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How to Add Keywords and Meta Descriptions in WordPress

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

Meta keywords and descriptions allow you to improve your website’s SEO ranking. This means more traffic, leads, and sales for your business.

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

Adding meta keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress

Why Add Keywords and Meta Descriptions in WordPress?

Keywords and descriptions allow you to tell search engines more about the content of your posts and pages.

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

It’s your meta title, description, and keywords that shows up in Google search results:

Google Search Listing

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

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

How Important are Meta Keywords and Meta Descriptions for SEO?

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

While search engines don’t exactly share how much weight they assign to keywords or description, SEO experts always recommend adding proper meta description and keywords for on-page SEO optimization.

Meta descriptions are widely used by search engines. In Google’s search results, they appear below your content’s title, with the search term shown in bold.

An example meta description, for the All in One SEO plugin homepage

An effective meta description will encourage users to click through and read your content. And what we do know is that a good click through rate means Google will likely rank your content higher.

Now when it comes to meta keywords, most modern search engines either assign very little importance or don’t use them at all. The main exception is the Russian search engine Yandex.

Instead search engines prefer that you add your focused keywords in your title, description, and through out your content. This is why SEO plugins like AIOSEO comes with a TruSEO score that helps you optimize your content for focused keywords and keyphrases.

Our Recommendations for Meta Keywords and Meta Descriptions

We recommend adding a meta description for all the posts and pages on your site, including your homepage, category pages, and tag pages.

Note: Google customizes the description based on the search query, so it will only use your meta description some of the time. However, it’s still worth creating a meta description. It will appear for around 30% of users, and it can help your SEO.

When it comes to meta keywords, it’s up to you whether or not to use them. They will not harm your site, but they may not have much benefit either.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how to easily add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress.

How to Add Meta Description and Keywords in WordPress (Video Tutorial)

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If you prefer the written tutorial, then please continue reading.

Installing and Activating All in One SEO for WordPress

For this tutorial, we will be using All in One SEO (AIOSEO) which is the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market. It allows you to easily optimize your entire WordPress site for better SEO and comes with comprehensive set of tools to grow your business.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the All in One SEO plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

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

After completing the setup, simply click the ‘Finish Setup and Go to the Dashboard’ button.

Click the Finish Setup button to go to your dashboard

Enable Meta Keywords Support in All in One SEO

All in One SEO comes with built-in support for meta description and keywords. However, the meta keywords feature is turned off by default. This is because many search engines give little or no importance to keywords in their rankings.

To enable it, go to All in One SEO » Search Appearance » Advanced in your WordPress dashboard. Then, switch the meta keywords toggle from No to Yes.

Turning on the meta keywords option in All in One SEO

After enabling meta keywords in WordPress, you will see some additional options. You can generate a post’s keywords from its categories and/or tags. Also, you can dynamically generate keywords on your blog posts and archive pages.

It’s up to you whether you want to use these automated options or not. Regardless, you will always be able manually define keywords for each post and page.

The meta keyword options that are available in All in One SEO

Don’t forget to click the ‘Save Changes’ button at the bottom of the page after making changes.

Adding Meta Descriptions and Meta Keywords to Your WordPress Posts and Pages

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

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

Once on the content editor screen, scroll down to the ‘AIOSEO Settings’ box below the content area.

Adding a Meta Description to Your Post or Page Using AIOSEO

You will see your site’s title and an automatically generated description as the snippet. Below that, you’ll see the Meta Description field.

The automatically generated snippet in All in One SEO

Go ahead and enter a description into your Meta Description field. All in One SEO will let you know how many characters you’ve used. This is important because Google will only show 160 characters in the search results.

You’ll see that your snippet preview automatically updates as you type your meta description.

Entering your meta description in All in One SEO

Once you’ve finished, simply save or publish your post to save the changes to your meta description.

Using All in One SEO’s Dynamic Tags in Your Meta Descriptions

Optionally, you can add tags to your meta description. The ones that All in One SEO offers by default are Page Content and Separator, but 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 start

To add a tag, simply type the # character into the meta description box. You’ll then see a dropdown menu of available tags.

Adding tags to your meta description in All in One SEO

Adding Meta Keywords to Your Post or Page Using AIOSEO

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

Simply type in your keywords, and press Enter after each one. It’s important to only use keywords that are relevant to your content. Adding irrelevant keywords will not give you any SEO benefits.

Adding 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 under the General tab. This is for All in One SEO to give you recommendations about improving your content. The Focus Keyword doesn’t automatically become a meta keyword for your post or page.

Adding Meta Keywords and Meta Description for Your Homepage

You can also add meta keywords and a meta description for your website’s homepage in WordPress. Here is how to do that using All in One SEO.

