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Page Title & Meta Description Lengths = Pixels

When writing page title and meta descriptions, there are certain length limits put in place by Google to ensure their results look nice and clean.

The rule of thumb is:

  • 50 – 60 characters for page titles and
  • 156 characters for meta descriptions.

Why is there a character range on page titles?

Google’s search results are measured by around 505 pixels horizontally.

This means that, whilst a 60 character page title is usually OK, there can be some exceptions.

As shown in the image below, a page title that sits at 500 pixels or under will be shown in SERPs without being cut off. The page title displayed is 64 characters in length before the cut off.Bike Search Results

The words that have been cut off are “Low Prices”. Adding these words takes the total page title length to 75 characters.

The image below shows the other search results for the example above.

bikes SERPs

Here are the statistics for the other page titles shown. Anything in red is not shown in the SERPs:

 #

Page Title

Character

1

Australia’s BEST Online Bike Shop, BEST prices, FAST shipping

61

2

The Bicycle Store — Australia’s Online & Retail Bike Shop

57

3

Bikes & Accessories – Buy Bikes & Accessories Online at Everyday Low Prices

64

4

Bike & Cycles Store | Cycling Bikes for Sale Online | Shop @ aaaaaaaa

69

 

And for the meta descriptions:

 

Meta Description

Characters

1

Buy your next bike from us online. Best prices. Fast shipping. Big range. Best brands.

86

2

Search a large range of new & used motorbikes, motorbikes for sale online or sell your own motorbike for $60 total cost! Find new motorcycle information, new motorbikes dealer specials, motorbike reviews, motorbike news & advice.

229

3

None found – meta description in search results is taken from content on the page itself. Shown below:

106 products – Online only special. Price may differ in store. Ends October 31st. While stocks last. Buy more and save on delivery. Availability: Buy now

 

 

153

4

Aaaaaaaa Aaaaaais Australia’s largest discount online cycle shop. We have a full range of bikes, bike parts & clothing at discount prices. Shop online now.

156

Analysis – Page Title Length

What does the above example show us about page title lengths?

  • It doesn’t matter if your page title is below 60 characters, it can still get cut off – it all depends on the width of the letter. A ‘W’ is wider than an ‘i’ so you could fit more characters in if there are more thin letters in your page title.
  • If you use non-alpha/numeric characters in your page title, it may get changed to suit the search (as shown in example number 4)

Analysis – Meta Description Length

What does the above example show us about meta description length?

  • Meta Descriptions have a maximum length of 156 characters so make sure you’re using it to your advantage
  • Not having a meta description will mean sometimes useless content will be used in your SERP (see example 3)

How can you ensure your page title and meta description is working correctly?

There are a number of SERP snippet optimizer tools out there for you to see how your titles and metas will look in Google. Experiment with the tool and ensure you’re enticing users to click on your search result over competitors.

RELATED ARTICLES

  1. SEO and Keywords in 2015
  2. On-Page SEO Checklist
  3. How Does Your Website Compare to Your Competitors?

 

OTHER RESOURCES

  1. SEO Mofo – Page Title and Meta Description Preview Tool
  2. Google Support – Review Your Page Titles & Meta Descriptions
  3. Search Engine Journal – Get the Most out of Your Page Titles and Metas