How to Add Keywords and Meta Descriptions in WordPress 

Martyn - WP Web Whizz Expert
August 22, 2022

If you’re running a WordPress site, chances are you want to ensure your content ranks well in search engines. In this post, we’ll show you how to add meta keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress. This will help improve your website’s search engine optimization, improve your search rankings and bring more visitors to your WordPress website.

What are keywords and meta descriptions, and why are they important for your website or blog post?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making your website or blog post more visible to potential readers. One of the ways to do this is by using keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that describe the main topic of your piece and the terms that people are searching for in search engines like Google and Bing.

For example, if you’re writing a blog post about SEO, some relevant meta keywords might be “search engine optimization,” “online marketing,” or “SEO tips.” Including these meta keywords throughout your blog post will help it show up more often in search results and increase traffic to your website.

Meta descriptions are also important for SEO. A meta description is a brief summary of your blog post or website, and it appears below the title in search results. This is your chance to sell readers on why they should click through to your site. So make sure your meta description is interesting and informative!

How to add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress - an example of a meta description in search results
The text below the page title is the meta description

Both meta keywords and meta descriptions are important for on-page SEO and helping potential readers find your website or blog post. So take the time to choose relevant keywords and write a compelling meta description, and you’ll be on your way to driving traffic to your site!

How to add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress – Easy Steps

If you’re looking to add a meta description and meta keywords to your WordPress site, there are a few different ways you can go about it. One option is to add them to the code of your site manually. However, if you’re not comfortable working with code, there’s no need to worry – you can also use a WordPress plugin to handle it for you.

There are a number of great plugins out there that will let you easily add meta keywords and meta descriptions to your WordPress site so that you can focus on other things. Whichever method you choose, adding meta keywords and meta descriptions to your WordPress site is a great way to help your SEO efforts and attract more visitors.

How do you add keywords and meta descriptions using the Yoast SEO plugin?

After you install Yoast SEO – one of the top SEO plugins for WordPress – it’s easy to add your focus keywords and site description. In the “General” tab of the plugin, you can enter your site’s focus keyword and other keywords. These are the keywords that you want to rank for in Google. You can also add a meta description here, which is the short description that appears in search results.

You can edit the meta title and description using the Yoast plugin on each individual post and page. This is the most effective way of managing your on-page SEO efforts, as your meta tags are optimized for specific pages and posts.

With Yoast SEO, you can also set up a generic description in case you forget to set the individual post descriptions. You can set this up on the settings page of the Yoast plugin. Yoast offers what it calls “snippet variables” that can automatically pull the page title and an excerpt from the beginning of the post to use in meta tags.

Yoast SEO add meta descriptions and keywords in WordPress
Yoast SEO plugin allows you to set default titles and descriptions

How do you add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress using the RankMath plugin?

Another popular SEO plugin is RankMath. RankMath makes it easy to add keywords and meta descriptions to your WordPress site. To add a focus keyword, simply go to the SEO section at the bottom of the page and enter the keyword in the appropriate field.

To add a meta description, scroll down to the bottom of the page or post and enter the description in the appropriate field. Once you’ve added the keyword and meta description, click the “Publish” button to save your changes. Like Yoast SEO, you can also set generic titles and meta descriptions that will automatically pull information from your posts and pages if you don’t specify these on each page.

RankMath has a range of SEO features for beginners and more advanced users

RankMath has a wide range of SEO tools that you can use in conjunction with adding keywords and meta descriptions to your posts and pages to help you improve your ranking and generate more traffic. It has an easy set-up wizard that you can use to set up your on-page SEO settings in just a few minutes – plus you can choose different set-up options depending on your level of experience.

The plugin is free to install and use, but there is a premium version that offers more advanced features that will increase your chances of ranking well in search engine results.

How do you add keywords and meta descriptions using the All-in-One-SEO (AIOSEO) plugin?

If you’re using the All-in-One SEO (AIOSEO) plugin for WordPress, there are a few easy steps you can follow to add keywords and meta descriptions. As with most SEO plugins, you’re able to set default title and meta description options in the “Search Appearance” section of the AIOSEO plugin settings. This is great as a fall-back, but you should try to set specific meta descriptions rather than using the extract/excerpt option.

AIOSEO plugin to add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress
All-in-One-SEO (AIOSEO) plugin settings allow you to create generic meta descriptions

On each of your posts and pages, if you scroll down the post or page editing screen (in Gutenberg editor), you should see the SEO section where you can customize the keywords and meta description. Adding the meta description here doesn’t guarantee that Google will display it, but it is best practice to include your preferred text anyway.

In the “Description” field, you can enter a brief meta description of your page or post. This description will appear in search engine results, so make it engaging and relevant to your content. Once you’re finished, click “Update.” That’s all there is to it! By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your content is well optimized for search engines.

Tips for writing effective keywords and meta descriptions that will help improve your website’s search engine ranking.

