Beginners Guide for All in One SEO Pack

Welcome to All in One SEO Pack and thank you for choosing the most popular WordPress SEO plugin.  This Beginners Guide will walk you through the essential first steps to take after installing the plugin.

If you haven’t already installed All in One SEO Pack Pro, please refer to the installation instructions.

All in One SEO Pack works very well out of the box with the default settings, however, the steps below will guide you through some important configuration settings that every site owner should follow.

Step 1 – Setting your Home Page SEO meta

Where you set the title and description for your homepage depends on your WordPress settings.  So first you need to go to Settings > Reading in WordPress and check the setting for Front page displays.  Then based on this setting follow the instructions below:

If Front page displays is set to “A static page”:  Go to All in One SEO Pack > General Settings > Home Page Settings and select Enabled next to Use Static Front Page Instead and the click Update Options.  You can now set your title and description on your home page by going to Pages, edit your home page and scroll down to the All in One SEO Pack section.

If Front page displays is set to “Your latest posts”:  Go to All in One SEO Pack > General Settings > Home Page Settings and set your title and description in the Home Title and Home Description fields.  Leave Use Static Front Page Instead set to Disabled.

Learn more about these settings by reading our Home Page Settings documentation.

If you’re not familiar with SEO meta, read our What is SEO meta guide.

Setting your Home Page SEO meta

Setting your Home Page SEO meta

Step 2 – Enabling All in One SEO Pack for your content

By default, WordPress has two types of content that most people are likely to use – Posts and Pages.  However, your site may also contain other types of content added by plugins or your theme.  Examples of these could be products, FAQs or testimonials.  You probably want to use All in One SEO Pack to manage the SEO for all the content on your site so you should enable SEO for any content types added by plugins or your theme.  Here are the instructions on how to do this:

  1. Log in to your WordPress site and go to All in One SEO > General Settings > Custom Post Type Settings
  2. Make sure that SEO for Custom Post Types is set to Enabled
  3. In the section for SEO on only these post types, check the boxes next to the post types you want to manage SEO for.  You will see that Posts and Pages should already be checked
  4. Click the Update Options button to save your settings

If you are using All in One SEO Pack Pro then you can also manage SEO for taxonomies such as categories and tags.

SEO for custom post types

Step 3 – Setting up Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great free tool for tracking your visitors behavior.  All in One SEO Pack offers a simple way of integrating with Google Analytics.

  1. The first thing to do is set up your Google Analytics account.  Follow the instructions on our Google Analytics documentation page to do this
  2. Once you have set up your Google Analytics account you will need to obtain your Google Analytics Tracking ID by logging into your Google Analytics account and clicking on Admin then select an account from the dropdown in the Account column then select a property from the dropdown in the Property column and then click on Property Settings.  Your Tracking ID will be show at the top of this screen
  3. Copy your Tracking ID and then log in to your WordPress site and go to All in One SEO > General Settings > Google Settings and paste your Tracking ID in the Google Analytics ID box
  4. Now click the Update Options button to save your settings

Setting up Google Analytics

Step 4 – Adding SEO meta to your content

We’ve already set the SEO title and description for our homepage in Step 1 so the final step in our Beginners Guide is to set the SEO title and description for each of our pages and/or posts.

Let’s start with titles:

By default All in One SEO Pack will use the Page Title or Post Title as the SEO title that will appear in Google search results.  For example, if you have a page called Contact Me and you’re happy for the SEO title to say Contact Me then you do not need to do anything.  However, you can change the SEO title that will appear in Google search results for each page or post on your site by following the instructions below:

  1. Log in to your WordPress site and click on Pages or Posts in the left hand WordPress menu
  2. Locate the page or post you want to set the SEO title for and edit it
  3. Scroll down to the All in One SEO Pack box and enter your title in the Title box
  4. Now Publish or Update to save your new SEO title
Setting the SEO Title on a Page

Setting the SEO Title on a Page

Note how All in One SEO Pack automatically adds your Site Title after your SEO title.  This is controlled under All in One SEO > General Settings >Title Settings.  See our documentation on Title Settings.

It is important to remember to keep your SEO title to 60 characters or less as Google may only display the first 60 characters. Also make sure that every SEO title on your site is unique.  Search engines can penalize you for having duplicate SEO titles.

Now let’s set our description:

By default All in One SEO Pack will not output a description.  However, there is a setting to change this under All in One SEO > General Settings > Advanced Settings > Autogenerate Descriptions.  If you check this box,All in One SEO Pack will use your post excerpt for the auto generated meta description.  If there is no post excerpt then it will use the first 160 characters of your post content.  This can be especially useful if you have a lot of content and don’t want to input a meta description for every page or post.  You can overwrite any auto-generated Meta Description by editing the page or post.

Note: It is strongly recommended that you handcraft your descriptions so that you can control what is provided to search engines.

To set the SEO description for each page or post on your site follow the instructions below:

  1. Log in to your WordPress site and click on Pages or Posts in the left hand WordPress menu
  2. Locate the page or post you want to set the SEO description for and edit it
  3. Scroll down to the All in One SEO Pack box and enter your description in the Description box
  4. Now Publish or Update to save your new SEO description
Setting your SEO Description

Setting your SEO Description

It is important to remember to keep your SEO description to 160 characters or less as Google may only display the first 160 characters. Also make sure that every SEO description on your site is unique.  Search engines can penalize you for having duplicate SEO descriptions.

An important note about titles and descriptions

Some search engines such as Google decide on a case by case basis whether or not to display the SEO title and SEO description that you have provided.  They may decide to display their own title and description which they can get from your content or another source.  You cannot force search engines to display your SEO title and SEO description, you can only influence them.  This does not mean you should ignore the SEO title and SEO description, you should still complete these fields as it shows search engines that you have thought about this aspect of search engine optimization.

Next Steps

The steps you have followed above are the essential first steps for every site owner.

Next you should create an XML Sitemap by following our Beginners Guide to XML Sitemaps.

After that, you may wish to enable the Social Meta module and follow the steps in the Beginners Guide to Social Meta (Open Graph).

If you’re interested in learning about all of the other settings and features in All in One SEO Pack then review the plugin documentation or click on the Help links and icons in the plugin.

Help icon

Help

 

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