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How to Add Keywords and Meta Descriptions in WordPress

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

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

In this article, we will show you how to 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 the posts and pages on your WordPress website.

Keywords are important words or phrases that people are likely to search for 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 show up in Google search results:

Google Search Listing

Meta keywords and meta descriptions 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 tools and 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 whether adding meta keywords and meta descriptions will improve your WordPress SEO rankings.

While search engines don’t exactly share how much weight they assign to keywords or descriptions, SEO experts always recommend adding a 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 post content. And we know that a good click-through rate means Google will likely rank your content higher.

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 throughout your content. This is why SEO plugins like AIOSEO come 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 in around 30% of searches, 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 be of much benefit either.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to add keywords and meta descriptions in WordPress. Use the links below to jump to the section you are interested in:

How to Add Keywords and Meta Descriptions 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 a comprehensive set of tools to grow your business.

First, you will need to install and activate the All in One SEO plugin. For more details, see our 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. Alternatively, you can follow our guide on how to set up All in One SEO for WordPress correctly.

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

Enabling Meta Keyword Support in All in One SEO

All in One SEO comes with built-in support for meta descriptions 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 relevant keywords on your WordPress 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 to 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 to store the changed settings.

Adding Keywords and Meta Descriptions 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 in both the WordPress block editor and the classic editor.

Once you are 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 SEO title and an automatically generated description as the snippet. Below that, you will see the ‘Meta Description’ field.

The automatically generated snippet in All in One SEO

Go ahead and enter a description into the ‘Meta Description’ field. All in One SEO will let you know how many characters you have used. This is important because Google will only show 160 characters on search results pages (SERPs).

You will see that your snippet preview automatically updates as you type in your meta description.

Entering your meta description in All in One SEO

Once you have 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 have 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 will then see a dropdown menu of available tags.

Adding tags to your meta description in All in One SEO

You can choose from tags like Category Title, Current Year, Post Date, Post Title, Site Title, Post Excerpt, and more.

Using All in One SEO’s ChatGPT Integration to Automatically Generate Meta Descriptions

If you want to save time, then you can also use All in One SEO’s AI-powered Title / Description Generator. It uses ChatGPT to automatically craft high-quality meta descriptions based on the main theme of your content.

To get started, simply click on the robot icon in the ‘Meta Description’ field.

Click the robot icon to use the AI Title / Description Generator

If you haven’t used this feature before, you will be prompted to create an OpenAI account.

Enter your email address and follow the easy steps in the setup wizard to create your account and connect it to All in One SEO.

Create OpenAI account

Once that’s done, you can click on the robot icon again.

This will generate 5 meta description suggestions.

AI Title / Description Generator examples

You can select the meta description you want by clicking on the ‘+’ button. Then, it will be automatically added to the meta description field, where you can tweak it according to your needs.

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 so you receive recommendations about improving your content. The focus keyword doesn’t automatically become a meta keyword for your post or page.

Adding Keywords and a 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 to 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.

Adding Keywords and Meta Descriptions to WordPress Category and Tag Archives

You can also add keywords and descriptions 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

Next, you should 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 descriptions 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 descriptions to your WordPress posts and pages. You may also want to see our guide on how to create an email newsletter or our expert picks for the best WordPress contact form plugins.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

122 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
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    • WPBeginner Support says

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


  2. Kaushik Bhatnagar says

    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.

  3. Mike Davis says

    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.

    • James Emmanuel says

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

  4. Chris says

    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?

  5. Powell Nwoke says

    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

  6. Paul Gleave says

    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.

  7. Lisa Michels says

    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!

    • Raj says

      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

  8. Dheeraj says

    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?


  9. Abhishek Verma says

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

  10. Aman says

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

  11. Rohan singh says

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

  12. Maikaal Hydr says

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

  13. Dolan Yok says

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

  14. Riyaz says

    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.

  15. Iqbal Hussain says

    How to add

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

  16. Kerry says

    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?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      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).


  17. amolkarde says

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

  18. Ayo says

    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.

  19. febrifahmi says

    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!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      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.


  20. Mike Hamme says

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

  21. s.k.mukherjee says

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

  22. ghalia says

    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 ?

  23. ranjith says

    In advanced setting page of yoast seo snippchet . meta keyword is not showing..

    [After that you need to click on the ‘Settings’ button to enter meta keywords to be used for that particular category’s archive pages.]

  24. Dana says

    do you know how long does it take for Google to update their meta description snippet after you’ve updated it in wordpress?

