Having the ability to set unique meta tags (title tag, description tag, and even the keyword tags) is a key factor in your WordPress SEO journey.
There are many WordPress SEO plugins available. The one developed by Yoast has received rave reviews. The Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin gives you the ability to create post titles and meta descriptions, page titles and meta descriptions, configure the Robots Meta Data, set canonical URLS, clean up your permalinks and much more.
How to: Go to your admin panel, plugins, add new, in the search box type in WordPress SEO, choose the WordPress SEO by Yoast. Once installed there will be a new option in your admin panel called SEO. Click on that to open and configure. Learn how to configure your settings from Yoast!
Now, once you have the plugin activated and the basic settings are in place the first thing you will want to work on is setting up your Blogs’ title and description meta tags. These tags will be the home page meta tags that Google will use in the displayed search results for your blog.
For example, see the home page meta tags for The Blog Launch Blog below:
- Homepage title tag: The Blog Launch Blog
- Homepage description tag: Tips, Tools, and Tutorials to Launch and Optimize your blog.
It’s best if you are able to keep your title tag under 65 characters in length so that it will display nicely on one line in the Google search results. Your description tag should stay under 200 characters and contain your most important keywords.
Try writing the description like a call to action. Entice the Googlers to click through to read your blog. Consider answering the question: what’s in it for me if I click through?
Using Yoast SEO Plugin For Pages and Posts
Let’s take a look at the other areas of your blog that you will be able to optimize by using the Yoast plugin.
Posts & Pages: navigate to your dashboard, posts, and click add new. Scroll down until you see the WordPress SEO by Yoast settings. These are not native to your WordPress install but are generated by the Yoast plugin. This allows you to take that extra SEO step and ensure that every post you publish has a unique set of meta tags.
Now let’s do a quick recap of the steps you will be taking to optimize your blog for the search engines:
- Install Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
- Set your blogs’ homepage title & description meta tags.
- For pages and posts use the custom fields to add unique title and description tags.
Tip: Watch Matt Cutts in this Video where he gives a detailed explanation on Canonical Links. Very Important in SEO efforts!
What WordPress SEO plugin do you recommend?