ALL in One SEO WordPress Plugin - Best Settings & Review (2017 Version)

When it comes to SEO plugins for WordPress, there are two that stand out - the Yoast SEO plugin and the All in One SEO plugin. Both of these plugins do a pretty good job of making your blog search engine friendly.

In this article, let's look at some of the best settings for the latest 2017 version of the All in SEO plugin. Although before you read this article, please check out my article on the wordpress SEO Checklist. That will help you better understand the settings on this plugin.

Activating Features Using Feature Manager

Once you have downloaded and installed the plugin, go to All in One SEO > Feature Manager and activate XML sitemaps, Social Meta, and Bad bots blocker. If you already have a robots.txt file on your blog then you need not activate Robots.txt. If not, activate it and the plugin will auto generate a static robots.txt file which you can find by visiting http://sitename.com/robots.txt

In this article, we are going to look at the Social Meta Settings and General Settings in detail. All other settings including the XML sitemaps, bad bots blocker and robots.txt are auto configured so all you need to do is activate them.

So let's start with the general settings.

General Settings

Go to All in One SEO > General Settings and configure the following options:

1.) Canonical URLS: Canonical URLs can help prevent duplication issues by informing the search engines what the real/preferred URL of a given page is.

So make sure this box is checked.

2.) No Pagination for Canonical URLs: Checking this box will set the canonical URLs for all paginated content to the first/main page. Let me tell you in a little detail what this means.

A canonical URL tells search engine bots what the main URL of a given page is. In case of paginated content this informs the bots that all paginated pages are copies of the main page.

Example: Let's say the following are URLs of a paginated category archive:

http://sitename.com/category/name/
http://sitename.com/category/name/page/2/
http://sitename.com/category/name/page/3/

If this option was unchecked, all the above pages will have canonical URLs that point to their respective URLs.

So the canonical URL for http://sitename.com/category/name/page/2/ will be http://sitename.com/category/name/page/2/ and canonical URL for http://sitename.com/category/name/page/3/ will be http://sitename.com/category/name/page/3/.

With this option checked, canonical URLs of all paginated pages will point to the main page which is http://sitename.com/category/name/ So the canonical URL for http://sitename.com/category/name/page/2/ will be http://sitename.com/category/name/. Hopefully you get the idea.

Is there an SEO advantage to doing this? I am not entirely sure, but I don't think you need to bother too much with this.

So for the most part, you can leave this box unchecked.

3.) Enable Custom Canonical URLs: This option will allow you to add canonical URLs on a post by post basis. In most cases this is not required and hence can be left unchecked.

4.) Use Original Title: Keep this disabled as enabling this can lead to issues with the title tag output.

5.) Use Schema.org Markup: This option adds the itemprop Schema Markup to supported meta-data like the meta description tag to all your posts and pages. keep this box checked.

6.) Log important events: For the most part you don't need this option, let this remain unchecked.

Homepage Settings

This section allows you to set options for the homepage of your blog.

1.) Homepage Title: The text you enter here will replace your homepage title tag.

2.) Home Description: This text will be used to generate a meta description tag for your homepage.

Note: If your homepage uses pagination, the plugin automatically restricts the meta description to the first page only which is a good measure as this will help prevent meta tag duplication.

3.) Use Static Front Page Instead: This is disabled by default but if you use a static frontpage then enable this option.

Note: To check if your blog uses a static front page, go to Settings > Reading and check if the 'A Static Page' option is checked under the Front page displays section.

If the Static Page option is enabled, see which page you are using as the static page. Go to that page (in your wordpress dashboard) and enter your homepage title tag and meta description tag over there under the 'All in SEO Pack' section.

Keyword Settings:

This section allows you to configure meta keywords for your blog.

1.) Use Keywords: This option is enabled by default and will add meta keywords tag to all posts and pages of your blog. But as meta keywords hold little to no signification in search engine algorithms, you can safely disable this option.

Title Settings:

This section allows you to configure title tags for your blog.

1.) Rewrite Titles: This option allows the plugin to rewrite all title tags and hence should be left enabled.

2.) Capitalize Titles & Capitalize Category Titles: It is a good practice to capitalize title tags and this option allows you to do that. Keep these options checked.

3.) Title Formats: For the most part you can leave the title formats as they are for all fields. The only change you probably want to make is for the Paged Format (last field).