First, go to Search Appearance » Global Settings in your WordPress admin. Then, scroll down to the Home Page section.

The Home Page section in your Search Appearance settings for All in One SEO

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

All in One SEO will use your tagline as your meta description by default. You can leave that in there or you can customize it.

Entering a meta description and keywords for your homepage

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

Tip: It’s better to use these tags rather than manually typing your site title, tagline, or separator character. This is because your meta description will automatically be updated if you later make changes to any of those.

Make sure you click 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 description to your category and tag archive pages.

First, you need to visit the Posts » Categories page. Take your mouse over to the category you want to edit and then click on the ‘Edit’ link.

Editing a category in WordPress

Scroll down on the category’s page to the AIOSEO Settings box. Here, you just need to enter a meta description for your category. Again, you can use All in One SEO’s tags within this if you want to.

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

To add keywords, simply click on the Advanced tab like you would for any post or page.

Make sure you save the changes to your category before moving on.

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 description for your WooCommerce product pages, SeedProd landing pages, MemberPress course pages, and more.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily add keywords and meta description to your WordPress posts and pages. You may also want to see our step by step guide on how to create an email newsletter to grow your website traffic, and our comparison of the best WordPress contact form plugins.

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Reader Interactions

116 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Please explain why this article seems to be about “All in One SEO” yet most comments are about Yoast? It makes no sense. What happened?

    • An older version of this article was done using Yoast, after Yoast removed the feature we updated our article to show how to do so using All in One SEO :)

      Admin

  2. On many sites I read about how to write seo-title correctly, but in many respects the situation remained not very clear to me. After reading your article, I received all the answers to the questions that interested me. Thank you, now I can use this information for my site.

  3. Thanks for this! By chance, are you using the paid version of AIOSEO? I’m not able to edit the meta description or titles for my categories or tags. It says I need to upgrade. Thanks!

    • Unless we hear otherwise, this tool is no longer available on any version of Yoast.

      Admin

    • Yoast has currently removed this setting and we will update this article once we found a replacement we would recommend

      Admin

  4. Hi, Could you recommend me another method for adding meta keywords in wordpress because Yoast SEO doesn’t support this option anymore?

  5. I’m sorry

    I don’t have the advanced settings pages under seo features on my site for some reason. How can I implement this tutorial?

    Thanks

    • Apologies for any confusion, at the moment Yoast has removed meta keywords from their plugin, we will look to update the article should we find an alternative we would recommend

      Admin

    • Apologies for any confusion, at the moment Yoast has removed meta keywords from their plugin, we will look to update the article should we find an alternative we would recommend

      Admin

  6. Yoast doesn’t look anything like this any more :( I think you have to pay for it to get it looking like this. Boo.

    • Yoast has changed its interface since this article was last updated, this is not the paid version of the plugin.

      Admin

  7. I’m using version 12.5 of Yoast SEO and it doesn’t resemble anything like the stages in this tutorial. Is it possible to get tutorial updated to the newer version of Yoast SEO.

    • We will look into updating our articles as we are able, at the moment Yoast has removed meta keywords from their plugin

      Admin

  8. HI, I think you need to update all your Yoast related articles, as the plugin has been updated since many of your articles/instructions were created.

    • Thank you for letting us know, we will certainly take a look at updating our articles as we are able

      Admin

  9. really nice information thanks for the same but sir can you please tell me how to add more 50+ keyword for a single domain because im struggling with the same. please share the link for the same.
    thanks in advance

    • If you want to add keywords to each article then you would manually go through each article and add them

      Admin

    • Yoast has removed meta keywords since the last update of this article due to search engines not using them for rankings anymore

      Admin

  10. Hi! I recently add YOAST in mi site, but it not adding metatag in the header of the page / post. Do you have any idea why it does not work? Or how could validate that its working

  11. Hi! My Yoast SEO looks totally different. It doesn’t have the meta+ titles tab. I have problems with setting the description for my homepage. Anyone who can help??

    • Yoast has updated their interface since this article was created and have removed the meta keyword.

      Admin

        • The meta description for your home page would be set in the Search Appearance section of Yoast’s settings

    • We do not have a recommended method at the moment, Yoast removed the meta keyword option as they say at the moment it does not affect ranking.

      Admin

    • Without using a plugin you would be required to edit the theme files normally to add that content. That’s why we recommend this method :)

      Admin

        • That would depend on Google, you can request Google recrawl a url to attempt to force the update

  12. Great information!
    Also write an article on ” upload Meta and Description file upload in FTTP”

    • If you mean the keywords then that would be because it was removed after we created this article. The meta description if not below your content, you should be able to click the three dots in the top right of your editor to bring up the option in the block editor.

      Admin

      • yoast plugin removed keyword add option, now how I can add keywords in page or woocommece products? any plugin or idea

        • Unless I hear otherwise, we do not have a recommended method/plugin at the moment.

