Pages titles, a.k.a. title tags, and meta descriptions make it possible for your site to appear in the search results.
Search engines use page titles to help rank individual web pages in search results. And, potential visitors use both the page title and meta description when making a decision about whether or not to visit a page they see in search results.
To illustrate this point, which of the two search results below are your more likely to visit?
We are guessing you picked Option 2, the snippet with a solid page title and meta description.
Thankfully, adding page titles and meta descriptions to each page of your site is a cinch with a plugin like Yoast SEO. Here’s how to do it.
Draft & Organize Your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
We recommend getting organized before adding page titles and meta descriptions. Tracking your work in a spreadsheet allows you to see which pages you have completed and the changes you have made.
To start the process, open a new Google or Excel spreadsheet and start organizing your work. Here is how we like to organize our spreadsheets.
Fill out an entire spreadsheet using this format. Include a row for every page you want to appear in search results and make sure to fill out every cell in that row.
Don’t forget that page titles should be kept under 60 characters long and meta descriptions below 155 characters. And, both should include a focus keyword once.
Install an SEO Plugin
Complete the installation process. Once it is installed, activate it and you will be up and running.
We will be using Yoast as our example in this guide, but you can use All in One SEO Pack and several other SEO plugins in much the same way.
Add Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
To add your page titles and meta descriptions, login to the backend of your website.
Then navigate to the page you want to add them to and click on Edit Page at the top of the page.
Once you are able to edit that page, locate the Yoast SEO meta box and click on Edit snippet.
Go back to your spreadsheet and locate the row that corresponds with the page you are working on. Copy the page title and meta description from that row and paste them into the Yoast meta box. Enter your page title in the SEO title field and your meta description in its own field.
Once you have pasted them in, click Update in the top right-hand corner of the page. Last but not least, go back to your spreadsheet and mark that you have implemented your page title and meta description for that page.
The timeframe for search engines to crawl your site and recognize the changes varies.
Once search engines have crawled and indexed your changes, you can type site:https://www.yourpageurl.com into the search bar and you will be able to see if your changes are populating in search results. Make sure to use a lowercase s in site:.
Adding page titles and meta descriptions is a simple and highly impactful way to drive more organic traffic to your website.
Make sure to use a spreadsheet so you can keep track of which pages titles and meta descriptions are paired with pages on your website.
Use a WordPress plugin to make uploading your work easy.
Lastly, you can check your work by searching site: followed by your page url to make sure your changes are populating properly in search results.
There it is. You now know how to add page titles and meta descriptions to your WordPress website. If you want to dive even deeper into WordPress SEO and learn how to write great page titles and meta descriptions that drive more traffic, become a Pathfinder SEO subscriber. Start by getting your free SEO score.
Erik loves breaking down complex SEO topics into understandable instructions anyone can follow. In his role as an SEO coach, he guides Pathfinder SEO customers through the SEO process on a daily basis, giving them helpful tips, instruction, and advice along the way.