Small, but oh so important.
Google snippets may only consist of a few characters, but they can have a major impact on the success of a website. However, they are often seen as just a tedious little job that people don’t pay much attention to.
But it’s worth taking a closer look! We will explain what Google snippets are, why optimization is worthwhile – and how you can easily do this with 6 tips…
What is a Google Snippet?
Google snippets are comparable to a book cover. This is the first impression that searchers get from your website in the organic search from Google and other search engines. The so-called Google snippet is what searchers see when they enter a specific search term on Google on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Ranked websites are displayed with a total of three pieces of information.
URL: The target URL of this search result is displayed at the top.
Meta Title: In second place is a title that briefly and concisely states what it is about. It’s like a headline that’s supposed to grab attention and arouse interest.
Meta-Description: At the end follows a somewhat longer description that provides searchers with additional information about what they will find on this landing page.
In general, Google snippets serve to provide both search engines and searchers with information about what you can expect on this site. So it’s about providing precise and convincing important signals in order to stand out from the crowd of search results. Basically, this metadata serves a total of 2 purposes:
Improve ranking by signal to search engines
Increase the click rate by convincingly addressing the searcher and thus increase the traffic.
URL: Can be neglected here as it is not important for searchers to be able to read it in full.
The specification in pixels is important because different letters (e.g. W vs. I) take up different amounts of space.
You cannot rely on a number of characters alone. Nevertheless, certain rules of thumb have prevailed. A maximum of 60 characters is assumed for the meta title and 145. for the meta description.
If you write longer titles and descriptions, there is a risk that these will not be displayed in full – or that Google will display completely different text parts from your website as snippets. So use the number of characters as a guide, and never write longer – but also not necessarily shorter. Make the best use of the space you have.
If you want to be on the safe side, you can check your Google snippet for the exact number of pixels with a tool like Sistrix’s SERP Snippet Generator.
2. Take a look at the competition
As always in SEO, it is worth analyzing the successes of the competition. So if you write a Google snippet for the keyword “Hiking shoes large sizes”, just enter it into Google yourself (in incognito mode, so that the search results are not distorted by your behavior) and look at the View Top 10 Snippets.
You can often use this as a starting point, which secondary keywords could be important and which approach is the right one here. Of course, as always, it’s not about copying the competition. After all, your snippet should represent your site exactly, and its content will certainly differ from other sites. However, looking at the competition always offers a good starting point and valuable insights.
3. Always write for people
First and foremost serve Google Snippets to give searchers a clear impression of what they will find on the page. Therefore, these searchers should always be the focus of optimization. Because what good does it do you if all the important keywords are present in the snippet, but it reads awfully?
So make sure to write appealing texts. Write simple and clear sentences, work out the content of the page clearly and, if possible, encourage the searcher to click via a CTA. Just imagine you googled the search term yourself. What would you address?
4. Pay attention to the clear placement of relevant keywords
Of course, optimization in the sense of SEO is not possible either. Because Google snippets not only provide information to searchers but also to the search engine. It is therefore important that you use relevant keywords of the page in the meta title and meta description.
So make sure that Use the focus keyword in the meta title. It should also appear in the URL and the meta description. The description offers a little more space, which is why you can also enter important secondary keywords there.
The following always applies: Don’t forget tip 2. In the end, you write for people, so when in doubt, less is more. Merely stringing keywords together will not bring success. So it is better to leave out a secondary keyword for the sake of readability instead of squeezing it into the line by hook or by crook.
In the end, you won’t be able to avoid using the most important keywords anyway. Finally, the Google snippet should give a clear impression of what the page will be about. And that is difficult to do without naming the most important term.
5. If necessary, use special characters – in moderation
To offer the most appealing search result possible, it may make sense to use special characters (e.g. ASCII characters). With A, a lot of information can be presented in a compressed and interesting way in a list with a tick.
Emojis can also find their place in the Google snippet if necessary. However, when using special characters, make absolutely sure that they are never just an end in themselves. Special characters should only be used if they make the snippet easier to understand, clearer, and easier to consume. Otherwise, they will only be a nuisance. So use this opportunity wisely.
6. Evaluate key metrics and optimize your Google Snippets
As always in search engine optimization, it is important to closely monitor all subsequent measures. This also applies to the optimization of Google snippets. Important key figures are e.g. E.g.:
- Page ranking for relevant keywords
- Number of Impressions
- Number of clicks
- Bounce Rate
You can derive different approaches from all these factors. Does your site rank e.g very well and has many impressions but only very few clicks, then the Google snippet is probably not appealing enough. On the other hand, if the number of clicks is great, but the bounce rate from the website is also extremely high, then the content probably does not live up to what the snippet promises.
So always keep an eye on all key details and use the knowledge gained to further optimize your Google snippets!
Conclusion: Optimized Google Snippets
You see: There isn’t that much you need to consider to create a good Google snippet. If you stick to the 6 tips, you are on the right track. And this way is worth it.
Because well-optimized meta titles and meta descriptions can influence your ranking positively, improve the click rate and ultimately increase the traffic on your website. In order to benefit from these positive factors, you must take the appropriate time. This is the only way to create the best possible snippet.