WordPress Meta Tags For SEO With The Yoast SEO Plugin

WordPress Meta Tags For SEO With The Yoast SEO Plugin

Welcome to this tutorial on Meta tags for WordPress websites! If you’re new to website building, you may have heard about Meta tags but aren’t sure what they are or how they can benefit your website.

Learn what Meta tags are and why they’re important for your WordPress site. i’ll show you how to set up 3 important Meta tags with Yoast.

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By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a clear understanding of how Meta tags work and how to use them to improve your site’s visibility and user experience.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What are meta tags and why are they important for websites

Meta tags are snippets of HTML code that provide information about a web page to search engines and other applications that read the page’s content. They are placed in the head section of a webpage’s HTML code and provide metadata such as page titles, descriptions, and keywords.

Meta tags are important for websites because they help search engines understand the content and purpose of a web page, which can improve the website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results. By providing accurate and descriptive meta tags, website owners can help ensure that their pages are shown to users who are searching for relevant information.

Meta tags also help improve the user experience by providing a brief summary of the page’s content in search results, which can help users quickly decide whether to click on the link and visit the page.

3 important meta tags for SEO

In this tutorial I will show you 3 important meta tags for SEO that you can easily manage with the free Yoast SEO plugin.

The meta tags are:

  • Title tags (SEO title) – Name of page or post in Search engines
  • Meta description tags – Describe page or post in search engines
  • Robots meta tags – To index a page or post (or not)

To manage these meta tags, you need to install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin.

If you haven’t installed the plugin yet, you can do so by clicking on Plugins in the left menu in the WordPress dashboard. Then click on the Add New button and enter ‘Yoast’ in the Search bar on the right side of the page.

Go to the Yoast SEO plugin and click on the Install Now button and wait for a couple of seconds. Then make sure to click on Activate.

Install and activate Yoast Plugin

Title tags (SEO title)

Now let me walk you through it step by step and I’ll start with the Title tags.

The title tag is important because it indicates how the title of the post or page will appear in search engines. It is important that the Title tag clearly indicates the topic and is optimized for the keyword you want to rank for.

After you have installed the Yoast SEO plugin you can go to a Pages or Posts in the left.

For this example, I click on Posts. Now go to a post and click on Edit to view all the options for the settings.

Edit post

If you scroll down a little bit, then you will see a couple of options have been added by the Yoast SEO plugin. 

You can set a Focus key phrase that you want the post to be optimized for, and base on that Yoast will give you suggestions and an overview of you score. I have explained everything in more detail about optimizing pages and posts with Yoast in another tutorial.

Below the Google Preview you will see the SEO title option, and this is the one you need to set the Title tag.

SEO title tag Yoast

You can use the variables, but my advice is to only use the Title and make sure it is well optimized for the keyword you want to rank for.

Place the keyword in the SEO title and preferably somewhere in front of the sentence.

Also make sure that the length is correct and that is the case if the bar under the SEO title is green.

In the preview you can also see how the SEO title is displayed in Google on mobile devices. You can also view the Desktop view by selecting the option.

So that’s how easy it is to set up the Meta Title (SEO title) with Yoast!

Meta description tags

The next important meta tag for SEO is the Meta Description.

You can find this below the Slug option.

Meta description Yoast meta tags

The meta description is a short piece of text that allows you to indicate what the post or page is about.

With Yoast you can easily enter the meta description in the field. Make sure the keyword you want to rank for is in the meta description, preferably somewhere in the beginning of the text.

In the Google Preview you can see how the meta description is displayed in the search engines for mobile and desktop.

So that’s how easy it is to set up the meta description!

Robots meta tags

Now let me explain what the robots meta tags are and how you can manage the robots.txt file with the Yoast SEO plugin.

You can navigate to the robots.txt file by going to the WordPress dashboard and click on the Yoast SEO option and select Tools. 

Yoast Tools Settings

Now click on the File editor option.

Yoast File Editor

Here you can manage the robots.txt settings.

The robots.txt file is a file that tells search engine robots which pages or files on your website they can or cannot access. It’s a simple text file that’s placed in the root directory of your website, and search engine robots will look for it automatically when they crawl your site.

The robots.txt file can be used to block certain pages or directories from being crawled by search engine robots. This can be useful for preventing sensitive information from being indexed by search engines, or for blocking duplicate content that could harm your website’s SEO.

By default, it will be set up like this:

User-agent: * 
Disallow: /wp-admin/ 
Allow: /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php 

This means that the website can be indexed by crawlers from search engines:

Yoast robots.txt default settings

Exclude website from search engines with Robots meta tags

If you want to block all search engine robots from crawling parts of your website, you can add the following line in your robots.txt file:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

Yoast robots.txt exclude site from search engines settings

Exclude individual pages and posts from search engines with Robots meta tags

If you want to block one or several URLs you can do it like this:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /website-speed-test-with-google-pagespeed-insights-tutorial
Disallow: /add-youtube-video-to-wordpress-pages-posts-with-elementor
Disallow: /create-an-affiliate-marketing-website-with-chatgpt

For this example, I have used 3 random URLs for posts on my site:

exclude individual pages and posts from search engines

Now you know some important basics about the robots.txt file and how to configure it through the Yoast plugin.

This brings us to the end of this tutorial.

If you have any questions, ask them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them as soon as possible.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something new about meta tags and now know why they are important for SEO.

If you want to learn more about SEO and how to optimize posts and pages for a specific keyword with Yoast, check out the tutorial I made earlier.

You can watch the video on YouTube over here.

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Thanks and see you in the next tutorial!