    • Yoast no longer offers meta keywords with their plugin but you should still be able to click the title in your Yoast section of the post to allow you to edit it.

      Admin

    • With the recent updates with Yoast, you would want to click the snippet preview in your post editor to bring the edit options up.

      Admin

  13. Sie,
    Ita s very good knowledgeable article. I was actually searching for “Adding Keywords and Meta Description for Homepage”
    There are infinite articles but failed to exhibit in pictorial form. Here it made me to understand very easily.

    A million dollar thanks to you.

  14. This doesn’t work anymore. The very clever folks at Yoast disabled the keyword feature as of v 7.2

    Personally, I think this is a function that does have value. Even if the search engines don’t use it, a couple rank tracking proggies I use do, but whatevs.

    I rolled back to the earlier version.

    I won’t ever buy Yoast SEO Premium. Too many updates, and the recent updates require too much babysitting.

    • You are very right. Please can you share on how to roll back to previous version? I like to do same on our website.

  15. Can you use WordPress Custom Fields and make them into SEO containers? The descriptions on pages and the keywords for those are important to Google because Google creates scores on your ads based on whether or not the keywords in your ads match the keywords on the landing page. I would think instead of using an SEO plugin we could just easily create custom fields and produce the same thing on a page by page and site by site basis including categories and tags – no?

  16. My snippet is not displaying my post contents as usual, rather its showing, “Please provide a meta description by editing the snippet below.” How do I rectify it? Thank you

  17. The meta keywords feature has been removed from Yoast (in April 2018), for anyone looking for it now. This is because the meta keywords tag is no longer used by search engines.

  18. I am really trying to follow the instructions but the version of Yoast SEO that I downloaded only has three tabs. Dashboard/Features/Webmaster
    I watched the video and read the instructions multiple times. Please help!

    • Are you able to see ‘Search Appearance’ link below SEO and that will lead to some of the tabs mentioned in the article. Looks like article is bit old, but we can look for similar tabs/links in the SEO section of the WP area

  19. Great Article !
    Please also post article related to news website.
    Like How to create hindi news website? & How to do SEO of any news website?

    Thanks

  20. Hello WPBeginner,
    There is no option available for Title & Meta’s for Homepage in latest update of Yoast Plugin.
    Please guide me.
    Thanks.

  21. Hi,
    Yoast Plugin is not showing Meta keyword template in Titles & Meta -> Homepage.
    Now, How can I add Meta Keywords In my website?

  22. Hi,
    Yoast Plugin is not showing Meta keyword template in Titles & Meta -> Homepage.
    Now, How can I add Meta Keywords In my website?

  23. Simply Outstanding…..I was kinda looking such tutorial from long time, at last i got it from YOU ./….Thanx Buddy

  24. Can you give me an answer, how best to avoid duplicate content, from images, tags, and desktops page 2 and so on

  25. What is better? Using Meta tags, or using Yoast plug in. Also, can I know if WordPress is HTML, HTML5 or XHTML..

    Help is much appreciated.

  26. How to add

    using yoast seo plugin. I have installed yoast seo plugin in my blog but it don’d have this feature.

  27. Curious why you recommend using Meta Keywords? Even Yoast – as used in your example, says keywords are dead. (Thus why they advise you not bother, right on the page where you enable them?

    • Hi Kerry,

      Many SEO experts believe that meta keywords are not useful anymore. We do not agree with this. We think that they can still be useful and are perfectly harmless if used in moderation (i.e. avoid keyword stuffing or using too many meta keywords in each article).

      Admin

  28. in SEO only one focus keyword use and in premium version how many keyword use…Thanks for the meta keyword info.

  29. Thanks for the post. I tried to set up my homepage description on yoast. The tabs there is unclickable. I tried to click on it several times but isn’t clickable.

  30. Hi, Sir! Thank you for the brief and easy to follow step by step explanation on adding keywords to WordPress. It’s really helpful for me as a beginner. By the way, i already used Yoast SEO plugin for my site. But i still have a question about how can we know what is working and what is not in our SEO setting, or how we measure the performance of our SEO setting from outside? Thanks!

    • Hey febrifahmi,

      The simplest way to measure the success of your SEO score to see if your site has started ranking for the keywords you are targeting. If those keywords have more competition, then initially you may not appear on the first or even the second page of the search results. However, overtime your ranking will keep improving if you keep following your SEO plan.

      Admin

  31. Found exactly what i was looking for by reading this post, and you made it extremly simple to follow..so thank you!

  32. Can I used more than one keywords in my wordpress blog in yoast plugins without a premium version ?

  33. hey
    I’m having a problem that the meta description added is not shown in the page source code or on search engines.
    can any one help me ?

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