Meta descriptions are extremely important to SEO. They are short summarizes of the page that search engines use for ranking and directly in the search results.
A well written and descriptive meta description can end up directly in the search results which lets you tailor the sales copy to convince a visitors to visit your Shopify store. It's such a powerful way to increase your traffic but it's frequently overlooked for flashier tactics.
Also meta descriptions can also be a huge problem for Shopify stores.
By default, most themes in Shopify will generate an okay meta description automatically. Usually they are pulled from the product description or page copy.
But some themes and apps mess with the meta descriptions so they can become broken, invalid, or gibberish.
A good SEO audit will find these pages for you so you can go in and fix them.
If you're missing the meta descriptions on a bunch of similar pages, your theme template is probably broken. For example, if all of your collection pages or product pages are missing them then your theme has incorrect code in those files.
If that's the case, you'll need to do some investigation to see if your Shopify template is missing it or if your Shopify theme layout is missing it. It's pretty easy to do for any Shopify developer so ask whomever coded your theme for help.
Sometimes I've seen apps break meta descriptions too. This frequently happens when you use a SEO suite app that handles your meta descriptions for you. It might work great while you're using it but if you ever uninstall that app or if it has a bug, you could lose your descriptions as their code stops running.
I've seen a few stores have to go to Shopify support to get this recovered which from what I heard, wasn't an easy process for anyone. It's not that common but you need to be cautious about it.
(The worst I've seen happened to one store who had their entire HTML head lost by an app. For non-developers, that basically wiped out everything the store uses for SEO, social sharing, and even the visual design of the store. Luckily Shopify helped that store out and my app was able to help rebuild their SEO...)
The most likely situation is that a few pages are missing meta descriptions.
For those, you'll want to:
- Go into the Shopify admin panel,
- Open the product/page/collection that's missing it,
- Scroll to the bottom of the form,
- You'll find Shopify's SEO settings where you write a custom meta description.
On my own website I found a few dozen pages missing meta descriptions. Once I corrected them and added new ones, my SEO traffic saw a nice little uptick. Not a lot but in the game of SEO, every boost adds up.
So if an SEO audit finds pages with missing meta descriptions in your Shopify store, you now know enough to fix the majority of them.
Today would be a good day to Install JSON-LD for SEO if you haven't yet.
You still have a couple of months before the holiday season. Just enough time to start getting Rich Snippets and beating your competition in the search results.