“Improving my site’s search engine optimization” is one of the top reasons given by those choosing self-hosted WordPress as their website platform. WordPress allows for a website administrator to add a title tag, meta description and meta keywords to their site’s homepage as well as individual pages and blog posts. Many premium WordPress themes, like Elegant, Divi, and Genesis (to name a few) have SEO fields built in to their framework. However, utilizing an SEO plugin like All In One SEO means your SEO can be easily transported should you change themes in the future, and includes additional SEO features like a sitemap and social media meta data.
All In One SEO Pack by Michael Torbert is a popular choice for those in need of a solid SEO plugin. I prefer it to the Yoast plugin for reasons explained in this post.
Using the All In One SEO Pack Plugin
1. Begin by searching for the All In One SEO Pack through Dashboard –> Plugins –> Add New . Choose to Install Now, then Activate the plugin once download is complete.
2. After installation and activation, locate All In One SEO along the left sidebar in your Dashboard.
3. You’ll begin on the General Settings page.
A few quick points here…the title tag and meta description for your Home Page will reside here, in the plugin’s General Settings. The title tag, meta description (and social media meta data) for posts and pages will be entered into the All In One SEO fields located beneath the main content area on those posts or pages.
Also, you can click on the grey circle with the question mark to learn what each field means (and often find out if checking – or unchecking – is recommended).
Whenever you make a change on this page, make sure to click the blue “Update Options” button to apply those changes.
By default, all of the fields in the Title Settings section end with “| %blog_title%”. In WordPress terms, “blog_title” is the name of your site as it’s listed in the Settings –> General area. It doesn’t matter if you have a blog component on your WordPress site or not, that’s the terminology WordPress uses. I don’t necessarily want my site name added to the end of every title tag on every post or page, so I delete out that code snippet in the Title Settings area.
There is a section for Webmaster Verification code snippets (Google Webmaster Tools, Bing, and Pinterest), and Google Settings.
The NoIndex and NoFollow area would be for any post or page types that you’d prefer Google not index or not follow.
Once you’ve completed modifying settings on the General Settings page, click on the Feature Manager to activate a couple of the other SEO features included in this plugin. I recommend activating your XML Sitemap and your Social Meta sections. A sitemap helps search engine bots better understand your site’s structure and can improve indexing. For information on what is included in the Social Meta section and how to set it up, please visit this post.
Here’s a view of what the SEO fields look like on a post or page.
It requires some additional time and thought to take these steps toward site optimization. But the efforts put into utilizing the All-In-One SEO Pack plugin can pay off in spades down the road.