The Paged Format allows you to change the text used to indicate page numbers for paginated pages. The default text used is Part, so page numbers will be indicated using Part 1, Part 2 etc. A better alternative is to change this to Page. So the paginated pages read Page 1, Page 2 etc. To do this, replace the given text in the box with the following:

 - Page %page%

Custom Post Type Settings

This section lets you enable SEO optimization for custom post types. If your theme does not use custom post types, you can skip this section.

1.) SEO for Custom Post Types: Leave this setting enabled.

2.) SEO on only these post types: If your theme uses any additional custom post types (other than pages, posts), then they would be displayed here. Check on those additional types if you want the plugin to optimize those post types as well.

3.) Enable Advanced Options: Advanced options allows you to add custom title tags for post types. This will add the All in SEO Pack section under these post types. Check this box if you want that option.

Display Settings

This controls the display locations of the plugin within your admin dashboard.

1.) Show Column Labels for Custom Post Types: If you do not want the plugin to display SEO title and SEO description columns in the post (Posts > All Posts) and pages ((Pages > All Pages)) listings in your wordpress dashboard then you can un-check these options here.

Webmaster Verification

If you already have a working Google Webmaster Tools (search console) account, you can skip this section.

Google Settings

This section allows you to add your Google Plus details.

1.) Google Plus Default Profile: Enter your Google plus profile URL here. This will be used to generate the rel="author" tag for Google Authorship.

To get your Google Plus Profile URL, login to your Google Plus account and then click on your image icon (or default icon if you have not added your image) located on the top right corner. From the drop down, click on the Profile Link. This should take you to your public profile page. The URL of this page is your Google Plus Profile URL.

2.) Disable Google Plus Profile: If you are a muti-author or a membership site, you can check this option to remove Google Plus field in the wordpress user profile settings.

3.) Display Sitelinks Search Box: If you are a organization/brand and you want Google to display a search box under your search listing when someone searches for your website/brand name then you can check this option.

Note that this only works for large brands who have considerable search queries for their brand keyword. Eg: Search for 'ScienceDaily' and you will be able to see the search box. So in all other cases, you can leave this unchecked.

4.) Set Preferred Site Name: This section allows you to set a sitename for your blog which will then be displayed in the your blog's markup for the homepage using the JSON-LD linked data format as follows:

<script type="application/ld+json">
        {
          "@context": "http://schema.org",
          "@type": "WebSite",
          "url": "http://sitename.com",		  
          "name": "My Site Name", 
         }
</script>

You can keep this checked.

5.) Advanced Authorship Options: The advanced options allows you to control where the Google Authorship tag appears. In addition to that, you can also choose to add the Google Publisher meta tag to your homepage in-case you are an organization.

6.) Google Analytics ID: If you are already using Google Analytics or if you do not want to use Analytics, you can leave this blank.

Noindex Settings

Noindex settings allows you to add a noindex and/or nofollow tag to certain sections of your blog. A noindex tag informs search engines not to index the page. These settings are very blog specific and it's hard to come up with some generic rules. Nevertheless here are some settings that I recommend.

1.) Default to NOINDEX: Check the 'media' box in this section. This will add a NoIndex tag to all the media attachment pages. (Refer point 6 under 'Advanced Settings' below for more details.)

2.) Default to NOFOLLOW, Default to NOODP and and Default to NOYDIR: Leave all of these unchecked.

3.) Use noindex for Categories: This option will add a noindex Robots tag to all category pages. Keep this option unchecked.

4.) Use noindex for Date Archives: This will add noindex tag to all the yearly, monthly and daily archive pages which is a good practise. Keep this option checked.

5.) Use noindex for Author Archives: You can check this box if you are a single author blog. Here's why.

If you are a single author blog and your homepage is set to display the latest articles, the homepage and the author page will have the exact same content. Adding a noindex tag to your author archives will help avoid content duplication issues.

If you are a multi-author blog, you will need to decide if or not to use this option.

In most cases it is a good idea to keep this option checked.

6.) Use noindex for Tag Archives: I generally add noindex to my tag archives as they can create a whole bunch of duplicate content. So I would recommend checking this option.

7.) Use noindex for the Search page: This adds noindex to all auto-generated search pages. So keep this option checked.

8.) Use noindex for the 404 page: This option adds noindex to all auto-generated error pages. So keep this option checked.

