Here’s my response to a client asking for guidance about filling in the fields offered by my favorite WordPress SEO plugin, SEO:

1) No need to set the TITLE if it’s the same as the name of the page. Only set it if you want to make a bigger fancier more keyword-rich TITLE. (Not a bad idea.) at the top of the page than the name of the story itself.

2) In my opinion, you can leave the KEYWORDS field blank; consensus seems to be that these are pretty much ignored by search engines at this point because of abuse.

3) Instead, make sure your most valuable keywords appear in the TITLE and DESCRIPTION fields. This counts for quite a lot with the search engines. Don’t worry about making the description field read like a really nice sentence. On the other hand, don’t turn it into keyword salad. Strike a balance.

4) If you have particular keywords you’re aiming for (e.g. Arizona Immigration) then make sure that the PERMALINK (URL) contains those keywords, even if they’re not in your title. Keywords appearing in your URL make a huge difference, so don’t just accept the WordPress-generated URL without giving it a look-over.

And just to go all meta on you, look below for the TGFI settings used on this very post with which I am trying to attract web visitors searching for tips on using the SEO plugin. Notice I’m using both “plugin” and “plug-in” to account for both searches.

The TGFI SEO settings for this post