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How To Add Keywords In WordPress Without Plugins

Keywords are absolutely essential when it comes to SEO performance. Your keywords help Google and other search engines understand what your website is about, which makes it easier for your site to rank within the right niche. 

Having keywords placed correctly also makes it easier for visitors and users to navigate your site, so it’s non-negotiable if you want to SEO-optimise your website.

In most cases, you’ll be able to add keywords and tags to your WordPress site with plugins, but plugins can often make your website run slower, and lengthy loading times can end up negatively impacting the user experience and tanking your ranking.

In this quick guide, we’re going to show you how you can add keywords to WordPress without using plugins, so you can optimise your website without compromising the UX experience. Let’s take a look!

Why are keywords important?

As briefly mentioned above, keyword placement is absolutely non-negotiable when it comes to running a thorough and effective SEO campaign for your website. After all, keywords are going to be how visitors find your website: without them, you’re going to struggle to obtain organic, unpaid traffic. Keywords serve the following purpose:


As you may already know, Google uses bots to crawl the internet and identify new web pages to add to its index. In order for the bots – or ‘crawlers’ to understand your website, you’ll need to ensure that your on-site content makes it clear what your website is about. This means placing keywords in strategic places across your site, everywhere from the meta tags to the alt-image descriptions.

SEO optimisation

SEO Search Engine Optimization, concept for promoting ranking traffic on website, optimizing your website to rank in search engines or SEO.

Keywords are also incredibly important when it comes to the SEO performance of your website. Companies compete to rank on Google for commonly-searched queries and keywords relating to their business niche, and being able to land that lucrative top spot means increased visitors, increased sales, and higher profits.

How to add keywords in WordPress without plugins?

So, how can you add keywords to WordPress without running lots of plugins on your website? As WordPress is a fully-functional CMS platform with customisable HTML, there are plenty of ways for you to optimise your site from the basic WordPress interface:

Add code

If you’re familiar with HTML, one of the simplest ways you can add keywords to your WordPress site is by modifying your theme’s code. For example, if you wanted to edit your website’s meta description, you could go straight to Themes > Appearances > Header, and use the following formula to insert relevant keywords:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”insert keywords” /> 

When it comes to editing your website’s meta description, make sure to try to keep it around 150 characters so it doesn’t cut off mid-sentence. Note: if you’re not a pro at coding, we don’t recommend that you try to edit your theme’s HTML yourself. While plugins can increase your site’s loading time, you can always enlist the help of a WordPress SEO agency who will be able to run an SEO audit to improve loading times using various tried-and-tested methods.

Optimise on-site content

Your HTML theme code isn’t going to be the only way you can add keywords to your WordPress site – it’s important not to forget about on-page content, such as blogs, landing pages, product pages, and more. 

As explained above, Google’s crawlers are only going to be able to correctly identify your website if your on-site text is fully SEO-optimised in relation to your business niche. And don’t forget that crawlers are unable to read images – you’re relying on your text alone when it comes to identifying the right category for your business or website. 

In fact, to make your website as visible as possible on the internet’s most popular search engines, it’s a good idea to build a comprehensive body of content, spanning blogs, how-to guides, product guides, and other informational content. It’s great for your ranking, and it’s also great for potential visitors. Offering high-value on-site content is one of the easiest ways to earn free high domain authority backlinks and organic traffic.

Bottom Line

While there are thousands of WordPress plugins available to download and install on your WordPress site, it’s not the only option when it comes to inserting relevant keywords. You can easily add keywords to your pages if you’re minimally familiar with on-site SEO optimisation and HTML.

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.