Google Instant Preview: 6 Must-Do SEO Actions

As we discussed previously, Instant Preview is another example of how Google is increasing the relevance of organic search results.  The larger implication for SEO managers is that Google’s technology continues to evolve to promote SEO that focuses on helping users and playing down results from black hat or irrelevant websites.

In our opinion, traditional SEO tactics won’t have to change radically to achieve good rankings.  Ultimately we think that the key to increasing click-throughs to your site is to elevate the importance of page design and to continue working on the basics of onpage and offpage optimization.

Here are a few areas to focus on:

  1. Key indexed pages need to look great from a “50,000 foot” view. Searchers will be less likely to visit your site if it looks spammy, unprofessional or cluttered.   In some cases, it may even be possible that a page with superior design can achieve higher clickthrough rates even if it ranks lower in search results.  Remember also that users will be able to see if you have lots of advertisements on your site before they visit.
  2. Another strike against Flash. Instant Preview won’t display Flash, so avoid Flash and large banners on your site.
  3. Always have an engaging meta description. At first glance, Instant Preview would appear to make meta descriptions irrelevant.  Quite the contrary.  The first step in winning visitors that use Instant Preview is to get them to click the magnifying glass next to your listing – and your meta description is a key element to make that happen.  Regardless, Instant Preview is not on by default, so you still need a great meta description to entice visitors.
  4. Use descriptive, relevant images, and optimize their alt-image tags and filenames. With the extra weight Instant Preview gives to images, it is more important than ever to focus on their visual and SEO optimization.
  5. Focus on header tags. While the text in most areas of the preview can be hard to make out, users can see the page headers from a mile away.  Make sure they are relevant and easy to read, especially your H1 tag.
  6. Pay even more attention to your high volume keyword phrases in the body text. Google Preview displays the search terms found on the page in a special “called-out” orange box (see example below).   This will be a signal to your potential visitor that the page contains the information they want.
Google Instant Preview - Call Out Example

What are your tips?  Let us know in the comments