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How To Set Up The All In One SEO Plugin

Note: I re-read this article recently and found it needed updating, so I’ve added the update at the end.

Also: please read through the comments – there are specific, step-by-step set up instructions there, more detailed than in the article itself.

I got a question from a friend the other day on how to set up the All-in-One-SEO plugin for WordPress.  I figured that if she needed to know maybe others do too, so here’s how I replied:

“… I wouldn’t presume to tell you the right way to do it, but this is how I do it:

When you first install it you need to fill out these fields in the All in one SEO settings: ‘Home Title’ (this would usually be your blog title), ‘Home Description’ (a description of your blog) and ‘Home Keywords’ (your primary keywords for your blog) in your All in One SEO settings.

Keep your ‘Home Title’ to less than 80 characters, your ‘Home Description’ to less than 160 characters and your ‘Home Keywords’ to around 12 keywords.

You can see the settings for the All in one plugin under the ‘settings’ link – click ‘Settings’ and then ‘All in One SEO Pack’.  My suggestion is that, apart from the Home Title, Home Description and Home Keywords, you leave the settings as they are for now.  We can play with those later.

Note: recent new installations of the All-in-One-SEO-Pack have not included the default settings I just referred to. So in the comments area I have set out my suggested settings for all the other fields  Read through the comments to see them.

Then, whenever you post, you need to give the All-in-One some information so it can do its stuff.  So each time you post, click the All-in-One-SEO link below your post window and fill out these fields:

Title field: Just use the title of your post, or a shortened version if your post title is long.

The title field is what appears in the blue bar at the very top of your browser when you’re looking at a web page and you don’t want that to be more than 80 characters long.

By default the All in one SEO plugin will automatically place your post title first and then your blog title (Home Title) in that field and the total length should be less than 80 characters.

Google places a lot of emphasis currently on page titles so this is an important field to fill out.

Description field: This is what appears under the page title in the natural search results.

The blue link describing each result in the natural search results is the page title – that’s why it’s important to fill that out featuring your keyword for the post.  The words underneath the blue link is what the description field contains.

You need to write something in the description field that will encourage people to click through to your page from the search results page – think of it as an Adwords Ad!  Remember you have no more than 160 characters in total and I try to get it into 150, because some search engines give you less space.

Keywords field: I just copy my tags into this field and maybe add a few more keywords if they come to mind.  But don’t put too many keywords in.  10 to 12 is enough.

So… when you publish a new post you need to make sure all these fields are completed:

In WordPress: Tags and a category.  Only use one category per post.  Also – make sure any links you need are there.

In the All in One SEO plugin:  Title, Description, Keywords

Hope that helps! …”

Leave us a comment with your thoughts and suggestions.

Update 9th May, 2009:

On re-reading this I found that, with the benefit of experience and a bit more knowledge, I do some things differently now than I did when I originally wrote this.  Here they are:

Keywords:

In the Keywords field I do not now just copy my tags, as I wrote earlier.

Ideally you should only be using 2 or 3 tags per article and they should be used to link closely related articles together within their category.

For more detailed information on using tags (and categories) this post is useful.

So in my Keywords field I search for and use keywords that are closely relevant to the post topic.  And I don’t use too many – usually no more than 4 or 5.

Title Field:

I write my Title field to be short and eliminate unnecessary words – like adjectives.

Also – I try to make sure my primary keyword appears first.

These days I use a format like this:

“Primary Keywords: How To Use Them In Titles”

Titles don’t need to be perfect English, but they do need to include your keywords and be closely relevant to the topic of your article.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Eric 3 October, 2008, 2:00 pm

    Nice post. I was curious as to why you would want to keep to only 1 category. Does it help in rankings?

    There are many other valuable features of the SEO pack that let you add your own tags in the header areas as well. They’ve done a great job at providing contextual help when you click on the field titles so you can get an idea of what the plug-in is capable of. I really find it useful.

