How to Add Meta Tags in WordPress Without Plugin

Are you looking to add meta tags to your WordPress website without using any plugins? Adding meta tags to your website is essential for SEO; it helps search engines understand your content and helps improve your site’s visibility. While most of us rely on using plugins, there are still some people who prefer to keep things lean and efficient.

If you’re one of them and looking for ways to add meta tags to your posts without using any plugins on your website, then this guide is for you. Here, I’ll explain how you can easily add custom meta tags to your WordPress site manually, giving you more control over site performance and, ultimately, appeal to search engines.

So, let’s start and learn how to add meta tags in WordPress step-by-step, without the need for any plugin installations. And by the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll have mastered this essential, yet often overlooked, SEO skill.

Understanding the Importance of Meta Tags

When it comes to optimizing your website for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yandex, meta tags play an important role in helping them understand more about your content and its purpose. Further, adding custom meta tags will not only increase your overall click-through rate (CTR) but also offer several other benefits.

In this section, I’ll explain the importance of meta tags and why you should prioritize them to enhance your website’s overall SEO efforts.

For those who are new to SEO and WordPress, meta tags are a type of code snippet that needs to be added to your website’s <head> section. This code offers juicy information to search engines about your website’s content, and it can only be seen by search engine crawlers, not by your site visitors.

We use these codes to share valuable information with search engines so that they understand our content and know when to display it on the search engine results page (SERP).

​Some of these fundamental meta tags are;

  • Title tag: Title tags or meta title tags are one of the most important tags that you must use on your website. This tag helps search engine crawlers and users understand more about the primary topic of the page.
  • Meta description: A small description of the page in 150-160 characters that is displayed below the title in SERP. It helps people and search engines understand more about your topic and what you’re going to cover in this article.
  • Meta keywords: Although this tag is no longer significant for SEO, it helps specify primary keywords related to your content.

If you’re properly using these meta tags on your website, it can surely increase the search visibility and provide tons of significant benefits, including;

  • Improved search engine ranking: By including essential meta tags in your content, you can boost your chances of ranking higher in SERPs, leading to increased organic keywords and traffic on your website.
  • Higher click-through rates: Writing a compelling meta title and description will further increase the chance of getting more clicks to your website.
  • Better user experience: If you’re writing clear and concise meta tags for your website, it will help users and search engines quickly understand the content of your page, making it easier for them to find the information they’re looking for.

Using meta tags on your WordPress website is just one of the main techniques for improving search engine ranking and website visibility. Using the right meta tags will not only make your site more appealing to search engines but also increase user engagement and, ultimately, benefit your whole website’s success.

Familiarizing Yourself with the Anatomy of a Meta Tag

Before discussing the steps to add meta tags to your WordPress website without using a plugin, it is really essential to become familiar with the basic structures of these meta tags. As it will help you in fixing the technical issues of your website and help in gaining overall visibility in SERP.

The Essential Components

When it comes to meta tags, there are several components that a website owner should have to know about – but most of them depend on website to website.

Still, there are a few components that every website must have. These include;

  • Title Tag: As discussed earlier, we use this tag to display the primary topic of our website. And it is shown in the SERP result as clickable links.
  • Meta Description: Meta tags are used to show a bride summary of your web page’s content in SERP. Usually, when a user visits your website through SERP, this is the first thing he notices about you. A well-written meta description can improve click-through rates and entice users to visit your site.
  • Meta Keywords: Google no longer prioritizes them as a ranking factor for your blog – but still, there are a few search engines that focus on meta keywords. So, it is a good idea to include them in your meta tag, even if their SEO impact may be minimal.

If you’re using these meta tags on your website, then trust me, it will surely give you a boost in your SERP visibility. Here I’m sharing a basic example of what these tags look like;

Additional Meta Tags

The tags I’ve mentioned above aren’t the only meta tags that are essential for your websites – but there are several more which provide extra information to search engines about your website.

Here are some of them;

  • Robots: This is one of the most powerful meta tags which instructs search engines on how to crawl and index your pages in SERP. For example, if you’re not comfortable sharing any page of your website to search engines like Google and Bing, then you can command them not to follow and index your page by using the “nofollow” and “noindex” tags.
  • Canonical Tag: When we’re writing some posts for our website, we write similar type of content which sometimes cause duplicity. In this case, we prevent them by using a canonical tag that indicates the preferred URL for a webpage when there are multiple URLs with similar content.

Here’s an example of how these codes look on your website;

Now, that we’re familiar with the basic and advanced meta tags and how they look on our website. It’s time we start learning how to implement them on our website without using a plugin.

Adding Meta Tags to WordPress Website

Adding meta tags without using any plugin is not as hard as you think. WordPress has an “excerpt” option, which helps you add meta description to your blog post and nothing else.

Showing all posts

To begin, first, log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to “Posts > All Posts“. Here, select the post and click on the “Edit” button (as shown in the image).

Excerpt option inside Gutenberg

After clicking on the “Edit” button, the post editor will open. If you are using the Gutenberg editor, search for the “Excerpt” option in the sidebar under the “Post” tab (as shown in the image).

