The King and Prince Case Study
Expanded Meta Descriptions for SEO

The Challenge

In early December 2017, Google extended their search snippet results – showing up to 320 characters in the organic results for websites, twice the earlier 160 characters. So, it is now possible to expand into more real estate in the search results – gaining exposure for your brand and potentially increasing clickthrough rate (CTR) and sessions. Going forward with new pages and blog posts for our clients, we planned to write these expanded meta descriptions, but was it worthwhile to go back to pages created before the change and rewrite the descriptions to be longer?

Here was our experiment:

  • Choose the best pages to test based on number of sessions and unique users.
  • Rewrite the meta descriptions to be between 300 and 320 characters and reflect the most important information on the page.
  • Compare organic CTR and organic sessions month over month.

The Opportunity

Our hypothesis was that we would see an increase in CTR and sessions from our organic Google listings, and the first months after the tests proved that correct. We saw organic sessions rise almost across the board, along with organic CTR.

During our testing, we found:

  • The first stage of the test saw organic CTR raise between 6% and 35%.
  • The home page of the website saw total organic sessions from Google rise 37%.
  • The second test phase had an average session growth of 32%.
  • Of all the pages we tested, the biggest change was a session growth of 84%.
  • All pages but one had positive session growth, with only one page experiencing a decline (26% session decrease in the month after expanded meta descriptions were implemented).

The Results

There is little downside to re-evaluating your meta descriptions – finding out what has worked, what hasn’t. Expanding, rewriting, and testing… The work can just be time consuming. That’s why Unidev is here to be your digital marketing team and assist your organization with SEO. If you need help optimizing your website, contact us today.


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