Beginner’s Guide To Setting A Meta Description In WordPress

You might not have thought much about the effect that meta descriptions have on websites, so you might be surprised to know that they’re actually extremely important if you want to attract traffic to your site and get it noticed. 

Beginner’s Guide To Setting A Meta Description In WordPress

Meta descriptions are a great search engine optimization technique and if you already have your own website but you simply aren’t getting the views necessary to make your work popular, then it might be because you’re not including meta descriptions. 

Sometimes adding meta descriptions to your site isn’t that easy to do and there might not be an obvious way to include any onto your site, so we understand if you’re having trouble figuring out exactly how to go about adding one!

Since a large number of people choose to create their own site using the highly popular WordPress, in this guide we’ll show you exactly how to set a meta description in your WordPress site – so read on to make that vital change and gain more clicks!

What Is A Meta Description?

Whenever you Google something you’ll see a short paragraph under each site’s title which describes what the site is about and what it can offer you.

This is what is known as a meta description. 

If you don’t set up a meta description yourself, Google will automatically do it for you by using a robot known as a ‘web crawler’.

It will do this by selecting a few sentences from your site that it thinks are relevant and then include them in the meta description.

However, the problem with Google creating a meta description for you is that the Google robot is not advanced enough to understand exactly what your site is about and you can obviously do a much better job at creating a meta description that will really sell your site and entice people to click onto it. 

Why Are Meta Descriptions So Important?

As previously mentioned, meta descriptions are of great importance when it comes to creating your own website due to the fact that they are basically the initial selling point of your website and are what make people want to click on it in the first place, before they’ve even browsed your actual site content. 

This means that, whilst meta descriptions don’t actually have a direct effect on your site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranking, they do have an effect on the click rate of your site – in other words, how many people choose to click and view it. 

And, therefore, the more people that click on your site, the more interest you’ll garner, and eventually you’ll find your site’s ranking going up and up – especially if you meticulously optimize your meta description so that includes your target keywords. 

What Makes A Strong Meta Description?

Beginner’s Guide To Setting A Meta Description In WordPress

Before you learn how to set out your meta description in WordPress, it’s important you understand exactly what makes a strong meta description.

This will help you write an extremely effective one to attract people to your website, because there’s no point wasting your time finding out how to add one if it doesn’t work well enough to produce clicks! 

Essentially a meta description should only be a brief summary of your website, which explains the site in as few words as possible, but still says enough to actually attract people to it. 

Below are some of the most important factors you’ll need to consider when writing your meta description:

Length

A meta description needs to be concise because it’s only a selling point and Google will only show the first 150 to 320 characters of it, meaning you need to get your point across straight away within the first couple of hundred characters.

Generally, a total of 150 – 160 characters is a good length to aim for.

Tone

You need to try and match the tone of your meta description to the tone of your site.

For example, if your site has a humorous and casual tone, then make sure your meta description also displays this, as it will set the reader up for what to expect when they enter your website.

If your audience were to click onto your site based on the meta description then they’d probably feel slightly duped if your website was then an entirely different style and tone. 

Keywords

Keywords are a vital part of SEO, so it’s very important to try and include any keywords in your meta description that you want your site to rank highly for.

Due to the fact the meta description has to be so concise, it’s a good idea to simply include the main one or two phrases that you want to be ranked the highest for. 

Value

When writing your meta description you need to ask yourself what sort of value it will provide to the reader.

By this, we mean that you need to make absolutely sure that it conveys to them what they’re going to gain when they click on your website, thus enticing them to go ahead and actually click the link to it. 

How Do You Set A Meta Description In WordPress?

So, now you understand what meta descriptions are, why they’re so important and what to include when you write one, it’s time to find out how to actually go about setting one up for your WordPress site. 

Fortunately this is quite simple and only requires one step to set it up, but it does involve installing a plugin for WordPress called Yoast SEO – which is completely free, so don’t worry! 

Below is an explanation of exactly what you need to do in order to set up a meta description in WordPress.

Setting Up A Meta Description In WordPress

Once you’ve installed Yoast SEO, you’ll see a completely new section underneath the WordPress editor.

In this section, click on the tab that says Enter Your Focus Keyword and then select the Edit snippet option. 

This will then open up some new fields, one of which is titled Meta description where you can begin to type in your meta description.

Once you start typing, you’ll notice that the bar underneath is orange – this is an indicator of how long your description should be.

Green means the length is perfect, red means it’s too long and orange means it’s too short.

Now that you’ve written out your meta description, simply save the post or page you applied it on and it’s job done!

Final Thoughts 

You might not have originally thought that having a meta description for your site was a big deal, but it’s actually extremely important if you want to aid the clickability of your site, which might in turn also optimize your SEO and your visibility on Google – thus, making your site more popular and allowing a wider audience to see your content. 

WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for setting up your own website, and hopefully in this article we’ve shown you everything you need to know regarding how to set up a meta description in WordPress!

Ollie Wilson
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