Enabling excerpt option

For those using the Classic Editor, open the post and click on the “Screen Options” tab located at the top-right corner of the screen. From the dropdown menu, enable the “Excerpt” checkbox (as shown in the image).

Adding excerpt in Classic Editor

Now, you will find the Excerpt box below the post editor. Write a short summary of your post in the Excerpt box, which will be the meta description for your blog post. By following these steps and referring to the images provided, you can easily add meta tags to your blog post without using any plugins.

Bonus: Best Plugins for SEO

Adding meta tags on your website without a plugin takes a lot of time, and one day you will need to use an SEO plugin. This is because, without a plugin, you lose a big opportunity to rank in different search engines.

And in case you’re looking for an SEO plugin, here’s our recommendation;

1. Rank Math SEO

When it comes to SEO and WordPress, Rank Math is one of the most famous plugins you’ll ever find in the WordPress repository with more than 1 million of active installations. This plugin is very easy to use and comes with lots of powerful features which you will never find in any other plugin.

Rank Math plugin comes with plenty of powerful features that will surely blow up your mind. Some of them can include, automatic alt tag generation, video sitemap, pre-built schema tags, and a lot more. This is one of the main reasons why I really love using this plugin on all my websites.

Additionally, their team is constantly updating their plugins with the latest search engine algorithms and best practices to ensure that you’re always ahead of the competition with a strong online presence. If you were not using this plugin on your website, I would highly recommend doing so!

2. Yoast SEO

Yoast is one of the most popular and oldest plugins you’ll ever find in the WordPress repository. Before Rank Math, this was one of our favorite plugins for managing all types of SEO needs.

It was like a dream plugin for us, and the FREE one has everything a normal blogger would ever need to stay ahead of the competition. And if you need something extra – you’ll always have the option to choose its PRO plan.

The team behind this powerful SEO suite has in-depth knowledge of SEO and keeps updating the plugin regularly to make it faster and better. The best part is that it works well with all kinds of websites, making it an excellent choice for bloggers like us.

3. All-in-One SEO

All-in-One SEO (AIOSEO) is another popular SEO plugin that is made to help website owners improve their SEO of a WordPress website. It is created and managed by a team of experts who also owns WPBeginner, OptinMonster, WPCode, etc. Recently, AIO SEO has become one of the top choices for bloggers and people like us to manage all their SEO needs.

A big reason for AIOSEO’s popularity is its easy-to-use interface and simple settings. Even if you’re a beginner with no knowledge of SEO, you can easily understand the plugin’s options and set up your website for SEO success. AIOSEO also provides detailed documentation and support to help users make the best use of its features.

Some important features of the All in One SEO plugin are:

  1. XML Sitemap Creation
  2. SEO Content Analysis
  3. Social Media Integration

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Still, have doubts related to meta tags? Here we’ve shared some of the frequently asked questions by our readers. I hope they help you!

Q. What are Meta Tags?

Meta tags are a type of code snippet we use in the <head> section of our website. It is used to display essential information to search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex, Yep, etc.

There are several types of meta tags that we recommend using on your website. Some of them can include using;

  • Title tag
  • Description tag
  • Keywords
  • Language
  • Canonical
  • Robots, and
  • OpenGraph

Q. Using Meta Tags Help in Ranking?

Yes, Meta tags are a part of technical SEO, and they do help in increasing your search visibility and CTR. If you’re properly using them on your website, you’ll see an instant hike in your search performance within a few days.

Q. What Type of Meta Tags Should I Use on My Website?

There are various types of meta-tags you should be using on your website. I’ve already named a few of them in my first answer – but in case you’re looking to add more tags to your website, then you can continue adding;

  • Alternative text tags
  • Twitter tags
  • Responsive design tags
  • Author tags, and
  • Rating tag

If you’re looking for meta tags and attributes that are supported by search engines like Google and Bing, then you can refer to this guide.

Q. Which Plugins Do We Recommend Using for Meta Tags?

There are many plugins available for free in the WordPress store or third-party marketplace. However, we recommend only a few of them, and these are;

  • Rank Math
  • Yoast SEO
  • All-in-One SEO

Wrapping Up!

Adding meta tags to your WordPress website without using any plugin can be a simple – but time-consuming task. And it could benefit you if done correctly. In this guide, we’ve covered the importance of using meta tags, their anatomy, and how you can manually add them to your website.

However, as your website grows, manually adding meta tags and other details will get quite complicated, and you might consider using one of the recommended SEO plugins such as Rank Math, Yoast SEO, or All-in-One SEO. These plugins will not only save your time – but also helps in increasing your CTR and SEO efforts.

And by implementing the right meta tags and using appropriate tools, you can surely get a boost in your website’s SEO and achieve higher rankings in search engine. Now that you have this knowledge, it’s time to take action and optimize your WordPress site for better visibility and success. Good luck!

Sunny Kumar

Number of posts: 145

Hi, I'm Sunny Kumar, a passionate tech enthusiast and a blogger from New Delhi, India. With a degree in IT from IIT-D and expertise in SEO, Cloud Computing, Telecom & Networking, and CEH, I specialize in various technical fields, including SEO, WordPress Development, and PC Building. And being a proficient WordPress user, I’m dedicated to delivering quality content and a remarkable user experience.

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