Newsflash: Google has increased the limit for meta descriptions.
If you’re not familiar with meta descriptions, it’s the snippet of descriptive-text you see for each website on search engine results pages. So, why is a bigger description good for your ecommerce business?
Well, that means more characters can be used to promote your products or services. This can result in more clicks and more sales for you.
Read on as we look at the changes, and how your ecommerce store can capitalise on this change.
What has changed?
Previously snippets on Google’s search results were limited to 160 characters. Anything above this gets cut off with a “…” and ultimately loses its effect. Consumers are less likely to click on a product or service if it’s described as “smart, cost-effective and most of all…”.
Some even argue the optimal length was less than this, as particularly large or wide characters could cause the “…” to come a bit earlier. A number of sites play it safe with meta descriptions of up to 150 characters – including spaces.
In either case, the limit has been doubled to around 320 characters, according to the search whizzes at Moz. Yes, that’s double the characters and double the space to talk about your business and its products without being cut off by the dreaded “…”.
The importance of Google
Now, these changes might not be so notable on other search engines. But that simply isn’t the case with Google. The giants dominate the search engine market, with an average share of just under three quarters across 2017. Despite growing competition from AOL, Ask, Yahoo, Badui and duckduckgo, Google remains firmly at the top of the pack, with a massive 3.5 billion searches every single day.
While meta descriptions aren’t important for search rankings, they do impact heavily on click through rates – which certainly will contribute to where you end up on search results.
Making the most of 320 characters
So, should you utilise the extra characters in your meta description?
Of course! Why wouldn’t you use an added opportunity to promote your site?
With around 320 characters, it’s now easier than ever to fit in all the key meta description features. Here are 5 things to consider:
- Keywords – the content might not contribute to search rankings, but Google does highlight keywords that appear in the meta descrptions, making them more prominent to searchers who have used them.
- Unique – Keep your content unique. Duplicated meta descriptions make all your pages seem the same, which can confuse search engines. You’re better off leaving meta descriptions blank and letting Google select a snippet.
- Match – Don’t try to trick visitors into clicking onto your site. This will simply increase your bounce rate and cause your site to plummet. Ensure your meta description matches the page it’s describing.
- Call-to-action – Include an invitation to click through in your meta description. Why? It’s a powerful tool to suggest the next step for consumers. Add “Find out more”, “Take a look“ or “Try today” to the end of your meta description.
- Specification – With some products and even services, consumers are looking for specifics. So, it’s definitely worth listing key details in your meta description. Anything from “gluten free” or “eco-friendly” to “free trial” or “pay monthly” can get visitors clicking through if that’s exactly what they’re looking for.
Optimise your ecommerce site
Ecommerce is far from easy if you don’t have the experience and expertise. That’s where Fluid Digital comes in. We add huge value to business with ecommerce know-how across the board. If you need a powerful Magento ecommerce store, we can help. Contact our friendly team today to discuss your business today.