to Rank Math. However, if you want to configure any of the settings manually, you can un-check that setting for import and configure it later from the settings.

Also, if you’re not ready to import your settings for any reason, you can also use the skip option. Personally, we won’t advise this, but you can use it you’re testing Rank Math on a local setup or if your website is very new.

start-settings-import

Once you click the “Start Import from Yoast SEO” button, you will see a confirmation box on top of the screen. Click OK to start the import process.

Start-Import-from-Yoast-seo

Once you confirm, the import process will begin. Rank Math will give you updates about the various settings that are being imported. The time the process takes to finish will depend on how many posts your website has. Once the process is complete, press the continue button.

continue-button

Step 2 – Selecting Your Website Type

In the next step, you’ll select the type of website that you run and setup Rank Math accordingly. First, here are all the options in the third step.

step3-all-options

Most of the options are easy to understand, but the first option is the most important one. It allows you to configure Rank Math for the kind of website you operate. Here are the options in the first option.

options-in-the-first-option

 

Setting up Rank Math for Blogs

Since we are setting up Rank Math for a blog, you can choose from the following options.

  • Personal Blog
  • Personal Portfolio
  • Other Personal Website

Setting-up-Rank-Math-for-Blogs

Pick the option that describes your business the closest. An exact match is not necessary.

Setting up Rank Math for Businesses

Since we are setting up Rank Math for a business website, we can select the following options.

  • Small Business Site
  • Other Business Website

Setting-up-Rank-Math-for-Businesses

Choose whichever option describes your business the closest. When you select any of the options, 2 new settings will appear on the screen.

new-settings

Let us discuss the rest of the settings on the screen.

Business Type

The Business Type field is where you select the kind of business you operate. There are a lot of options available to choose from, so we would suggest taking the time out to pick the one that is closest to your actual business. You can also search your business type by typing it on your keyboard. If your business type is not listed, you can select the “Organization” option as shown in the image above.

Here is a glimpse of all the options.

all-business-types

Company Name

The Company Name is where you enter the legal name of your business. Please note that this can be different from your site name.

Company-Name

Setting up Rank Math for eCommerce Websites

Rank Math fully supports eCommerce websites and has a lot of features specific to eCommerce websites. To setup Rank Math for your eCommerce website, select the “Webshop” option from the drop-down menu.

select-webshop-option

Once you select the Webshop option, you will notice that 2 new settings pop up on the screen. Let us understand the new options.

Business Type [coming soon]

The Business Type field is where you select the kind of business you operate. There are a lot of options available to choose from, so we would suggest taking the time out to pick the one that is closest to your actual business. You can also search your business type by typing it on your keyboard. If your business type is not listed, you can select the “Organization” option as shown in the image above.

Here is a glimpse of all the options.

all-business-types

Company Name

The Company Name is where you enter the legal name of your business. Please note that this can be different from your site name.

Company-Name

Setting up Rank Math for Local Businesses

Rank Math fully supports Local Business websites and has many features that help local websites to achieve higher rankings. For example, setting up your website as a Local Business automatically enables the Local SEO setting inside Rank Math.

To set up your website as a Local Business, select the appropriate business type in the Site-Type setting.

Setting-up-Rank-Math-for-Local-Businesses

Once you select any business option, 2 more settings appear below it.

business-option-setting

Let us understand how to configure these settings as well.

Business Type [coming soon]

Since we are configuring Rank Math for a Local Business, select the “Local Business” option from the drop-down in the Business Type field.

Local-Business

Company Name

The Company Name is where you enter the legal name of your business. Please note that this can be different from your site name.

Company-Name

Setting up Rank Math for Everyone else

We’ve already discussed how to setup Rank Math for blogs, businesses, eCommerce websites, and Local websites. If your website does not fit into any of these roles, then you can choose from the remaining options.

  • Community Blog/News Site
  • Other Personal Website

Setting-up-Rank-Math-for-Everyone-else

If you select the Community Blog/News site option, you will notice that 2 new settings appear below it.

select-Community-blog-news-site-option

Let us now understand all the available options.

