If you won't configure anything then search engines and social media services will be scanning the source code of your website and picking random information that they think may be correct for displaying on their pages. It's sometimes good but more often it's not.
To have them extract the correct information (usually a title, a description and a thumbnail) it's necessary to add meta tags to the source code of your website to inform them what to extract.
The theme won't add any search engine or social media meta tags. Adding any meta tags for search engines and social media services is optional and is out of the scope of our support but we provide you the below information for convenience. You should consult third party resources to find out more about this subject.
Follow the steps to make your website appear nicely in search engines and social media services:
- Understand how search engines and social media services fetch data from your website.
- By default they fetch and analyze the source code of your website and try to guess which parts of text and which images to use based on the HTML structure.
- They stop doing that if you specify the Open Graph protocol, rich Google snippets and structured data and other meta tags for your website. With various meta tags you can set what they use.
- Install any SEO plugin of your choice. Example plugins that you could use (you need only one general-purpose plugin and there is no clear preference):
- In the plugin's settings set global OGP and other tags for your website.
- For every post and page that you create it's advisable that you set separate tags with that post's title, thumbnail and content.
Q: Does the theme set any search engine or social media meta tags?
No. Such meta tags are a "functionality" layer and not a "presentational" layer. When you switch themes you'd expect all your meta tags to remain intact — they are unique for each individual post and page and hence they should be configured only with plugins.
Q: Do I have to configure search engine or social media meta tags?
Yes. You can investigate the source code of a few major websites and you'll see that many of them manually added meta tags with data that search engines and social media services later fetch. Such data typically includes (among others):
- Information that makes your website look correctly when shared on social media:
- Preview thumbnails
- Information that enables your website to be added to desktop (of iOS, Android etc.):
- App icons
- Information for search engines:
- Additional tags (ratings, content type etc.)
Q: Can search engine or social media meta tags be set up automatically?
Yes. Some SEO plugins will offer you an option to fill your meta tags automatically with some data of your choice (for example the
og:title meta tag may be filled with the post's title by such plugin).
These plugins are designed to satisfy most cases but you can also create your own plugin that adds these tags to
wp_head() based on your own criteria.