Can a Meta Tag Be Longer Than 70 Characters?

If you have ever worked with a Salt Lake City Internet marketing firm in the world of search engine optimization, you have probably heard of meta tags, or title tags. In fact, you can find a great article about why they are so important on our blog. When it comes to creating meta tags, though, there is some confusion about exactly how long they can or should be. We are here to clear up the mystery and talk about best practices for title tag lengths.

What’s a Title Tag?

When Utah SEO companies use title tags it’s to help searchers and search engines identify what is on your website. Keep these descriptions short and accurate, using keywords, company name, and other descriptors that will encourage clicks.

Finding the Right Length

While there is technically no upper limit to the length of title tags, most Utah SEO companies who understand best practices recommend that you keep them between 55 and 70 characters, including spaces and punctuation, for a few reasons:

  • Only 50-70 characters are displayed in a Google search. A website marketing company in Utah can write longer meta descriptions, but the Google search box will only show what fits. In fact, Google recently increased the font size of search results so some 70-character titles that previously fit are now too long, prompting Utah SEO companies to recommend title lengths that are closer to 55 characters. In addition Google uses Arial, a font without uniform letter widths, so titles with several wide letters (like capital M or W) will take up more space than those with lowercase L’s. You can test out your title tags and descriptions using tools like the one available here.
  • More relevant meta descriptions get more clicks. The ultimate goal is to get people to click through to your site, and they will do that if they see a meta description that looks relevant to their query.
  • Keyword positioning is important. The closer a keyword is to the beginning of the title tag, the higher a search engine will rank that page. Search engines don’t pay much attention to keywords that appear later—beyond about 150 characters keywords in title tags have little to no effect on search performance.
  • Social media sharing rewards shorter titles. If you’re planning to share your website through Facebook or Twitter, there are strict character limits. Longer titles will include ellipses (…), but to users it looks like spam and won’t be shared or clicked as often. Since sharing and clicking boosts SEO, keep titles short and sweet.

What’s the Consequence of Going Over 70 Characters?

Utah SEO companies recommend meta descriptions around 50-70, but that is just a guideline. If your title tags end up being 80 characters but include all the right information, they will be more useful than an artificially short 45-character tag that fits but doesn't provide search engines with the information they need to rank your page for specific queries.

What to Include in Meta Tags

Keep searchers in mind when writing meta descriptions. If users search online for information and click through to your website, you want the content to match their expectations, which is achieved through optimized and accurate meta tags. Trying to game the system and pack irrelevant keywords into a title tag will just result in a high bounce rate, which ultimately hurts your SEO.

Put important keywords and/or your brand name as close to the beginning of the title tags as you can get them for best results. Don’t use ALL CAPS if you can avoid it, since capital letters tend to take up more space than lowercase ones. If you’re not seeing good results from the meta tags you have, mix them up by changing the keywords at the front or moving around your brand name in the description.

Unfortunately there is no “perfect” or “exact” formula for title tag success. What’s most important is that you have concise and accurate descriptions, then work with your website marketing company in Salt Lake City to refine them over time.

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