How Long Should Your Meta Description Be?

Brand new data on the Meta tag front. How Long Should Your Meta Description Be? Old rule of thumb was 120-150 characters, then Google started doing their SERP snippets, and the number grew to 215-250. Now new data suggests that 300 characters is acceptable in the Description meta tag. The meta description is one of your best hopes for search engine results pages (SERPs) to attract a searcher to come to your site. Check out this link to  Take a good look at the image above and see how they used the meta description above the title and used it again in the OG meta description.

Write Good Meta Descriptions

I think writing meta descriptions as a good exercise in effective sales copy-writing. You should do everything possible to drive someone to make that decision and click your link. Your focus has to be on persuading the searcher to click — while still maintaining accuracy so expectations are met. Here’s some ideas about writing meta descriptions that are clear, helpful, and stand out to searchers. Good meta descriptions help greatly with Web Accessibility.

1) Use action-oriented language.

Action-oriented language is ideal for call-to-action copy, which is exactly what a meta description is because it tells the reader exactly what they can do if they click. Consider starting your meta descriptions with verbs like “Learn,” “Discover,” or “Grab,”, and follow it up with specifics of what exactly they’ll get if they click. Don’t use the word Free….

2) Provide a solution or benefit.

Tell the searcher what they can expect by clicking on your link. Write a short sentence previewing the content or telling the searcher why they should read your post. Give them a clear benefit of clicking through and reading your post, if necessary. This is your chance to sell them on what you have to offer — informative, valuable content. This is where the meta Description comes in.

3) Keep it to a certain size.

Generally, a meta description used to be 120- 150 characters. However, Google is changing this. It only takes a minute to check the length of your meta description and title tags. Hence the title of this post, How Long Should Your Meta Description Be takes on new meaning.

4) Don’t deceive searchers.

If your meta description deceives the reader with content not relevant to what they should expect, be prepared for the searcher to hit that ‘Back’ button again. Some meta descriptions are spammed with keyword-stuffed content — this is bad, and probably stems from an old-school understanding of SEO. When searchers and search engines see keyword-stuffed content, that throws up all kinds of red flags, and hurts the level of trust a searcher has in your content.

5) Make it specific and relevant.

Most people know a predictable, generic meta description when they see it in the SERPs (despite possibly not knowing exactly what a meta description is). That’s why it’s so important to use descriptive words, not unnecessary “fluff” words, and do your best to connect with your target audience and let them know what they’ll get from clicking through on your search result. Not the same thing on all pages.

Use the Description Meta tag as well as you can, and don’t worry about how long it should be.