Title tags and meta description are two HTML elements which play a huge role in determining the success of a website, as far as search engine optimization is concerned.
Search engines display your optimized title tag and a short description snippet on search result pages, so its very important to ensure that every page on your site has a unique title tag and has a small meta description element added to it. While there are situations when you can safey ignore the Meta description tag, but ignoring the meta information on a large number pages can be a big mistake.
Why? Because when a lot of your website’s pages have missing meta description and title tags, search engines might not show them on search result pages for similar queries.
For example: If one page of your site is about “Blue widgets” and there is no title tag or a description snippet on the page, search engines might show a portion of text as meta description which not be ideally optimized. Someone searching for “Blue widgets for an ecommerce site” might not click your site’s link from search results, as the description snippet and the title tag do not have the keywords in them.
Dealing With Missing Meta Description And Title Tags
So what should you do with internal pages which do not have a meta description or title tag? Should you use a script or a plugin which will automatically generate the description and Title tag for you? I would suggest NO.
If you are using some script to auto generate meta descriptions for all pages, there is a high chance that those description and title tags won’t be “humanly optimized”. Machine generated stuff work out of the box but the disadvantage is that they are not very effective, when you are dealing with human eyes on search result pages.
In most cases, the plugin will use the first few paragraphs as meta description and the <h1> heading of the page as the Title tag. This may work but in general, the title tag and the meta description should be added manually, depending upon the phrases and keywords for which you want the page to rank on search result pages.
Find All Pages Which Do Not Have a Meta Description or a Title Tag
Previously, I was using the All In One SEO pack plugin for filling up meta description and title tags for individual posts. The plugin is very useful but the downside here is that there is no easy way to find pages that do not have a meta description or a title tag.
The solution here is to install the missing seo data WordPress plugin. This plugin lets you find out all the pages on your site which do not have a meta description tag or a unique title tag embedded within the page source.
Once you have installed the plugin, go to the options page and you will be able to filter all the pages whose meta description and title meta tags are empty. I ran the test on this site and found that there are more than 200 blog posts where I haven’t filled the SEO details earlier.
Note: The plugin will automatically detect which plugin is being used to show meta description and title tags on all pages of your site. If you’re not using any plugin and using a custom field for meta tags, I am not very sure whether the plugin can detect meta tags using the custom field information.
There is no way to filter posts by only a specific meta tag, however the plugin is useful and saves you a good amount of time from manually finding the pages who have missing SEO details.
Related: More WordPress tips and tutorials.