Snippets help websites become more attractive for users as they are the primary piece of information that helps determine whether the site contains helpful and relevant content. Search for Beginners reviews what a good page title and good page description look like, how to use meta tag descriptions, and how Google generates search result snippets. Watch this video now to learn how to change your Google Search result snippet!

Video Transcript

When your website appears on Google search results, Google search shows a snippet, or a title and short description. As the first interaction between your website and potential customers, the snippet is the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on. So its important to take the time to add relevant titles and descriptions.

What is a Good Title?

Page titles should concisely describe what you have to offer. A good title describes what you offer. Like “Sporty kids clothes” for an online kids clothing boutique. A good description should provide a one or two-sentence summary of the content on the page. Like “Browse through a variety of clothing for all your kids activities,” for a catalog page that showcases all of your site’s sporty kids clothing. You’ll want to avoid vague terms  like using “Home” for your home page. And excessively long titles, as they may be truncated in search results. Also, you want to use descriptive terms in your title. But don’t be repetitive or use excessive synonyms. This doesn’t help users and could look spammy to Google and to potential users. Using different titles for different pages is important as it helps inform the user of where they are on your site. If you must use the same title, consider using different snippets for each page to help distinguish them from one another on search results. Many content management systems allow you to update the title of a page to better reflect its actual content.


Now, let’s talk about description or snippets. Snippets are automatically created by Google to emphasize the contents on a page that best relates to a user’s specific search. This means that a page might show different snippets for different searches. Note that Google will try to pick a relevant helpful title and description. As a website owner, you have two main ways of influencing your snippet content. Rich results and meta-description tags. Note that Google will try to pick a relevant helpful title. Even if you give all your pages a title and description, Google might choose alternatives depending on the query the user entered. This video will continue to focus on meta-tag descriptions. If you’d like to learn about rich snippets, click the video link in the description below. Good descriptions are short and relevant summaries of what a particular page is about. Think of them as a pitch to convince a potential customer to visit your website. There is no limit to how long a meta-description can be, but the search result snippets are truncated as needed. The meta-description doesn’t need to be in sentence format. For example, product pages may display product details, prices, or manufacturers. News or blog postings may list the author or date of publication. Similar to titles, every page on your website should have a meta-description that is distinctive and relevant to that page.

Prioritize Your Content

If you don’t have time to create a unique description for every single page, try to prioritize your content. At the very least, create a description for the home page and popular pages. If you use a content management system, you may also be able to generate descriptions dynamically and automatically from your page content. You can check what Google displays for your website by entering a query and the name of your website and search. Note that the title and snippet shown can vary for different queries.

Adjusting Titles and Meta-Descriptions

Depending on what method you used to create your website, you can adjust the titles and meta-descriptions. In most content management systems, you can give each page a short meta-description and a title. When in doubt, contact your platform with any questions you may have. If your website was built from scratch, without the use of any content management system or other platforms, you can change the title and meta-description in the HTML source itself. Or within the scripts that generate the pages. Look for areas where you can change the title text between the appropriate HTML title tags. And, within the element of the page. To edit the description, edit the text inside the content field of the meta-description tag, like this. If your HTML does not have and tags, or meta-name description tags already, you can add them in between the and tags. If you’d contracted someone to build your website for you, they should be able to change your titles and meta-tag descriptions on their end easily. Remember, the person who understands your business and marketing strategy best should be the one providing the title and description.

Thank you for watching. And lookout for the last episode in the Search for Beginners series about adding and changing your information to Google My Business.

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