Seeing a thumbnail of your site is not the only benefit to viewers when they click the little magnifying glass next to the link for your site in Google’s search results. Instant Preview also allows them to see how relevant your content is to their search. Following are the details and how to ensure your preview gets clicked by viewers.
In late 2010, Google released Instant Preview. When someone does a Google search, they can now easily see a preview of your site alongside the list of links. Because the type is so small in the preview thumbnail, Google highlights the keywords the viewer entered and uses pop-out panels to show how many times those words appear on the page.
What this means is that the more times that keyword or phrase is listed on your page, the more colored highlights and pop-outs appear in the thumbnail. This gives the viewer an immediate visual impression of how relevant a page is to their search and will help them choose which link to click.
So, keywords not only help you get found in the search results in the first place, they also instantly impact the viewer’s perception of just how relevant your site is to them.
What You Can Do
Good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has always been a balancing act of making your page content candy to both readers and search engines. If you don’t use enough keywords you don’t rank well. If you use too many, Google could penalize you for stuffing, or the reader could loose interest in something that reads like it was written by a machine for a machine.
Here are a few tips to help you strike the perfect balance.
Tip 1 – Do your homework. There are several good, and free, keyword tools available to help you begin to think like a search engine. Find the hot keywords and phrases for your niche or genre and use them in your posts and pages. (For a great tool, see my Tech Tip on Keywords and the Google Wonder Wheel.) http://www.blogaid.net/tech-tip-tuesday-jan-18
Tip 2 – Placement and frequency count. Use keywords in your title and throughout your content. If you want to get an idea of how your content will look in the Google Preview, highlight each keyword or phrase in yellow, then step back from the screen a few feet. Ensure that there are several highlights on the page and that they are not all bunched together. Viewers want to know that the whole post is about the topic, not just one or two paragraphs.
Tip 3 – Sidebars count. Google Instant Preview will not only highlight the relevant keyword content in the main post, it will also highlight those same words if they are in your sidebar or footer widgets. If there are specific keywords for which you want to rank high, place them all over your site text, not just in the content.
To get more traffic to your site, you have to rank well on Google. To get more click-throughs, you need to be impressive in the mind of the viewer. Using keyword-rich content is a great way to do both.