How do I add meta tags such as description and keywords to my WordPress posts?
There was a time when meta keywords were an extremely important aspect of SEO. Search engines used meta keywords extensively in determining the content of a website, and a website could rank highly for practically any keyword phrase simply by adding it to the meta tags. Those days are gone, and the amount of emphasis that search engines now place on meta keywords ranges from none at all to very little. That being said, it takes almost no time to add meta keywords to a WordPress blog post, and doing so one post at a time prevents you from needing to add meta keywords to hundreds or thousands of blog posts later when search engines change their ranging algorithms.
The meta description tag can still be important, however, particularly because adding it affects the way that a blog post looks on the search engine result pages. Without a meta description, Google simply displays the section of the post most relevant for the search keywords. With a meta description, Google displays your hand-crafted summary of the post instead (unless its algorithm determines that an excerpt from the post would better serve the needs of the user).
Note: Be careful not to add meta descriptions to your posts that are too lengthy. Google cuts the description off after about 155 characters, so anything after this is wasted work. Concentrate on writing a description that tells the user in 20 words or less why they should click to view your post.
If you use Elegant Themes for WordPress, you can enable meta tags without editing the code for your website or installing a plugin.
1. Log in to the WP-Admin section of your website (usually mywebsite.com/wp-admin).
2. Click the “Appearance” heading on the left side of the screen, and then click the “Theme Options” link for your Elegant Theme (e.g. “PureType Theme Options”). This opens the ePanel page for your theme.
3. Click the “SEO” tab on the left side of the ePanel.
4. Click the “Homepage SEO” tab at the top of the ePanel.
5. Click the “Enable meta description” and “Enable meta keywords” buttons. While you are here, I suggest also clicking “Enable canonical URLs.”
6. Type a description in the “Homepage meta description” box. This description is for the main page of your site (e.g. www.mywebsite.com) and should describe your website as a whole.
7. Type a list of keywords in the “Homepage meta keywords” box. Place a comma between each keyword or keyword phrase. Again, these should describe your website as a whole.
8. Click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page.
9. Click the “Single Post Page SEO” tab at the top of the ePanel.
10. Click the “Enable meta description” and “Enable meta keywords” buttons. Again, I suggest clicking “Enable canonical URLs as well.”
11. Click the “Save” button.
Add Meta Tags to a WordPress Post
1. Start a new WordPress post.
2. Scroll down to the “Custom Fields” section and click “Enter New.”
3. Type “seo_description” in the “Name” field and type the description in the “Value” box. The description should summarize the content of the post and should typically contain the main keyword phrase that someone might use to find the post in a search engine.
4. Click the “Add Custom Field” button.
5. Click “Enter New” again.
6. Type “seo_keywords” in the “Name” field and type the keywords and keyword phrases for the article in the “Value” box. I don’t suggest knocking yourself out thinking of keywords; simply enter the half-dozen or so that people would most likely use to find the blog post.
7. click the “Add Custom Field” button.
In the future, you can find the “seo_description” and “seo_keywords” custom fields on the “Name” drop-down menu rather than entering them manually.