You know those coins you find at the bottom of your pocket at the end of the day – it’s a combination of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters that you’re not sure what to do with it.
Coin change doesn’t seem all that important in the grand scheme of things, well, that’s until you start paying attention to it. If you’re smart, you figure out pretty quickly that saving those pennies adds up to vacation money or extra spending cash when you need it. Google article snippets are a bit like coin change. You probably don’t pay much attention to them, either, but they can pay off big if you give them a chance.
What is a Google Snippet?
A snippet is that little hook readers see on search pages. It gives readers just enough information to recognize the value of clicking to read your article or view your page. If you’re good, Google may feature your snippet because it deems it to be a “rich answer.” Find out more about how to put Google snippets to work in the B2B market.
A rich snippet is that little piece of text that shows up under the title in search results. Try an experiment. Go to Google and type in the search phrase: "What is a Google Snippet?"
You should see two types of snippets in the search results. The top one is a featured snippet because it provides a direct answer to the search question. It literally defines a Google snippet for you. The second format is a regular snippet. It offers a little information about what the reader can expect should they click on the link.
The anatomy of your basic snippet includes:
Title of article and website
A line of gray text that offers specific data such as author name or posting date
The black text is a small excerpt taken either from the meta description or the page copy in order to tease the reader into clicking the link. The average snippet usually is about 156 characters long, so a little bigger than a tweet.
What are Article Snippets?
As the name implies, article snippets are specially designed for news, blogs and sports articles. They offered enhanced features such as a place on the top stories carousel and headline text.
Article snippets fit into two categories:
AMP – Shows in a carousel in mobile searches that might include images, logos and other dynamic features.
Non-AMP –Not designed for mobile but still increases your chance of appearing in search results and offers rich features.
As with most things, it’s better to include mobile into your design strategy to get the best results.
How to Create an Article Snippet
By now, you know snippets are the way to go, but how do you get there? The best answer is to provide HTML code that the search engine recognizes using a <div> tag:
<div> This is my article snippet. Learn more about my company at <a href=”http://mycompany.com> My Company.com </a> </div>
You add in structured data to get all the little extras. Structured data is markups the follow specific rules. The coding for article snippets is unique. Google has a list of guidelines you must follow and AMP specifications.
Properties you might consider for an article snippet include:
mainEntityOfPage – for URL
Google also provides a tool that lets you test your structured data code to make sure it works the way you want.
The Article Snippet and B2B Marketing
The snippet might seem like a great tool for B2C companies, but how do they fit into the B2B strategy? Business clients do searches, too, which mean they probably read through snippets looking for clues and answers to questions just like the average consumer. The key is to focus your snippets using information that will appeal to your target B2B customer.
Search Engine Land suggests you start with some market research to see what works for your audience and industry. Figure out what keywords and search questions show competing sites in the results, for instance, and be sure to read their snippets while you are there.
As part of your research, consider what details you can add with structured data to really engage your business clients. Do they want to see prices and product descriptions? How about contact information and your logo?
Find new ways to use your rich snippet tags, as well. There are different type snippets available at your disposal. For example, consider an author tag for articles, blogs and e-books. This builds on both the company and the author reputation to help the snippet stand out.
What About Getting Those Coveted Featured Snippets?
Getting a featured snippet is like finding a golden ticket, but a little forethought improves the odds. Here are some tips:
Pick topics your business customers search for. For example, a marketing agency might create an article that answers the question: What is a rich snippet?
Make sure to ask and answer the question on your page to get Google’s attention, too. Just explaining what a rich snippet is won’t do it. When you provide an answer keep the information focused and informative.
If the question is a “how to,” then post a numbered list of steps that tells the reader exactly what to do to master that task at hand.
Arich article snippet has the potential to increase your hits by as much as 30%, so even if you don’t see a featured spot in your future, it is worth the time. Keep at it until you learn how to develop high impact snippets that pay off for your B2B company.