Want a better click-through rate on search result pages? Relevant meta data can help. Learn how to add meta tags to WordPress, the easiest way.
Meta data plays an important role to shape your visitors’ clickthrough rate or CTR. It’s proved that relevant meta titles and meta descriptions can increase the CTR on search engine result pages. Every user-facing page should have dedicated meta-information.
What is a meta tag
A meta tag is a type of HTML tag. Meta tags tell a search engine crawler about a page while being explored. Metadata provides a brief view of a web page. They are not for being displayed on the front-end. Meta tags are inserted into the HTML page header.
Here are the 2 most used types of meta tags:
- Meta title
- Meta description
When you see a search result on Google or any other search engine result page, you mostly see 3 pieces of information: The URL, the meta title, and the meta description.
Look at the screenshot below.
Here, the meta title and the meta description are marked with 1 and 2 respectively. If you can display custom and user-friendly meta titles and descriptions, that will increase the chance of getting more visitors.
Get Latest Post Notifications!
How to add meta tags in WordPress
You can add meta tags in 2 ways. First, by manually inserting code into your WordPress theme. This way, you’ll need to edit your theme’s PHP file(s), which is complex. Also, this method has a very limited scope, because you cannot get custom meta data for your specific posts.
So we’ll follow the second method. That’s the plugin method. Do you know that famous quote for WordPress? “There’s a plugin for everything”. Actually, you have a lot of plugin choices to add meta tags in WordPress.
Probably you’re already using an SEO plugin for your site? If not then, you should start using one right now. There are some really great WordPress SEO plugins. Also, you can find a bunch of dedicated meta-data plugins too!
To make things as easier as possible, we’ll use Yoast, the most popular WordPress SEO plugin right now. Yoast comes with a lot of useful SEO tools that will help you gain a better search ranking. So download, install and activate Yoast on your site now and move forward.
With Yoast, we’ll basically add meta tags for the following pages:
- Home page
- Blog posts
- Other pages
You may notice many unnecessarily complex tutorials for how to add meta tags in WordPress. But the reality is, you’ll mainly need to add two types of meta tags: Title and Description.
There is another meta tag concept called “meta keyword” where people used to add some plain keywords. Google discontinued recognizing meta keywords because sometimes people added irrelevant keywords just to gain traffic for popular keywords.
You can thoughtfully insert keywords in your meta title and meta description. But the “meta keyword tag” is a thing of the past.
So, in this post, we’ll work on the most valuable meta tags: meta title tag and meta description tag. Let’s get to work.
Adding meta tags to the homepage
These meta tags are meant to trigger when your main site address or the homepage gets listed in the SERP. You can define a site title and a description for the homepage.
Go to your WordPress dashboard > SEO (Yoast) > Search Appearance (General). Open the Homepage tab. Add your meta data to the SEO title and the description fields.
Save changes and clear the cache. This is the solution for how to add meta tags to the WordPress homepage.
Adding meta tags to the archive pages
To add metadata to the taxonomy archive pages like category or tag, open the taxonomy in editing mode. You’ll find the Yoast SEO meta box at the bottom. Use them to provide custom meta data for the respective archive page.
Alternatively, if you create a dedicated page for taxonomy with some shortcode or so, add meta tags to that page instead. Continue reading to learn how to add meta tags to a WordPress page.
Adding meta tags to WordPress posts and pages
By default, posts and pages get their SERP title from the H1 (the inner title). Google is intelligent enough to define these automatically from the page or post content. But it’s still best practice to provide custom meta titles and descriptions. So if you’re wondering how to add meta description to WordPress posts/pages, here you go.
The Yoast WordPress meta tag editor box is available in the page or post-editing interface. You may find it at the bottom or to the right sidebar (if you’re using the block editor).
Enter your SEO title and meta description. Update the page.
This is your day-to-day way to add WordPress meta description and meta title. If you need more meta tags like ‘name’, ‘author’, and so on, you can try a dedicated WordPress meta tag plugin such as Meta Tag Manager. Like we said, using the Yoast SEO plugin is just fine for what you need to get from meta tags in WordPress.
In this post, we’ve seen the easiest method on how to add meta in WordPress. If you’ve been looking for how to add meta info in WordPress, we believe this post will be enough to offer the best solution. Following this tutorial, you’re expected to get a better appearance on Google’s search results as well as other search engines. Best of luck with that!
Please share your thoughts about this post in the comments.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links and we may receive a small commission if you purchase something by following them. However, we recommend services/products that we believe good to serve your purpose.