Today I want to dedicate space to a basic topic, but at the same time that draws the attention of many bloggers: how to insert meta descriptions on WordPress. Those taking their first steps in this world read the articles dedicated to on-page SEO optimization and realize that there are several aspects to take care of.
The core of this work concerns meta tags, micro-contents that communicate certain information to search engines. The most important is the title tag, a key element to position a page in the SERP: acronym for Search Engine Results Pages. SERPs are web pages served to users when …. Google emphasizes this string of text, which is why you need to carefully choose and add keywords.
Then there is the meta description, the text that delves into the content of the page. Both the title tag and description are found in Google results, but only the first field has power in terms of ranking Get a good ranking for relevant keywords for …: Meta description is not considered for placement. But it allows you to increase the CTR for Click Trough Rate (acronym CTR) or click rate we mean the number of times users click on a link or banner ad, in …, the click-through rate that compares views and clicks by the user.
That’s why you need to enter meta descriptions in WordPress. How? How? In this article, I want to show the way to optimize this text string related to on-page optimization.
The Topic Of This Post
- 1 The must-have plugin: WordPress SEO by Yoast
- 2 Meta descriptions of posts and pages
- 3 Meta description of the home page
- 4 Meta description of tags and categories
- 5 Do all pages need to have descriptions?
- 6 Entering meta descriptions in WordPress: are there any questions?
The must-have plugin: WordPress SEO
Before starting your journey into the world of meta descriptions, you should install the plugin that allows you to add this field. I’m talking about WordPress SEO by Yoast. There are dozens of alternatives, but this solution is indispensable. It’s the best SEO plugin out there. The reason is simple: you can edit every web page, every resource of your blog
Many professionals criticize the overconfidence of WordPress SEO by Yoast. Especially towards the famous “traffic light” which suggests good page optimization concerning a focus keyword. My opinion? It is a tool, not a definitive solution: it is not enough to have the green light from the traffic light to obtain the desired results.
Everything must be contextualized. On the other hand, the Yoast extension speeds up a series of steps because it adds a field to every single page. So, how to enter the meta description in WordPress? You have to install the plugin and operate it on each publication. This means that you have to work with a self-hosted blog: WordPress.com does not accept plugins, and therefore you cannot add meta tags.
Meta descriptions of posts and pages
The question that immediately catches the attention of bloggers taking their first steps in this sector: how to insert the meta description in posts? This is a crucial aspect of on-page optimization, but WordPress doesn’t offer this feature by default. Once you have installed the Joost de Valk plugin in the control panel of the single article you will find a box.
This is the preview that WordPress SEO by Yoast offers: by clicking on “Edit Snippet” you can change the three basic steps: title tag, meta description, and permalink. In the first two cases, there is a progression line that helps you to respect the length. Which is the case of the meta description should not exceed 145 characters (more or less). This path is similar for static pages.
Meta Description of the home page
I know you want to change the meta description of the home page. That is the most important page of your project. People hear about your blog, google your first and last name, and find the main page. The one where you gather the resources for the job.
But before arriving on the home page there is the result of the SERP, the snippet. The default title tag is taken from the blog name, but the meta description? You can’t leave these fields to chance: you can edit everything with WordPress SEO by Yoast is the section dedicated to meta tags located in the menu on the left.
How to insert meta descriptions on WordPress, and especially on the home page? There are two spaces here. In the first enter the title tag and in the second the description. Always remember to respect the spaces in these fields and to use the description to entice the reader to click.
Meta description of tags and categories
Tags and categories can have a specific meta description. This is an interesting detail, especially in terms of SEO optimization of taxonomies. Many bloggers de-index these pages fearing duplicate content, but ignore that they can earn good rankings. And develop traffic for your editorial project.
Improving a taxonomy on the SEO side is not easy, there are limits compared to a normal web page (if only because the main content is generated by the preview of the posts). But you can improve some aspects to get clear benefits. Also with WordPress SEO by Yoast, for example, you can add the meta description and allow tags and categories to present themselves in the best possible way in the SERP and social sharing.
The meta description is not taken from the snippet but also the links shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Without forgetting LinkedIn. Now I try to imagine what you are thinking: there are dozens of taxonomies in the blog, do I have to optimize them all? For the categories, I answer yes, they are few and it is worth it. For the rest, you will find the answer in the next paragraph.
Do all pages need to have descriptions?
Not necessarily, Matt Cutts himself underlined an essential point for webmasters: better to avoid putting meta descriptions if they need to be duplicated. The ideal situation is always the same: a unique text for each page. But often this condition is not possible, especially in large portals.
So the former head of Google’s anti-spam team posted a video to address the point. To learn more about the topic, I suggest you read the article published on this blog ( when it is better not to put the meta description ) and check the section dedicated to HTML errors of the Search Console.
Entering meta descriptions in WordPress: are there any questions?
In this article, I have dealt with a basic theme, but which is often not explored with the right attention: you have to enter the meta descriptions on WordPress, and you have to do it for each Insurance web page. Not just for posts and static pages. There are the taxonomies, the home page, the pages dedicated to the post archive. Your task? Doing your best to improve your content. If you have any questions I’m here, leave your doubts in the comments.