This question was sent to me via email and asked “How do I add unique meta description tags in b2evolution?”. You can either watch the video which shows you step by step how to do this or follow along by reading the post below the video.
Before we go into the specifics of how you manage your meta description tags in b2evolution it is important to say what they are and why you would want them in your HTML pages.
The purpose of the meta description tag is to give a unique description of each of your web pages. Ideally each page on your site would have a totally unique and acurate description of what that page is about. From a HTML perspective all <meta> elements (there are more than one) live in the <head> of your web page and has the following format:
<meta name="description" content="Unique description of your page"/>
So, now you know what they are why would you want to make sure you have them on your html pages? Well, the short answer for this is that the search engines will use them when thay are displaying your pages in the search engine results pages (SERPS). This is not always the case as they may choose to display different snippets of your page content if they feel this is more relevant to the search query but it is often the case that the meta description is used as the dscription for your pages. See the video for an example of this. You will therefore want to make sure that your meta descriptions are unique and relevant to your page content to make the search engines happy and entice users to click through to your pages.
In b2evolution 3.3.3 there are multiple ways to manage your meta description tags. You can set them at the blog level (like the idex page of your blog), the page level (like an individual post or page) and the category level (the page displayed when you click on a category link).
Blog Level Meta Description Tags
Login to the admin panel of your blog and navigate to the Advanced tab in the blog settings section:
Blog Settings -> [your blog] -> Advanced
Down at the bottom of this screen you will see a section called Meta data. In there is a field called ‘Short Description’ which is used as the meta description at the blog level.
Page Level Meta Description Tags
To edit the page level meta description tag you need to head on over to the write/edit screen for each post. Make sure that you are on the Expert tab and scroll down to the bottom of the page to the section called Advanced properties. There you will see a field called <meta> desc. This is where you enter your meta description for this specific post.
Category Page Meta Description Tags
OK, so the next place you can set your meta description is for your category pages. To do this you need to do two things. the first is to enable the feature in your SEO settings for your blog, so head on over to:
Blog Settings -> [your blog] -> SEO
Scroll down to the section called Category pages and in there you will see a tick box called Meta description. Tick this box and save your settings. Now head on over to the Category tab for your blog:
Blog Settings -> [your blog] -> Categories
Click on the edit icon for each of your categories and fill in the Description field with what you want to appear as the meta description for that category page.
Using Excerpt As Meta Description Tags
There is one other setting in b2evolution 3.3.3 that relates to meta description tags and this is on the SEO tab in the section called Single post pages / “Permalink” pages. This setting allows your to set the meta description for each post/page to be the same as the excerpt for that post. I personally recommend taking the time to specify a meta description for each post in the way I have mentioned above to enable you to make sure it is unique and has all the relevant keywords you are optimising for in the description. The excerpt is not going to be as optimised as a description you can set yourself.