Healthcare snippet text

Secure a snippet with our healthcare SEO advice

Snippets are often the first interaction potential visitors have with your website on search engine results pages (SERPs). Securing a snippet can significantly impact your click-through rates and overall online visibility. Healthcare organisations, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers should focus on capturing a snippet to drive website clicks, improve engagement, and patient education.

This blog post delves into the importance of snippet text for healthcare SEO and provides practical tips to help you secure a snippet. This part of a series of articles on how to improve SEO, content, and digital marketing for healthcare leaders. Everything is written by specialist healthcare SEO experts at 42group.

What is healthcare snippet text?

Snippet text is the brief description or preview of a webpage that appears under the page title in search engine results.

As well as snippet text, you may also have seen content under the People also ask buttons. These are snippets too.

You can see an example of snippet text in this image.  

The snippet is used to help time-poor searchers to narrow down their results. It provides a snapshot of what the content is about and can play an important role in whether someone clicks open a page or not.

Snippet text is also much easier for mobile users to read. The small pulldown text boxes providing a limited amount of text for every question.

We can see snippet text as a precursor to AI search where you’re not delivered a range of choices, but a single site (or answer) that Google thinks is most relevant. We’re not going to go into that here, but it’s one of the defining trends in our industry…

How does Google create snippet text?

Google uses analyses several different factors to automatically determine the best snippet for each search term. These factors include the descriptive information in the meta description tag for each page, the content on the page, and user behaviour.

You can read what Google says here in their developer guide to snippet text.

While we can take an educated guess at the factors Google uses to assess content and identify an appropriate healthcare snippet, we don’t know how they’re weighted.

Is this a problem?

Actually, no. Instead of attempting to second guess how the Google algorithm works, it’s much better to focus on improving the readability, authority, and quality of your content. This is much more likely to get you a coveted snippet spot.

The importance of snippet text for healthcare SEO:

Healthcare organisations, medical device companies, pharmaceutical businesses and third-sector organisations are always searching for snippet text opportunities.

Here are 6 reasons why healthcare snippet texts are critical:

  1. First impressions matter: Snippets are often the first thing a user sees related to your content, product, service, healthcare condition, or service. A well-crafted snippet can make your content stand out and encourage clicks.
  2. Snippets improve Click-Through Rates (CTR): A compelling snippet can significantly increase your page’s CTR, which basically means more website visitors.
  3. Demonstrates authority: A snippet demonstrates to users that Google classifies your content as the best and most relevant. This is an important trust signal for patients, clinicians, and the public.
  4. Reflects content relevance: Search engines use snippets to gauge the relevance of your content to the search query. A relevant, keyword-rich healthcare snippet can improve your rankings.
  5. Enhances user experience: Good snippets provide clear, concise information – which can help your audience quickly get to the content that they need.
  6. Avoid misinformation: Patients and the public deserve accurate information on healthcare services, medical devices, and treatments. Capturing a snippet means they’re getting the best advice (and not being misinformed or misled.)

How to Optimise Snippet Text for SEO:

Capturing a featured snippet text in search engine results is a coveted goal for healthcare organisations. As we’ve seen above, it can significantly increase visibility and click-through rates.

Here are some best practices for SEO to help you (hopefully) secure a healthcare snippet in Google:

  • Check out existing snippets: Start by reviewing existing snippets to learn what Google considers to be high quality content worthy of a snippet spot. This is your target – now let’s beat it!
  • Snippets reflect search intent: Snippets are closely related to search questions and search intent. We can see that featured snippets often appear in response to specific questions. You can find the questions people are asking by using tools like Google’s “People also ask” section, AnswerThePublic, or keyword research tools (like SEMRush or Ahrefs) to identify popular questions in you focus area.
  • Optimise for long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are (as their name suggests), more detailed. Instead of “cancer treatment” a long-tail keyword would be “What are the cancer treatments for advanced breast cancer?” for example. Long tail keywords are more specific and have less competition, giving you a better chance of securing a snippet.
  • Structure your healthcare content: When creating content, use clear and logical headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to structure your content. This helps search engines understand and extract relevant sections for snippets (and makes it easier for your readers, too!).
  • Provide clear, concise answers: Don’t try and be cleaver with your content. Directly answer questions preferably early on. For the best chances of snippet success, keep these answers concise. Experts recommend limiting it to 40-60 words.
  • Use lists and tables: We’ve seen Google using bullet points, numbered lists, and even tables in snippets.
  • Create high-quality, in-depth content: It’s obvious, but the more comprehensive and authoritative your content, the higher the chance it has of being chosen for a snippet (and ranking better). If you’re publishing something one your site, prioritise well-researched, thorough content that adds value.
  • Optimise your page titles and meta descriptions: While meta tags, titles, and descriptions don’t influence snippets, they’re important for SEO – so ensure they’re all optimised.
  • Regularly refresh content: You should regularly update your content to ensure it remains accurate and relevant. You don’t need to check each page every month but add a review date (every 6 months – 1 year is realistic, unless something dramatic happens).
  • Improve mobile experience: Ensure your site is mobile-friendly. We’ve noticed that Google often favours mobile-optimised content for snippets,
  • Improve overall SEO: General SEO best practices, like improving site speed, enhancing user experience, and building backlinks, can give you a better chance of snagging a healthcare snippet.

Does it matter if I don’t get a snippet?

Snippet text is a powerful but often overlooked element of healthcare SEO – but it can bring many benefits.

While getting a snippet (or multiple snippets) is a great result, your aim should be to improve the experience for users. Look at snippets as a reward for your hard work.

The best way to secure a snippet text is to work with a specialist healthcare SEO agency like 42group.

Want some expert healthcare SEO support?

42group is a specialist healthcare digital marketing company with experience of optimising content and (yes) capturing snippets!

We’re happy to share our knowledge of healthcare SEO best practices, but for the real gold, get in touch today.

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