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How to Add Meta Descriptions Without Plugin?

Meta Descriptions are a crucial part of SEO; of course, it is possible to add them with a plugin, but knowing how to do that without plugins (because plugins can slow down the speed of your website), will be useful. This beginner-friendly article will cover every topic related to meta descriptions, what they are, why they are essential, how do they help your website to rank higher, how to write them, and finally, instructions on how to add them. We will also provide you with a list of tips and advice, standard coding to assist you in adding those without plugins, and an example of Bad vs. Good meta description. If you are ready, I suggest that we do not waste our time, and let’s start.

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What is a Meta Description?

First things first, let’s start by understanding what are meta descriptions? Meta descriptions appear as part of the SERP snippet. A meta description is an HTML tag that describes a web page’s content. When your page appears in search engine results, this description will appear underneath the title and URL. Your meta description should be between 130 and 160 characters long in order to stay visible in Google. Technically you can write longer meta descriptions, but they will not be useful as no one will be able to see them.



Why Meta Descriptions are Crucial for Good SEO?

Why are Meta Descriptions crucial for good SEO

Meta Descriptions are one of the most important aspects of SEO optimization. Why is that so? Those descriptions are directly connected to title and URL, and they highly affect high search engine rankings or potentially can hurt your content. For example, a little tip and secret for you: 

  • If you have your keyword in the meta description, it directly positively affects search engines, and your article/blog post ranks higher. 

Try to send a meaningful message in your description to “sell” your article to potential viewers/readers. This article will also cover a few tips on writing compelling meta descriptions that increase clickability, so keep reading to know how to do that.

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Meta Descriptions Vs Meta Tags/Keywords

Please never go with the keywords in place of the meta description. Meta descriptions have a minor impact on the algorithm, but they mostly enhance your website’s click-through rate. Therefore, if you write “keyword, keyword phrase, keyword research, SEO” instead of meta description, people will not be interested in clicking on that article. Why? Because they will see words that do not convey meaning, especially if they are new in the web development and technology industry. However, if you write “What is SEO, and how does it affect your search results? boost traffic with this skills…” you automatically raise CTR since employing focus keywords and clarifying what the content will give your reader (the “what’s in it for me principle”) induce curiosity, which leads to higher clickability.



Pros of Meta Descriptions

Optimizing your meta descriptions can positively affect your website rankings. Sometimes we can see keywords instead of them; those give no useful information to the visitor, so we do not recommend you to add just keywords there. Write two compelling sentences which tell the user about your article and contain CTA (call-to-action) in them and only one focus keyphrase. You can also include a question in your description to boost curiosity, but remember that different things work for different audiences. Pros of that kind of meta descriptions are:

  • Have a significant impact on the increase of CTR (click-through rate): potential readers/visitors see something that tells what they are going to read about, decide whether it is worth it or not, if the description is written correctly, they will click on your article.
  • Have a positive effect on how Google evaluates your web page: Meta descriptions are part of SEO optimization, and for good results, you need a complete optimization of every element.
  • SEO friendly
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How to Add a Meta Description to Your WordPress Blog Post/Article Without a Plugin?

We finally got to the practical part of our article very well. Adding meta descriptions is not hard even without using a plugin; you will need to use a standard piece of code such as one on the image presented down below:

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Now let’s take a look at the step by step instructions on what to do:

  • Enter the Local Disk (C), then Xampp, Htdocs, “WPFolder”.
  • Select the appropriate WordPress folder, adter that content and choose a theme after checking the theme used on the website.
  • Enter functions.php.
  • In the opening windov scroll down till the end and paste the copied piece of code

Here is the code:

function wpglob_meta_description() {
    global $post;
    if ( is_singular() ) {
        $des_post = strip_tags( $post->post_content );
        $des_post = strip_shortcodes( $post->post_content );
        $des_post = str_replace( array("\n", "\r", "\t"), ' ', $des_post );
        $des_post = mb_substr( $des_post, 0, 300, 'utf8' );
        echo '<meta name="description" content="' . $des_post . '" />' . "\n";
    }
    if ( is_home() ) {
        echo '<meta name="description" content="' . get_bloginfo( "description" ) . '" />' . "\n";
    }
    if ( is_category() ) {
        $des_cat = strip_tags(category_description());
        echo '<meta name="description" content="' . $des_cat . '" />' . "\n";
    }
}
add_action( 'wp_head', 'wpglob_meta_description');


function wpglob_meta_tags() {
    echo '<meta name="meta_name" content="meta_value" />';
}
add_action('wp_head', 'wpglob_meta_tags');

Just a little bit of knowledge in custom coding, and everything is ready. By the way, if you are interested in coding, let us know that in the comments section down below, and we will publish some articles about “Learn how to code,” “How to start coding,” and “beginners guide in coding.” Of course, website building is quite easy nowadays and does not require deep knowledge in coding; however, there are simple things that people, especially in this industry, must know, and those may help you out a lot.


How to Write an Effective Meta Descriptions Which are Highly SEO Friendly?

Now the part where I will tell you the secrets of effective meta descriptions; in reality, there are no secrets. It is just basic principles of content writing and copywriting. First of all, you have to comprehend that what works for a specific audience may not work for another one; therefore, here is the list of tips for you:

  • Advice number 1 – You have to understand who is the target reader/visitor of your website in order to apply a few writing principles and make the article appealing to them. For example, employing advanced terminology if your target reader is a beginner in the field would be foolish; beginners refer to general-informed (knowledgable) audiences. Expert audiences, on the other hand, may want to see content that utilizes advanced vocabulary, that will enhance traffic because experts are already well-versed in the topic, and they will be able to comprehend what you’re writing about even if you use advanced vocabulary and entirely technical terminology.
  • Tip number 2 – This one works for every audience; use the “What’s in it for Me” principle, and apply it to your reader. The visitor does not care about your content unless they find it useful for themselves, so use more “You” and try to explain what they will gain in a few sentences of the meta description. 
  • Use “how to” and answer that how-to, or boost curiosity by telling how to then adding something they will gain if they know how to 

Bad Vs Good (examples)

As I have already mentioned above, you need a good meta description to increase CTR and boost some traffic on your website, and now let’s take a look at the examples.

Article’s topic: Article about SEO for beginners 

Example of a bad meta description:

“SEO, traffic, SEO optimization, CTR, CTA…”

You got the point, writing just keywords. Instead of the meta description is not a good idea. 

Example of a good meta description:

E.g., focus key-phrase: what is SEO 

“What is SEO and where to start? Search Engine Optimization to boost your website’s traffic and increase your sales.”

This is a two-sentence description that gives potential readers an idea of what the article will be about and results in higher rankings and improved CTR numbers. 


How To Optimize Meta Descriptions?

For optimization, you will need to follow several simple rules listed down below:

  • Give a clear and short description of the page’s content
  • Make a meaningful sentence out of the main keywords/use only 1 focus keyword phrase
  • Include a call to action in your message
  • Make each page’s meta description unique
  • Do not exceed 160 characters in length

As you saw above, rules/steps for optimization are quite simple, and I am pretty sure you can write good & highly SEO-optimized descriptions if you follow those.

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Summary

To summarize this article, I can say that for good SEO, you will need complete optimization of your website and articles; you have to pay attention not only to keywords in the article but also to external/internal links it provides, images, and alternative descriptions for them, plus meta descriptions to increase CTR and again do not forget to use your focus keyphrase in that meta description. I hope you liked this article. If you did, do not forget to share it with your friends and colleagues who may be interested in this topic.

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Harley

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