What is the ideal length for Meta Description tag in a web page

Are you looking for some SEO tips and want to find out what is the ideal length for meta description a web page? Most search engines consider 150 to 175 characters as ideal length for meta description.

Meta description plays a key role in placing a web page in search results of most search engines. Proper use of correct meta description with ideal length of text that match with the content of the page plays a significant role in search engine optimization of a webpage.

Ideal length for Meta Description tag

If the meta description is too long, search engines would trim it and ignore portion of it. This means, some important information you put in to the meta description may not be counted. So, it is important to limit the length of the meta description to the ideal length.

If the meta description is too small, you will not be able to take the maximum advantage of it by including as much useful information as possible to it.

There is no hard and fast rule on the length of the meta description. However, based on how various search engines use it, the SEO community has concluded on the ideal length.

Ideal length for Meta Description tag is 155 characters. You may use up to 200 characters since various directories and tools can use longer text in meta description and it won't hurt in search engines even if the excess length is ignored by them.

How Search Engines use the Meta Description

Let us analyze how search engines like Google use the meta description and what happens if we use an extra long meta description.

Here is the meta description we have used in the home page of www.Techulator.com:

<meta name="description" content="Find out latest technology news, product announcements, laptop reviews, tablet computer reviews, Smartphone news, Android tablets and Windows 8. Find interesting tools and utilities to keep your Android, Linux and Windows operating system clean and safe." />

The text we used is 254 characters, which is more than the recommended length. I think I need to go ahead and reduce the length, but let us analyze how Google uses this information.

Go to Google and search for Techulator. See how the website appears in search results:

Meta Description in Search Results

As you can see in the above description, Google uses a small portion of the Meta Description in the search results. It shows only 144 characters out of the 254 characters I used. Also, Google was smart enough to not trim a sentence in the middle. So it smartly stopped at 144 characters which is the end of a sentence. There are many other search results in which Google has show n up to 159 characters, which is the maximum length I have seen for description.

Syntax of meta description tag

This is how a meta description is placed in a webpage:

<meta name="description" content="If you are looking for ways to improve the search engine ranking of your website, read this article." />

The meta description tag should be placed within the <HEAD></HEAD> tags in an HTML page.

The meta tags are not visible to normal users. However, they are visible to the search engines and they use it to analyze the page. In most cases, the description used in this meta tag will be displayed in the search results page.

When someone search for some queries in a search engine, what the result would include is the title and a description (which is the meta description in most cases). Most users decide whether to click on a particular search result or not based on what they see in the description. So, it is important to use a relevant and attractive met a description in your web pages.

Meta Description and SEO

Since search engines rely on Meta Description to display the summary in search results, Meta Description plays a significant role in SEO. If you are not using Meta Description in your HTML pages, start using it today. If you are already using it, check if you are using ideal length for the text description.

If there is no meta description tag used in a web page, Google and other search engines would pick up some text according to its best judgement which may not be the ideal summary for your webpage. So, instead of depending on search engines to choose a piece of text, you should provide a useful summary as meta description with an ideal length.

Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.

Follow Tony John or read 702 articles authored by Tony John

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Author: Korra03 Aug 2015 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 1

I have a question. Do I need to add meta description in every article or just once in the homepage of my blog? Moreover, how can I add meta description in Blogger blog?

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