Business Type [coming soon]

The Business Type field is where you select the kind of business you operate. There are a lot of options available to choose from, so we would suggest taking the time out to pick the one that is closest to your actual business. You can also search your business type by typing it on your keyboard. If your business type is not listed, you can select the “Organization” option as shown in the image above.

Here is a glimpse of all the options.

all-business-types

Company Name

The Company Name is where you enter the legal name of your business. Please note that this can be different from your site name.

Company-Name

Here you can select or upload a logo for your website. Rank Math tries to detect if you’ve already uploaded a logo and display it here. If no logo is available, you can always select or upload one by clicking the “Add or Upload File”.

Add-or-Upload-File-site-logo

Once you click the button, WordPress’s Media Library will open up. If you’ve already uploaded a logo file, select it, or else upload it by dragging and dropping a file onto it. Once you’ve done that, click the “Use this File” button.

Use-this-File

You’ll see that the logo file is now shown on the screen.

logo-file-screen

Multiple Authors

This setting lets you inform Rank Math if your website has more than 1 contributor. If you select “On”, Rank Math will make the necessary improvements that will benefit a multi-author blog.

Multiple-Authors

OpenGraph Thumbnail

With Rank Math, you can setup OpenGraph Meta for each of your posts when you publish them. But if you have a large number of posts already present on your website, manually editing the metadata will be time-consuming.

With this setting, you can set a default Open Graph thumbnail for your website. When any of your posts are shared on social media that doesn’t have a featured image, this image will be used instead.

Opengraph-Thumbnail

Click the “Add or Upload File” button to open the WordPress Media Library. When it’s open, select an image to set it as your default OpenGraph Thumbnail.

Add-or-Upload-File

Once you’ve select the file, it will show up next to the OpenGraph Thumbnail setting.

OpenGraph-Thumbnail-setting

The image below is an example of how the page would look like once you’ve configured Rank Math for a business website. If your page looks familiar, you are ready to move on to the next step. Click the “Save and Continue” button to move to the next step.

Save-and-Continue

Step 3 – Google Search Console

The next step is where you setup Rank Math to work with Google Search Console. If you don’t know about Google Search Console, then let us give you a brief explanation.

Google Search Console is a website management tool by Google. Specifically, it was created so that website owners can see important information about their websites and resolve issues related to search engines. Your Google Search Console account will contain important information such as your website’s index status, crawl or other issues, your search engines rankings and most importantly, the keywords that your website ranks for. This information comes directly from Google and is very accurate compared to any 3rd party tool.

Once you setup Rank Math to work with Google Search Console, then Rank Math can fetch important information from Search Console and display it right inside your WordPress admin. This saves you a lot of time and gives you actionable information to work with when creating new content.

The Google Search Console Setup page in Rank Math looks like this.

Google-Search-Console

The first option helps you authorize Rank Math to fetch information from Google Search Console. Click the “Get Authorization Code” to open up Google OAuth Dialog Box.

Get-Authorization-Code

Another window will open, which will list all your Google Accounts. Choose the appropriate account or add a new account by clicking the “Use Another Account” button.

Use-Another-Account

You’ll see a confirmation box which will display information about the access that Rank Math will get. Click OK to confirm and proceed.

confirmation-box

Google will share an authentication code on the screen. Copy the code and close the window. We’ve blurred parts of the authentication code for obvious reasons.

copy-authentication-code

Paste the authorization code that you copied into the Search Console Setting.

Paste-the-authorization-code

As soon as you paste the code in, Rank Math will automatically verify the code and authorize your account. If it doesn’t happen automatically, click the authorize button.

If you made no errors, then you will see the following screen.

De-authorize-Account

If you see this screen, that means Rank Math is authorized for fetching data from Rank Math successfully. If you want to choose another account, you can click the “De-authorize Account” button and repeat the process with the correct account.

