WordPress Plugin Snapshot: All In One SEO

A plugin is a piece of software that adds functionality to another software application. For example, plugins enable a web browser to display additional content it was not originally designed to display, such as banner ads, a share button, or a contact form. One popular plugin for the everyday user is the free Adobe Flash Player. You may have seen the dialogue box pop up in your browser saying you need to install it before playing a video. Flash Player is one way that your web browser can display animation.

WordPress is one of the most popular web content management platforms. It helps the user design and host all kinds of web content, generally websites and blogs. WordPress has an entire catalog of fun, innovative plugins available to assist users with customizing their websites and adding new functions. AIOSEO (All In One SEO) is one of the most commonly downloaded WordPress plugins. Since its conception in 2007 by Michael Torbet and Steve Mortiboy, it has earned a massive following. Here are some features that make AIOSEO a particularly useful WordPress plugin.

Easy Set-Up

AIOSEO is designed to help you improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and rankings. It also helps you write better content because it does things like remind you to choose a good focus keyword for your article and show you how often you use that keyword. AIOSEO is a little simpler than some other SEO plugins. It has all its settings on one page, while some others have numerous pages of setup. The relative simplicity of AIOSEO makes it ideal for beginners, but it also has more advanced features for those who need them. The set-up page has several sub-sections for things like homepage settings and title settings. There is a handy little help icon next to the options, which again makes the set-up more user friendly for beginners.

Improve Your Search Results

Image via Flickr by Johnny does

AIOSEO automatically generates a meta description for you. By using the meta preview, you can review how your post will appear in search results. You can also see if your title is too long or maybe too short, and if your chosen meta description makes sense and gets the reader’s attention. In this way, AIOSEO helps you not only to engage your audience, but also to increase your post rankings and the click-through rate for your posts.

Preview Snippet

The Preview Snippet reveals how your category/tag will appear in search engines based on your SEO meta title and meta description. When you edit the title or description in the fields underneath the Preview Snippet and then click on Publish or Update, the Preview Snippet will instantly be updated to show your new Title and Description.

XML Sitemaps

AIOSEO has one of the most innovative XML Sitemap functions available in any WordPress plugin. Once installed, it automatically generates XML sitemaps and alerts your friends at Google and Bing of the sitemap’s presence. You don’t have to do a thing. It does the same thing for the images in your posts, as well as pages, making them all easier to find on the web.

The plugin operates smoothly in many formats and provides you the option to copy your settings from one blog to another. If you have multiple blogs, you only have to set up the plugin once. You can then easily export your settings and import them into all of your other sites. It’s that simple, and it’s a function that can save you a lot of time.

Social Networking Integration

As you may know, SEO and social media are heavily intertwined, and the line between SEO and SMO is very blurry. Once AIOSEO is installed, you can enable the Social Meta add-on found under the Features Manager page. Doing this adds a Social Settings tab in the AEISEO meta box found just below the post editor section. It allows you to set up custom images and descriptions for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more.

SEO Data Importer

This is a handy tool for converting all your SEO data from other SEO plugins or themes and importing it to AIOSEO. The SEO Data Importer is currently compatible with data from plugins such as Add Meta Tags, Headspace2, Yoast SEO, Platinum SEO, and many others.

Media Settings

All in One SEO Pack gives you complete control over the SEO meta data on all of the photos and images you add to your website. The media settings are found near the bottom of the Edit Media section for the specific image you want to edit.  When you’re adding an image to a post or page, it’s a good idea to add it as an Attachment Page, because it is then treated as content within the site, rather than just an ordinary image file. The Attachment Page will then have the SEO Meta Data description that you added in the Edit Media section.

Other Features

AIOSEO is definitely foreign language friendly. The plugin is now available in an impressive 57 languages. It is also e-commerce friendly, in that it provides SEO integration for your e-commerce site, including WooCommerce.

Support

The basic AIOSEO plugin doesn’t come with any technical support, but you can upgrade for an additional $97. The AIOSEO Pack Pro upgrade provides one year of professional technical support. The upgrade also provides some sweet additional features, such as support for WooCommerce and Video XMLS sitemap.

Out of the box, WordPress is pretty good for basic SEO, but it still needs some enhancements here and there. That’s why we like the AIOSEO plugin. It fills in the WordPress holes by guiding you through some very useful additional options. Together, AIOSEO and WordPress will help make sure your content is the type that your audience, and search engines, will love.

Although tools such as WordPress and its plugins make it easier for content marketers to make their materials stand out, the world of technology is constantly changing at lightning speed, and it’s sometimes hard to keep up. Fortunately, we’re here to help in case you feel that your content could use a professional boost.

About the author

Beth Ann Baue