    Eric´s last blog post..Most Popular Browser, Screen Size

  • WealthyDragon 3 October, 2008, 3:48 pm

    Eric, hi,

    Yes – it’s a great plug in!

    My reason for assigning a post to only 1 category is 2-fold:

    1) If my post is sufficiently focused and my categories are sufficiently focused, a post wouldn’t logically fit within more than 1 category. I think being as focused and organised as possible makes it easier for both readers and the search engines.

    2) If I assign a post to 2 categories my theme attempts to display both categories in the summary on the first page and it looks a real mess!

    I set out my take on tags vs. categories in this post:

    https://www.wealthydragon.com/blog/2008/08/25/categories-and-tags/

    (That may or may not serve to clarify my point! :-D)

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • Eric 3 October, 2008, 5:08 pm

    Interesting!

    And the second reason seems to be the most compelling given the display mess.

    Regarding your first point, I have trouble with trying to focus into one category sometimes. For instance, my site is addressing web services. And my categories are something similar to Security, Web Design, How-to, etc. With these categories, I would have a need to assign an article on How to create a 2 column style sheet in both Web Design and How-to.

    Perhaps I might need to rethink my categories a bit based upon your reference blog post, as I understand the filing cabinet method as well.

    Thanks.

    Eric´s last blog post..Most Popular Browser, Screen Size

  • WealthyDragon 3 October, 2008, 5:32 pm

    Yes – about a year ago I went through and had a massive clear out of my categories – got rid of nearly 75% of them, and re-classified my posts into the categories that I have today.

    When I first set up a blog it was on blogger where they only had Labels. So when I set up my first Wordpress blog I thought of Categories as Labels and I was assigning them left, right and center!

    The result was a real mess and there was really no difference between my tags and my categories.

    It’s been a heck of a lot more organised and easy to manage since having that clear out!

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  • Harsh Agrawal 9 April, 2009, 8:37 pm

    No doubt its a great plugin and great tutorial.. I have written similar tut some time back..

    One thing I would like to add here ” A picture worth a million”. I hope you got my point friend 🙂

    Harsh Agrawal´s last blog post..Gmail labs new feature : Senders time zone

  • dlv 18 July, 2009, 10:46 am

    nice article, thanks to share your expiriences with this great plugin!
    .-= dlv´s last blog ..Utiles consejos para configurar Photoshop CS4 =-.

    • WealthyDragon 18 July, 2009, 2:55 pm

      You’re welcome – glad it was useful,

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • ChaCha Fance 20 July, 2009, 8:10 am

    I was actually trying to find out what I’m supposed to put in the rest of the fields (in settings) after “Home Keywords (comma separated):” When I installed it, everything else was blank. =(
    .-= ChaCha Fance´s last blog ..BuyDig.com – The Internet’s Digital Superstore =-.

    • WealthyDragon 20 July, 2009, 1:37 pm

      Yes – sorry about that – when I wrote this article the all-in-one-SEO-pack had a set of default settings built in. Now, it seems, they give you a blank sheet of paper.

      Here’s how to set it up from scratch:

      META Title, Description and Keywords: Treat them exactly as I’ve described above.

      Here are my suggestions for the items below META keywords:

      Canonical urls: check
      Re-Write titles: check

      Post title: %post_title% | %blog_title% (Click on the post title link and copy the codes into the field, and do the same for the rest)
      Page title: %page_title% | %blog_title%
      Category title: %category_title% | %blog_title%
      Archive title: %date% | %blog_title%
      Tag title: %tag% | %blog_title%
      Search title: %search% | %blog_title%
      Description: %description%
      404 Title: Nothing found for %request_words%
      Paged format: -part %page%
      Use categories for META keywords: check

      All the other check boxes and fields I leave un-checked, although you’ll find hundreds of people who will tell you to noindex tag archive, category archives and date archives.

      The reason they tell you this is because it is supposed to reduce the ‘risk’ of duplicate content.