9.) Use noindex for paginated pages/posts: Checking this option will add a noindex tag only to the internal paginated posts/pages. Noindex will not be added to the first page in the archive, but will be added to all subsequent paginated pages, for example:

http://sitename.com/category/name/ - Noindex will NOT be added.
http://sitename.com/category/name/page/1/ - Noindex will be added.
http://sitename.com/category/name/page/2/ - Noindex will be added.
and so on..

For the most part, it is better to leave this option unchecked.

10.) Use nofollow for paginated pages/posts: Same as above. It is best to leave this unchecked.

Important Note: If you are splitting single posts into multiple pages using the <!-nextpage-> tag, then checking this option will add noindex to your paginated post pages which is not good. So if that is the case, then keep both these options unchecked.

11.) Exclude site from the Open Directory Project & Yahoo! Directory: These options can be left unchecked as checking this will add the NOODP and NOYDIR tags to posts and pages which in most cases is unnecessary.

Advanced Settings

1.) Avoid Using The Excerpt In Descriptions: Leave this option unchecked.

2.) Autogenerate Descriptions: Keep this option checked as this will generate meta description tag using the content if custom excerpt is not present.

3.) Remove Descriptions For Paginated Pages: Paginated pages carry the same meta descriptions which can lead to duplication issues. Therefore this option can be checked.

4.) Never Shorten Long Descriptions: Check this option as this will prevent the plugin from truncating your custom meta descriptions (if you add any).

5.) Unprotect Post Meta Fields: Leave this option unchecked.

6.) Redirect Attachments to Post Parent: Whenever you upload an image to the wordpress media library, wordpress auto generates a separate page for this image. This page now only contains an image and hence is a low value page. One of the approaches to resolving this issue is to redirect the image attachment page back to the original post in which it is used.

Bu this is not the best approach to handle the issue and hence I would recommended to leave this box unchecked.

A better way to handle this issue is to add a Robots Noindex tag to all the media attachment pages. And we have already done this in the 'Noindex' settings. Refer point number 1 under Noindex Settings above.

7.) Exclude Pages: You can use this space to enter the URLs of pages that you wish to exclude from being affected by the plugin. For the most part, leave this box empty.

All other options can be left unchecked.

Keyword Settings

1.) Use Keywords: This option allows you to add a meta keywords tag to your single posts pages. Meta keywords is obsolete and is of no value so leave this setting disabled.

Once done, click on Update Options to save your changes.

Bad Bots Blocker

The All in One SEO plugin comes with a built-in bad bots blocker which you can activate to block out commonly misbehaving bots. This does not have any apparent SEO advantage, but can help reduce your website's bandwidth usage and simultaneous requests.

To activate this feature, click on Feature Manager (left panel in your dashboard, under 'All in One SEO') and then Activate the Bad Bots Blocker. Once you activate this feature, you should be able to see the 'Bad Bot Blocker' link in the left panel.

Click this link and configure the following settings:

1.) Block Bad Bots using HTTP: Check this option
2.) Block Referral Spam using HTTP: Check this option to stop referral spam.
3.) Use Custom Blocklists: Check this box to see a list of bots that the plugin currently blocks. You can add your own bots to this list under 'User Agent Blocklist'.

Social Meta

Now let's look at configuration related to adding social meta tags to your blog. (To know more about social meta tags, please read my article on Facebook OG Tags and Twitter Cards to get a general idea of how these things work.)

Go to All in One SEO > Social Meta and configure to following settings:

General Settings:

1.) Run Shortcodes In Title & Run Shortcodes In Description: Keep both of these checked if you are using shortcodes in your post. If not, you can leave them unchecked.

2.) AutoGenerate OG Descriptions: Keep this checked. This will auto generate the open graph description tag from the content excerpt.

Home Page Settings

This section lets you set social meta tags for your blog's homepage.

1.) Use AIOSEO Title and Description: Check this box to use the same meta description and title tag that you have already set in the General Settings.

2.) Site Name: Enter your preferred sitename here.

3.) Home Image: Upload a default high resolution image for your website's homepage. This is the image that will be used when someone bookmarks your site in Facebook. So keep this image generic and applicable to your entire site.

Image Settings

This section allows you to configure social meta images.

1.) Select OG Image Source: Let this setting stay on 'Default Image'.

2.) Use Default If No Image Found: Check this box as this will revert to the default image (as set in point 3) when no other image is found for a post or page.

3.) Default OG:Image: Upload a generic default image here which can be used in-case no other image is found for the og-image tag. For instance, if your post does not have a featured image and it does not contain an image in the article body then the default image will be used.

