A snippet is a short, catchy excerpt from an article that is used to promote the article on search engine results pages (SERPs) and social media platforms. But how do they work exactly, and how to optimize them? Let’s see!
What’s a Snippet? Definition
A snippet is a brief description of an article that appears on SERPs and social media platforms. The purpose of a snippet is to give the reader a quick overview of what the article is about and persuade them to click through to read it.
Snippets are usually small pieces of content, around 50-60 characters long (a few words), although this can vary depending on the platform. For example, Google’s SERPs typically display around 150 characters of a snippet, whereas Twitter only displays around 140 characters.
How do Snippets Work?
When an article is shared on social media or appears as a result in a search engine, the platform will usually generate a snippet automatically. However, depending on the platform, it is sometimes possible for the author or web page owner to specify what text should be used as the snippet.
For example, on Twitter, you may add what’s known as a “Twitter Card” to your website. This allows you to specify the title, image and description that will be used when your articles are shared on Twitter. Similarly, on Facebook, you can use the Open Graph protocol to control what information is displayed when your articles are shared.
Where Are Snippets Used?
Snippets are used on a variety of different platforms, including:
- social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn;
- search engine results pages (SERPs), such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing;
- news aggregators such as Google News and Apple News;
- email newsletters;
- instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Here are a few examples of snippets in action:
- A recipe snippet might include the ingredients, cooking time, and a photo of the dish.
- A product snippet might include the price, customer rating, and a product photo.
- A hotel snippet might show the location, price, and number of stars.
As you can see, snippets can be very useful in providing potential customers with the information they need to make a decision. If you’re running a business, it’s important to make sure your website is optimized for snippet inclusion. This means ensuring that your content is well-written and informative, and that your website design is clean and user-friendly.
Learn How to Optimize Content for Snippets
If you want to learn more about how to optimize your content for snippets, check out our complete guide to snippet optimization. Here are some key takeaways:
- Use clear and concise language in your titles and descriptions.
- Make sure your website design is clean and easy to navigate.
- Include relevant keywords in your titles and descriptions.
- Use rich media (images, videos, etc.) to help your content stand out.
- Encourage social shares by using social media cards and sharing buttons.
- Monitor your click-through rates and adjust your titles and descriptions accordingly.
A featured snippet is a special type of snippet that appears at the top of the SERP, above the regular results. Featured snippets are intended to provide users with quick, relevant answers to their queries.
Google typically displays featured snippets for questions and other types of searches where a direct answer is helpful. For example, searches for “how to,” “what is,” and “when is” are often eligible for featured snippet treatment.
Featured snippets usually take the form of a list, table, or paragraph of text. They may also include an image or video. Google pulls the content for featured snippets from a variety of sources, including websites, books, and other online resources.
Snippets are a great way to improve the visibility and click-through rate of your website. If you’re looking to drive more traffic to your site, optimizing your content for snippets is a good place to start.