De-authorize-Account-button

After you’ve chosen your account, the next step is to select the appropriate Search Console Property in the Search Console Profile setting. Before proceeding, there are few things you should understand.

First, Google Search Console will only display information about your website after you’ve verified that you own the website. If your website is not verified, then it will not be shown here. We will also discuss how to get your website verified in the next few steps.

Second, Google Search Console gathers data on individual properties. A property might be a website or even an individual page on your website.

When you click the Search Console Profile drop-down, you will see all your properties in the list. Select your website from the drop-down.

Search-Console-Profile-drop-down

If you don’t see your website in the drop-down, then there might be 2 reasons.

  1. You selected a Google Account which was not used to verify your website with Google Search Console. De-authorize your account and then use the correct account.

De-authorize-Account-button

  1. Your website might not be verified. Click the “Click Here” link in the text below the dropdown to go to the verification menu. The link opens in a new window/tab, so your current progress will not be hampered.

Click-Here

You will be taken to Rank Math’s internal settings. In the Google Search Console field, you will have to enter your verification HTML or ID. If you don’t have that, or don’t know how to get it, click the “Search Console Verification Page” link below the setting. This link will also open up in a new tab.

Search-Console-Verification-Page

You will reach Google’s Webmaster Central and your currently verified properties will be shown on the page as well. Click the “Add a property” button to start verifying your website.

Add-a-property

A small window will open up prompting you to enter your website’s URL. Enter the URL and click “Continue”.

webmaster-url

You will reach the verification page. Google offers several ways to verify your website, which are shared in 2 tabs.

verification-page

Google’s recommended method to get verified is by uploading an HTML file, but we won’t be using this method as we already have an option to use the meta tag to verify our website.

To use our recommended method, click the Alternate Methods tab.

Alternate-Methods-tab

You will see a bunch of methods available from which we will use the first method which is the HTML Tag method. Click on its radio box.

html-tag-method

The meta tag will be displayed on the screen. Copy the tag to your clipboard.

copy-the-tag

Go back to Rank Math’s options page and paste the meta tag there.

Rank-Math-options-page

Then, scroll to the bottom of the settings page and click the “Save Changes” button. Wait for a few seconds for the page to refresh, and the settings will be saved. Then, close the tab.

save-changes

Go back to the tab with the Rank Math setup wizard and click the “Refresh Sites” button.

Refresh-Sites

Your verified properties will be refreshed. Click the drop-down to find and select your website. Once you’ve selected your website, press the “Save and Continue” button.

select-website-Save-and-Continue

Step 4 – Sitemaps

This page has everything to do with sitemaps. Sitemaps are like indexes for search engines, and they help search engines discover your website’s content and index it properly. On this page, we will configure the various sitemap options. Here is a preview of all the options available.

sitemap-options

Let us understand the various options.

Sitemaps

This option turns the sitemap feature ON or OFF. The sitemap feature is turned on by default, and we recommend that you keep it that way. If you have other plugins that generate sitemaps, we recommend that you disable them. It is inefficient to keep 2 plugins active that do the same job.

sitemap

Include Images

This option enables or disables the inclusion of images in your sitemap. This setting is turned On by default, and we recommend that you keep it that way as well. Indexing your website images will help you get more traffic from Google Image search.

Include-Images

Public Post Types

This option controls which types of posts are going to be included in the sitemap. There are 4 options to choose from.

  • Posts: Should be enabled, otherwise your posts will not be indexed.
  • Pages: Enable this setting only if have some content on your website published on pages. You can leave it disabled if you only have simple pages like About Us, Contact Us, etc.
  • Media: This enables your media to be included in your sitemap, should be selected
  • Products: Enable this option if you use WooCommerce on your website. This will include all your products in the sitemap.

Refer to the image to see our recommendations.

sitemap-Public-Post-Types

Public Taxonomies

This option deals with the inclusion of taxonomies in the sitemap. There are 4 options to choose from.

