When you have a WordPress website, there is one thing you should definitely do to help your website get good rankings – that is to install a good SEO plugin.
There are several plugins you can use, and one you might have heard of is the All in One SEO plugin. But is this plugin worth using, and what can it do for your site?
In this All in One SEO review I will tell you what you can expect from this plugin, what you can use it for, and I will also tell you why I think it is an awesome solution.
All in One SEO Plugin at a Glance
The All in One SEO plugin is my favorite SEO plugin for Wordpress websites. You get a lot of great functionalities, it is user-friendly, and the free version is more than enough for most needs.
How can a plugin help you rank?
You might be wondering how a plugin can help your website rank.
Many people think it can only help you to write meta titles and descriptions (if you do not know what this is, I will go more into this later), but it can help you in many other ways as well.
One thing a good SEO plugin does is to take care of a lot of the technical SEO aspects. That means the technical foundation that makes sure your website does not have certain errors that can ruin your chances of getting good rankings.
These are often things you usually need to know quite a lot about programming, building websites, etc. to be able to fix. But a good plugin takes care of many of these, without you even notice it. That is also why many people are not aware of the true value of a SEO plugin – they are not aware how much it just automatically takes care of, so you do not have to worry about it.
That means that even if you have no programming or coding skills, you can easily avoid some serious technical mistakes by installing a SEO plugin.
Also, some SEO plugins offer certain integrations like for example a sitemap or analytics. This means that you do not have to install extra plugins to use these functions. Not having too many plugins can help keep make your website faster, which is important to get good rankings. This is another benefit of installing a SEO plugin that has more functionalities.
So now you have a basic understanding of the advantage of a good SEO plugin, so let’s now go into what the All in One SEO plugin has to offer, so you can see if it is for you.
What does All in One SEO WordPress plugin offer?
The All in One SEO plugin is also called All in One SEO pack. So sometimes you will see it described with this name instead. But it is the same plugin.
In my opinion it is a really great plugin, and it is the one I prefer using for my websites, as it has many functionalities and is very user-friendly compared to other similar plugins. Below, I will go over some of the functionalities I find the most useful. After that, I will show you how to use each of these options.
Canonical URLs is a function that is enabled by default, when you are using All in One SEO. It is a great option, and it is one of the technical aspects I mentioned above that can make a big difference for your website, even if you do not quite understand what it is doing.
In short, it helps you specify the preferred URL of any post or page. This protect you from having several URLs leading to the same content, and this way it protects you from being punished by Google for duplicate content. So a really great function to use.
No index for category pages and date archives
If you have a blog, where you use categories, WordPress will automatically create category pages and date archives that can help people look through post about a specific topic or from certain dates.
This can be very user-friendly and is good to have. The problem is that these pages get indexed by Google. As they only contain excerpts from your blog posts, they only have content that is already other places on your website. This means you can risk getting punished for having duplicate content.
With this function in the All in One SEO plugin, you do not have to worry about this. The category pages and date archives will still be there, but they will not be indexed. It therefore removes the risk of you getting penalized for having duplicate content like this.
Redirect attachments/images to parent post
This is an option that many people are not aware of in the All in One SEO plugin, but one that is actually very important to know about. To understand what this function does, you need to understand how WordPress works, when you upload an image.
When you upload an image, WordPress will automatically create a new URL just for that image. Let’s us say you upload a picture to yourdomain.com/new-content.
You then upload an image here. That image will then be attached to this post, but it will also have a new URL: yourdomain.com/new-content/image-name.
That means you will actually have two pages – one with all the content, and one with just the image. This happens every time you upload an image, so technically you will have a lot of pages with just an image. This can potentially be seen as thin content, and this is something Google and other search engines do not like.
By redirecting the attachment URLs (the image URLs) to the post, it will only be seen as one page/post, and therefore is no longer a risk of thin content because of this technical error.
Integration of Google Analytics
To be able to see what people do on your website, and to be able to monitor your progress, you need to install Google Analytics on your website. This can be done in several ways, but the easy way is to use a plugin.
Again, there are many plugins for this, but why not use a SEO plugin that has the option integrated – the All in One SEO plugin has this option, and it can thereby save you from having to install another plugin.
Social media settings
It can help your website traffic a lot, if both you and visitors share your content on social media. But it can nice to be able to control what will show up, when it is shared.
With the social media integration in the All in One SEO plugin, you can easily control what your content will look like on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. You can for example chose what image that should appear when a post is shared on social media, and you will have easy access to a post debugging tool that can help remove errors.
Meta titles and descriptions
Meta titles and descriptions is one of the most know aspects of search engine optimization. It means that you can more or less control what titles and excerpts that will show up is the search results on Google and other search engines.
Setting the title and description is also said to help you get high rankings, and it can play a big part in the click through rate (the amount of people that will click the search result that will take them to your website).
So it is definitely something you should consider using, and any SEO plugin will give you this option, and of course the All in One SEO plugin also has this functionality.
