11 steps to improve snippets in Google and increase CTR of a website in Search Results

December 27, 2022

Table of Contents:

CTR of a document in search engine result page (SERP) is one of the behavioral ranking factors in modern SEO. CTR (click-through rate) is a measure of the click-through rate in search results equal to the ratio of the number of clicks to the number of times the link to the document was shown. The higher the CTR of the document in search results, the higher chances the website to take top positions in search results.

How can you influence the CTR? What will make the user click on your website? The answer is obvious: an attractive snippet! A snippet is a piece of information (a small annotation) about a document which was found on the request. In the output it looks like this:

The main task of the snippet is to give a rough idea to the user about the content of the found document, on the basis of which the decision to click on the link is made. From this we can conclude that the more interesting, informative and attractive snippet, the higher is the probability of click on it => higher CTR and attendance.

Optimizer can only indirectly influence the snippet, as it is ultimately formed by search engines. Below are some ways to influence the snippet content of a document in Google (for both commercial and informational websites).

Step #1: Title

The first and most obvious way to influence the snippet is by manipulating the meta-data of the document: Title. To form an attractive title for the snippet of the document you need to follow a few rules:

  • Compose the Title of the page using important keywords at the beginning of the title.
  • Do not use stop words (introductory words, interjections, etc.).
  • The length of the Title should not exceed 70-80 characters.
  • Title should be as informative as possible and reflect the essence of the page content.
  • Title tag should be unique for each page.

Physically the page title is specified between html-tags <title>{your title}</title>, placed in the <head> section.

Step #2: Description

A brief page description in a snippet can be created on the basis of the description meta tag. Tag does not affect the appearance of the page. Some simple rules for filling in the description meta tag:

  • In Description it is necessary to write a text that catches the user (to describe the benefits of the product or service) using keywords in the beginning of the description.
  • The length of the meta tag should not exceed 150-160 characters for Google.
  • Description should be unique for each page.
  • Title and Description should be different from each other.
  • The tag should contain a description of a particular page, in the text is not recommended to use common phrases.

The description meta tag is located in the <head> block of the page code:

        <meta name="description" content="page description">

In order to distinguish the snippet on the background of other documents you can use special symbols.

Step #3. Favicon

A favicon (favorite icon) is a small image that is displayed next to the title of your webwebsite snippet in Google search results. Favicon directly affects the formation and perception of your brand - it should reflect the essence of the resource, to be unique and memorable.

Visual perception plays an important role for users and they are more likely to click on a document with an icon than a competitor if it does not have a Favicon.

Favicon is a 16 by 16 pixel image in .ico format. In order to set up a correct display of the Favicon, it is necessary to specify a link to the Favicon between <head> tags in the website template as follows:

    <link rel="shortcut icon" href="/favicon.ico">

Lately Google has been using a favicon that is located in the root of the website (although you can specify an icon in the href attribute in the internal folder), so it should be available at the link website.ru/favicon.ico in order to avoid incorrect display in search results.

Once a favicon is installed in search, it will appear in the snippet within two weeks.

Tips for creating a Favicon:

  • Favicon should be made in the style of the website: matching the color scheme of the web resource, the company logo.
  • If you do not use the company logo, but the theme, the picture should cause a clear association with the website. For example, a bookstore may use as a favicon image of a book.
  • Favicon should make clear to users that it was easy to remember.

Before creating a favicon of your website, study your competitors - and try to make the favicon stands out from the general mass of websites icons in the top 10 in search results.

Step #4. Optimizing a snippet of text on the page

Sometimes search engines create a snippet using a fragment of text on the page. In this case you can look at what part of the page SP considers most relevant for snippets for a given query and edit all the surrounding text to make the description of the document in the output most attractive to the user.

Step #5. Microdata marking for breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs is a component of website navigation, which helps users to navigate, understand the structure of the website PS and speed up the indexing process.

Breadcrumb micro-patterning makes it possible to display the navigation chain of a page in the rendering. Pros of breadcrumb micro-patterning:

  • A beautiful and attractive snippet
  • Easy for the user to navigate the website
  • Quick estimation of the amount of information on the website
  • The transition to the desired section of the website in 1 click

Examples of marked and unmarked breadcrumbs are shown in the picture below. A snippet with decorated breadcrumbs looks better.

There are several standards for breadcrumb markup, which is supported by Google:

  • Microdata, schema.org
  • Microformats
  • RDFa

Below is an example of Schema.org microdata markup for breadcrumbs:

   <div class="breadcrumb" itemcope itemtype="http://schema.org/BreadcrumbList">
       <span itemprop="itemListElement" itemcope itemtype="http://schema.org/ListItem">
           <a itemprop="item" href="/"><span itemprop="name">Main</span></a>
        <meta itemprop="position" content="1" />
        <span itemprop="itemListElement" itemcope itemtype="http://schema.org/ListItem">
            <a itemprop="item" href="/catalog/"><span itemprop="name">Catalog</span></a>
            <meta itemprop="position" content="2" />

        <span itemprop="itemListElement" itemcope itemtype="http://schema.org/ListItem">
            <a itemprop="item" href="/catalog/energeticheskoe-oborudovanie/">
            <span itemprop="name">Energy equipment</span></a>
            <meta itemprop="position" content="3" />
        <span itemprop="itemListElement" itemcope itemtype="http://schema.org/ListItem">
            <span itemprop="name">Benzogenerators</span>
            <meta itemprop="position" content="4" />

Step #6. Microdata markup for product cards

A comprehensive description of the product card in search results is more likely to attract users to the page and increase the likelihood of a click. Setting up the microdata markup of an item card allows you to pass additional information about the product to the PS, which will participate in the formation of a snippet.

