Jekyll SEO Tag

A Jekyll plugin to add metadata tags for search engines and social networks to better index and display your site's content.

Gem Version Build Status

What it does

Jekyll SEO Tag adds the following meta tags to your site:

While you could theoretically add the necessary metadata tags yourself, Jekyll SEO Tag provides a battle-tested template of crowdsourced best-practices.

What it doesn't do

Jekyll SEO tag is designed to output machine-readable metadata for search engines and social networks to index and display. If you're looking for something to analyze your Jekyll site's structure and content (e.g., more traditional SEO optimization), take a look at The Jekyll SEO Gem.

Jekyll SEO tag isn't designed to accommodate every possible use case. It should work for most site out of the box and without a laundry list of configuration options that serve only to confuse most users.


  1. Add the following to your site's Gemfile:
  gem 'jekyll-seo-tag'
  1. Add the following to your site's _config.yml:
    - jekyll-seo-tag
  1. Add the following right before </head> in your site's template(s):
  {% seo %}


The SEO tag will respect any of the following if included in your site's _config.yml (and simply not include them if they're not defined):

  • title - Your site's title (e.g., Ben's awesome site, The GitHub Blog, etc.)
  • description - A short description (e.g., A blog dedicated to reviewing cat gifs)
  • url - The full URL to your site. Note: site.github.url will be used by default.
  • author - global author information (see below)
  • twitter:username - The site's Twitter handle. You'll want to describe it like so:
    username: benbalter
  • facebook - The following properties are available:
    • facebook:app_id - a Facebook app ID for Facebook insights
    • facebook:publisher - a Facebook page URL or ID of the publishing entity
    • facebook:admins - a Facebook user ID for domain insights linked to a personal account

You'll want to describe one or more like so:

    app_id: 1234
    publisher: 1234
    admins: 1234
  • logo - URL to a site-wide logo (e.g., /assets/your-company-logo.png)
  • social - For specifying social profiles. The following properties are available:
    • name - If the user or organization name differs from the site's name
    • links - An array of links to social media profiles.
    • date_modified - Manually specify the dateModified field in the JSON-LD output to override Jekyll's own dateModified. This field will take first priority for the dateModified JSON-LD output. This is useful when the file timestamp does not match the true time that the content was modified. A user may also install Last Modified At which will offer an alternative way of providing for the dateModified field.
    name: Ben Balter

* `google_site_verification` for verifying ownership via Google webmaster tools
* Alternatively, verify ownership with several services at once using the following format:

  google: 1234
  bing: 1234
  alexa: 1234
  yandex: 1234
  • lang - The locale these tags are marked up in. Of the format language_TERRITORY. Default is en_US.

The SEO tag will respect the following YAML front matter if included in a post, page, or document:

  • title - The title of the post, page, or document
  • description - A short description of the page's content
  • image - URL to an image associated with the post, page, or document (e.g., /assets/page-pic.jpg)
  • author - Page-, post-, or document-specific author information (see below)
  • lang - Page-, post-, or document-specific language information

Advanced usage

Jekyll SEO Tag is designed to implement SEO best practices by default and to be the right fit for most sites right out of the box. If for some reason, you need more control over the output, read on:

Disabling <title> output

If for some reason, you don't want the plugin to output <title> tags on each page, simply invoke the plugin within your template like so:

{% seo title=false %}

Author information

Author information is used to propagate the creator field of Twitter summary cards. This should be an author-specific, not site-wide Twitter handle (the site-wide username be stored as site.twitter.username).

TL;DR: In most cases, put author: [your Twitter handle] in the document's front matter, for sites with multiple authors. If you need something more complicated, read on.

There are several ways to convey this author-specific information. Author information is found in the following order of priority:

  1. An author object, in the documents's front matter, e.g.:
    twitter: benbalter
  1. An author object, in the site's _config.yml, e.g.:
    twitter: benbalter
  1.[author], if an author is specified in the document's front matter, and a corresponding key exists in E.g., you have the following in the document's front matter:
  author: benbalter

And you have the following in _data/authors.yml:

    picture: /img/benbalter.png
    twitter: jekyllrb

    picture: /img/potus.png
    twitter: whitehouse

In the above example, the author benbalter's Twitter handle will be resolved to @jekyllrb. This allows you to centralize author information in a single _data/authors file for site with many authors that require more than just the author's username.

Pro-tip: If authors is present in the document's front matter as an array (and author is not), the plugin will use the first author listed, as Twitter supports only one author.

  1. An author in the document's front matter (the simplest way), e.g.:
  author: benbalter
  1. An author in the site's _config.yml, e.g.:
  author: benbalter

Customizing JSON-LD output

The following options can be set for any particular page. While the default options are meant to serve most users in the most common circumstances, there may be situations where more precise control is necessary.

  • seo
    • name - If the name of the thing that the page represents is different from the page title. (i.e.: "Frank's Café" vs "Welcome to Frank's Café")
    • type - The type of things that the page represents. This must be a type, and will probably usually be something like BlogPosting, NewsArticle, Person, Organization, etc.
    • links - An array of other URLs that represent the same thing that this page represents. For instance, Jane's bio page might include links to Jane's GitHub and Twitter profiles.

Customizing image output

For most users, setting image: [path-to-image] on a per-page basis should be enough. If you need more control over how images are represented, the image property can also be an object, with the following options:

  • path - The relative path to the image. Same as image: [path-to-image]
  • height - The height of the Open Graph (og:image) image
  • width - The width of the Open Graph (og:image) image

You can use any of the above, optional properties, like so:

  path: /img/twitter.png
  height: 100
  width: 100

Setting a default image

You can define a default image using Front Matter default, to provide a default Twitter Card or OGP image to all of your posts and pages.

Here is a very basic example, that you are encouraged to adapt to your needs:

  - scope:
      path: ""
      image: /assets/images/default-card.png

SmartyPants Titles

Titles will be processed using Jekyll's smartify filter. This will use SmartyPants to translate plain ASCII punctuation into "smart" typographic punctuation. This will not render or strip any Markdown you may be using in a page title.