Home / BlogSnippet Optimization; Improve Your CTR, Worry Not of Your Rank
June 15, 2016


Snippet optimization is a creative endeavor to transform ordinary website’s listing on Google’s SERP into an eye-catching listing that will attract visitors and increase click-through rate. Snippet optimization doesn’t deal with rank optimization. In other words, with snippet optimization, a website can improve click-through rate by improving the aesthetic aspect of its listing on Google’s SERP without trying to improve its rank.

snippet optimization dictionary

What Is Snippet Optimization?

The term snippet optimization may lead to confusion if you don’t know exactly what the term snippet actually means. Google has firmly asserted that snippet refers solely to the description that appears on every search listing. Online marketers, however, use snippet as a term to refer to the entire part of the listing, including its title, URL, description, and other components. The term snippet optimization is derived from what online marketers agree about snippet. Snippet optimization is thus an effort to revamp all components of a search listing—thus not only its description—to make the whole listing appear more appealing to internet users.



Why Snippet Optimization?

There are many reasons why snippet optimization can be useful for all websites pursuing higher click-through rate. To start with, snippet focuses only on sprucing up search listing without specifically targeting rank improvement. Improving PageRank is undoubtedly an essential endeavor that every website needs; however, no matter how rigorously this endeavor is undertaken, there is often a barrier that not every website can penetrate. This barrier can effectively prevent the rank of a website from improving further. For example, powerful websites, such as Wikipedia and government websites, are considered very strong competitors for most websites. Beating them in rank is almost impossible. When a website reaches this barrier, it can still continue to make effort to get through it; however, as this effort will take a lot of time, energy and money, it is much more economical and advantageous for it to do snippet optimization. It can forget about improving its rank and focus only on optimizing its snippet to improve its listing’s click-through rate.

Another reason why snippet optimization is considered useful is because internet users become more and more interested in seeing attractive search listings. They will indeed prefer to check search listings that appear on the first SERP, meaning that rank is still important; however, when they take a look at that page, they will not immediately click the first listing that appears on the top. They will skim through the page to find a listing that really catches their attention. They may even hesitate to click a Wikipedia page listing if they see under it another listing that exhibits five-star rating, attractive title, forthright description, and URL breadcrumbs that are not interrupted by ellipsis. This kind of snippet, which is called rich snippet, can potentially beat high-ranked listings in click-through rate competition due to its inherent attractiveness.

Perhaps, the ultimate reason why snippet optimization can be more important that rank optimization is because no one can actually control what Google does. There are indeed many SEO theories about how to improve website’s rank; however, when Google introduces new search algorithm or update an old one, many of those theories crumble. It has been a common understanding that what Google actually wants is that every website tries to provide its visitors with useful content that is void of scams and other deceptive elements. Snippet optimization aims at making search listing explain in an attractive and reliable way about what a website actually offers to visitors. Its primary goal is to build a trust among websites, Google, and internet users. Unlike rank optimization, snippet optimization deals only with everything that can be controlled. Therefore, its result is more predictable, more consistent and more permanent.

Adding rating stars to the snippet is also considered an essential part of snippet optimization as the stars determine how popular the content is and how excellent its quality is.

Optimizable Elements of a Snippet

Snippet optimization processes all controllable elements of a snippet, which can be broken down as follows.

  1. Title

Title must be made as attractive as possible by making it a long-tail one. Besides, it must also be reasonably short as title containing more than 70 characters is often end up being truncated by Google’s ellipsis.

  1. URL

URL is expected to be easy to read and free from ellipsis.

  1. Meta Description (Google’s snippet)

The description shown in a listing is expected to include published date and to contain no more than 156 characters (including spaces). Published date is important as it gives an impression of whether the content is up-to-date. The 156-character limit is also important as meta description that contains too many characters will be truncated by Google’s ellipsis. If published date is included in the description, the date counts as part of the 156 characters.

Adding rating stars to the snippet is also considered an essential part of snippet optimization as the stars determine how popular the content is and how excellent its quality is.


Snippet Optimization Process

There are several companies that are offering snippet optimization service. In general, they take several essential steps to determine measures to be taken when optimizing a snippet. They will start with gathering click data from Google. By referring to these data, they will determine expected click-through rate for different ranking positions. They will then compare the average and actual click-through rate performance and calculate their difference. The result of this calculation will determine whether a snippet is overperforming or underperforming. They will also generate a list of all snippets that perform better or poorer than the analyzed snippet does. A snippet package generally includes features such as keyword data processing assistance, underperforming and overperforming snippets listing, and personalized recommendations.




Snippet optimization is a revolutionary way to improve the click-through rate of a search listing. It indeed doesn’t deal with rank improvement. In other words, websites whose snippets are optimized will not achieve rank promotion. However, its result is considered more consistent and permanent as it deals only with SEO elements that can be controlled. In many ways, snippet optimization can thus be much better than rank optimization. As there are already a number of companies that are offering snippet optimization service, finding reliable assistance in carrying out this campaign should not be difficult.

Felix Widjaja

Felix is the art/creative guy in Bueno. He is one of Bueno founder. He comes from technical and information system background. Felix holds degree in computer science and work as programmer in his early career; He’s one of the first dot com bubble survivors and has been designing websites since late 90’s. Stumbled into web design (again) at his late office career, quickly turned him to what he truly is. Fun fact: Felix had a rock band since 8th grade as guitarist. On college, the band plays in several local cafes, he was keyboardist at that time.

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