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My Website Optimization Journey - Part 2 - Meta Tags

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In my last article I realized I had some issues with my website and taking my own advice I decided to act on them. I did that by first completing some pages that were either missing, unfinished, or didn't represent me or my capabilities properly. Today I am going to go through some meta tag issues.

Now, a reminder, that some of these steps might seem misplaced but in order to move forward I need to tackle some glaring issues now and move onto refining the website overall at a later date. It makes less sense to ignore the situation now until I believe the website is perfect, which it will never be. There is always room for improvement.

To check how my current meta tags are, I opened up Screaming Frog SEO Spider and crawled my site. I use the free version for my purposes but there is a paid version with some nice added features if you really want to dig in. To my surprise, most of my pages had no metadata at all or default auto-generated tags.

missing meta description

Some time ago I switched my hand-coded website to the content management system that I have been writing for the past few years. Some pages have auto-generated meta titles and descriptions but some of them do not. It appears as though I had forgotten to add them at the time of the upgrade.

Making the change was easy through the site's administration panel and knowing that a bulk of my content will be changed in the coming weeks I didn't put a lot of effort into adding the very best meta information I could but just good enough that I was happy with it for now. When I do a complete site audit I will take a closer look because like I said, it will most likely change anyway.

One very troubling revelation was that some of my blog posts didn't have their auto-generated meta descriptions. After some digging, it seems that in the case of some articles the use of double quotes was escaping the meta description tag altogether. For this, I had to physically change the code that generated the meta description.

escaped meta description causing HTML error

If you've been following along this far this might be the place where you say, "I give up! I don't know how to code HTML, write PHP, or what a meta tag even is!" I know the terms and procedures may seem beyond your understanding if you don't live and breath code, but I am always here to help. Send me an email , contact me on the phone, hit me up in the comments below or even social media. I can always take a look for myself and guide you in the right direction.

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