Everything You Need to Know About Adding WordPress Metatags Without Plugins

Everything You Need to Know About Adding WordPress Metatags Without Plugins. Meta tags are one of the essentials for WordPress. We are here to tell you everything about meta tags and how you can add them to your WordPress without plugins. Adding the correct meta tags to your content in WordPress can help them show up on search results on search engines. Before we get started, let us look into some of the basics because we care about all the noobs too.

What Are Meta Tags?

Meta tags are small chunks of text that demonstrate a page’s content that is only seen in the page’s source code but doesn’t appear on the page itself. These meta tags help the search engines to show which web pages to show as results. 

Now don’t mix up tags that you can see on a blog post or an Instagram post with meta tags. The difference between them is pretty big; meta tags are not meant to be seen by you on the page and exist only on the HTML, at the “head” of the page. As a result, only the search engines can see them or someone pretty good at these knows where to look. So, these tags provide data on the information of your webpage and that is why they are called “meta” as in “metadata.”

The Ultimate Guide to SEO Meta Tags : Search Engine Magazine
Source: Search Engine Magazine

How Does Meta Tags Help SEO?

Meta tags help your webpage to come upon the search engine which we have already established. But not all of them work all the time. The more accurate meta tags you can use the better are the chances for them to help your SEO rankings. It’s essential to remember that not all meta tags have the same effect and they can get outdated too. Always check out the meta tags that have the most impact before you use them.

We will teach you a fun trick that can help you a lot to understand what other webpages use as meta tags. The first way is to right-click anywhere on any webpage you want and select “View Page Source”

https://wordstream-files-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/styles/simple_image/public/images/meta-tags.gif?vGz2uKMkxvo70mO7eKcFJD0LG0H7zVzm&itok=qioaT2yL

A new tab is supposed to open up beside that webpage and you will get to see the meta tags on the top part of the “head” of the page.

Or the alternate option is to Press “Ctrl+U” on your keyboard simultaneously and the new tab will open up.

Either way, the meta tags in HTML should look something like this:

meta tags
Source: WordStream

Now that we have cleared up the basics, let us look into different types of meta tags for SEO. We will show you exactly what to use and what not to use. These are the eight important meta tags for SEO:

  1. Title Meta Tag

A title tag is the most important meta tag for your web page. It’s the first visible thing that appears on the web page and the search engine. The title is what attracts the viewers the most and as a result, it should be very interesting. Our title tag should appear like this in the “head” part of HTML.

<title>Everything You Need to Know About Adding Meta Tags in WordPress without Plugins</title>

A good title will bring in readers for your WordPress, as it gives readers a clear word picture of what your web page would look like. They have a major impact on rankings too.

Tips

  • Use clear and concise words for your title which can represent your webpage.
  • Use important keywords in your title and keep them in the first few words.
  • The characters should be within 60-70 characters.
  • Leverage your brand’s name in the title as it makes a difference for the search engine.
How to Craft the Perfect SEO Title Tag (Our 4-Step Process)
Source: Ahrefs
  1. Meta Description Tags

Meta description tag is placed right under the title of the web page on the search results. It’s also in the “head” of a webpage. Meta descriptions give an introduction to the webpage and give the reader an idea about what’s about to happen when they visit the page.  Although they are not a ranking factor, they play an important role in making the reader click on the webpage. The click rates define if the viewer is finding the article interesting or not from the search engine. If they find promising meta description tags and feel like this web page is the one that can be the solution to their query, the click rates will increase.

Tips:

  • Give a clear meta description that enables the reader to understand what your webpage is about within seconds.
  • Use the keywords here too but try to make sense with the sentences here.
  • 150-160 characters are recommended.
  • Use catchy words here.
  1. Keyword Meta Tag

These meta tags are the direct top keywords used to tag the webpage. The tags are going to describe whatever topic you are going for. If you are unsure about what we are talking about, use the trick we talked about earlier in the article. Right-click and press “View Page Source” to see the tags of any other web page. See the section where it says <meta name = “keywords.” Look at how the keyword tags are similar to the topic and how they would relate to the reader trying to find their answers.

However, the keyword meta tags are not visible to the reader. Google might have removed meta keywords from the search ranking positions due to users misusing the feature. But it’s unclear if they have removed from the Google algorithm or not. So, we will advise you to use them anyway.

Tips:

  • Do not use the wrong keywords or try to deceive the readers by using them.
  • Spell checks all the keyword meta tags.
  1. Alternative Text for Images

Your content may have images and yes, you need to tag them too. These alternative texts for images are used to describe the content of the images which are indexed by the search engines. So, even if the images do not come up on the search results, the tags will help them to understand what the image is about. Google search engines welcome these tags for images as it gives them yet another way to cater to the query’s search results. An alternative text tag for images also enables the webpage to rank in Google Images. download.png

Alt tag starts with alt=”YOUR ALT TEXT”

Source: Yoast

Tips:

  • Do not add an unrelated picture to the topic.
  • Use the right keywords but do not use them unnecessarily.
  • You can add alt text if there are pages with no content.
  1. Canonical Meta Tags

Canonical meta tags are used when several pages are similar and you would want to identify only one main page for the search engine to be indexed and found by people. As the internet can have almost similar content everywhere on similar topics, search engines can mix up and give your WordPress webpage the wrong search results unless you provide the URL with which you want to rank with. Using canonical meta tags will make your job easier at tracking your content’s performance stats. The tag is used by <link rel = “canonical”.