An XML Sitemap is something you should definitely have. It is a “map” of your website that you can submit to Google and other search engines. This will help them index all your content, which increases the chances of you ranking.
There are many plugins that you can install to get an XML sitemap. But as mentioned earlier, it is good to keep your use of plugins to a minimum. So it is great that this sitemap is an integrated part of the All in One SEO plugin.
How to set up the plugin?
The first thing you need to do to start using All in One SEO is to install it and make the correct general settings.
Installing it is very easy – you do like you do with any other WordPress plugin. You go to “add new plugin” and search for “All in One SEO Pack”.
Once you have installed the plugin, you have to activate it. Just activating it take care of a lot of things, and the basic settings will be just fine in most cases. The canonical URLs and the no indexing of category pages I mentioned above, will for example be enabled as default, so there is nothing you have to do to make these functionalities work. So after installing it, you can start using it right away.
But if you want to benefit more from the plugin, there are a few extra things you can do.
How to redirect attachments/images to parent post:
Above, I mentioned why you might want to consider doing this. It is luckily very easy to do. You just go to the “general settings” of the All in One SEO plugin. Here you scroll until you get to the “Advanced Settings” section. All you then have to do is to put a check mark in the box “Redirect Attachments to Post Parent”.
Then remember to scroll to the bottom of the page and click “update options”.
How to enable XML sitemap and social media setting:
The sitemap and the social media setting are not activated as a default setting in the All in One SEO plugin. Again, it is luckily easy to do, once you know where to find the options.
After having activated the plugin, you will have an extra bullet in you WordPress menu. you then hover over “All in One SEO”, and then click “Feature Manager”.
Now you will have several more options. Two of them are XML Sitemaps and Social Meta. On both of them you just click “Activate”, and you will now be able to use these options. How to use the sitemap is something I will go into in another post soon, as it requires a lot more details. I will however below explain how you use the social meta option.
How to use the All in One SEO pack?
Now I will show you how you can use the plugin in your daily maintenance and development of your website. There are mainly three different ways I often use it:
Make sure Google Analytics is working:
First of all, you need to make sure you have analytics on your website (click to see how to set this up). That can easily be done with All in One SEO. You just have to do it once, and then you will daily benefit from all the statistics you get.
As I have already explained in details in another article (you can see it by clicking on the link above), I will not say too much about it here. I just want to remind you it is an option in the All in One SEO plugin, and it is great to use for it, as it will save you from having to install an extra plugin.
Using All in One SEO plugin for meta titles and descriptions:
Once you have activated the plugin, you will automatically have some extra options below the content of any page or post, when you are in the editor mode.
So you simply put in your adapted title and description here. Make sure to make them intriguing as it will increase the chances of people clicking on them. As you can see on the image, there are also a few more option. You can for example chose, if you do not want that specific page/post indexed by the search engines, or if you want to exclude it from the sitemap (probably not very often you need these options).
Set social meta:
On the picture above, you can see that in the “All in One SEO Pack” settings, you can also click something called “social settings”. Above, we adapted the main settings. By clicking the “social settings”, you will get some options to adapt what should be shown on social media.
You can for example chose a specific meta title or description for social media. If you do not fill these out, it will just take what you have used in the main settings, so I usually do not fill these out, as I am fine with the descriptions being the same on social media.
What I do use is to upload a custom image. This is the image that will show up, when people share your post on Facebook or G+. I like making a specific image for this to be sure what is shown. And I also like to use the option to upload a custom image for Twitter.
As you can see, there are more social meta options, but these are some of the ones I prefer to use. If you would like to know more about some of the other options, there is a small question mark next to each option. Just click this when you are in the plugin, and you will get more info.
What does the plugin cost?
I have now showed you some of my favorite ways to use the All in One SEO plugin. These functions can be very helpful, and that is why I think it is a great plugin. Another reason I love this plugin is the price – all the functions I have explained above are free to use.
The All in One SEO Pack does however also come in a pro version, you have to pay for. It will of course give you more opportunities like advanced support, video SEO module, video sitemap, access to knowledge center and more. The prices for the pro version ranges from around $100-$700 per year depending on the number of sites, you want to use it for. You can check out the exact prices here.
In most cases the free version will however by enough for you, and I am personally also just using the free version, and it is great.
Final thoughts – an awesome option
I think it is pretty clear from this review that I think the All in One SEO plugin is a great tool to have for any WordPress website.
I have tried several similar plugins, and I do prefer this one. It is the most user-friendly I have used, the options you have to improve your SEO with it are really great, and I love it has several functions that you usually have to install extra plugins for like the sitemap and Google Analytics. It makes it nice and easy to be able to gather all this in one plugin.
So if you are looking for a way to help your website rank, the All in One SEO plugin is an option I definitely recommend.
If you need any help, have any questions, or have any experiences with this or other SEO plugins yourself, just leave a comment below. I would love to hear your experiences and will be more than happy to help, if you have any questions.