Here is why every CMS needs a Snippet Preview

The first plugin I install on all my WordPress blogs is Yoast SEO. It’s one of my favorite plugins and frankly indispensable because it automatically generates a beautiful XML Sitemap, takes care of your canonical tags and allows you to configure you titles and meta descriptions. But hands down my favorite feature is the live Snippet preview. Here’s why every CMS needs a snippet preview like the one in Yoast SEO.

Lets say you manage SEO for an Ecommerce client and you’ve done all you can to optimize the product pages. You set up rich snippets, optimized the default template of the title tag and interlinked products to build some solid internal links. You added some great custom titles and meta descriptions for the most important products. The trouble comes with scalability: you can’t give all products the same amount of attention and new products are being added all the time!

How a Snippet Preview can help

By adding a snippet preview in your CMS you can tackle this problem because you get everybody who works on content involved in optimizing a page (or product) for SEO. Unlike a standard input field this preview instantly reminds people of Google and the importance of SEO.

snippet preview in cms
A basic snippet preview (Source: Horlogebanden Specialist CMS). This product still has the default automatically generated content. The preview encourages customization.

Besides being a constant reminder of SEO a tool like this can help you make your search results eye-catching. If you hate seeing ellipsis ( … ) in your meta description and want everything to fit perfectly you can encourage a min- and maximum length by showing a progress bar. You can even bold keywords you want to rank for really — you can go as advanced as you want.

google serp preview in CoSchedule
CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer shows you how a headline would look like in Google search.

Convinced? Here’s some links to get you started

You can go as crazy or as simple as you want with this. You can go all in and make it update automatically with JavaScript, add a mobile view, work in a published-on date, bold the keywords you want to rank for and incorporate your rich snippets.But to begin I’d advice you to keep it simple: a desktop view with a customizable title and meta description.

Since Google’s source code is so optimized it can be tricky to copy/paste their styling so I’ve prepared some code snippets for you:

Go on, give this a try. It’s a relatively small improvement that can work wonders!

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