Size Matters: What Google’s Expanded Meta Description Means For You

Google's meta description tag length is now 320 characters!Unless you’re a web designer or an SEO guru, you probably aren’t too familiar with the term meta description tag. That changes today!

Google recently rolled out a big change to how they deal with meta description tags: you can now add 320 characters to your meta description instead 160. This means that you can provide more in-depth details of your content and use more relevant keywords. All of this adds up to more clicks and more conversions!

What The Meta?

HTML tags tell Google and other search engines about your website.A meta description tag is an HTML tag that appears in the <head> section of a webpage. Essentially, the tag is there to give search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) a basic summary of what your webpage is about.

Why does this matter? While it doesn’t directly affect your website’s search ranking, search engines will frequently use your pages’ meta descriptions in their search results snippets.

Not sure what your website’s meta description is? If you’re using Google Chrome, you can press CTRL+U to open the webpage source code. Somewhere near the top of the code you’ll see the <head> tag and the meta description (which would like something like: <meta name=”description” content=”This would be the description“>) shortly thereafter.

The New Deal

Google has changed their limit on the length of meta decription from 160 characters to 320, doubling your real estate in search engine results page snippets!

Optimize your Google snippetsWhat can (or should) you do to take advantage of this? Well, the consensus is a bit split, but retroactively changing your existing meta tags won’t hurt. The best plan is to start dynamically adjusting your meta descriptions using SEO best practices.

You can now provide Google with richer details on your content (or more details about your products!), which can end up improving your organic click-through-rate.

Additionally, the lengthened meta tag means that you can include more search terms (and long-tail keywords) in your snippet, which will net your business better domain authority and (hopefully) a better CTR. Just make sure not to start keyword stuffing!

Don’t let this gift from Google go to waste. Take a look at your website’s current meta description tags and evaluate what changes you can make (to both existing and future content) to make the most of your snippets!