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WordPress: Two SEO Plugins for Meta Tag Creation

I’ve written two different posts on developing your site’s meta tags, keywords and descriptions. Keywords will definitely assist in your site’s findability, but descriptions will help search engine visitors click through by offering a better description.

Rather than program these optimizations as I’ve suggested, there are a couple plugins that can do the job for you.

Yoast SEO

With the Yoast SEO plugin you can control which pages Google shows in its search results and which pages it doesn’t show. Yoast not only helps you to customize the meta descriptions, it also provides you feedback on your keyword usage and a beautiful preview of how your page would look in the Search Engine Results page.

Yoast also offers a selection of Premium Add-On SEO plugins that I’d highly recommend as well.

All in One SEO Pack

John Chow recommended the All in One SEO Pack Plugin but I never took a good look at the plugin until last night. Shame on me. The plugin does a fantastic job at utilizing your “Optional Excerpt” in WordPress as your single page’s description.

Here’s how the search engine result looks (you can click on the image to see the actual post):

Google Adsense dethrones Text Link Ads on my blog

That said, the All in One SEO Pack does a great job with the Description Meta Tag, but I don’t believe it does as good a job with the Keyword Meta Tag. It simply assigns your selected Categories as keywords for your post, not nearly descriptive enough. You can set additional keywords for the post, but they’re not utilized anywhere else.

That’s where my next plugin recommendation comes in, Ultimate Tag Warrior. Here’s how to ensure you don’t write a keyword meta tag using the All in One SEO Pack, disable the option Use Categories for META Keywords:

All in One SEO Pack

Now each time you write a blog post, be sure to fill in the Optional Excerpt field with a couple simple sentences that will entice more searchers to click through to your post:

Optional Excerpt for this Blog Post

9 Comments

  1. 1

    Agree with you about combining the two plugins, Douglas. I recently installed All In One on one of my sites and it’s a great plugin but, as you say, the keyword element isn’t the greatest. That having been said the likes of Google don’t put too much weight on the keywords and focus on the title and description instead.

  2. 2

    Thanks for this. Optional excerpts is something I have used in the past but not as effectively as I could. Many of my most popular posts are missing an excerpt altogether.

    I’ll go back and make sure my top 20 most popular posts have a decent excerpt, plus any new posts I write in the future. I’ll also be looking into that SEO plugin too.

  3. 3

    > It would really be phenomenal if these two authors could put their heads together and combine the two plugins into one.

    The SEO pack can utilize tags from UTW as keywords if you set this option, but as you recommend you can of course also let UTW handle the meta keywords. As you know UTW’s last version was fin, because WordPress 2.3 will have built-in tag support. SEO pack will probably support tag titles very soon, both with UTW and WordPress 2.3. If you have any additional integration requests let me know.

  4. 4

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    Like everyone else I have these plugins on my blog. But they seem to cancel each other out in someways. Thanks for the practical way of making them work together.

  5. 5

    Good thoughts on this. Meta tags are an important part of setting up a successful, and search engine friendly, web presence.

    It’s funny thought talking about the meta keywords tag. We all seem to use it. I have been optimizing websites for over 10 years, from back before we even realized we were optimizing! Today we know that the major engines don’t even look at the keywords tag … or so we think anyway.

    If this is the case, why do we use the meta keyword tag? For those few engines out there who still look at the keywords tag? Doubt that gets much traffic (if any at all). Because of tradition? Probably. It’s a wonder that I still use them.

    What is your opinion on this?

    Henry

  6. 6

    Meta keywords are probably unimportant for the major engines, but they can be generated automatically from your tags (which are in turn important for traffic). And meta descriptions can increase your CTR big time.

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