No, Google Doesn’t Hate You – How to Make Google Like Your Meta Descriptions
So your audience Googles a keyword that you used across all your content. The search results come up, and a bunch of titles (one of them your own) come up.
Now, we’ve all been told that our titles should be hard-hitting, eye-popping and, sometimes, controversial enough to make people want to click on your content.
But what if all your other competitors have headlines that are just as intriguing?
You take your meta description and make it just as hard-hitting, as eye-popping, and, if possible, as controversial as your title.
The $1M Meta Description Question: How Long Should It Really Be?
If you’ve been creating SEO-friendly content for quite some time now, you’ll understand the frustration that a lot of us has when it comes to meta description length. You see, Google has changed the maximum number of characters allowed in meta descriptions a few times.
Just look at this search result for the keyword “Hunger Games books”.
This contains over 300 characters.
However, when you look at the average number of characters showing up on all other snippets, you’ll see that everyone else is being cut off at around 160 characters.
So is Google playing mind games with us?
The truth is, no one can really guess how Google thinks or how often they’ll be changing the limits to the number of characters on meta descriptions. The solution, therefore, lies in the strategy you build to make your meta descriptions count.
Creating Meta Descriptions Google Will Love
So how can you make sure your meta descriptions still count despite Google’s unpredictable changes?
- Be specific and relevant.
Here’s one huge mistake a lot of content creators make – in their fear of giving too much away, they create vague and general meta descriptions.
That’s the biggest sin you can commit in the world of meta descriptions.
Meta descriptions should give your audience a reason to read the rest of your content. Be specific. Going back to the “Hunger Games” snippet given above, you’ll see that they went straight to the description of the book series, then onto the title of the books.
- Maintain some mystery.
“But you just told us not to be vague!”
Before you air out your objections, hear us out. Sure, you’re going to be specific and direct to the point. However, you still have to refrain from giving out too much information.
On the previous “Hunger Games books” example, only the title of the first book was given before the description was cut off. Therefore, readers would still have to open the content to see the rest of the titles, as well as to find out what each book is about.
- Stick to the average length.
Hunger Games may have been given the privilege to have a long meta description, but you can’t be sure that the same thing will happen to you.
To stay on the safe side, cut your description at around 155 to 160 characters especially if you want more chances of your entire meta description to be seen.
Leaving the success of your meta descriptions to chance will never be a good strategy. Planning for its every detail, however, could make all the difference not only in your page visits, but on your engagement and conversion as well.