SEO checklist: Snippets and the appearance of search results

Published on

September 03, 2020

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Making it to the first page on Google with targeted search engine optimization is a great success.

But to keep the fantastic ranking, the search result must also achieve a good conversion rate so as not to drop in the ranking again. The search result pages on Google have long since ceased to be a simple list of links. Snippets should make the search results even more interesting and clearer for users  
The purpose of these little teasers is to provide users with even more satisfying search results. Similar to the title and flap text of a book, they should inform about what users expect when they click on a link. Even the "book cover" has become a way to lure readers to your website, as there are various snippets that also entice them to click with visual content such as pictures and graphics or even videos! 

Do not leave snippets to chance!

Each search result consists of several parts. Below the actual link is the blue title of the page, below it is the meta-description, which briefly summarises what content users can expect. Even websites that do not think about the appearance of their content in the search results can rank well in rare cases. However, those who do not specifically optimise the snippets are wasting potential. Because if no snippets have been created, Google automatically generates a text excerpt that is related to the keyword but taken out of context. This does not exactly encourage reading!  
In contrast, an optimized title with a crisp summary of the page content is an invitation to visit the page. Editing the snippets doesn't require much effort, but it makes a big impact. The individual aspects of an optimally presented search result are as follows: 
  • The link must have a "talking URL" containing the keyword! 
  • The title or "title tag" must be short and crisp like a newspaper headline, the length should be between 55 and 60 characters. The main keyword should also be included here  
  • The meta-description is the short text that is displayed to users below the title and link. This description must be formulated like a footnote to the title, summarizing the content of the page, with a length of 140 to 156 characters. Here a call-to-action is effective, regional providers should also use the name of the town at this point  

The Extras: Rich Snippets and Featured Snippets

To further improve the user experience, Google has come up with other types of snippets. The so-called rich snippets provide more information about a provider at a glance than pure text content can offer. These include, for example, rating stars, prices or images that draw users' attention. This additional information helps users to see whether the expected content is relevant to their search and can be marked in the source code of each page by means of targeted formatting. The optimization of rich snippets is one of the active SEO measures, because this makes search results immediately catch the eye and the click rate increases.  
With Featured Snippets, Google aims to offer users an even shorter path: The answer to the entered question is displayed directly above the organic search results in an "Answer Box", for example in the form of a short explanation or practical instructions. As a result, users are no longer forced to call up the actual website to access the information, but many do so anyway due to the exposed position. Although Google itself chooses which websites win the race for this position, optimisation makes sense. Using trigger words like "definition" or "instruction" in conjunction with the keyword increases the chances of increasing traffic with a featured snippet! 

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