Creating compelling meta descriptions is necessary for businesses that want their web pages to stand out in search results. Search engines have to keep the description for each link reasonably short so that they can fit ten links on each search engine result page. Besides writing an informative description, website owners should consider adding elements that will make their descriptions more eye-catching. One tactic to consider using is adding emojis to the meta title and description for a webpage.

Depending on your age group, emojis are either “those things the kids use” or “the only way to express yourself online.” Emojis can express emotion and tone that can be lost in online writing. And when combined in a certain way, emojis can have a specific meaning. These small drawings have become ubiquitous in modern online content. Many comment section replies, and the social media posts will include emojis. 

You can also use emojis in more traditional online content. Some blog posts use emojis in the headline or the main body of the material. This tactic is better for content that’s less serious. A hard-hitting piece about a serious topic will lose credibility if you include a smiley face emoji in the title. However, in a more whimsical article, including a fire emoji in a headline about fat-burning exercises could be eye-catching.

Emojis have SEO value, but it may not be what you expect. First, emojis have become so widespread that it’s possible to search for something using emojis. It’s not something that people often do, but it’s good to know that emojis can help your pages show up in searches. For example, if you search for “👍” and look at the News tab, you will see recent articles where the 👍 emoji showed up in the text. 

The second SEO benefit of emoji is the ability to make a meta description standout. Emojis can be displayed on search result pages. Including an emoji in the meta description will create a link standout on the page and could get someone to read that description first. Again, you should only use this tactic when it’s appropriate. 

Just because Google can show emojis in search results doesn’t mean that it always will. At the beginning of 2019, a member of the Google team suggested that emojis can be filtered out meta title and descriptions tags. They didn’t give a specific rubric for when emojis are filtered from meta tags. However, they did provide some things to keep in mind. Emojis may be filtered out if they’re considered misleading, they look too spammy, or if they’re simply out of place.

Making good use of emojis for SEO requires a delicate touch. Some situations can benefit from adding an appropriate emoji to the meta title or meta description. However, trying to use the tactic too often or in content where it doesn’t fit could be counter-productive. Even if you use an emoji to draw attention, it’s essential to make the description useful by Google’s standards. 

According to Google, “A meta description tag should generally inform and interest users with a short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about. They are like a pitch that convinces the user that the page is exactly what they’re looking for.” 

If you think adding an emoji can help convince searchers to click on your link, then it’s something you should consider trying. It’ll be interesting to see how Google’s BERT system for understanding natural language deals with content that contains emojis.