4.) Default Image Width & Height: Enter the width and height of your default image.

5.) Use Custom Field For Image: Leave this field blank.

6.) Social Profile Links: Add all your social media profile page links here, one per line.

For example:

https://twitter.com/your-profile
https://facebook.com/your-profile
https://instagram.com/your-profile
https://linkedin.com/your-profile

This will be used to generate the 'sameAs' field in the JSON-LD markup as shown in the example below.

<script type="application/ld+json">
{ "@context" : "http://schema.org",
  "@type" : "Person",
  "name" : "Mukesh",
  "url" : "http://sitename.com",
  "sameAs" : ["https://twitter.com/orbitingweb","https://www.facebook.com/your-profile","https://www.instagram.com/your-profile"] 
}
</script>

Note: This will only be added to the homepage of your blog. More information on why this can be useful here..

7.) Person or Organization: Choose here if the social media profiles added above belong to a person or organization.

8.) Associated Name: Enter your name or your organization's name here.

Facebook Settings

This section lets you set your facebook information which will be used in the og tags markup.

1.) Profile Admins ID: Enter your facebook profile ID here. This can help you track your website's facebook activity.

2.) Facebook Object Type: Select blog as your facebook object type.

3.) Automatically Generate Article Tags: Leave this blank.

4.) Show Facebook Publisher on Articles: Enter the link to your facebook page here.

5.) Show Facebook Author on Articles: Check this if you have multiple authors on the site and you would like to link their facebook id with their article.

6.) Posts Object Type & Pages Object Type: Leave this to article.

Twitter Settings

This section lets you configure settings for twitter cards.

1.) Default Twitter Card: Leave this as summery unless you have your site white-listed for images. Check out this link for more information on getting white-listed for twitter cards.

If your blog is already white-listed, you can choose between Summery (smaller image will be used in preview) or Summery with Large Image (larger image will be used in preview).

2.) Twitter Site: Enter your twitter ID/username here.

3.) Twitter Domain: Enter your blog's homepage URL here.

So these are some of the main settings for the All in SEO plugin. In addition to these settings, you also have the option of adding custom title tags and meta description tags that can be added on a per post/page basis. Custom tags will always override the auto-generated tags. To add a custom tag, just open the article for editing and scroll down to the All in SEO pack section. This section has 'Main Settings' wherein you can add the custom tags along with adding noindex or nofollow tags and 'Social Settings' where you can add images, article tags etc. to be used in the open graph tags.

Note: The plugin automatically adds the rel="next" and rel="prev" meta tags to all paginated posts and archive pages which is great. Read more about these tags and how they can help establish relationship between paginated pages here and here.

Hopefully you found this guide useful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I will reply to them here.

Hey guys, I just released my SEO plugin Quick and Easy SEO Tool which is currently available for download. I designed this plugin with simplicity in mind and I am really happy with the way it has turned out. Please do download and checkout the plugin from the wordpress repository here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/quick-and-easy-seo-tool/.

You can also download the plugin from your wordpress dashboard by searching for 'Quick and easy seo tool by Mukesh Mani'. Your feedback is appreciated.

Here's an article I wrote detailing the plugin: https://orbitingweb.com/blog/quick-and-easy-seo-tool/

Thank you!

 
 
 
 

Comments

  1. Asad Ali says:

    Hi,

    Does All in One SEO has php shortcodes so I can use them on a front end form for my custom post types? I will be very thankful.

  2. Georgia says:

    Really helpful! Thank you!

  3. sanju says:

    Thank a lot. Please add how to modify bad bot blocker in all in one SEO.

  4. Kathir says:

    Thanks for this awesome detailed guide.. I brought AIOSP Pro and looking for settings this post helped me..
    Reagrds,
    Kathir.

  5. Andrea Ferrero says:

    Thanks for the nice post !! - it was really helpful

    Could you please expand on "The plugin automatically adds the rel="next" and rel="prev" meta tags to all paginated posts and archive pages which is great" - is this the free version or the paid version? Because no mention of rel="prev" & rel="next" in the documentation of the free version.

    • M Mukesh says:

      Hi Andrea, I am not sure if this is in the documentation or not, but the plugin does add the rel and prev tags to paginated pages. You can check the HTML source of your pages after installing the plugin to see these tags being added.

  6. Ioan iuga says:

    Great article.Thanks for sharing with us. Do you know any Free plugin with embed option code to add it on the web pages and than generate SEO audit for interested users? Thanks a lot!

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