All in one SEO Pack Configuration – Step by Step

Must Have WordPress Plugins” posts than you care to remember. The only problem is that many of these articles just say you have to install the plugins, not how to use them. I’ll admit that I am as much at fault as anyone else. Here’s the problem; while some plugins require little or no configuration, and even less on-going attention – All in one SEO pack is not one of them. Miss a check box or ignore a field and you could be doing more harm than good – your site rankings could drop faster than Wile E. Coyote holding an Acme umbrella.

This post will be updated from time-to-time when there are significant updates to the plugin. Items that are new to this post will be bolded. Additionally, I’ll mark items that could be detrimental to your rankings with a caution sign.

Updated on 3/1/2013 – The version currently being covered is 1.6.15.3.

There were several small updates between 1.6.12.2 and 1.6.15.3, most were bug fixes or new language implementations. The big improvement is the addition of Google Plus integration, which is more important than you might think. If you’re not yet familiar with Google AuthorRank and the “rel=author” tag, I have a couple places should check out; Ann Smarty’s slideshare, she has some really good stuff. Jill Whalen has a good post explaining more about what “rel=author” is and why you should be using it. Lastly, you can watch a video of Google’s Matt Cutts talking about AuthorRank.

Version 1.6.12.2 bug fixes for people running older versions of WordPress.

Version 1.6.12 added support for custom WordPress post types.

Version 1.6.11.1 minor some bug fixes.

Version 1.6.11 adds a language update, some bug fixes and code optimization.

Version 1.6.8.2 contained some unknown updates so that it was compatible WordPress.2.9, also the developer introduced a “pro” version that is available for purchase. As far as I can see the there are no functional differences between the two versions. The pro version seems to intended for use by hosting companies and consultants who do not want the donation request displayed on the configuration pages of their clients’ sites.

I am disappointed to say that the author of this tag seems to have less and less time for answering questions and communicating with the millions of people that have made his tag so popular. As a former web application developer, I know first-hand it is a time-consuming and seemingly thankless job. I cannot fault the author for wanting to make some money with a “pro” version. However, I completely disagree with how he has done it. Monthly charges for upgrades is, in my opinion, crazy for this “software”. I donated before the pro version existed, and I am sure that many others would gladly pay for this wonderful tag if not for the monthly fees. According to the WordPress.org plugins directory, it’s been downloaded more than 5,000,000 times. Lets all send him a dollar so we can get rid of the monthly fees and he can hire a team to maintain the tool while he sits on the beach…how about it folks?.

Visit the SEO pack creator’s page for a reasonably complete change log.

All in one SEO Pack Configuration – site settings

From within your WordPress admin, go to the settings area, then select “All in one SEO”. There are a lot of options here, but don’t feel intimidated, we’ll walk through most of them.

Plugin Status

With each new update, the developer has chosen to disable the plugin. Presumably, this forces you to review the settings each time, and hopefully avoid any surprises. You’ll need to enable it after you install and again after each update.

CAUTION: misconfiguration of this setting could negativly affect your rankings!

Obviously, if you neglect to enable the plugin after an upgrade, you can expect some issues with your rankings.

Home Title

As its name implies, this is where you provide the page title for the “home” of your web site, leave this blank and word press defaults to the site name you defined in your WordPress configuration.

CAUTION: misconfiguration of this setting could negativly affect your rankings!

According to the SEOMoz.org SEO Ranking factors survey, page titles are one of the most important factors. Entering a bad, or blank title will cause problems for your rankings.

Home Description

This box provides the Content for the meta-description tag. Leave this one blank and WordPress does not even give you a description tag. That is bad, be sure to fill this in with a proper site description.

CAUTION: misconfiguration of this setting could negatively affect your rankings!

Page/Post meta descriptions were also included in the ranking survey, but at a lower level. Ignoring or misusing this could impact how well you perform in search results.

Home Keywords

(comma separated)

Even though use of the meta-keywords tag has been degraded over the years, it is still an important part of an overall SEO plan. Add carefully selected keywords here. Leave this blank and WordPress does not add the meta-keywords tag to your page. For best results, place your primary keywords in the front of the list.

Canonical URLS

This newly added feature is enabled by default – leave it that way. If you are not familiar with canonical URLs, and would like to be – read this Google webmaster blog post. For the rest of you, just know that this feature helps avoid duplicate content issues with the major search engines. That’s a good thing.

CAUTION: misconfiguration of this setting could negatively affect your rankings!

Duplicate content is a serious issue. Google has said they are less concerned with same site duplication, and are working to understand it better, but they do recommended the use of this tag.

Rewrite Titles

If set, all page, post, category, search and archive page titles get rewritten. You can specify the format for most of them (as shown below). For example: The default templates puts the title tag of posts like this: “Blog Category >> Blog Name >> Post Title”. That would be considered anti-SEO. With the default settings, Rewrite Title rewrites: “Post Title | Blog Name”.

CAUTION: misconfiguration of this setting could negatively affect your rankings!

The default behavior of WordPress titles is very anti-seo, use this setting to correct it.

Post Title Format

(other titles too)

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