Surprise! Google recently announced yet another update, this time focusing on an important SEO (search engine optimization) component: meta descriptions. This change could – and should – impact how marketers write and optimize their webpage meta descriptions.
What's a meta description?
The meta description is a snippet of content that displays on search engine results pages (SERPs) and contains searched-for keywords or phrases. Meta descriptions are a key component of on-page SEO, as they should be unique for each webpage and are used to give a high-level overview of a webpage’s content.
If your website is lacking unique or optimized meta descriptions, you could be missing out on important search rankings.
So, what's the change?
Previously, Google recommended keeping meta descriptions to 160 characters or less, as they’d typically truncate after that point. However, Google recently increased the snippet character count and recommended length. And more characters equals more opportunities for marketers to incorporate important keywords.
Previous character count
Increased character count
The updated magic range seems to be trending somewhere between 230-320 characters, but it really depends on how many characters it takes to best describe your webpage. This is a huge change, especially for those searching on mobile. Users will now be able to get a better understanding of the content they’re about to read before they click.
Could this update negatively impact click-through to a webpage? Perhaps. But your biggest challenge now is ensuring your description accurately summarizes your webpage content using keywords throughout to optimize search rankings.
What action should I take right now?
For savvy web marketers, this is an opportunity to identify your website’s most important pages by organic search and optimize your meta descriptions for these new character counts before your competitors do.
Need help navigating keyword research and SEO best practices? Contact us for a chat on improving your website visibility.