Shopify SEO: Missing/Updating Meta Descriptions

While the Shopify platform provides an easy solution for websites by making it simple for the customer who has no development knowledge to feel at ease jumping in and making some changes on their own, sometimes we get put in the situation where we might be lost at which next step to take.

Even though meta descriptions aren’t a direct ranking factor, when they are missing or incorrect this can make a user skip right past your site while searching for their match. Meta descriptions are used to create snippets that tell users about your page and also helps you stand apart from competitors on Google. One that is effective convinces more people to click on your link, increasing your click-through rate (CTR) and brand awareness.

The Shopify CMS Solution

For our main pages of the site like the About or Contact pages we will be able to update them through the Shopify CMS. In the left hand dashboard of Shopify we will go to the Online Store > Pages section. Here we find all of our current pages in a list.

We are going to choose the page that we want to add or update the meta title of and scroll to the bottom of that page. There is a section titled “Search engine listing preview” and a link labeled “Edit website SEO”. Once we click that link the section will expand giving us the option to update the page title, description, and url/handle.

For the Product pages we will head to the Products section of the left hand dashboard and then choose the product we’d like to update. Once on the page we will scroll down to the “Search engine listing” section and click “Edit”. The same three options will appear, update the page title, description, and url/handle.

The simple fix is to just update the title to the optimized version you and your team have decided on and click “Save”. If this is not updating the descriptions like expected we will have to take a step into the page theme to make sure the code is there that pulls these titles onto the actual web page.

 

The Code Solution

If we have already gone through the steps above but yet nothing was appearing on our websites we will have to take a look into the theme files to make sure the functionality is there.

We will travel to the Online Store section in the left hand dashboard of Shopify > Themes section to go to your current theme. We want to be in the “Edit Code” section.

On your main theme file, usually named theme.liquid, we will check in the <head> tags for the code below.

{% if page_description %}
   <meta name="description" content="{{ page_description | escape }}">
{% endif %}

This code first checks to see that there is a description there and if so it will add it to the site.

You can replace the current {{ page_description }} tag with these examples and save the changes.

At this time you should be able to see the page description now populating on your website.

Conclusion

This might not be the only SEO improvement you need to make on your Shopify site, but by understanding the meta title and the available solutions you’ll put your site in a more favorable ranking with search engines.

Our hope is that this gives you the knowledge to implement these changes yourself, or leads you in the right direction to creating your customized solution.

If you have tried this update and it did not work for you and you are not a developer or don’t have the support to solve these issues on your own, contact us! We are ready to help.