When you search for something online, and the search results page comes up, what makes you choose one website over another? If you’re like most people, you’ll scan the headlines and read the short description beneath the headline before deciding to click…or not. That short description is called metadata (a.k.a. snippet). Watch the video or read below to see how you can add your own metadata with a free plugin for WordPress called Yoast SEO.
- What is metadata?
- Why writing your own metadata is better
- The easiest way to add your own metadata in WordPress
- How to install Yoast SEO for WordPress
- Where to add your metadata (a.k.a. snippet)
- How much metadata to write?
What is metadata?
Metadata is the short description in a search results page. Below is an example of metadata written by Google robots.
Why writing your own metadata is better
If you don’t create your own metadata, the robots will often take the first few words of your first paragraph, which may not be that intriguing, or what you want.
Below is an example of what the Google robots chose for Steve’s meta description BEFORE he added his own description, and what I helped Steve create:
The easiest way to add your own metadata in WordPress
Hands down, the easiest way to add your own metadata is with a plugin called Yoast SEO.
There are 2 versions of this plugin: free and paid. I’ve been using the free version for years. It will give you everything you need to get started creating great metadata.
How to install Yoast SEO for WordPress
- Log into your WordPress site
- From your dashboard go to Plugins > Add New
- In the search field type in Yoast SEO
- Choose the plugin and click Install
- Click Activate.
If you want to watch me install the Yoast plugin, check out my video below.
How to add your own metadata (a.k.a. snippet)
Once you activate your plugin, go to any one of your website pages or blog posts. Scroll down until you see Yoast SEO…
How much metadata should you write?
155 characters, and sometimes more, but it’s up to Google and their secret algorithm.
155 characters gives you about 25 words. Each space, each commas, period and other punctuation are also counted as one character.
To see what 155 characters looks try using a tool like wordcounter360.com.
Describe your content accurately, because if the Google robots don’t think your description is accurate, it will add its own meta description.
I hope you found this training helpful.
If you’d like to see how I helped Steve re-do his meta descriptions for a blog post, check out my 10-Minute Monday video.
Got 10 minutes? I would love to have you join me LIVE on 10-Minute Monday where you’ll receive valuable tips for creating a WOW! website.