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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

    • 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

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

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

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

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

  13. 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.

  14. How to add

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

  15. 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

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

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

  21. 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 ?

  22. 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.]

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

  24. 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.

    • 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.

      Admin

  25. 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!

  26. 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

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

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

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

    • 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.”

  32. 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.

  33. Hi,
    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:)
    Thanks

  34. Hey,

    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.

    Thanks,
    Gerardo

  35. 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

  36. 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.
    -steve

  37. 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?

  38. Meta keyword are good for SEO ?

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

    • 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.

      Admin

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