  • Categories: This will include your categories in the sitemap. This option should be enabled.
  • Tags: This will include your tag pages in the sitemap. We recommend that you keep it disabled.
  • Product Categories: This will include product categories in the sitemap. Enable this if you use WooCommerce on your website.
  • Product Tags: This will include product tag pages in the sitemap. We recommend that you keep it disabled, even if you use WooCommerce.

Please refer to the image for our recommended settings.

Public-Taxonomies

Once you’ve setup the sitemap options as per your desire, press the “Save and Continue” button.

save-and-continue-sitemap-options

Step 5 – Optimization

This step helps optimize many SEO operations on your website. Apart from providing SEO value, these settings will also save you a lot of time. Here is an image that shows all the options in this step.

Optimization

Let us have a look at the individual settings.

When you add images on your website, you can also add hyperlinks to it. That means your users can click the image and be taken to another URL. This option lets you configure if you want to Nofollow all image links.

If you mostly add images that point to your internal posts, then you can disable it. But, if you run an affiliate or niche site where most images links are external, then you should enable it.

Nofollow-Image-Links

Normally you can manually nofollow links by adding the rel=“nofollow” attribute. But, with a lot of links, this can be time-consuming.

This option allows you to automatically Nofollow all external links. Links to all your internal posts will not be affected, and you can safely enable this setting.

Nofollow-External-Links

It’s generally a good practice to have external links open in new tabs by appending the target="_blank" to the link. Rank Math can automatically perform this for all external links with this setting. The setting is On by default, and we recommend that you keep it that way.

Open-External-Links-in-New-Tab-Window

Redirect Attachements

When you add any media or attachments to your post or page, they are also accessible directly using their URL. So, any other blog can link to your media file without you getting any SEO benefit with it.

This setting redirects all the URL of the attachments to the posts that they appear in, giving you SEO benefit for every link to your attachment.

Redirect-Attachements

Redirect Status Code

This option selects the redirect code that is used to redirect attachment URLs to their posts. We recommend that you use the default setting, 301 Permanent.

Redirect-Status-Code

Redirect Orphan Media

In WordPress, Orphan media is media that you have uploaded to your website, but have not used in any post. With this option, you can redirect URLs of orphan media to a specific URL. The safest option is to enter your homepage URL here.

Redirect-Orphan-Media

Strip Category Base

WordPress pages usually have a category base attached to them. For example, a regular URL would look like this

mywebsite.com/reviews/product-review/

where “reviews” is the category name. To make your URLs cleaner, you can use this setting to strip the category name from the URLs. If you turn on the setting, the URL will become

mywebsite.com/product-review/

Strip-Category-Base

Google Search Console

Here you can enter your Google Search Console verification HTML code. If you followed Step 4, we shared in detail how to retrieve your Google Search Console verification HTML. If you have the code saved, you can enter it here.

Google-Search-Console

Bing Webmaster Tools

Similar to Google Search Console, Microsoft Bing also has Bing Webmaster tools, which helps you manage your website’s web presence in Bing. Enter your Bing Webmaster Tools verification HTML in the field to verify your website with Bing Webmaster Tools.

Bing-Webmaster-Tools

More Settings

You’ll notice that there is a small button on the screen that says “More”.

More-Settings

If you click on it, verification fields for many other websites will appear. You can verify your websites with all the mentioned using their respective verification codes. Verifying your website with all these websites is not mandatory, and you can skip one or more of them if you don’t use it. Even if you decide to use that service later, you can always verify your website with them using the settings in Rank Math.

all-other-verification-sites

Once you’ve configured all the settings, click the “Save and Continue” button to save your settings and proceed.

save-continue

Step 6 – Completing the Setup

The last step is just a confirmation that you’ve setup Rank Math completely for your website. You can share this on Facebook or Twitter, and also allow Rank Math to collect non-sensitive data and usage information to help us make it even better.

Completing-the-Setup

Once you’re ready, scroll down and click the “Proceed to Help Page” to get more details about Rank Math or click the “Return to Dashboard” button to go back to your WordPress admin. We’ve also added some helpful links alongside the page for easy access.

Return-to-Dashboard

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