Google preview is a summary of what your users can expect when they come across your page in the Google search results. This short presentation comprises of your Title Tag and meta description and is the first attention grabber your site has. So it is important that it shows attractive and relevant information that reels users in but doesn’t deceive them.
If for any reason at all the Title tags and/or meta descriptions are missing, Google will fill them in for you. Unfortunately, this is not always for the better. That’s why it’s always a good idea to be the one in control and select something interesting yourself. In the end, it might make a significant difference in your traffic.
However, when selecting a fitting Title Tag and Meta description, you must stick within a specific number of characters if you want Google to show them as you want. This limitation might naturally affect your initial idea, but that is exactly why the Google Preview will prove useful.
You can test out different options and see how attractive they would be in the eyes of the user. But first, let’s take a closer look at Title Tags and meta descriptions.
A title tag is the element showing people what the title of your page is, in the form of a clickable headline found on SERPs. As mentioned before, it is a good idea to follow a specific number of characters. Google usually displays only the first 50-60 characters (depending on the words and symbols you use) and cuts off everything after that with an ellipsis (“…“).
If you exceed this limit without checking the Google preview first, you might accidentally exclude relevant keywords. And even if the rest of the title is not that important, remember to put your users first and think about how attractive it will be for them.
Similarly, avoid keyword stuffing at all costs. If Google finds out you are making unnecessary and forced titles just to have more variations of the keyword, it will punish you with lowering the page’s ranking. Moreover, users might get easily confused and look for another page. So keep it simple.
Meta descriptions are an HTML attribute, which you can use to describe your content in your own words, thus deciding how it will be shown on SERPs. It will be displayed directly below the title tag and if written correctly, can also send a clear signal about what type of content the page will show.
In other words, users will be able to make a decision about your page more easily, which makes this a great opportunity to win them over.
Luckily, meta descriptions‘ character limitations are a bit more generous than with Title Tags. More specifically, you are allowed to use about 150-160 characters before getting cut off. The optimal meta description should provide users with clear, easy-to-understand, and valuable information about the page’s content while preferably including a meta keyword.
If possible, make your meta description unique from other similar pages. Before publishing your content, remember to check the Google preview to make sure your meta description looks the way you wanted.
But, as with the title tag, avoid keyword stuffing at all costs. It’s best to leave the meta description blank if you have no inspiration rather than just listing keywords for the sake of it. Google will not accept that and it will do you a good deal of rank damage.
The Google preview is your first and most important contact with users. This is your opportunity to create something catchy, unique, and memorable. But be careful not to oversell it or deceive your users because they will remember.
And whatever you do, do not do keyword stuffing. Not only that Google will give you a slap on the wrist and lower your rank, but your users will steer away from you since you will seem untrustworthy.