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SEO By The Numbers

Posted on the 22 January 2014 by Sidewalkbranding @sidewalkbrand

A SEO Cheat Sheet 4 Character Counts and Other Stuff

By Chris Sheehy | Sidewalk Branding Co.

META character count limits and SEOLately, 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 and limits as they impact search engine optimization.

Let me start by saying many of the character limitations you read/hear about aren’t actually 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. “w/W”).  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 the 200-ish website SEO signals of your website.

So without further ado – here’s our top elements to consider taken directly from our META Data SEO Cheat Sheet we use in-house for character count limitations.

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 -65 max characters
  • META-Description   70 min -160 max characters
  • META-Keywords              5 words – 200 characters (not that they matter)
  • H-Tags                             70 characters max
  • URL length                   115 characters max
  • Image Alt Attribute   100 characters max

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