  25. Kristi M Ambrose says

    I keep having the same issue that has been happening to me is still happening. I contacted Yoast and they could care less about my issue as a free member. If the plugin didn’t work, fine, I could get them not helping me. But the fact that this is my problem and they wont help me is utterly annoying:

    I have Yoast on two different sites.

    On site #1 I see one interface

    On site #2 I see a completely different interface.

    On site 1 I see what you see above with a whole slew of other options.

    On site 2 I see a very limited view in terms of the interface and options.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Kristi,

      By default, when you install Yoast SEO plugin, it hides advanced settings pages. You need to visit SEO > Dashboard and then click on the Features tab. Scroll down to ‘Advanced settings pages’ option and click on Enabled. Don’t forget to click on the save changes button.


  26. Katie says

    As a new blogger, let me tell you how difficult it was to get meta data added to my blog – all in the name of getting rich pins! This was legitimately the best step-by-step instruction I’ve found (after HOURS of hunting). Thanks for the great post!

  27. sudhakar says

    new to wordpress i know basic wordpress how to use themes and plugins and my doubt is what to learn next either loops and hooks and functions or php deeply because i dont know how to modify the template in theme editor what to do please help me

  28. Paul Davis says

    Nice. This was easy to follow, now I get to see if meta information really helps with search engines.

  29. Deepak Patel says

    Detailed & Infromative, You saved my life. I was desperate to where I should insert meta Description and Keyword for my homepage.
    Thank You

  30. nikhil says

    everything is working like charm just have an issue is that I want to put meta description for homepage and I put it over homepage section but not showing any metatag in the facebook posts meta checker while other page’s meta is showing there as desired.
    please help me with index page’s metas

  31. nikhil says

    Thanks admin It’s very useful for me, its just take few seconds to add meta tags and keywords using this demo examples and its pretty easier so that don’t need to be a SEO expert to do that.

  32. Bill Marshall says

    This is utter rubbish! No SEO expert thinks meta-keywords are of any use at all – only people who have read other inaccurate and outdated posts like this one. Google stopped using them about 15 years ago, Bing only use them to identify spammers.

    • Ja Ochui says

      If you had actually read the article, you will realise that the author wrote exactly that: “Even Google says that they don’t give importance to meta keywords.”

  33. Manjunath says

    Hello, thanks for letting know about the meta keywords and I found this post very useful. I never used meta keywords but after reading this post and letting the importance of the meta keywords I feel I should use these keywords on my blog.

  34. Attila says

    How should we proceed with the custom meta descriptions for categories (custom taxonomy) with several sub pages (for ex: category: apple tv 4. page 1, page 2, page 3) as google see it as duplicate meta description for each sub page.
    Your “Meta Keywords and Description for Category Archives” description is ok if I have 1 single page in that particular category. But what about if I have more then one?
    Yoast have a great solution for the titles in this case (for ex: Title: Apple TV 4 – site name – page 2 of 3) but not for the “CUSTOM” meta descriptions for the categories with sub pages.

    Our case ex:
    Articole page – with 4 categories

    Cat 1. Apple tv 1 result: 6 sub pages

    (for the titles we use Yoast/Titles/Taxonomy
    Title: %%term_title%% %%sitename%% %%page%%
    = Apple tv 1 – site name – page 1 of 6) The result is OK!

    (for the custom meta description we are using: Categories/Edit)
    and the meta description is the same on each page!!) This is the problem:) How can we fix this?

    Any ideas please:)

  35. Gerardo Morillo says


    Thanks for creating this post I found it very helpful. I had no idea Yoast disabled this by default. I used to think this was unimportant. I will test now and see if it helps me increase my traffic.


  36. Eka says

    I’ve ever use Yoast before, but doesnt give any change on my snippet, then manually I add my meta tag on head every single post and it works, but another problem is my post give a distance between content wich is paragraph and Post title, well I don’t know why because I’m not use a visual mode to edit my post..any advice maybe? need guide please…and sorry for my english…thank you

  37. Steve Williams says

    Thanks for the meta keyword info. It shouldn’t hurt if I implement them.

    BTW, how did you implement your sidebar “I need help with …” widget? Is it done via a special plugin?

    Off to share your post.

  38. Joanne Taylor says

    Sincerely Thank You! This article was very informative for a true beginner as myself. Do you have a live YouTube on step -by-step blogging for beginners?

  39. Priyanshu Raj says

    Meta keyword are good for SEO ?

    And what is this ?
    If you type something above it will override your meta keywords template.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Priyanshu,

      Some experts believe that they are redundant now, but many other SEO experts disagree. We believe that they are still useful.

      If you turn on Meta Keywords, then Yoast SEO will try to get your keywords from your post’s tags. However, if you enter them manually, then it will not use tags as keywords.


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