Micro-parsing helps search engine robots to understand where the product description, price, and its name and model are. The following formats are currently supported: OpenGraf, SchemaOrg, LD-json.

Using http://schema.org/Product as an example, the product's micro-labeling is set as follows:

    <div class="productdetails-view productdetails" itemcope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product">
        <h1 itemprop="name">Product name</h1>
        <div class="main-image">
            <a href="/image/product.png" itemprop="image">
            <img src="/image/product.png" alt="">
        <div class="vm-product-details-container" itemprop="offers" itemcope itemtype="http://schema.org/Offer">
            <div class="product-price">
                <span class="PricesalesPrice">1,999 rubles </span>.
            <meta itemprop="price" content="7150.00">
            <meta itemprop="priceCurrency" content="RUB">.
            <div class="">In stock</div>
                <link itemprop="availability" href="http://schema.org/InStock">
            <div class="product-short-description" itemprop="description">
                <p>Brief description</p>

Step #7. Microdata markup for product listing

You can use LD-json microdata to send Google data about the products on the product listing page. In this case the snippet will look like this:

In order to make such a snippet, you need to configure the data output using a script based on Schema.org/Product microdata, with lowPrice and haghPrice properties:

Step #8. Microdata markup for reviews

Another way to get the user's attention to your website in Google search results: show reviews and product rating directly in the document's snippet. The rating can be specified for both products and informational articles.

In the snippet you can also see the number of people, which rating has been made by estimation. A snippet with the rating of the goods attracts attention and helps to increase CTR.

To add rating to product description in the snippet it is necessary to fill AggregateRating property when configuring microarray according to Schema.org/Product scheme:

    <div itemcope itemtype="http://schema.org/Product">
        <div itemprop="offers" itemcope itemtype="http://schema.org/Offer">
            <h1 itemprop="name"> Stud</h1>
            <span itemprop="aggregateRating" itemcope itemtype="http://schema.org/AggregateRating">
                <meta itemprop="ratingValue" content="4,4" />
                <meta itemprop="ratingCount" content="396" />
                <meta itemprop="bestRating" content="5" />

Step #9. Microdata markup for contacts page

Markup of your company's contact information helps Google properly display information about your organization in the results. The types of organizations that Schema.org microdata markup offers:

  • Organization
  • Local business
  • Airline
  • Corporation
  • Sports organization
  • Government agency
  • Executive group
  • Non-government organization

If it's difficult to define your organization type, you can use the universal -Organization, a generic type that fits any organization.

Below is a general layout for marking up a contact page using schema.org/organization:

    <div itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/Organization">
        <span itemprop="name">Company name</span>
        <div itemprop="address" itemcope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress">
            <span itemprop="streetAddress">street, house</span>
            <span itemprop="postalCode">index</span>
            <span itemprop="addressLocality">city</span>.
        <span itemprop="telephone">phone</span>,
        <span itemprop="faxNumber">fax</span>,
        <span itemprop="email">email</span>.

Sometimes a document snippet is formed with additional quick links to the main sections of the website. Such links are useful for users because they allow them to quickly jump to the corresponding section of the webwebsite, while for companies they provide an opportunity to make their documents stand out among competitors. Both Google and Bing use quick links when forming snippets.

Google shows quick links in two formats too: extended and in the snippet.

Google generates a list of quick links according to its algorithms, taking into account the structure of the website. There is no tool for editing quick links. To correct the links you can only qualitatively revise the structure of the website and reduce the weight of the pages included in the list of quick links is not desirable.

Step #11. Advanced Google snippets for informational websites

Search engines allow you to generate specific extended snippets based on the subject of the resource. Extended snippets in both search engines are created based on Schema.org microdata markup. What can be highlighted on the pages:

  • Car reviews
  • Recipes for different meals
  • Data on abstracts
  • Details of programs installed on your computer
  • Movie info
  • News release dates
  • Videos
  • FAQ


Regular monitoring and adjustment of snippets in order to increase CTR makes it possible to achieve an increase in the document in search results. Consider the following case: the first place in search results is occupied by http://websiteA.com/, and the second - by http://websiteB.com/. If users click on http://websiteB.com/ more frequently, then there is a high probability (all other factors being equal) that in the near future with recalculation of behavioral factors the document from website B will outrun the document from website A.

Do not work on snippets now is impossible, since without some information in the snippet can not get on the first page of search results at all.

When you work with snippets, you can achieve the following results:

  • Increasing the number of clicks on the document from search
  • Indirect influence on the position of the page in search results
  • Better understanding of the structure of your website by search engines

Increasing the clickability (CTR) of the snippet while spending the same amount of money on the webwebsite promotion you can get more profit, which is a priority goal for any commercial webwebsite.

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