Meta tags are basic descriptions of websites that must be short and concise; give information about a website; including keywords, the author, or business name; and have a call to action. With the default installation of WordPress, a website will not have a Meta tag. Although many search engine algorithms don’t use this information anymore, they can still be a part of how search engines review and display search results. The steps for updating these tags manually on a WordPress site are not overly difficult.
Generic and Dynamic
A website with a general purpose throughout the different web pages, and a limited number of pages on the site, can utilize a generic Meta tag that fits the content of every web page. In this case, inserting a generic tag with the same set of keywords would be appropriate.
If keywords and information change for every web page, it would be better to use dynamic code that will adjust with unique keywords and descriptions. In this case, WordPress offers plugins that will generate the code for every page or post created. When using a plugin, a blog administrator simply enters desired keywords and descriptions into fields for every post or page. The plugin performs the rest of the tasks involved.
The Steps for Updating Generic Meta Tags
1. Find the header.php file, which is located in the WordPress theme. Open this file to enable modification of the text in it.
2. Review the text in the file and find the head section, located near the link to the style sheet. Within the head section, find the title tags.
3. The Meta tag is on the line immediately under the title tags. Enter the new text, keeping the characters between 150 and 160, including two sentences.
4. Save the header.php file to replace the older version that was in place in the theme. The saved version will have the updated information.
5. Close the header file.
Although search engines no longer use Meta tags in page ranking, the people using search engines continue to use them to determine whether they want to click on links listed in search engine results. Many webmasters consider this code to be an important sales pitch, so it’s important to use it effectively to get clicks.