There is no question that you should use search engine optimization on your website, and you have several choices. In this article, we'll cover how to use the popular AIOSEO plugin with your Business Directory Plugin site. If you haven't already, please do read our SEO Guide blog post for optimizing the fields in Business Directory Plugin.
AIOSEO wastes no time in getting you set up! Once you've downloaded the plugin, you can go through the setup wizard they offer. If you do this, be sure to select Include All Post Types as you go through the wizard:
Asking AIOSEO to include all post types ensures that it will recognize the custom post types that are associated with Business Directory Plugin.
Directory Listing Settings
Inside each listing, you have options to customize the SEO elements available to that listing individually. Changing the settings here will affect that individual listing only. Most times, users won't need to do this, but we want to show everything that is possible!
We discussed the snippet preview in our General SEO Guide, but to remind you quickly — the snippet is what you want to show up in search engine results pages (SERPs). However, please keep in mind that Google will often ignore the contents of this tag and pull other text from your site sometimes. The search engine does this to find the text on your site that is most relevant to the terms the user has used for their search. However, many times Google will display the meta description as you've entered it.
While it has been debated whether the snippet affects SEO, it definitely affects how often someone who finds your listing in the SERPs will click on the link to your site. You want to make the snippet as enticing and relevant as possible to the searcher!
AIOSEO makes it easy to preview what the SERPs will look like for individual listings, which you can then customize.
Looking more closely at the Snippet Preview, you can see what we've numbered the individual parts you see in the SERP to match the fields you can edit in AIOSEO.
- listing title
- site title
- site tagline
You can rearrange these things, add new tags, change separators, and even type custom text in this area. You'd likely not want to do this because the Listing Title should be short and tell the user exactly what they'll get if they click on the link to your site, but it's nice to know that you have the option.
NOTE: The tagline was added for illustration purposes only — this is not something you'd want to do on your site! Typically, the tagline is longer than what is recommended for your title tags.
The meta description is where you can get a bit more creative with your words and include the keyphrases for which you want to optimize the listing. Again, you can add a whole host of variables here that AIOSEO provides as well as custom text, and you can see a real-time update of what the changes look like in the Snippet Preview before you make your final changes.
The Focus Keyphrase is a concept that is relevant to your Title and Meta Description tags, as well as the content of the listing. In this setting, you can choose the top keyphrase you want the listing to be found for and the plugin will automatically give you an analysis of how well you're doing with that keyphrase in the listing. The free version allows you to analyze one keyphrase, while the paid version allows more than one.
The Directory Settings in AIOSEO are located under SEO Search Appearance Content Types. These settings will only affect your directory listing pages and not your entire site. These settings set up the defaults and then you can go into individual listings to change or customize settings for listings further.
The snippet preview on this page and the Listing Title and Meta Description sections all operate the same way as they are described in the individual listing section. The main difference is that this is the template for individual listings.
How will I know how I'm doing?
AIOSEO provides a scoring mechanism and you'll see it throughout the pages on the backend of your site in WordPress. Don't worry, visitors to your site won't see it.
Here's what the score looks like:
Obviously, the goal is to be the most optimized you can be, and AIOSEO helps you get there with this visual reminder. In order to obtain a score, you'll need to add a keyphrase to the settings.
AIOSEO also offers lots of tips for improving your SEO scores and you can check for Basic SEO issues, errors or suggestions in your title tags, and the general readability of your page.