How to Add Keywords and Meta Descriptions in WordPress
March 24. 2020
If you want your website to be successful and reach as many people as possible, then working on your search engine optimization is something you definitely need to do. By improving your SEO, you’ll end up higher on Google search results. This ensures maximum exposure for your content. After all, most people only look at the first page of results when they Google something. So you want to be on that page. There are many ways to achieve this. One of the best things you can do is hire a team of experts to run your website for you. But there are also little things you can do to improve your Google ranking. One of them is to add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress. This simple addition to your content can make a huge difference. So what’s the best and easiest way to do it?
An introduction to keywords and meta descriptions
Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of using keywords and meta descriptions, you should probably learn a bit more about what they are. Regardless of whether you are relying on professional website maintenance or plan on running the website yourself, knowing a bit about things like this will go a long way in helping you understand SEO which is something everyone should always have in mind when they have a WordPress website.
What are keywords?
Keywords are an incredibly important part of search engine optimization. They are short phrases relevant to your content that you expect people to search for in order to find said content. Using the right keywords can drastically improve your search engine rankings. But that also means doing a little bit of research. After all, you can’t use just anything as a keyword. Your keyword must be something that is both related to the content you’re posting and something that people actually Google regularly.
What are meta descriptions?
Meta descriptions are brief descriptions of what your post (or page) is about. A lot of the time, they are the first thing a user sees after the title. So they have the power to attract users and entice them to choose your website over all others. For this reason, you should do your best to create attractive and representative meta descriptions.
Why should you add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress?
It’s hard to say exactly how much weight search engines put on keywords and meta descriptions. There’s disagreement among WP experts on whether these are some of the most important areas of SEO or just additional work that doesn’t pay off much. What we do know for sure is that keywords and meta descriptions provide additional information on what your content is about to both search engines and users. This can only work in your favor. And since it’s pretty easy to add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress, you’ve got nothing to lose by using them!
How can you add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress?
Like so many other things in WordPress, adding keywords and meta descriptions is made incredibly easy with the help of a plugin. To make things even better, it’s one of the most popular WP plugins out there – Yoast SEO. And adding keywords and meta descriptions is far from the only thing this plugin does so you certainly won’t regret getting it even if, for some reason, you decide not to stick with keywords and meta descriptions!
Step 1: Install Yoast SEO
Odds are good that you already use Yoast SEO. After all, it’s one of the most downloaded WordPress plugins for a reason! In addition to making adding keywords and meta descriptions easy, it also:
- analyzes how well your content does in terms of SEO,
- provides a readability analysis of your content,
- provides advanced XML Sitemaps functionality,
- gives you full control of breadcrumbs on your website,
- helps you avoid duplicate content with canonical URLs and more.
If you don’t have Yoast SEO installed, now is the time to do it! Just add it to your WordPress website and activate it like you would any other plugin.
Step 2: Add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress to your pages and posts
Once you have Yoast SEO installed, the next step is actually adding keywords and meta descriptions to your posts and pages. You can, of course, do this retroactively for content you’ve already published by editing it and then saving the changes. For all new content, you can simply add keywords and meta descriptions while you’re writing it.
Simply open up a new post or start editing an existing one. Scroll down towards the bottom of the page and you should now see a box labeled “Yoast SEO”. Under the tab called “SEO”, you’ll find a place where you can enter your “Focus keyphrase”. This is where you will put the keyword for the content you are creating or editing. Yoast SEO will then make suggestions on how to improve your content to better reflect that keyword. This will, in turn, help your posts and pages rank higher in search engine results. Remember that you can only enter one keyword here without any commas. If you want to use multiple keywords, you will need to activate the premium version of Yoast SEO and scroll down to the section titled “Add related keyphrase”.
Immediately underneath where you will enter your keyword, you’ll find something called “Snippet preview”. Click on “Edit snippet” underneath that and a field will open up where you can add your meta description. Simply put in a sentence on two that describes your content and makes it attractive to the user.
Making keywords and meta descriptions work for you
It is not enough to just add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress. You must make sure to add the right keywords and good meta descriptions – otherwise, what is the point of them? So it’s not just adding keywords and meta descriptions that need to be a part of your routine when making posts and pages; you must also know how to choose the right ones. It helps, here, to think like a website user rather than someone who runs it. Keywords and meta descriptions are, after all, there to attract visitors. So think about what someone might search in order to locate the content you are about to post. Think about what kind of description might draw their eye. This will help you create good keywords and meta descriptions!