Detect Magento Products with Metadata Issues and Update Them in Bulk
“Recently we have visited Google Conference where as an option, free SEO audit was offered. We have submitted our site for audit and were anxious waiting for results, thought we would be surprised or flattered with good results, and you never believe what we got in reports. Main accent was made on basic SEO things like Meta data, Meta descriptions, Broken Links and Broken Images. “
CMO at eMagicOne
One of the most significant things Magento shopkeepers can do in terms of SEO practices is to ensure they have correct meta information for each and every product in catalog. Why is it so important? The matter is search engines draw metadata from the webpage and display in search results. In the other words, optimized metadata is the pledge of high ranking position and increased customer search request.
Generally, when speaking about meta details, we mean meta titles and descriptions, each of Magento product listing possesses. Nevertheless, if you have immense catalog, flooded with abundance of product listings, this would definitely be a time-consuming process as you would have to go through each, check whether meta tags meet the requirements and update them if necessary.
As an option, you can submit your products to Google or any other search engine and it will return you all errors that you have at your store. Go to Google Webmaster Tools (for example) and check all errors one by one.
Positive side of this method is that you do not need to pay anything or do anything, you will just see errors there. If your site is published for over 1 month, you can go there and check the situation you have this far. Negative side of this method is that Search engine will know about your faults and it will affect your rankings. So if you have a new site or upload a bunch of new products it’s better to check them before publishing. To fix those problems, go to each item from the list and update the meta information for it.
It takes time for Google to reconsider that all are ok now, so if you have fixed everything and you still see errors, get some coffee and wait for at least one month 🙂 to see if the number of errors starts decreasing. For us it took over 6 months to see metadata improvements.
Luckily there is a comprehensive Store Diagnostics tool thanks to which you can quickly uncover and eliminate metadata issues, optimizing Magento store for better SEO in such a way. We want to dwell on main points, concerning product meta description and titles, before outlining how to use Store Diagnostics for the checkup.
- Meta description provides a concise overview of the page and is displayed for shoppers when site appears in search results. Ideally it should not exceed 150-160 characters, otherwise it will be truncated (as in the screenshot). Minimal number of symbols is 50
- Optimal Magento meta titles length is 65 symbols, min 15, max 70 characters
- Both meta titles and descriptions should be unique, duplicated data is treated by search engines as not providing any particular value
- Meta Keywords - are mostly ignored by Google nowadays, though you should fill them with correct data or at least with product name as well
Site Audit With Store Diagnostics
Now let’s see how to use Store Manager for Magento Diagnostics tool to find Magento products with inappropriate meta information and optimize it to get high position in SERP and click through rate respectively.
Keep Magento product metadata updated Update Now!
* Please note, these types of Store Diagnostics are available in Store Manager Enterprise Edition. PRO Edition offers only four types of store inspection: Missing product images, Images that are not linked to any products, Products not assigned to any category, products without image, so if you need to regularly proceed with metadata audit, resort to Store Manager for Magento Enterprise. See more details at www.mag-manager.com
- Reach Store Diagnostics in Tools section of Store Manager. All applicable diagnostics types are listed in the left pane. Among them you can find Missing meta titles or meta descriptions, Duplicate meta titles, meta descriptions and Meta titles or meta descriptions length is out of range types.
- Enable the type of diagnostics you need to run (or just select run all) and press Run Diagnostics option on the toolbar to start inspection. Its performance will be displayed on the progress bar.
To check faults for Metadata, enable the following options:
- Missing meta titles or meta descriptions
- Duplicate meta titles or meta descriptions
- Meta titles or meta description length is out of range
- Once the process completes, you can look through results in the window beside. You will get the list of items, issues happen to, issue explanation, recommended action, etc. Results for all performed types of diagnostics are shown, but you can use the filter and sort them by definite type.
- Filter outcomes by certain diagnostics type, selecting it from the drop-down accessible on the toolbar
- Create filter with these products hitting Custom Filter button on the toolbar
- Switch to Store -> Categories and Products and enable the filter you have just created to retrieve merchandise meta details should be corrected for
If you have got several products in results, you can instantly fix metadata issues. You just need to select this product and click on Fix problem by executing recommended action on the toolbar. It will trigger product edit window, where necessary details can be inserted or updated.
Although one by one product editing, as it has been already mentioned, will take ages and you need to resort to more flexible methods if multiple products are shown in diagnostics results.
Update Meta Information for Multiple Products
Sample Expressions You Can Use to Update Meta Information
Using special rules you can instantly add meta titles and descriptions if these are missed for some items, crop in case some have too many characters,
Add Missing Meta Information
We are going to create expression that will be used to add meta title or meta description to merchandise missing these attributes. To be more precise, we use CONCAT functionality in order to configure meta titles for multiple selected products, that will consist of product name, "-" and manufacturer attribute.
The same way we can update meta description for numerous items. Using this expression, you will create meta title that will consist of product short description and, for example your web store name
CONCAT([ATTRIBUTE(short_description)],'. ''Your Store Name')
Change Meta Data Length
Suppose you have discovered products having too long meta titles or meta description. Correspondingly, you need either to cut them down due to requirements mentioned above or extend till proper number of characters.
Using this expression, you can shorten metadata if it's too long
IF(LENGTH([ATTRIBUTE(meta_description)])>160,SUBSTRING([ATTRIBUTE(meta_description)] FROM 1 FOR 155),[ATTRIBUTE(meta_description)])
IF(LENGTH([ATTRIBUTE(meta_title)])>70,SUBSTRING([ATTRIBUTE(meta_title)] FROM 1 FOR 70),[ATTRIBUTE(meta_title)])
If you have found, meta information with insufficient number of characters, you can use this expression
IF(LENGTH([ATTRIBUTE(meta_title)])<15,IF(LENGTH(CONCAT([ATTRIBUTE(name)],' ','Your Store Name'))>70,SUBSTRING(CONCAT([ATTRIBUTE(name)],' ','Your Store Name') FROM 1 FOR 70),CONCAT([ATTRIBUTE(name)],' ', 'Your Store Name')),[ATTRIBUTE(meta_title)])
according to which meta titles of selected products will be updated in the following way:
if some product have meta titles that contain less than 15 symbols
meta titles for them will be updated, namely there will be created new ones on the basis of product name and store name, and in case this concatenation has more than 70 symbols, up to 70th will be taken as meta title
IF(LENGTH(CONCAT([ATTRIBUTE(name)],' ','Your Store Name'))>70,SUBSTRING(CONCAT([ATTRIBUTE(name)],' ','Your Store Name') FROM 1 FOR 70),CONCAT([ATTRIBUTE(name)],' ', 'Your Store Name'))
in case meta titles are of proper length, they will not be updated, as it is stated in this part of formula
No matter what method you use, keep your metadata always updated and relevant. It not only facilitates better search engine ranking but ensures positive user experience. Meta description, you configure is the thing, standing between search result and visitors and looking at it visitors decide whether to click and go to your site.