If you’re looking to improve your website’s search engine ranking, one of the best things you can do is to focus on your keywords and meta descriptions. Here are a few tips to help you write effective keywords and meta descriptions that will help improve your ranking:

  • Use long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are three- or four-word phrases that are more specific than shorter, more general keywords. They tend to have less competition, making them a good choice if you’re looking to improve your ranking.
  • Choose keywords with low keyword difficulty. Keyword difficulty measures how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword. You can find keyword difficulty measures for various keywords using tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner, SEMrush Keyword Magic, and Moz Keyword Explorer. Choose keywords with a low keyword difficulty score to increase your chances of ranking well.
  • Do competitor research. Take a look at what your competitors are doing in terms of their keywords and meta descriptions. Are they using long-tail keywords? What about low-keyword difficulty keywords? By understanding what’s working well for them, you can adapt and improve upon their strategy for your own website. Competitor research can also give you content ideas – you might want to look at other pages your competitors have published and use the same keywords!
  • Check the search engine results pages (SERPs) for your main keyword. You can get ideas for your meta descriptions from the pages that are ranking in the top positions in Google search results. You should also look at pages that have been awarded the search engine snippet (the top result which shows a longer extract from the page.)
  • Avoid keyword stuffing in your meta tags. It can be tempting to try to pack in as many relevant keywords as possible, thinking that will help with your SEO rankings, but actually, keyword stuffing is bad for SEO and can hurt your search rankings. Search engines prefer that you write your page descriptions for human readers rather than search engine bots!

Examples of well-written meta descriptions for websites with different types of content.

If you want some inspiration when you’re crafting your meta descriptions, here are just a few examples of well-written meta descriptions that have helped websites to rank well in SERPs and get more traffic to their pages.

Airbnb Meta Description

AirBnB meta description example

Lonely Planet Meta Description

Meta description example for Lonely Planet

YouTube Meta Description

SERP result for YouTube showing meta description

Slack Meta Description

Slack meta description example of a good description.

MailChimp Meta Tags

Mailchimp example of using meta description to increase click through rate

Technology Therapy’s Search Appearance

Meta description example

How to track the results of your keyword and meta description changes to see if they’re making a difference in your website’s search engine ranking.

One way to track the results of your keyword and meta description changes is to look at your website’s search engine ranking. If you see an increase in your ranking, it’s likely that your changes are having a positive effect.

You can track your SERP rankings manually using a spreadsheet, but I recommend using a position tracking tool to track your progress. There are many position tracking tools available, both free and paid. Position tracking tools will typically provide you with data such as your current position, position history, and position changes over time for your focus keywords.

This data can be very useful in determining whether or not your keyword and meta description changes are having the desired effect. If you find that your position is not improving or is even deteriorating, it may be time to reconsider your approach.

Another way to track the results of your changes is to look at the number of clicks on your website compared to the number of impressions in SERPs. If you see an increase in clicks, it’s likely that your keywords and meta descriptions are more effective. You can easily find this information in Google Search Console

Finally, you can also track the results of your changes by looking at the number of visitors to your website. If you see an increase in visitors, it’s likely that your changes are having a positive effect.

Summary: How to Add Keywords and Meta Descriptions in WordPress

Adding meta descriptions and keywords to your blog posts is one of the most important things you can do for your website’s SEO. While it’s true that Google may not always use your supplied meta description, you should still provide it. This way, you can be sure that your content is being seen by as many people as possible.

Using an SEO plugin like Yoast, RankMath or AIOSEO makes it easier to add meta descriptions and keywords to your blog posts. You should also optimize your meta description for the keyword you have the best chance of ranking for.

By following these tips, you can help improve your website’s search engine ranking and drive more traffic to your blog.

FAQs about adding keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress

Can I add a meta description without a plugin?

You can add meta descriptions without a plugin by using custom fields and editing the PHP file for your WordPress theme, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The three best WordPress SEO plugins all have free versions that you can use to add meta descriptions to your WordPress pages and posts – and using them is much easier (not to mention safer!) than messing with your website’s code.

Which SEO plugin is best for WordPress?

There are many SEO plugins for WordPress, but the one that I recommend is the All-in-One SEO (AIOSEO) plugin. It’s a fully-featured plugin that is available in both a free and premium version, and it’s incredibly easy to use. Yoast SEO and RankMath are also good options.

How long should a meta description be?

The optimal length for a meta description for SEO is 120-160 characters, including spaces. However, meta descriptions can be up to 320 characters. It’s generally not advised to use meta descriptions that are shorter than 120 characters, but in some cases, popular websites have used very short meta descriptions to grab attention.

Why isn’t Google showing the meta description I added?

This is something that frustrates SEOs and website owners worldwide – sometimes, Google just decides to use its own meta description in the SERPs. There’s no obvious reason for it, and therefore, there’s no way to prevent Google (or other search engines) from choosing to show a different description, unfortunately.

Is the Yoast SEO plugin good for adding keywords?

Yes, Yoast SEO plugin is a good option for adding keywords to your WordPress posts and pages. You can use it to add meta attributes that can help your web pages and posts to rank. To get the most out of the Yoast plugin, however, you will need to upgrade to the premium version of Yoast SEO.

The premium Yoast SEO allows you to add multiple meta keywords for each page and optimize your relevant content, optimize your website title, monitor your keyword usage, and much more. It also offers lots of WordPress tutorials.

Is it necessary to use the meta keywords tag in WordPress?

Some SEOs no longer add meta keywords to posts and pages, but there’s no right or wrong answer about whether you should add keywords in your meta tags. However, it doesn’t appear to hurt. your search rankings, so I still recommend using the meta keywords tag.

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Martyn - WP Web Whizz Expert

I've been building websites with WordPress for over 10 years, and now I spend my days giving advice to others on how to make the most of WordPress for their websites. I'm also experienced in SEO and affiliate marketing, but WordPress is what I do best!

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