You can find everything you need to know about title and meta descriptions length here. We will talk about what they are, the best practices, and how you can leverage them for your SEO.
- Understand what are good titles and meta descriptions?
- The perfect length for both title and meta description.
- Changes in title and meta description throughout the years
- Tools to help you create great title and meta description
It’s true: title tags and meta descriptions won’t directly help your website magically rise to the top of the search engine results (at least not the way most people imagine). From 2020, Google’s advice is to not focus too much on these, as many of the snippets Google chooses are dynamic and not pulled from your meta descriptions.
However, well-written title tags and meta descriptions are still the number one elements that decide your CTR (and CTR is one of the top-ranking factors, go figures)
A lot of how Google decides what search result snippet to show is based on the searchers’ query and the content on your page. According to Google’s blog, there’s no limit on how long a meta description can be, but the search result snippets are always truncated as needed, typically to fit the device width.
Here’s the average title and meta description length on December 2021
We recommend keeping your headline at under or approximately 60 characters to fit Google results that have a 600-pixel word limit and avoid truncation. Additionally, here are some other SEO best practices:
- Always describe the page’s content accurately. Choose a title that reads naturally and effectively communicates the topic of the page’s content.
- Create unique titles for each page. This helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site.
- Use brief, but descriptive titles. Titles should be both short and informative. If it is too long or less relevant, Google may only show a portion of it or one that’s automatically generated in the Google search result.
- The most crucial step is to make sure you carry out keyword research to ensure you use high-value keywords in your title tag
Use tools like title generators to kickstart your ideation process. You can easily get thousands of title ideas with our title generator.
Meanwhile, your meta description length should be kept descriptive and between 150 and 160 characters for optimal length, and this includes spaces. Additionally, you also want to make sure to:
- Accurately summarize the page content. While there’s no minimal or maximal meta title length for the text in the description, Google recommends making sure that it’s long enough to be fully shown in Google results (note that users may see different sized snippets depending on how and where they search).
- Use unique descriptions for each page. Having a different description of meta tags for each page helps both users and Google, especially in searches where users may bring up multiple pages on your domain.
- Include your primary keyword and related keywords naturally
(*Updated in December 2021*)
Before that, more good reads on meta description best practices and the do’s and don’ts with meta description examples.
Download our title and meta description best practice checklist that got us a 265% increase in traffic!
In case you haven’t noticed, Google has made significant changes to the titles and meta descriptions length on the Google Search Results. More characters for both titles and meta descriptions are displayed in the search results now compared to the previous weeks.
What Are The Changes?
Space of Google Search Results.
To compare it with before Google made the changes, the latest search result is now 600 pixels wide, which is about 100 pixels wider.
This is not the only change that we’ve noticed. Let’s look into more details on the other prominent changes.
Today, Google has finally made some changes and increased the titles to 70-71 characters. I know, it doesn’t seem much, but at least you can still fit in another word or two in your title, which will make a difference.
But if you’re already happy with your current title, you can choose to add your site name at the end of the title for branding purposes.
You’ll still need to monitor the traffic and click-through rate (CTR) of your old titles compared to the new ones as it will affect your SEO. The organic results for your site will probably be higher or lower as well, which is why you have to keep things in check.
If you still can’t really see the differences yet, let me show you.
Here, I have a screenshot of the title before Google make the changes:
Google only shows 54 characters of this title and truncates the rest of it.
And this is what happens after Google make the changes:
Google displays the entire title on the search results, which has 63 characters.
Not only has Google increased the length of the titles to be displayed, but the meta descriptions also showed some changes too.
When writing meta descriptions, we tend to keep it between 150-160 characters because Google usually truncates snippets that are longer than 160 characters. Besides, Google used to display only 2 lines of meta descriptions on their search results page. Just like this:
But look at what I’ve found today:
This has once again proven that Google made some changes to its search results page. And Google not only made changes to the desktop titles. The titles and meta descriptions on mobile search have also increased and are even longer than on the desktop.
Google has increased the length of mobile titles from about 55-60 characters to 78 characters. So now the titles on mobile search have 7-8 characters more than the desktop titles.
The same goes for the meta descriptions. Mobile has less room for meta descriptions than a desktop site, with a maximum of 120 characters.
Let’s take a look at an example from the mobile search results.
Comparing it to the titles and meta descriptions on desktop:
With these changes that we noticed on mobile search results, we think that it may be worth it to optimize your title tags for mobile if you have more visitors from mobile than desktop.
It is definitely interesting seeing Google adding the extra characters to both titles and meta descriptions in the desktop and mobile searches. But the decision on whether to increase the titles and meta descriptions length is still up to you.
Here’s a quick recap of the perfect title and meta description length for your web pages:
These new changes may not be a bad thing, especially for those who were struggling within the title constraints. Furthermore, more characters equal to more semantic keywords that we can include in our titles and meta descriptions for it to be displayed in Google search results.
Because if you haven’t already, you should use semantic keywords in your meta descriptions to help Google know what your content is about.
After all, Google is now looking at understanding the total context rather than the keyword density. If everything is done right, you’ll see yourself at the top of the ranks!
Once again, while we strongly recommend adding in your primary and related keywords to your title and meta descriptions, do avoid spamming keywords and overusing them to prevent Google’s penalty.
Taking this opportunity, we’d like to recommend a keyword research tool that helps you find your best semantic keywords. It’s called BiQ SEO Suite
When it comes to identifying the keywords to optimize your title and meta description, you can find everything you need using BiQ’s Keyword Intelligence.
You can easily get access to the much-needed keyword data like the total related keywords, search trend, volume, and search intent to identify the most profitable related keywords to include them in your meta description.
An extra tip when writing your meta description is also to include popular questions as the first line in your description because not only are they relatable but often questions are easy to pique at our curiosity which most likely drives us to click. (You can find them on the same module too!)
Also, it’s important to note that making an edit to your title and meta description is a double-edged sword!
Though editing your meta description can result in an amazing 286% increase in traffic, it can also cause suffering in website traffic when you fall out of certain keywords.
That’s why once you have edited your title and meta description, it’s very important to keep track of your ROI.
Use BiQ’s Rank Tracking feature and start tracking the movements of your content across the SERP.
Voila, everything was done on a single platform. Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Sign up for a BiQ free tier account and ALL the features it has to offer.
Also, check out this meta description of best practices written by the BiQ team that will show you through the whole process using their tool.
Keep your title length around 60 characters.
For your meta description length, keep it around 160 characters.
Although title tags and meta descriptions don’t count as a ranking factor, CTR is. Optimizing your title and description to increase your CTR is crucial for your ranking. If you prefer to write a unique title in a short time, you can use a title generator like Blog Title Generator to help you.
This post was originally written by Joanne and published on April 13, 2016. It was most recently updated by Claire on Dec 28, 2021
Updated: 19 January 2022