When someone searches for your content through Google or any other similar search engines, they tend to find a snippet of your post. This post shows the title of your page, the URL, breadcrumbs and most importantly, a summary of your content. This summary is regarded as the Meta description and exists to define your post.
Generally, Google automatically shortens your post and takes the first 300~ characters for your meta description. However, this is only the case when you don’t provide a custom meta description for your content. Thus, we bring you this blog to help you enable Meta description in WordPress.
Meta Description in WordPress
First, let’s clarify the need for meta description. Meta Keywords and meta descriptions are HTML meta tags that go in your page’s headers. These keywords are core components of SEO and relevant keywords and descriptions can help you rank higher your website better. These keywords are required to identify your posts and catch viewer’s attention straight from the get-go.
Similarly, posts are ranked higher in search results if their meta descriptions are meaningful and have matching keywords in them as well.
Therefore, if you want your content to be valued higher through SEO’s perspective, you want to ensure that your Meta descriptions and Keywords are as relevant as possible.
This, however, cannot be achieved easily if Google were to automatically truncate your content and create automatically made meta descriptions.
Hence, we try to create our personal meta descriptions for WordPress.
Enabling Meta Descriptions in WordPress
In order to enable Meta descriptions, we use SEO plugins engineered for this purpose. Yoast SEO and All in One Pack are the leaders of the pack when it comes to this.
If you want to learn more about these plugins and read more about their comparisons, this article can work as a great starting point.
If you have chosen which plugin you want to use, you can go ahead and install any one of them( if you don’t know how to, consider reading this blog.) But for this demonstration, we’ll be using Yoast SEO as we are more familiar with this plugin as it is the one we use for our content as well.
However, the working process and method for these plugins are identical and taking this post as your reference, you’ll be ready to use All in one SEO pack as well.
Meta Description for posts
After you are done installing Yoast SEO or any similar plugins, we can start inserting meta descriptions on our posts.
Open any post you want to add a meta description for or a new post. Yoast SEO’s services will be provided on the bottom of the editor page.
This area for Yoast SEO lets you insert a Focus keyword as well as edit your search results snippet. Click on edit snippet. Here you can insert a custom SEO title for Google results as well as a Slug for you’re a customized URL for your post.
Now we can start entering our meta description for our posts. As an added bonus, Yoast SEO gauges how well made your meta description is. This gauge is based on the size, relevancy as well as the presence of Focus keywords in meta description as well as SEO title.
Once you’ve entered your meta description and are satisfied with it, click on Close snippet editor to finish editing it. Once your post is published, the corresponding meta description will be displayed on your search snippet.
This process is identical for pages as well.
Meta Description for Homepage
Yoast SEO also lets you enter a meta description for your homepage as well. For this, refer to Yoast SEO’s page by clicking on Yoast SEO listing on the WordPress Admin dashboard.
Then click on Search Appearance under the sub-list for Yoast SEO. Under General, we have a section called Home Page.
Here you can insert the Title for your Homepage. This will also be shown on search snippets alongside the meta description.
Meta Description for Taxonomies
Similarly, we can add meta descriptions for various taxonomies such as Categories and Tags for describing these taxonomies on search results. The process is similar to above; however, you can enable or disable these taxonomies from being displayed in search results as well.
Similar as to above, simply enter the Title on the first box and the meta description the second. The slider option lets you enable or disable the meta description.
You can do this for categories, tags and post formats and if you enable the search result option, your custom meta description will appear on them.
Meta Description can be quite important for your website’s identity and SEO. Remember to always try and insert your Focus keyword on your meta descriptions and keep them in apt size. Relevant information is a must and try to keep jargon and needless messages to a minimum.
Furthermore, if you wanna learn more about improving the SEO aspect of your WordPress website, consider checking out these articles: