3 Things Google Tells Your Customers—Whether You Like It or Not

Some of the most important SEO practices are also some of the most obvious. It’s easy to think of things like backlinks, title tags, and crawl errors. But what about when you do a search on Google, for example, and the search engine results page (SERP) has a snapshot of pages from your site? The snapshots contain a ton of extremely valuable information for SEO, and if you aren’t paying attention to them, maybe you should. Here are three of the things that Google is telling your customers with those snapshots and what you should be paying attention to.

1. Where Does Google See Keywords and Relevance?

When you look at the snapshots of your site’s pages, you’ll notice that on many of them, especially product-related searches, Google highlights the section with the keywords. They also show where you can find them on the page. Not only does this tell you where Google finds your page relevant for a search term, but it also lets your customers have some insight about whether you’re selling the product, if it’s cheap or expensive, and anything else you want to tell your customers based on what you put around the keyword or phrase.

2. Do You Have Products or Just Content?

Your potential customers and readers can see the page before they click through. If your page looks confusing or doesn’t look like it has information or products, you may end up losing sales. One thing every site owner should do is take a look at the snapshots of competitors’ sites and see if your snapshot gives the end user everything they may want or be looking for. If it’s a product- based search and the image is shrunk and not clearly visible when the keyword is highlighted or the page doesn’t look like you’re selling anything, you could again miss out on a potential sale and customer.

3. Does Your Site Attract Clicks or Red Flags?

Google tries to make search results more relevant and provide a better user experience by showing the end user what your site looks like before they actually click through. If the person looks but doesn’t visit your site after they see it, this can send a red flag to Google that your site is low quality or not relevant for that search term. If enough people view your site snapshot and skip over it, this can potentially cause you to lose your SERPs.

It is important to think about the goal of your site (e.g., information, sales, newsletter sign ups, etc.). Then, think about the design and the search terms you are optimizing for. If the keywords you show up for don’t match your design and fail to display in a way that make someone want to click through, you can hurt yourself in the long run.

One View, Lots of Potential

There are a ton of things that you can find in the snapshot view of Google search results. You should use them to help identify what Google is looking for. Think about your design and whether your site meets the goals of the keywords you rank for and where Google “sees” relevant keywords and phrases. By thinking about how Google displays your site to visitors and what it thinks are the most important sections of your sites, you can help increase your click-through rates from the search engines. It also doesn’t hurt that in the process you’re building a high-quality site by providing pages with a design optimized for your keywords.

About Adam Riemer

Adam Riemer has been an Online Marketer for over a decade. Having worked in house and on his own, Adam Riemer helps both large and small companies develop, execute and analyze Marketing campaigns for ROI and branding in both the B2B and B2C world. You can reach Adam or find out where he is speaking or which Clients he is working with by visiting his blog at http://www.adamriemer.me or follow him on Twitter @rollerblader.

14 Responses to 3 Things Google Tells Your Customers—Whether You Like It or Not

  1. Justin Dupre says:

    This just proves that you not only have to place quality content on your site but it also has to look great so that people won’t bypass it during a search.

  2. PRAIC UNISAL quatro says:

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  3. Every little is important when you want to optimize your site I guess. Design and content plays there important role to be able to have more traffic. 

  4. DC Marketing says:

    This only means that small details matter. Good design. Quality content. That way you don’t have to worry about anything else.

  5. affiliate network says:

    better content and proper design really helps a lot to travel more traffic 

    affiliate network</a .

  6. The snapshot reiterates the importance of good design.  No matter how good your SEO is, if your site doesn’t look good, people won’t pay attention to it.  

  7. Patrick Allmond says:

    Is #3 based on fact or guessing? I am pretty sure your browser does not send back data when something is moused over but not clicked on.

    • rollerblader says:


      The only way to see the snapshot is by activating it through Google so Google would know.  Although these are assumptions it would seem like Google will be able to see this and will know. 


  8. Lewis Warren says:

    Nice post. Really does show the importance of the simples (if your strengths include website design). However if your website is successful in terms of back links, title tags etc, you would imagine that your website is designed appropriately. I suppose this could differ between products/services. It would be interesting to see more on this in the form of eye tracking devices and click through rates.

  9. When a site is designed with the customers, or end users, in mind then the design should follow right along.  These snapshots show that looks really do matter, and people still judge a book by it’s cover, or a website by it’s snapshot.

  10. The only way to see the photo is by causing it through Search engines so Search engines would know.  Although these are logic it would seem like Search engines will be able to see this and will know.

  11. SEO Podium says:

    Good navigation and content with the simple but user-friendly design attract more visitors to the website

  12. Dawson_Rita says:

    “insight about whether you’re selling the product, if it’s cheap or expensive, and anything else you want to tell your customers based on what you put around the keyword or phrase” – I never knew this. I thought the Google, will show relevant search term and title tags only. Its nice to know that Google gives some details also.

  13. SEOFloat says:

    I will recommend my friends to read this. I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often