SEO By The Numbers
An SEO Cheat Sheet For Character Counts and Other StuffBy Chris Sheehy | Sidewalk Branding Co. [updated January 2018]
Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of calls from businesses concerned with optimizing the back-end data of their website called the META. This data is helpful in informing search engines and viewers alike about the pages of a website.
The calls typically have concerned the technical aspect of META Tags with questions ranging from “are we properly keyword optimized?” to “are we within character limits for our META elements?”.
I think I’ve written enough recently on keyword research & keyword optimization, so I’ll jump right to the mysterious side of META Tags, and character count limits as they impact search engine optimization.
Let me start by saying many of the character limitations you read/hear about aren’t character count limitations at all; but rather pixel limitations. Different letters and numbers occupy more/less pixel space than others (think of “i/I” vs. “m/M”). It can seem overly complicated to measure text in pixels– so character counts have been overly simplified and used as the standard. It is for this reason you typically see number ranges instead of hard-set numbers when researching the topic. So character counts it is.
And also be aware that character counts are mainly best practice SEO suggestions – so don’t assume that nailing these will instantly drive more traffic to your website, by itself – it won’t. But they should certainly be considered when assessing which of the 200-ish website SEO signals of your site you need to modify in order to improve your visibility and rank.
So without further ado – here’s our top 6 elements to consider taken directly from our in-house META Data SEO Cheat Sheet for character counts and META Title & Description pixel width consideration.
Used wisely and with discretion, it will aid in fine-honing your website’s search engine optimization elements and help to signal more traffic to your site.
- META-Title 30 min > 70 max characters [updated]
- META-Description 70 min > 320 max characters [updated]
- META-Keywords (these do nothing – stop using them)
- H-Tags 70 characters max
- URL length 115 characters max
- Image Alt Attribute 100 characters max
- On-Page Text Length 300 words minimum