Including key phrases and meta descriptions in WordPress

Do you want to properly add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress?

You can use meta keywords and descriptions to improve your website's SEO ranking. This means more traffic, leads, and sales for your business.

In this article, we are going to show you how to easily add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress.

Why add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress?

You can use keywords and descriptions to inform search engines more about the content of your posts and pages.

Keywords are important words or phrases that people are likely to search for in order to find your content. A meta description is a brief description of what your page or post is about.

Your meta title, description and keywords will appear in Google search results:

Google Search Listing

Meta keywords and meta description are HTML meta tags. They are part of your website's header code. They won't appear on your page or post for visitors to see. However, search engines and browsers can use them.

WordPress SEO plugins make it easy to add them for every post and page on your website from your WordPress admin area.

How important are meta keywords and meta descriptions for SEO?

Like most WordPress users, you are probably wondering if adding meta keywords and meta descriptions will improve my WordPress SEO rankings.

While search engines don't specify exactly how much weight to assign keywords or descriptions, SEO experts always recommend adding the correct meta description and keywords for on-page SEO optimization.

Meta descriptions are often used by search engines. In Google search results, they will appear under the title of your content, with the search term shown in bold.

An exemplary meta description for the homepage of the all-in-one SEO plugin

An effective meta description encourages users to click through and read your content. And we know that a good CTR means that Google is likely to rank your content higher.

When it comes to meta keywords, most modern search engines either assign very little importance or do not use them at all. The main exception is the Russian search engine Yandex.

Instead, search engines prefer that you include your focused keywords in your title, description, and all of your content. For this reason, SEO plugins like AIOSEO contain a TruSEO score that you can use to optimize your content for specific keywords and key words.

Our recommendations for meta keywords and meta descriptions

We recommend adding a meta description for all posts and pages on your website, including your home page, category pages, and tag pages.

Note: Google adjusts the description based on the search query so your meta description is only used occasionally. However, it's still worth doing a meta description. It is shown to around 30% of users and can help your SEO.

When it comes to meta keywords, whether you use them or not is up to you. They won't do any harm to your website, but they may not be of much use either.

However, let's look at how to easily add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress.

Adding Meta Descriptions and Keywords in WordPress (Video Tutorial)

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If you prefer the written tutorial, please read on.

Install and activate all-in-one SEO for WordPress

For this tutorial, we're using All-in-One SEO (AIOSEO), the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market. It allows you to easily optimize your entire WordPress site for better search engine optimization and has comprehensive tools to help you grow your business.

First of all, you need to install and activate the all-in-one SEO plugin. For more information, see our step-by-step guide on installing a WordPress plugin.

After activation, All in One SEO will guide you through a simple setup wizard. Just follow the step-by-step instructions to get everything set up for your site.

When the setup is complete, simply click the "Exit setup and go to dashboard" button.

Click the Exit Setup button to go to your dashboard

Enable meta keyword support in all-in-one SEO

All in One SEO offers built-in support for meta descriptions and keywords. However, the meta keyword feature is disabled by default. This is because many search engines place little or no importance on keywords in their rankings.

To activate it, go to Everything in one SEO »Search» Advanced in your WordPress dashboard. Then switch the meta keywords from No to Yes.

Enable the Meta Keywords option in All in One SEO

After enabling meta keywords in WordPress, you will be presented with some additional options. You can generate a post's keywords from its categories and / or tags. You can also dynamically generate keywords in your blog posts and archive pages.

It is up to you whether you want to use these automated options or not. Regardless of this, you can always manually define keywords for each post and each page.

The meta keyword options available in All in One SEO

After making changes, don't forget to click the "Save Changes" button at the bottom of the page.

Adding meta descriptions and meta keywords to your WordPress posts and pages

First, you need to edit a post or page that you want to add your meta keywords and description to.

AIOSEO works both with the WordPress block editor (Gutenberg) and with the classic WordPress editor.

In the content editor, scroll to the "AIOSEO Settings" field under the content area.

Adding a meta description to your post or page with AIOSEO

You will see the title of your website and an automatically generated description as a snippet. Below that you will see the Meta Description field.

The automatically generated snippet in All in One SEO

Enter a description in your Meta Description field. All-in-one SEO shows how many characters you've used. This is important because Google only shows 160 characters in search results.

You will see that your snippet preview will automatically update as you enter your meta description.

Enter your meta description in All in One SEO

When you're done, just save or publish your post to save the changes to your meta description.

Use All in One SEO's dynamic tags in your meta descriptions

Optionally, you can add tags to your meta description. All-in-one SEO offers page content and separators by default. However, you can add other dynamic tags as well.

For example, we've added the author's name to our meta description here.

A meta description with the tags Author First Name and Author Last Name at the beginning

To add a tag, simply enter the # character in the meta description field. You will then see a drop down menu of available tags.

Adding tags to your meta description in All in One SEO

Adding Meta Keywords to Your Post or Page with AIOSEO

To add your meta keywords you need to click the Advanced tab for your AIOSEO settings.

Just type in your keywords and hit enter after each one. It's important to only use keywords that are relevant to your content. Adding irrelevant keywords will not bring you any SEO benefit.

Add meta keywords for your post or page using All in One SEO

Tip: Meta keywords are completely separate from your focus keyword. You can set a focus keyword on the General tab. This is for all-in-one SEO to give you recommendations on how to improve your content. The focus keyword does not automatically become a meta keyword for your post or page.

Add meta keywords and meta description for your homepage

You can also add meta keywords and a meta description for your website home page in WordPress. Here's how to do it with All in One SEO.

Go to first Search site »Global settings in your WordPress administrator. Then scroll down to the Home section.

The section

On this screen, you can simply enter a meta description and keywords, just like you would with a post or page.

All in One SEO uses your slogan as a meta description by default. You can leave that there or adjust it.

Enter a meta description and keywords for your homepage

You can also click the other options to add these tags to your meta description. Alternatively, you can add different tags by adding the # character in your meta description as described above.

Tip: It is better to use these tags than manually entering the site title, tagline, or separator. This is because your meta description will be updated automatically if you make changes to it later.

Make sure to hit the save changes button at the bottom of the page after adding your meta description and keywords.

Meta keywords and description for WordPress category archives

You can also add keywords and descriptions to your category and tag archive page.

You have to visit them first Posts »Categories Page. Hover your mouse over the category you want to edit, then click the "Edit" link.

Editing a category in WordPress

On the category page, scroll down to the AIOSEO Settings field. Here you just need to enter a meta description for your category. Again, you can use All in One SEO's tags if you want.

Add a meta description for your category in All in One SEO

To add keywords, just click the Advanced tab as you would with any post or page.

Make sure to save the changes to your category before proceeding.

Your meta description and keywords will now be used for the category page, which is the archive of posts in that category.

You can repeat the process to add meta keywords and descriptions to your blog's tags and other custom taxonomy archive pages.

All in One SEO integrates seamlessly with other popular WordPress plugins. This allows you to add keywords and meta descriptions for your WooCommerce product pages, SeedProd landing pages, MemberPress course pages, and more.

We hope this article has helped you learn how to easily add keywords and meta descriptions to your WordPress posts and pages. You might also want to check out our step-by-step guide on how to create an email newsletter to boost your website traffic and our comparison of the best WordPress contact form plugins.

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