WordPress.com is a service that doesn’t allow users to install plugins to add functionality. Because of this, users are at the mercy of WordPress.com and the tools it offers for managing SEO. These tools have expanded with the ability to create custom meta descriptions, custom title formats, and live previews now available to WordPress.com Business Plan customers.
Custom Meta Descriptions allow you to create an excerpt of text that is used by search engines and is displayed in search results.
You can also customize how page titles appear by rearranging attributes. For example, instead of Site Name, Tagline, Post Title, you can change it to Post Title, Tagline, Site Name.
After setting a custom meta description and page title, you can use the live preview tool to see how the content will look on WordPress.com Reader, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
Considering these tools are new, many users may not know how to properly use them. Rebecca Gill, founder of Web-Savvy-Marketing and co-founder of SEO Bootcamp, shared the following advice with the Tavern. These tips also apply to those using the self-hosted version of WordPress.
One thing I constantly state is that meta titles and descriptions are your first opportunity to sell to visitors. It is what the visitor sees before they enter your website or blog. As such, they are very valuable. When used properly, they increase click-through rates from search engines, which drives traffic, and influences SEO.
Each page or post should have a unique meta title and description. These should be populated by a human, for a human, and should include your focused keyword phrase.
They should not be filled with a bunch of keywords or phrases. The goal is to use them to articulate what the content is about and encourage the user to read and click-through to the site or blog.
WordPress.com users can also read this article published in 2013 that covers most of what you’re able to do to optimize content on the service. For more tips on SEO, I encourage you to listen to episode 244 of WordPress Weekly where Rebecca and I discuss a wide range of topics related to SEO and WordPress.
This should be available to everyone on WordPress.com – certainly is on the entry level Squarespace plans – as is Google Analytics.