In this tutorial you will learn how to install AIOSEO (All in One SEO), the second most popular SEO plugin for WordPress. Is it any good? How does it stack up to its main competitors? Let’s dive in and find out together.
SEO for WordPress – Tutorials & Videos
This tutorial is part of my SEO for WordPress series:
All in One SEO is the second most popular SEO plugin for WordPress websites, with over 3 million users. Just like many other plugins in this space, free and paid versions are available.
Because of this impressive portfolio of products, there are some cross-selling and cross-recommendations inside many of these products. I will get back to this topic later in the video.
Table of Contents
All in One SEO Installation
When you activate the plugin for the first time, a Setup Wizard will begin.
In my opinion some steps may seem a bit overwhelming, especially for beginners. Better descriptions and explanations for some options would be helpful.
Compared to Yoast SEO, this plugin is more proactive in gathering important information from its users. Of course you can skip these steps or edit this information later.
On Step 4 you are already offered a bunch of paid upgrades, as well as the free MonsterInsights plugin, which is owned by the same company.
Step 5 is a bit confusing. Though it doesn’t explain this, these post types will be allowed to be indexed by search engines. If your theme defines custom post types, you might want to disable those that don’t have value in terms of search traffic.
For some reason the Sitemap option cannot be disabled.
Step 6 tries to sign you up for a newsletter and other services. The usage tracking option is worded in marketing speak, I usually disable this.
Step 7 asks for a premium license key if you have one, which is yet another step that reminds you about a paid upgrade.
And the final screen reminds you again about the benefits of a paid upgrade.
AIOSEO Plugin Configuration
The dashboard pages of this plugin are very well designed and easy to use.
In General Settings you can verify your website in Google Search Console and other search engines.
Some of these services require a paid upgrade. You are offered to connect Google Analytics using MonsterInsights, with a small disclosure on the next page.
You can also enable or disable Breadcrumbs, which can be displayed in multiple ways, as a Block in the Block Editor, as a shortcode, as a widget or using PHP code in your theme files.
Some themes already have support for this feature, so no code edits are required.
In the Advanced tab, you can enable or disable two cool features, TruSEO Score and the Headline Analyzer. More on them later.
In Search Appearance you can choose which post types and taxonomies should be indexed by search engines.
Posts and Pages should be indexable in most cases.
As for Taxonomies, I recommend setting to No your post tags and other custom taxonomies that have no real value for search engines.
The same goes for Author Archives, Date Archives and search pages. In most cases it’s best to keep these disabled.
On the Social Networks page you can add links to your profiles on social media platforms, as well as enable Open Graph markup. This makes your content look better when it is being shared on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
On the Sitemaps page you can control the content of your XML sitemap.
There are two cool features: first, you can manually add some pages that are not part of your main WordPress website. Maybe you have a folder or some static landing pages that exist outside of WordPress. This is how you can add them to the sitemap.
And second, in Advanced Settings, you can exclude certain posts, pages or taxonomy terms.
Similar to your XML sitemap, you can even create a HTML sitemap. These are rarely found on live websites, nonetheless, it is nice to have this option.
On the SEO Analysis page, you can do a very basic analysis of competitor pages, as well as run the Headline Analyzer. These are quite fun to use, though the information that they provide is not that out of the ordinary.
The rest of the pages have the purpose of promoting the pro version of the plugin.
Individual Page SEO Settings
Now that we’re done with the configuration part, let’s look at what the plugin can do for individual posts and pages.
On the Edit Page screen, you will find the AIOSEO panel at the bottom of the page. It takes quite a lot of space and requires a lot of clicking through multiple tabs and screens.
It doesn’t help that we are reminded time and time again that a paid upgrade is available. Obviously you don’t have to use this panel for every piece of content, but it can become annoying real fast, especially if you install this plugin on a client website.
AIOSEO Premium Pricing Plans
And now about the paid upgrades. Currently there are 4 different packages, from $50 to $300 a year.
In closing, I think that this is a good looking plugin that does its job. Of course you have to live with the constant reminders of the paid upgrades and the numerous pages locked behind a paywall.
Nonetheless, the company behind the plugin has a very wide reach and a good reputation in the WordPress community.
Thank you for watching.