How To Insert, Improve And Optimize The Google Snippet
The Google snippet is the single result that appears on the page of this search engine. This cutout contains all the information to decide whether or not to visit the link. Its optimization is about SEM optimization, not just SEO.
Snippets also appear in Google ADS advertisements (formerly AdWords) and also feature other search engines such as Yahoo !, Bing, and more. But the importance goes above all to the work of SEO on-page. Where to start?
The topics of the post
- What is a Google snippet: definition
- What are the elements of the snippet?
- UX characteristics of the various elements
- Several examples of online search results
- How to edit your snippet on Google
- How to optimize snippets with WordPress
- Featured Snippet: what is a zero result?
- Why does Google change the titles in the SERP?
- Schema.org: how to create rich snippets
- Google Snippet: Have you optimized everything already?
What is a Google snippet: definition
It is a piece of text (literal translation from English: fragment, clipping) that appears in the search engine results. In the SERP, there are, in principle, 10 snippets organized vertically according to relevance.
The first result is the most relevant to that search, the second a little less, and so on. The organization of the snippets on the Google page, and all the engines, greatly influences the visibility you have on the internet.
But not only that, the activity of an SEO expert is about two big activities: winning the first position for a relevant query and optimizing the Google snippet. Because being on top of the SERP is useful for bringing profiled visits to the site or blog.
Indeed, as you can see from the linksmanagement.com graphic that reports a study on Google’s CTR is fundamental. But that’s not enough. The ultimate goal is to increase site visits by bringing people to use for your purpose. Even with the snippet.
What are the elements of the snippet?
Question: how many elements do a Google snippet, a result of the web’s most famous search engine, consist of? Much depends on the type of search and the characteristics of the page, but in principle, a home page consists of:
- Title tag.
- Meta description.
The namely main title, address with the domain, description of the page. The first element introduces, the second gives information on generic origins, the third deepens and gives extra information to convince the user.
On a home page, you can observe the site links, sometimes they are also found in single pages in the compact form if there are anchors of the internal navigation menus.
UX characteristics of the various elements
The snippet title is blue, it turns purple once clicked. The URL is green and in the mobile version it is above the title tag along with the favicon, the meta description bolds the keywords found in the user’s query.
Several examples of online search results
To clarify the possibilities offered by Google in creating snippets, you can take a look at this short gallery with several examples dedicated to common situations.
The alternatives are many, this is a taste of the combinations you can find in the SERP. But let’s see how to optimize the Google snippet.
How to edit your snippet on Google
To optimize the Google snippet you must first become aware of how title tags, meta descriptions, and the various elements that make up this element are changed. While the URL is decided upon publication, the title and description are found in the Head section of the code. An example of the HTML on page:
<meta name=”Description” CONTENT=”Question meta description”>
<title>Question tag title</title>
There would be other elements but for now, we are interested in these. How to change the title that is seen in Google searches? What about the meta description? The main solution, simpler and more immediate, is to use a plugin that works on these items. With WordPress, you can choose All In One SEO Pack or WordPress SEO By Yoast.
How to enter keywords in WordPress? Again, by adding keywords in the title tag, URL, and meta description. In the first two cases, you do a useful activity for SEO purposes, in the second an operation to improve communication with the reader: the meta description is not used for ranking purposes.
Use WordPress SEO By Yoast to edit
In this video, you can see the procedure to enter the meta description and to change the one you entered. The same goes for the title tag. After installing the plugin on each page you will find a form with a series of fields.
They are the ones that allow you to modify the proposed spaces of the snippet. This way you can change the site description on Google with WordPress. But the same goes for other types of CMS such as Joomla, Prestashop, and Magento.
How to optimize snippets with WordPress
Remember this: the snippet on Google is the first communication front with the user. So your goal is to make people understand what is on the other high. There are no tricks and magic to optimize the Google snippet. Just think about giving useful information.
And remember that the search console can be a holy hand in optimizing the snippet. In the analysis of searches you have the relationship between impressions and real clicks: if there are many views of the result but few visits it means, perhaps, that there is something to optimize.
Add a favicon to the website
On mobile this point is useful: the search shows the image that represents your brand before the URL. Strengthen the online reputation of your result and display the logo to make yourself immediately recognizable in an increasingly competitive SERP.
Length of title and meta description tags
The first tip for those who need a guide to optimize snippets is the number of letters to enter in the various fields that make up this space.
- How long should the title tag be: 60 characters.
- How long the description must be: 150 characters.
This is generally because Google does not measure the number of words or letters but the pixels. In any case, if it is too long, the text is truncated.
You need to be clear and direct, avoid keyword excess without forgetting that the title tag is important for SEO purposes. Therefore it is advisable to suggest the topic in this text.
Title tag and meta description for each page
If you don’t enter a title tag and a meta description it will be up to Google to remedy the problem but it will do it in its way. So make sure (perhaps with Screaming Frog ) that all pages have these texts, and that they are unique. Not duplicated.
Short and direct, communicative URL
The page address appears in the snippet. To create an SEO friendly URL, make sure you use simple words in the permalink, avoid unnecessary keywords, and add microdata to create breadcrumbs. In this way, in the SERP the various directories will be concatenated and defined by words useful to the user for information.
Featured Snippet: what is a zero result?
You will surely have noticed that some links are rewarded with a zero result, a snippet that conquers the main position and higher even the first slot.
This occurs when the search engine considers a contribution particularly useful to meet a need. How to get the featured snippet?
Google did not give clear information but some tests have found that to have more possibilities, in addition to searching to understand where there are opportunities, you can use tables and bulleted lists in the text, which are common among featured snippets.
You can give definitions using direct language. Make use of short sentences: as the graph suggests, in most cases, the sentences are 40/50 words.
Why does Google change the titles in the SERP?
Sometimes Google may ignore the indications left in the fields useful to vary the snippet and enters a different text. This is because no rule indicates the search engine’s obligation to follow your directions.
If, for example, the result is useful to people looking for a particular keyword, the search engine can change the title to be more relevant to the search made. The same goes for the meta description, it can be changed.
Schema.org: how to create rich snippets
A big chapter of Google snippet optimization is about adding Schema.org microdata to have the results enriched in the SERP with extra information. I’m talking about rich snippets, information that should help the user.
The solutions, in this case, are endless, there are structured data for every need. My advice for those who want to create rich snippets (and for example want to put the stars of the rating) is to use a specific plugin like All In One Rich Snippet.
Google Snippet: Have you optimized everything already?
There is still work to be done but this is normal: you cannot have everything under control. The important thing is to check the presence and absence of the main fields, avoid strings that are too long, and have an essential point under control.
KissAnime talking about communicating with the user. Set the best possible relationship with the reader as a goal. Do you agree? Do you think this is the way to optimize the Google snippet? I wait for you in the comments to address the topic.