Today we’re getting a bit more technical, but no worries, I’ll explain everything. Imagine you’re doing a Google search. You will then be presented with lots of links to different websites and previews what you will find there. Each of these sections of the Google search results is called a snippet. And optimising this snippet is what we’re talking about today.
Here is what the snippet for this very article is going to look like:
So, if someone should do a search for optimising search results, this is the result they will see for my article on the subject. It consists of the headline, the slug (the exact web address) and a short preview (called the meta description). Google takes this information directly from your website, but with the right tools you can tell Google exactly what to put in each space.
Optimising Google search results
The tool I use is called Yoast SEO. It’s a WordPress plugin that’s free to use and super useful. It not only highlights all the places you need to put your keyword, it also helps with optimising your writing. It indicates if your sentences are too long or whether you’ve used too much passive voice (“the text was written by me” rather than “I wrote the text”). Yoast also highlights whether you need to use sub headings. It’s super useful for anyone who writes a blog post and wants to optimise it for search engines (and, of course, your readers).
There is a special section dealing with the snippet. This is what it looks like.
As you can see, you have total control over what appears in the snippet if you use Yoast SEO. This way you can make sure that your keyword appears in all the right places. So for optimising the snippet, make sure you put your keyword in the SEO headline, the slug as well as the preview text. You can also perfectly formulate the preview so Google doesn’t cut it off in mid sentence. There are only 160 characters available, anything else gets cut off so choose your wording wisely. You want to give a hint of content and a reason to click your link rather than anyone else’s. With Yoast, the text also goes red once you exceed your maximum character allowance which is helpful.
Over to you
As you can see, it is really easy to let Google know exactly what you would like to show for each page of your website, not just your blog. So make sure you make the most of this useful tool.
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