Learning how to add a meta tag to your WordPress website page and posts is really important for SEO. You need to set it correctly by following the SEO guidelines.
This in turn will make sure that your website appears higher in the search result pages. When the search engine goes through your website, it finds the meta tag description and ranks it by how well the information matches the search query.
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The website developers need to know that doing a simple installation of WordPress does not automatically set the meta tag and description.
This process has to be done manually, and it’s essential to follow the best SEO practices if you want the website to rank higher.
What Are Meta Tags?
A lot of people have heard of meta tags, but not all of them know what they really are. A meta tag is a short snippet that has information about the website or an article. Even the word ‘meta’ itself means information about.
They were created a long time ago to provide correct information about a website. It contains the keywords, the authors, a short description, and essential information. Meta tags also help the user to understand what the website is really about before clicking it.
For example, a google search will uncover a lot of different websites. To find the specific thing that you need from the site, you just have to look at the meta tag and description instead of opening up every single one of them.
This way, you save a lot of time, and you find the needed information more easily. A meta tag would look something like this:
In this article, I’m going to talk about how the meta tag benefits your website and how to add it with and without using plugins.
The Importance of Meta Tags
The first encounter many of you probably had with meta tags is when verifying your website on the Google Webmaster tools. To complete that process, you are required to add a unique meta tag, and this can be done with a variety of plugins or directly with a piece of code.
The choice is yours on that one, but I would recommend using a plugin if you are a beginner and don’t want to get too invested into it. The search engines have bots that are called web crawlers. They scour the web and index what the website contains.
Meta tags and descriptions are the first things they look for when inspecting. In fact, there are a lot of things they look for, but these two are really important. If your website’s meta tag is better optimized and uses important keywords.
It doesn’t matter the monthly viewers, or anything else, your site will rank higher than your competitors. A lot of people fail to understand the importance of this, and they don’t take it seriously.
Also, these meta tags are what appears on a Google search, so make sure to include as much important information on them so that the users visit.
It’s better sometimes to also use a call to action or to make it intriguing. This raises curiosity and might encourage people to click on the link.
Meta Tag Title, Keywords, and Descriptions
These types of meta tags are also important for the SEO ranking of your website so use them accordingly. The meta keywords and meta descriptions are types of meta tags that are used to optimize the site and also blog posts.
By optimizing, I mean they assist your website to rank higher in a google search. They are similar to the tag that you use to verify the website with google webmaster tools, but the difference is that these ones are important for SEO.
Be careful not to overuse them since that can actually backfire. For example, if you use too many keywords in your keyword meta tag the bot that will search for them will also analyze your website and will penalize you for using more than the recommended amount.
Which usually is between three and five, but even those have to be related to the content on the specific page. Google has made public that if you use a lot of keywords, and even if they are related to the content, you will get penalized.
What they mean is that your website will rank lower and, in turn, cost you visitors. The title tag should always be unique since it’s what it’s going to be presented to the users. There are a lot of pages on the internet being added every day, so make sure that you are not just another copycat.
It’s recommended that you use a title that it’s going to reflect the site topic, and that is interesting or catchy. The title is the number one reason why most people click on a page. It will appear in a blue link format, and it should gain their interest.
It’s really important that you also use keywords in the title since it benefits your SEO. Search engines will judge your website’s relevance to the search query based on the keywords that you include in the title.
How to Add Meta Tags
Adding a meta tag to your website is something that most people have to do at least once since it’s necessary for the verification process by Google Webmasters tools or even Google Analytics. Learning how to do that manually is not as hard as it seems, and by following the steps below, you are going to complete the task easily.
The best way to do it is by editing the header file of your theme.
After you have logged in on your WordPress Dashboard, you will have to hover over ‘Appearance’ and select ‘Theme Editor.’ A new page will open, and on there, you will see a code editor, with actual code from your theme. There are mainly PHP and HTML files, from the right side where the ‘Theme Files’ section is located, find the ‘Header.php‘ file, and click on it.
Once it loads in the editor, you will see a bunch of code lines. Either try and find the <head> tag by yourself or press ‘CTRL’ and ‘F’ to perform a search action.
I suggest the latter options. Most likely, you will find some basic meta tags on there already, so don’t be worried, just add the code that the Google Webmasters has given to you, and you are done.
Just make sure that you add it inside the <head> tag, which ends like this </head>. When that’s done all it’s left for you to do is to press the update file button so that you save the changes. You see, it was really simple to do, and in just a few steps you can do it yourself.
Remember that when you change your website’s theme, you have to do this whole process from the beginning. It’s a bit annoying if you do that frequently, but it’s necessary to ensure the connection between your site and Google tools.
How to Add Meta Keywords and Meta Descriptions
Differently from the meta tag, the meta keywords and descriptions are easier to add and configure if you use a plugin. I recommend that you use the ‘All in One SEO Pack’ plugin since it makes it easy for you to add the keywords and description.
First, you will need to install the plugin from the plugin store on WordPress. Hover over ‘Plugins’ and select ‘Add New.’ A new page will open and from there you will need to search the plugin and press the ‘Install Now’ button. After it’s finished the installation process, press the ‘Activate now‘ button.
Once the plugin is activated, it will show a new tab on the left side panel and an SEO optimization box on every page and post on your site. The meta keywords are disabled by default.
However, you can enable it without facing much hardship. To enable it hover over the ‘All in One SEO’ tab from the side panel and select ‘General Settings.’
From the settings there, scroll down until you find the option to enable the meta keywords. You will be able to add meta tag keywords and descriptions to your posts now. Afterwards, you can edit them at the bottom of the articles.
Meta Key and Description for the Categories
You are able to add a meta keyword and description even to your categories in WordPress. This is really helpful since the ranking of the category will also help your site.
Sometimes you may see the category site appear higher than some of your posts and this is really helpful to get more views. Let’s look at how you can do this.
First of all you will need to be logged into your Dashboard and from there hover over ‘Posts’ and click on the ‘Categories’ option. A new page will load with all the categories available on your website.
Choose the one that you want to change the meta tags and click on the ‘Edit’ button. By doing that you will open the category editor page and from there you can scroll down and find the Yoast SEO meta box.
Click on the Edit Snippet button to enter your own information about your website. Be careful to follow the guidelines from Yoast SEO so that you use the more optimized version of keyword description and title.
If you have done a great job you will see a green circle at the top of the Meta Box. To add the meta keywords unfortunately you will have to use another plugin, such as ‘All in One SEO’ for example.
Because Yoast SEO has disabled the option to add the meta keywords from their plugin. The process for the other plugin is the same but instead you will have the meta box of it.
Remember that you need to have this option enabled first and we have explained in the previous section how to do that. After you are done just press the ‘Update Now’ button to finish.
As we have said countless times in this article, the meta tags are really important for your website. It is recommended that you use these SEO guidelines so that you get a better ranking. Don’t worry, though, if you don’t see immediate results since it takes a while for Google to index your pages to appear on a search result.
Take your time and put these tags for your website and even on articles individually, you will only benefit from doing it. You may not see it initially but down the line I’m sure you will thank yourself for doing it.
We hoped this article helped you learn how to add a meta tag to your WordPress website, with this you can also see our guide to change WordPress excerpt length. If you have any questions about this article leave a comment down below.