Adding meta descriptions and meta keywords in your WordPress blogs may seem trivial, but they can pay huge dividends when it comes to SEO. In this WordPress tutorial, we will show you how to properly utilize the title, keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress blog and vastly improve your SEO game plan.
What you’ll need
Before starting this guide, you’ll need the following:
- Access to your WordPress admin area
Why WordPress meta description, keywords, and title is important?
Today, the quality of a website’s content is not enough. With virtually thousands upon thousands of available websites, users rarely have the opportunity to sift through all sites, mostly going with the top 3, most popular search engine results. This is why SEO is considered the holy grail of web marketing; robust SEO can drive a lot of traffic to your website.
The title of the blog is self-descriptive; it tells the reader about the topic of the blog. Needless to say, it is the most important item on this list as a poorly worded title can be enormously damaging to your site’s SEO.
Meta description helps your blog in a two-fold manner: it makes the search engine’s job easier by briefly detailing the post, and attracts users with a concise and coherent summary of the post.
The use of keywords, on the other hand, is much more open to controversy. While many SEO experts believe it to be a somewhat significant factor in SEO, there are those who say that keywords don’t mean much, including Google.
Ultimately, due to the fact that search engines refuse to specify the weight of various factors in ranking sites, we don’t exactly know how much of a role meta descriptions and keywords play in helping your site’s SEO. We do know, however, that they play some role, which should be enough to warrant your attention.
There are plenty of plugins that you can use to add meta descriptions and keywords to your WordPress blog. For the purposes of this guide, we will use the popular Yoast SEO plugin. To see how to install the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress site, follow our dedicated tutorial.
Use SEO Yoast to Add Meta Tags to WordPress
Yoast SEO is developed by Joost de Valk, who is regarded as an SEO guru in WordPress circles. While WordPress is already a fairly decent CMS platform for SEO out-of-the-box, Yoast SEO can be used to equip your site with additional firepower that could prove to be the difference in site ranking. Yoast’s popular Page Analysis functionality highlights SEO-related details that are susceptible to being ignored, such as alt tags on images, post length, and sentence structure. We will be using the plugin to add suitable titles, meta descriptions, and keywords to WordPress blogs.
Step 1 – Enabling Advanced Settings in SEO Yoast
By default, you will have plenty of tools at your disposal via Yoast SEO. Still, to get every bit of benefit out of this plugin, we highly recommend enabling some of the advanced settings manually. Both meta title and meta description are already enabled, but meta keywords have to be enabled using the above-mentioned advanced settings (shown later in this guide).
To enable advanced settings, go to SEO ->Dashboard. From here, select the Features tab, and find the Advanced settings pages heading. Set this option by clicking on the Enable button under the heading. This will prompt the page to reload, after which, you should be able to see advanced options.
Step 2 – Adding Meta Title
To add a Meta Title or SEO title to your post, navigate over to Posts ->All Posts and choose the post for which you want to add meta title.
Once the post is open in the text editor, scroll down to the section titled Yoast SEO. Under this section, you will be shown a preview of the snippet as displayed on search engines. This is generated automatically for each post. Click on Edit Snippet. You will be presented with additional fields. The first field, titled SEO Title, is the meta title of the article. Enter the appropriate title in this field. Yoast will also help you write it through a colored bar under the field – green means that the length is optimal.
Step 3 – Adding WordPress Meta Description
Meta Descriptions in WordPress can be added through the same section as the meta title. Right under the SEO Title field, there are two additional fields titled Slug and Meta description. Simply type a brief and catchy description of your post.
Once again, Yoast will let you know the optimal length of the description through a colored bar. Make sure to add relevant words that are also used in the post to the meta description. When finished, click Close snippet editor and save changes by pressing Update button.
Step 4 – Adding Keywords
Unlike meta title and meta description, meta keywords have to be enabled manually in Yoast SEO. To do this, go to the SEO ->Titles & Meta page and choose the Other tab. Here, you will see Use meta keywords tag? – enable it. Save your settings, and you’re good to go.
To add meta keywords to a post, once again select a specific post from Posts ->All Posts. Scroll down to the Yoast SEO section, and right under the snippet preview, you will find the Meta keywords field.
Here, add multiple keywords (no more than 10) separated by commas. Uphold good SEO practices here as well, by picking suitable keywords that are both descriptive of your article and present in the article itself.
As stated earlier, Google has declared that meta keywords are not factored in its page rank algorithm. Other search engines are less clear on this matter, which means your rate may vary depending on which search engine the reader is using.
There are a number of ways in which you can improve SEO of your WordPress site. In this tutorial, we saw one of these, by discussing how to add meta keywords, meta titles and meta descriptions to your WordPress posts using Yoast SEO plugin.