3 Important, Frequently Ignored All-In-One SEO Settings
I use the All-In-One SEO plug-in on a lot of my websites. It’s a great SEO help. For any other WordPress bloggers who use the All-In-One SEO plug-in or plan to in the future, there are some settings you’ve probably ignored. Doing so may negatively affect your rankings. The convenience of installing a plug-in, instead of fumbling with code, to optimize blog posts can’t be denied.
You don’t want to have to learn code just to optimize your blog or site. Even myself, as a programmer, I definitely don’t want to code anything. I had enough of that in my programming career. Yet this ease of use of plugins blinds bloggers to the fact that you’re still responsible for thoroughly customizing settings to maximize your SEO efforts.
Start with the Title
When loading a blog page, the text that displays in the window bar at the top of your screen is the title tag. Normally, it shows in a sequence such as Blog Name>Blog Archive>Post Title.
The problem with this setup is all posts and pages show up with the same title. Title tags are heavily weighted as far as an SEO metric, so this is a major problem. Keep in mind search engines rank individual web pages, not websites as a whole.
To ensure your individual posts rank well for the designated keywords, they need to be optimized as individual posts. The All-In-One SEO plug-in will help you with this but only if you tell it to.
Locate the All-In-One’s control panel from your WordPress dashboard, and change these fields:
- Home Title – Add a keyword rich phrase of what your blog is about in addition to your blog’s name.
- Post Title – %post_title%
- Page Title – %blog_title%|%page_title%
What about Duplicate Content Penalties
By default WordPress is designed to file the same content in multiple areas-archives, categories, and tags. The idea was to enhance the usability of a blog for readers. This way, people could easily access information from various points. Unfortunately, this structure appears as useless, duplicate content to the search engines. This is not what you want to happen.
Even worse, the strength of your internal links are diluted. The All-in-One plug-in provides a noindex feature allowing you to choose which areas search engines should crawl. By adding a meta nofollow tag, search engines are blocked from crawling the areas you designate. Pick only one way for the search engines to follow be it categories, tags or archives. The choice is yours but make sure it’s going to showcase your work in the best manner as these are the pages that will show up in the search engines.
Just in Case…Automate Meta Descriptions
Most SEO experts agree that meta descriptions do little to improve rankings. However, they are mandatory to compete on the SERPs (search engine results pages) and for drawing targeted visitors who actually take action. Meta descriptions are vital to pre-selling browsers on the value of the information provided by your web pages. With that said, it’s best to provide a unique meta description for every post and page.
In the oftentimes rush of creating content, it’s easy to forget to add descriptions to every single post. But if you’ve taken the time to optimize your post, you’ve won half the battle. The All-in-One plug-in offers an feature that will auto-generate descriptions based on the first few lines of your post.
The All-in-One SEO plug-in is a useful plugin to lighten some of the heavy lifting of search engine optimization for bloggers. Nevertheless, it’s a tool that can only work with input from you. Invest some time in customizing your settings when you first setup your blog and you’ll reap some SEO benefits in the long run.
Copyright © Charles Harmon