If you look at the list of most popular WordPress plugins, then you will find All In One SEO Pack listed there. All in One SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins with more than 15 million downloads. Often users think that simply installing the plugin will help their blog’s SEO, but it doesn’t. You have to take some additional steps to get the maximum benefits from this plugin. In this article, we will show you the recommended settings for All In One SEO Pack, and how you can use this plugin efficiently to maximize the SEO benefits for your blog.
Note: At WPBeginner, we use WordPress SEO by Yoast however both All in One SEO pack and WordPress SEO are great plugins to optimize your website for search engines.
First thing you need to do is install and activate All in One SEO Pack. Upon activation, the plugin will add an All in ONE SEO menu item in your WordPress admin sidebar.
How to Set up All in SEO Pack
To set up All in One SEO Pack, go to All in One SEO » General Settings. In general settings section, the first option is to enable canonical URLs for your website. Canonical URLs are the permanent links of your individual articles. In a typical WordPress installation, a single post is displayed on several locations such as your homepage, archives page, author page, category and tag pages. We recommend using article summary or excerpts instead of full posts in WordPress archive pages. Publishing full articles on all pages creates duplicate content. By specifying a canonical URL for each post, you can avoid duplicate content penalty from Google.
Under homepage settings section, you can specify a title for your homepage. This title can be different from your WordPress website’s title. Make it catchy and use your most important keyword in the title. If you leave this field blank, then All in One SEO will use the default WordPress website title. Whether you use a different title or the same title as your blog, make sure that it is catchy and contains your website’s main keywords. For example, our homepage title is WPBeginner – Beginner’s Guide for WordPress.
In the homepage description field, provide a brief description of your website. Keep it under 156 characters and try to use your website’s most important keywords in the description. Do not try to stuff keywords in the description and make sure that your description is readable and easy to understand. In the keywords field, enter your websites most important keywords, these are the keywords that you feel that people will look for and find your website. Again don’t enter too many keywords, 5 to 10 keywords are quite sufficient. If you leave description and keywords field blank, then All in One SEO will not use them on your homepage. If you want to get maximum benefits, then you must fill these in.
The Keyword Settings section under general settings page of All in One SEO page, allows you to specify how you want the plugin to handle meta keywords for your posts and pages. You can always manually add keywords for individual posts and pages which we will cover later in the article. In addition to those keywords, you can allow this plugin to automatically use tags and/or categories as keywords too (check out our guide Categories vs Tags – SEO Best Practices for sorting your content). The last option in this section is applicable only if you use a static homepage on your website and a separate page to display your blog posts. In that case, All in One SEO can dynamically generate a list of keywords based on posts appearing on the posts page at that time. We would recommend that you uncheck the dynamically generate keywords for post settings and manually add keywords to each page to get maximum benefits.
Title settings allow you to set the default title templates for every page generated by WordPress. This could be a single post, main page, archives, tags, or category pages. Each page generated by WordPress has a
<title> set with in your WordPress theme files. The first option, rewrite titles, allows All in One SEO Pack to rewrite titles. It is enabled by default to override any theme settings. We recommend that you leave this setting as is because we believe that themes should not add SEO options and leave this to plugins who specialize in SEO.
You can also modify how page titles on your single, archive, and other pages appear by changing the predefined tags used for different page titles. We would recommend leaving them as it is for optimal results. The only thing you should change if you are creating a lot of landing pages is your page title format. Get rid of | %blog_title% part from page title format, so your site title is not taking up your 60 character limit, and your entire page title shows up in search.
Note: Google has a tendency to alter page titles on the fly, so don’t be surprised if your title on the page and on Google are different.
Webmaster Verification Settings
This is where you will add webmaster verification code provided by Google, Bing or Pinterest to verify ownership of your website. We highly recommend that to improve your site’s SEO you should sign up for Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools. Adding your site will help these search engines to notify you when there is something wrong with your website. These webmaster tools will also provide you with useful insights about your site, and it’s search engine rankings. You can then use that information to plan your content strategy and improve your site’s SEO.
Under the Google settings section, you can enter your Google Plus profile URL to add google verified authorship. Once you add the link there, you must go to your Google+ profile about page and add your site in the contributors section. Refer to the authorship tutorial that we linked above.
This will allow google to display author profile link and picture next to your search results which can make your search result stand out.
You can also add your Google Analytics ID for your website, and All in One SEO will automatically add your Google Analytics code to your site.
This section allows you to disable indexing of category and archive pages on your site by search engines. Some SEO experts believe that this is duplicate content, and it is better not to get these pages indexed. However, others argue that you should disable the ones that you don’t think are necessary and keep useful archives like category archives and tag archives. All in One SEO enables noindexing for category and archive pages by default, we would recommend that you un-check categories.
Optimizing Posts and Pages with All in One SEO
All in One SEO plugin adds a meta box in WordPress post/page edit screen. However, many beginners are often confused about how to use that properly. What kind of title should they use? Or how to choose keywords? So before you move on to setting up All in One SEO Pack, we would like you to check out our guide on how to properly use SEO functions to optimize your WordPress posts. Even though this guide shows WordPress SEO plugin in the screenshots, but the basic concepts are the same, so it will be helpful for all.
To optimize single posts and pages you can enter SEO title, description and keywords for each post you write. Settings on this meta box will override your global All in One SEO settings. If you leave them blank, then All in One SEO will use your global settings to fill in these fields for you. It will use your post title as for title, posts excerpt as description, and tags as keywords. If you want to get maximum results, then we recommend that you fill these fields manually rather than leaving them blank.
Apart from these, you can also set nofollow and noindex options for robots if you do not want to get a specific post or a page indexed on search engines. However we will not be covering that because that is not something that beginners should be doing. Lastly you can even disable All in One SEO for a particular post or page, but we’re not sure why you would want to do that.
We hope this guide helped you set up All in One SEO plugin for your WordPress website. For feedback and questions please leave a comment below.