How to Use the All in One SEO Pack - Social Media ToolboxMonday, January 01, 2007
If your blog or website is hosted on a Wordpress.org platform, then you have the option to download a great plugin called the All in One SEO Pack. It’s free to install and helps you optimize each page and post of your site for search engines. Using this plug-in isn’t the only thing you need to do for SEO, but it can definitely help give your pages a boost.
Once the plugin is installed, it will appear at the bottom of the page where you create each new post and will look like this:
You’ll want to pay attention to three areas: the title, the description, and the keywords.
The Title Section on the All in One SEO PackThe title can be different than the title of your post (though the post title itself is still important for on page anchor text) and should be descriptive of what that post is about. You’ll want to keep it short so that it doesn’t get cut off in search engines. You’ll also want to make it compelling enough so that someone doing a search wants to click on it to read more on your site. This title won’t appear on the pages of your site, but will appear in the browser’s title bar and the search engine results.
A good rule of thumb when writing titles is to make them informative like a newspaper headline rather than clever like a magazine headline. For example, if you’re writing a post about bridal shower centerpieces, your title options could be:
Clever: A Rose By Any Other Name
While this is a creative title, it doesn’t tell either readers nor search engines what the post is about. Unless someone is Googling Shakespearean weddings, they’re not typing this phrase into a search engine when looking for centerpiece ideas.
Better: Centerpiece Ideas
This title is better than the clever option, it is still too generic. Centerpieces for what? Thanksgiving? A Bat Mitzvah? A gala dinner? People tend to do specific searches, so you’ll want to be more specific than just “centerpiece”.
Best: Spring Wedding Centerpiece Ideas
This title works well because it is short and to the point. You’ll want to use your main keywords towards the beginning of your title, so while the post is about wedding centerpieces, we want to qualify it by season since that brings in the specificity most people use when they search. It also helps get you out of the pile of websites that mention wedding centerpieces and focuses it so that you have a better chance of showing up on the first page.
A quick note about titles: avoid overstuffing them with keywords. An example of a title that search engines -- and people -- tend to find annoying and not useful looks something like this:
Spring Wedding Centerpiece Ideas for California, Miami, New York, Texas, Europe, Australia by International Wedding Planner and Event Designer Sally Jones
The Description Section on the All in One SEO PackFor the description, you’ll want to write a succinct (think Twitter-length) summary of what your page or post it about.
For the example above, a description might look something like:
Spring wedding centerpiece ideas using a pink, green and yellow color scheme.
This gives a description, keeps your keywords towards the beginning, but also gets some extra qualifiers in there -- the colors. This tells Google that your page is also about pink, green and yellow wedding centerpiece ideas and allows the person searching to find exactly what they need.
You never want to trick a reader into clicking the link only to have them find that your page isn’t what they were looking for at all. This wastes their time and leaves them frustrated. While you may get the page view this time, they’re less likely to return in the future because you played with their trust.
The Keywords Section on the All in One SEO PackFor the keywords, you want to choose no more than ten keyword phrases that describe what your page is about. Again, make them specific.
Spring Wedding, Pink Wedding Ideas, Green Weddings Ideas, Yellow Wedding Ideas, Wedding Centerpiece Ideas, etc.
This is how the All in One SEO Pack translates to an online search. You have the opportunity to literally influence what shows up on the search results page:
Filling out the All in One SEO Pack form takes a few extra minutes and a bit of strategic thinking. This is why most people skip it. It may be tedious and is certainly the less glamourous side of running a website, but making sure you complete it every time can help you significantly in the long run.