Meta description is one of the most important ranking factors in SEO. But what about meta description length? What’s the ideal character count of your meta description? And why shouldn’t you worry about meta description length that much actually?
In this article I try to give you the correct answer for your meta description’s length. But let me tell you, SEO nowadays is less about technical settings (e.g. character count) than understanding the whole picture.
UPDATE 2018: From a really technical point of view, there are 3 numbers you should know about meta description length. Maximum length of displayed meta description used to be 156 characters for years with some experiments from Google, but as of December 2017 it will display a much longer version.
First of all, doing SEO from a strictly technical point of view isn’t that lucrative anymore. Search engines have jut become much more sophisticated than a mere character count would really impact anything. So in general, I don’t recommend you focusing on technical details so much, should you really want to get loads of visitors from search engines instead of tilting at windmills.
But there are a few more practical reasons not to worry too much about meta description length. Let me explain these to you. And I think the 4th one is the most surprising yet most important reason.
For me the most important aspect of SEO (and life as well) is control. In relation to meta description, this means that I want to see my description in the SERPs and not something auto-generated by Google.
That’s why my meta description is never shorter than 100-110 characters. This is the most important point to make. If you leave it shorter, Google will almost always add some auto-generated text, meaning you loose some of your control.
On the other hand, sometimes just feels right to write more than 320 characters, and let Google truncate it with an ellipsis, having more people click on it …