      This arises because each post on your site can be accessed via a number of different links: its main link, its tag archive, its category archive and its month archive.

      However, if you read Google Webmaster’s Guidelines you will see that Google understands that blogs work this way and do not, therefore, penalise blogmasters for having duplicate content simply because the same content can be accessed via a number of different links on the site.

      Additionally, the inclusion of the Canonical Url tag indicates to Google which the primary url for a post is. Although this is a new tag and not yet formally part of the accepted standards, Google is fully supportive of it and uses it as part of its indexing process.

      Hope that helps,

      Cheers,

      Martin.

      • ChaCha Fance 22 July, 2009, 2:25 am

        Wow thank you so much for taking the time to go through this for me! I really appreciate it.
        .-= ChaCha Fance´s last blog ..BuyDig.com – The Internet’s Digital Superstore =-.

        • WealthyDragon 22 July, 2009, 7:13 am

          You’re welcome – glad it was helpful 🙂

          Cheers,

          Martin.

  • Berbagi Tips 22 July, 2009, 8:13 pm

    I used All in One SEO Pack for a long time ago but I don’t know about setting this plugins, Thanks for your post
    .-= Berbagi Tips´s last blog ..Tips Memilih dan Mengecat Kolam Koi =-.

    • WealthyDragon 22 July, 2009, 9:04 pm

      You’re welcome – glad it was helpful,

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Doug Francis 30 July, 2009, 10:16 am

    Thanks for the help… your input is appreciated!
    .-= Doug Francis´s last blog ..Doug’s RE BarCamp prep-class for novices – 2009 =-.

    • WealthyDragon 30 July, 2009, 2:34 pm

      You’re welcome, Doug – glad it was helpful,

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Spencer 12 August, 2009, 8:59 am

    Thanks your Articles have been a great help. I am new to blogging thing and to Wordpress and now I understand the plugin SEO better and how to use it.
    .-= Spencer´s last blog ..Backyard Humming Birds =-.

    • WealthyDragon 12 August, 2009, 9:42 am

      Hi Spencer,

      You’re very welcome – glad it was helpful 🙂

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Sports Stuffs 29 September, 2009, 7:10 pm

    I am setting up my wordpress blog now and your article is very informative for me and guide me to setup my all in one seo pack plugin.

    I just put this in post title though ” Page title: %page_title%” and remove the ” | %blog_title%” so that I can Put long title in my post.

    Thanks
    .-= Sports Stuffs´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

    • WealthyDragon 29 September, 2009, 8:01 pm

      You’re welcome – and glad it helped!

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Jarret 4 April, 2010, 3:32 am

    Good article, Martin! There’s so much conflicting information about wordpress SEO.

    There’s the never ending debate about the best permalink structure–i.e. without or without category, date, or simply just the post title. Some articles suggest that it’s optimal to have .html at the end of the post title.

    As for all-in-one SEO, I’ve read various suggestions about using the no index feature for category, author, and tag archives. Your explanation seems to make sense.

    After that, there’s the debate about no-follow which seems to be resolved with the end to pagerank sculpting of websites.

    Well, thanks for clarifying this issue about the no-index feature.

    jarret
    .-= Jarret´s last blog ..Beta-alanine as an ergogenic aid? =-.

    • Martin 4 April, 2010, 8:04 am

      Jarret, hi,

      You’re welcome!

      A point to note, though, is that although the duplicate content bit is a non-issue, reducing the number of ways your articles can be indexed can strengthen the SEO of your site by focusing purely on the primary (canonical) URLs of your articles.

      So I now ‘noindex’ all the archives except the Tags and Category archives.

      The reason I want the Tags and Categories indexed is because I use them as the filing system for my site (Categories as ‘folders’ and Tags as ‘files within the folders’) and, therefore, I want the search engines index them so they know clearly what’s on the site.

      Cheers,

      Martin.