A snippet from the future. Google Snippets are an SEO game changer.

Have you ever Googled something, and a little snippet of information appeared at the top of the page? It often answers your question or gives you the exact information you were looking for. It sits above the PPC ads.

This, my friends, is a Google Snippet. Google defines a snippet as “a description of or an excerpt from the webpage.”  It comes after the title but before the URL and cached link. According to an article found on Search Engine Land, “the snippet refers to the description portion of a Google search listing.”

Traditionally, Google used to use the meta data descriptions built into the back end of a website and displayed them as a snippet. We know these as the description right below the website that describes what the website is about, on the search engine results page. Google has shifted this methodology to now also incorporate snippets of text from the body copy of a website as well.

According to an article found on Word Stream, this is because Google’s goal is always to deliver the most relevant results to their users. We know plenty of websites that struggle to maintain the basics of SEO, and when metadata descriptions either aren’t there, grow stale or are not relevant, Google will look for other content to serve to its users.

Small businesses hear a lot about SEO from marketers big and small. And it’s true, a solid SEO strategy is crucial to the long -term success of any marketing strategy. The reality is that not all small businesses can afford to spend thousands of dollars every month investing in the optimization of their website.

From where I sit, securing a Google Snippet could really change the marketing game for small businesses. Imagine a prospect searching for a solution to their problem and Google serves a snippet of your company website that answers their question and it’s pulled directly from your company website. Adjusting the SEO strategy of your small business website could lead to a shift in the way we use PPC and impact your long-term marketing goals.

So how can one go about influencing a Google Snippet, if there is a likelihood that Google will ignore your metadata description? There are a few ways, according to the same article in Search Engine Land.

Incorporate popular search terms in your meta data description. This might seem obvious, but you can use Google Analytics to see what people are searching for when they come to your website organically. Incorporate those terms in not only the metadata descriptions, but also the description from the sites open directory and the body content of your pages.

Make sure Google sees your meta data descriptions as high quality. Don’t use long strings of keywords in your meta data descriptions or copy the title tag meta data descriptions. Avoid duplicate content in general and make sure you are formatting your descriptions in a way that is easy to read.

According to an article on Word Stream, the key to incentivizing Google to pull relevant information from your website is to pay attention to the content on your pages. The content that surround keywords, as well as, all variations of keywords in your headlines and subheads will most likely be pulled by Google instead of your meta data description. Using variations of all keywords will also ensure a relevant Google Snippet search result.

Implementing these tips aren’t guaranteed to earn you a Google Snippet, but it will get you closer to what is becoming the premium advertising spot in the digital world.