Meta tags are great for helping Google, and other search engines understand what your website is about. And meta tags can also improve your appearance on social media.
The easiest way to add meta tags in WordPress is by installing and activating the plugin Meta Tag Manager. Then you can add custom meta tags, SEO meta tags and open graph meta tags for social media.
Even though you can use Meta Tag Manager for any type of meta tag, there are plugins which are more refined for specific meta tag types, and Rank Math is, for instance, the best WordPress plugin for SEO tags.
If you wish to add meta tags without using a plugin, then you can read my article, where I go through numerous ways of adding meta tags to your WordPress website without using a plugin.
What can I use meta tags for?
Meta tags are great to help external parties understand your website, especially crawlers, search engines and social media.
Have you ever tried to share a link on social media and then it has a beautiful picture, perfectly sized, a title and a description? These are called open graph tags. Social media use these tags to figure out how to present your website on their website.
In the image below, you can see on the left, there are no open graph tags added to the website, and on the right, there are open graph tags added to the website. The entire visual appearance of the website changes.
Add Meta Tags In WordPress With Meta Tag Manager
The first plugin I recommend you add meta tags to is Meta Tag Manager. It’s a super flexible way of managing your meta tags, as you can add any tag, from an SEO tag to an open graph tag and even site verification tags.
There are 2 ways to add meta tags using Meta Tag Manager. You can go to your WordPress admin area and then to Settings -> Meta Tag Manager. Here you can add any meta tag to any specific page or everywhere on your WordPress website.
As you can see in the video above, you can add your custom meta tags, open graph tags, site verification and even structured data.
Structured data is not the same as meta tags, but it’s also made to help search engines better understand your content. For instance, if you have a food blog, you can add structured data which tells Google what the recipe is, your rating, cooking time and much more.
The other way to use Meta Tag Manager is under the respective page or posts to which you want to add meta tags to. When you press edit and scroll a little down, you’ll see the section where you can add meta tags.
I will always recommend you add at least the meta description tag and describe in 160 characters or less what the specific page is about if you want it to rank on Google. It’s not a huge ranking factor, but it does still help GOogle understand the specific page or post.
This plugin is purely for meta tags and structured data, which I won’t dive into in the article, but you can also use any SEO plugin to handle your SEO and open graph meta tags. These are the most used, so let’s dive into my favourite WordPress SEO plugin.
Add SEO Meta Tags In WordPress With Rank Math SEO
Many will recommend you to use Yoast as they were the first WordPress SEO plugin to break through, but since they released and took everyone by storm, it stood still too long, and today, there are so many better options. I can’t recommend you Yoast, which is why I recommend you Rank Math SEO.
I use Rank Math SEO on any WordPress website I’m a part of. It’s the first thing I look for on a new WordPress website. It’s simply a must for me to install for numerous reasons. But for meta tags, Rank Math is brilliant as well, with many helpful features to help you write the best possible meta tags.
Rank Math SEO does provide a ton of other features that only meta tags management, but I would recommend you any day to utilise these features as well. Installing Rank Math will be the best investment for your WordPress website, whether it’s an info website or an e-commerce website.
Rank Math automatically applies structured data. You simply install and activate the plugin, and then your entire website provides structured data to Google. But let’s get back to meta tags.
To manage your global settings for your meta tags, go to Rank Math -> SEO Titles & Meta. In here you can set all settings, such as what types of posts should have meta tags, social meta tags, how everything should be formatted and much more.
By default, everything is set up for you, and you don’t have to do anything in these settings; you just have to make sure your meta tags are filled correctly on your posts and pages.
To do this, you need to go to either posts or pages, edit the post or page on which you want to edit the meta tags and click on Rank Math’s icon in the top right, where you will see a score out of 100.
Next, you click edit snippet, and then you can see all your meta tags are pre-filled. You can, of course, edit and change into what you want in your meta tags, but if the pre-filled looks great to you, there is no need to change anything.
Are Meta Tags Included in WordPress By Default?
No, meta tags are not included in your WordPress installation by default. Instead, you’ll have to install a plugin like Meta Tag Manager to manage all your different meta tags.
How to Add Meta Tags in WordPress
The most straightforward way is to add the plugin Meta Tag Manager, where you get the most flexibility to add any meta tag for your WordPress website.
You can add open graph meta tags, SEO meta tags, authentication meta tags, and so many more.