Adding Meta Tags to Drupal Content


Search engine optimization (SEO) is often at the top of the to-do list when planning a site.

There was a time when the <meta> tag had been considered one way to help your pages rise to the top of a search engine result. Although that is not always the case anymore, it can still be useful to meta tags available to search engines so they can use it if they choose.

In this tutorial, we’ll explore the Meta tags module, a fast and easy way to add metadata to your nodes, terms, and users.

If you used the Nodewords module in Drupal 6, this is the best replacement in Drupal 7.

Let’s install the Meta tags module and see what else it can do.

Enable the modules

The Meta tags module requires you to install three modules:

You will see that the Meta Tags module comes with additional modules you can enable, depending on the needs of your site. In this tutorial, we are focusing on the default Meta Tags module.

Configure Meta Tags Module


The Meta Tags module comes already configured but you can make changes.

  1. Click on Configuration in the black admin menu bar.
  2. Click on Meta tags in the Search and Metadata box on the left side of the screen.

Notice there are four global settings. Click on each and observe what you get by default. All nodes, terms, and users will have the same configuration by default. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

Add a Default Meta Tag


Lets configure the meta tags for the Article content type.

  1. Click on Add a meta tag default
  2. Selet Article from the Type dropdown.
  3. Enter the token [node:content-type:description] in the abstract field.
  4. Save

When you create an Article node from now on, the description of the Article content type will appear as such:

<meta name=”abstract” content=”Use articles for time-sensitive content like news, press releases or blog posts.” />

Notice the Inheritance


The Article content type is node, obviously, therefore it appears under the Node metatag. You may have noticed that the default tokens were included in the Article meta tag. That’s because they were inherited but that doesn’t mean you can’t provided something else.

For example, you could place the [node:summary] token in the abstract and the [node:content-type:description] in the Description, it’s up to you. Of course there are other tokens you can choose from (see the link “Browse available tokens” at the bottom of the token edit form).

Let’s see what this does when we create a node


Go to Add content and add an Article. Scroll down and click on the Meta tags tab. Notice your options. We can see the token we added to the Articles meta tag but notice we can also edit these fields. Your users can do the same if they have permission.

Do users have to enter meta tag data?


The answer is no. As we have demonstrated so far, the fields in the meta tag module can be populated using the data associated with the token. For example, if we return the Configuration > Meta tags and click edit for the Article meta tag, we can add the token for the tag field that comes with the Article content type. This will automatically include the terms your user inserts into the Tags field.

For my example, I entered the term Drupal into the Tags field and now my meta tag reflects the same.

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

Terms and Users

The process is the same when setting up meta data for vocabulary terms and users. As you might have guessed, your users might have the ability to add vocabulary terms to the Tags field but they aren’t given the opportunity to add meta data for that term. This is something you will need to take into consideration when planning the user of meta data via the Meta Tags module.



The permissions for the Meta Tags module are simple. You can administer and you can edit if you have permission to edit the node, term, or user. Another thing to note is the edit feature is an all or nothing deal. You might want to give users access to edit their meta data but restrict their ability to edit the meta data when they create a node. At this time, the level of permission granularity does not appear to an option.


The power of the token makes this Meta Tags module a handy tool. It’s one thing to get someone to enter data into the fields you provide, it might be another to get them to do the same for meta data. The tokens solve this problem and give you the option to control what you want to be included – making this an SEO feature that runs itself.

Note – When I created this tutorial, I noticed that the text I enter for the abstract and keyword for terms and users was not available if I wanted to edit it, like it was for a node. The data was stored and continued to display when I viewed the source of the page. There are a couple of patches located here and the developers are asking that we test it for them.


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I have problems of adding my own node token on the global type, under description. It doesnt allow me to add my node tokens. Can somebody help?


Very helpfull! thanks for the post!


I am sorry but even with my best glasses I cannot read the text. I really need to learn more about SEO and Metatags . . .


Hi Sven,
Could you check your browser’s zoom? Try resetting it to by using ctrl and 0 on a Windows computer or command and 0 on a Mac.
Hopefully that will let you see the text better. If it still doesn’t use ctrl and + (or the equal sign) on a Windows computer to zoom in. On a Mac, use command and + (or the equal sign).


Nick, Sven is having trouble because the images have been shrunk from their original size. This compressed the image to the point where the text is no longer readable at any zoom level. The images either need to be larger in this article to allow readability of the text they contain or they need to employ a link to a larger version. Either option will allow Sven and anyone else to read the text that is on the images.


Ah, thanks Ben! I missed the images.
This was a guest post by one of our trainers that doesn’t usually doesn’t do the step-by-step tutorial. In our other posts, the images are readable and zoomed in.

Douglas Beale

Can you populate existing nodes with the meta data or will it only add it to nodes saved after the install/ setup?


There are only two urls there, not what you have talked about…
i found this
URL aliases

Change your site’s URL paths by aliasing them.

Clean URLs

Enable or disable clean URLs for your site.
please help, where to put meta tags ans descr?


There are only two urls there, not what you have talked about…
i found this on “Search and metadata” section..
URL aliases

Change your site’s URL paths by aliasing them.

Clean URLs

Enable or disable clean URLs for your site.
please help, where to put meta tags ans descr?


This tutorial is very dated if you like we could update it.
What version of Drupal are you running?


Custom module showing external data (not nodes) – how to set meta tags dynamically preferably using metatag api through code


how to automatically metatag description value trimmed ?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x