 Tips

  • Use the tags properly so that your webpage is on the same page with the same topics.
  • Use the tags carefully when the pages are quite similar to the search engine can disregard one webpage.
  • Copy pages that are available under multiple URLs and versions of the same pages with IDs or URL parameters that do not affect the content.
<link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/" />
  1. Header Meta Tags

Header meta tags are used to have a structure within your content and separate different headings and subheadings so that the readers can know what’s happening. A header not only improves the readability for your readers but also helps the search engine to understand what your content is about. The headers tags are (H1 to H6) and each is used to highlight the data classification and importance. As you can probably guess, H1 to H6 headings are used like hierarchy. H1 is for the headings and h2 to h6 are subheadings. But having too many headers can get confusing for SEO. There is a big difference between an unorganized set of information and organized information. A reader will not always read your entire article. They might just skim through different sections to see if this is what they need. So, use them effectively.

  • Use small chunks of words for headings.
  • Don’t overuse the headings and make it reader-friendly.

Some use of the header meta tags in this article:

<h1> Everything You Need to Know about Adding Meta Tags in WordPress without Plugins</h1>

<p>Paragraph of content</p>

<p>Another paragraph of content</p>

<h2>What are Meta Tags?<h2>

<p>Paragraph of content</p>

  1. Robot Meta Tags

Robot meta tags are a no-follow attribute that is used to point out to SEO which links on a page should not be followed. These tags do not contribute to SEO ranking directly but have an overall impact on your web page ranking. So, when you have incomplete information on your WordPress web page or in general some information that has little value but you need to stay, you can use these no-follow or no-index attributes to have some control on your webpage and indicate the SEO what not to show.

Tips

  • Use no-follow tags on the unfinished pages with little value.
  • Check all the pages carefully and don’t use the no-follow tags on important pages mistakenly.
  1. Schema Markup

Schema markup is a code organizing the data on your webpage in a useful way and SEO can return your information to the users effectively. Schema markup has an immense SEO value and has structured data on the search results in a way that users can make use of. SEO can give random words in the search results and the reader would have no way of knowing what that word means and how it is relevant to the topic. Schema markup can give search results indexed and identify these words exactly and what they mean. These tags can be useful for businesses, different TV networks, restaurants, etc. 

Tips

  • Check out schema.org
  • Use the Structured Data Markup Helper to implement the markup.
  • Select the important pages and markup them if you want the users to see them on search results.

How to Add the Meta tags on WordPress Without Plugins?

Plugins use the database information and responses to the queries in an automated way but they have a slower response rate.  It’s better to use the lesser plugins you can on WordPress. The source code will be less polluted and will not bring back unnecessary information because of the plugins. But without plugins, there is more work, you have all the source code and manual. Here’s how you disable the plugins:

  • Disable all the WordPress SEO plugins and remove the wp_head() call from your webpage. 
  • Copy the code format we are providing below and paste in the “head” section of your WordPress.
<?php $header = array(
    //Home Page
    10 => array(
        'title' => 'The Title  Of Your Page Goes here',
        'meta_description' => 'Meta description of the page',
        'robots'=> 'noodp',
        'canonical'=>'Canonical URL of the page'
    ),
    // About Page
    17 => array(
        'title' => 'Title of the page',
        'meta_description' => 'meta description',
        'robots'=> 'noindex,follow',
        'canonical'=>'Canonical URL'
    ),
);?>

The code format can be stored for title, meta description, robot meta tags, and canonical tags in a PHP array. Add your information accordingly and use your own page’s ID. Home page, about page, or any page that has different ID’s. In order to find your one, go to the WordPress administration area. 

3. Copy the following code for meta tags.

<title><?=$header[get_queried_object_id()]['title']?></title>
<meta name="description" content="<?=$header[get_queried_object_id()]['meta_description']?>"/>
<meta name="robots" content="<?=$header[get_queried_object_id()]['robots']?>"/>
<link rel="canonical" href="<?=$header[get_queried_object_id()]['canonical']?>"/>

The code we have used above will be displayed at the top and you should use the php_include() when you include yours.


Final Words

To make your WordPress website rank well in the SEO, use the meta tags that we discussed in the article properly. They are essential for your webpage to perform well and if you do not want to use plugins, use the codes we provided. We hope we could be helpful and we wish you all the best for your WordPress webpage!