Emojis are symbols which are universally recognised across different platforms and devices, meaning they should display across your windows computer or apple iphone. They can be useful to drawing attention to results and creating SERP snippets with increased click throughs.
The jury is still out on whether adding these to a pages meta title and description will harm your results. It’s been explicitly stated by John Mueller from Google that adding these in your description won’t do any damage.
We’re running a test on this at the moment and will report back once complete. We’ve got two sites set up testalpha.online and testbeta.online and we’re waiting to see which outranks the other for some unique terms.
Setting up these tests showed that it wasn’t the copy paste endeavor I first assumed it would be to place emojis into page titles and descriptions. If you’re about to try and do the same, or have become a little frustrated as to why it’s not working for you then this article should help.
How to get Emojis in your page code
The exact method you use for editing your pages meta tags (title and description) will likely depend on the CMS you are using. Wordpress is the solution I was using so I’ve documented the process for this. However it should be a similar process whatever the CMS, or just creating a flat site.
Surprisingly Wordpress does not come with an out the box solution to creating custom titles / descriptions. This is something you will need a plugin for. I’ve tried a few different ones for adding meta tags and found there were surprisingly few that allowed you to do this on a page by page basis.
None of the plugins I tried allowed me to copy/paste an emoji straight into the code. All of them which I tried would allow me to enter an emoji into the text field but upon saving would return to the default state. I suspect that the emoji was causing an error that none of the plugins could handle, none of the ones I tried returned an error message on saving or gave any clues as to what was going on though.
The way round this is to use the HTML code for the emoji rather than the emoji itself. The plugin I settled on using was Yoasts SEO plugin, as this was the solution I initially tried and it usually displays the predicted serp result, so I could see straight away if I had the correct code for the emoji.
The next thing you need is the emoji itself, or rather the html entity for the emoji. Finding a site that gives this information isn’t that easy, I found this one:
Find the emoji you want to use and then copy / paste the code shown into the field for the title / description and use it as you want.
If you are coding a page from scratch then you should be able to use these codes in much the same way, manually added them into the page title / description tags as needed:
But is it something that you should be doing?
This section will likely get updated as the results of our experiments come in, but it really comes down to how much this is likely to affect your page rankings. Undoubtedly getting your search engine result to stand out should help with click through rates, but that won’t help if Google isn’t displaying those results.