Google has launched its instant preview feature which shows a small visual preview of websites in the search results, as below;
This latest development moves search engine marketing into an area that it would not normally encompass, the art and design world!
Sites will now not only be compared on search position but also in visual terms. My recommendations having thought on the topic for a few minutes are simple …
Look at your competitor’s sites
Who looks better? And just as importantly, who looks more relevant?
People are going to click on the result that looks the best match to their perceived needs. As a result you need to make sure the pages you design give off a very clear message about what the page contains. By using large, bold lettering your message will still be visible when the site image is reduced to a preview size. This will help entice more visitors to choose your site.
Because people are looking for sites relevant to their industry, sites that are plain and generic in design are likely to become a thing of the past. Sites which have a more focused theme, based on the industry or sector they exist within will perform better.
Use large bold and clear headings at the top of your page
Google Instant Preview give you a 302 pixel wide box to strutt your stuff. Using large text on the page to show relevance and generate calls to action in the small previews, will help people understand what your site is about and the types of things you can and should do on the page. Treat this as an opportunity to say something to the user before they even click your link. It you have large text on the page it will still be readable in the 302px wide preview image.
Make your page long in Google Instant Preview
Longer pages have bigger previews, these may make the user feel there is more info available on the page and a lot of people think (rightly or wrongly) that bigger/more is better.
If you are a known Brand use your logo
Use your existing brand to maximum effect by making your logo clear on the previews.
Google Instant Preview dimensions
Some people might find some of the site preview image dimensions for Google instant preview useful.
The dimensions for Google instant previews are 302 px wide and 585 px high.