Have you wondered why the search engine has a horrible summary of your favorite blog post? It’s probably because your meta description was auto generated. Thankfully, the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress makes this easy to change. We can either use the Excerpt method or edit the Meta Description. We’ll cover both approaches in this video.
Hello. This is John Peterson with Develare. Today, we’re going to cover the Yoast SEO plugin, and in particular, the meta description functionality and also the excerpt functionality that’s built into WordPress. Now, today we’ll be testing against version 3.34 of the Yoast SEO plugin, and we’re also running version 4.5.3 of WordPress.
Now, we’re going to jump straight over to the blog here, and we’ve got a couple of blog posts. The first is Who Can Say No to Pizza? The second, We’re Delivering to Oklahoma. We can see that both of these blog posts are uniform in size. We’ve got a little dot, dot, dot at the end there, and that dot, dot, dot shows us the auto-generated blog post has been cut off, or the excerpt, auto-generated excerpt, I should say, has been cut off. If we wanted to read the full page, we would click the Continue Reading button.
Now, let’s go ahead and jump into the post for Who Can Say No to Pizza? We’ve got a blank meta description here. We’ve got a blank excerpt. Now, if I fill in the Excerpt field, hit Update, and then reload my blog page, the excerpt is now short enough to where we don’t need the ellipses or dot, dot, dot at the end, and everything looks great here.
Now, if we go to Yoast, check out the meta description plug-in. Well, it looks like things are a bit too long. Well, search engines and Google, in particular, want a much shorter meta description. In particular, Google likes to see meta descriptions around 156 characters or something that’s a maximum width of 933 pixels.
Now, if I go in and try to paste the same meta description that we use from the same excerpt that we used before into the meta description, we can see it’s too long. What do we have to do? We have to cut some content. Now, we can cut really anything. This is really just a demo, and so we’ll just go ahead and cut off the end here. Hit Close Snippet Editor, and then we have a custom snippet or a custom meta description for Google and other search engines. We’ve also got an excerpt that will work for our blog pages.
Whether you’re using excerpt or meta descriptions, that’s up to you. My recommendation would be to use a separate meta description that’s crafted for search engines and use an excerpt that’s crafted for your blog. Hope you enjoyed the video. If you did, please clicks a thumbs up, and I thank you for your time.