I read a blog post over at John Chow’s blog today about the importance of proper description META tags. I just started using WordPress and I wasn’t really aware that the SEO optimizations in this blogging platform aren’t optimal yet so I decided to install the All in One SEO Pack plugin on my blog.
The installation of this plugin is really simple, you just have to upload the file and activate it in your Plugins menu. Some small code changes were required, I had to remove two lines of code in the header.php file of my WordPress theme to prevent the meta description and keyword tags from appearing twice in the source code.
Besides allowing you to create custom description and keyword META tags for each and every blog post, this plugin also features some other SEO improvements for your WordPress blog:
Custom home page description and keyword META tags It rewrites titles to “Post Title | Blog Name” You can use categories for META keywords You can use category descriptions as titles Features “noindex” options for your category and archive pages, this prevents that a lot of duplicate content gets indexed in search engines like Google and Yahoo. If you’re too lazy to write custom META description tags for your posts you can use the autogenerate descriptions feature. This is also great if you already have hundreds of posts.
These days the keyword META tag is perhaps not as important anymore as it was back in the late 90s when search engine algorithms were still very crappy but the description tag is still very important. In many cases a search engine will use the information in this tag to describe your website and I believe it’s a lot better to have a small description of your post or an autogenerated excerpt in there instead of the standard tagline of your blog.