Meta information regarding your blog is an important part of both Search engine optimization and engaging visitors. It is this information that is shown when searching for specific information online. While it is still possible to get a handful of people reading your posts, keywords and meta descriptions are a valuable asset.
Why add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress?
Keywords and descriptions allow you to tell search engines more about the content of your post and pages.
Keywords are important words or phrases the people are likely to search for if they were looking for the content you are publishing. Meta description is a brief description of what your page or post is about.
Meta keywords and descriptions are actually HTML meta tags, and they go into your website’s header. WordPress seo plugins make it super easy for you to add them from your wordpress admin area for each post and page on your website.
Some SEO experts believe that keywords are not at all important. Even google says that they do not give importance to meta keywords. However, other SEO experts disagree and advice users to keep adding meta keywords.
On other hand, meta description is extremely important because you can use it to grap user’s attention.
Using Yoast SEO
one of my favourite plugins for wordpress is yoast SEO. This tool makes a lot of functions easy to manage for optimization. Among its many features is that of managing meta keywords and descriptions.
Let’s start by installing the free version of yoast SEO.
- Go to the plugins section of WordPress and click the “Add New” button.
- Search for the plugin , “Yoast SEO” in the text box on the right.
- Install and activate the plugin by clicking its button. This will add a new feature to the WordPress admin panel in the left column.
- Click on the “SEO” tool located in the left admin panel of wordpress. The icon is a button with a “Y” in front of it.
- After that you will see the options available under SEO in the left column of the admin panel. Click the “Titles & Metas” link directly under the Dashboard option.
- There are several options in this area, but we are only concerned with turning on two features. However, you can add meta description default text in this section if you choose to do so. The downside to this is those defaults may not be relevant for each post and page.
I will show you how to customize the description and keywords metas in a moment. For now, click the “other” tab on the top right.
- Click to enable “Use meta keywords tag?” and then “save changes.”
Yoast has the keyword meta tag disabled by default because it is no longer of significance for search engine optmization. Remember , sites like Google and Bing are crawling the content of the site to find keywords and phrases.
- After that go into the features tab and set “ Keywords analysis” to enable. Click the “save changes” button on the bottom again.
Editing Meta Descriptions and keywords
- Go to your posts and click the “Add new” button at the top.
- Scroll down until you see the “Yoast SEO” section under the text editor.
- Click the tab “ Enter your focus keyword”. This tab’s name will change once you enter a specific keyword you want to focus on.
- Click the “ edit snippet” button under the post preview. This is where the meta description for the content is located.
- Underneath the snippet editor, you will seethe option for a focus keyword. Finally This is the single word you want the post or page to center around.
This is an example of a meta tag for description:
<meta name=”description” content=”this is the description sentence or short paragraph about the article or post.” />
Putting Meta tags Back In
To add meta tags to your site,simply add them to the header.php template file in your wordpress themes,specially in the head section near the link for the style sheet. At the top you will see the DOCTYPE tag and below that you will see a couple more tags and then the <title> tag, looking something like this:
<title><?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?><?php wp_title(); ?></title>
below this line you can add you meta tags. After that You can add meta tag information such as the content, language, author, contact and copyright, since these are basically the same on every page of your site.
Generic meta tags
If you have a clear purpose for your website, the you can use that information to create generic meta tags and place these in your header. Let us say Harriet Smith us a veterinarian, and enjoys sharing her animal stories on her wordpress blog.
A description meta tag that would describe all of her posts might be:
<meta name=”description” content=”special stories and tales about dogs, cats , birds, ferrets, and other domestic animals as told by Harriet Smith, veterinarian. Stories include tales of animal bravery and courage,life and death, companionship, and wonderful joy animals and pets bring to their human partners.”/>
If Harriet writes a story about a dog giving birth in the middle of a hurricane, and accompanying the dog were two humans who risked their lives to stay with the dog during the delivery, the descriptive words of bravery and courage, life and death , pets and human, would surely apply. Another story about an animal that returns home to its owner after missing for 5 years might also be described with the words of bravery , courage, life, death and companionship.
Finally form these two stories, Harriet could create a good generic set of keywords.
<meta name=”keywords” content=”stories, tales, harriet, smith, story telling, veterinarian, vets, animal doctor, bravery, brave, courage, life, death, dying, pets, human, companionship, dog, cat, birds, ferrets, pets, pet, birth, puppies,”/>
This is the manual style of adding a description. But wordpress can make this easier for you. Add you description, similar to above, in you Admin> Options> General panel. The description is entered in the line designated as Tagline. Finally paste in the following in your head area.
<meta name=”description” content=”<?php bloginfo(‘description’); ?>” />
After that WordPress will automatically generate the description.
you can also refer Important SEO tips you should never neglect.