The importance of a snippet cannot be underestimated, like an Adwords campaign advert, your snippet needs to be laser focused and highly relevant to your page topic. The reason is obvious when you think about it, when the snippet is presented on the search results pages, hopefully page 1, it is, for a potential new visitor, their first glimpse of the subject you are presenting. It is the hook that brings them to click on your link and visit your page.
So having got your new visitor to take the bait, you then have to deliver on the promise. Fail to do that and the fish will slip the hook and swim off into the ocean looking for a tastier morsel.
So how do you make sure that the snippet presented by Google et al is the one you want to present? Let’s ask Matt Cutts of Google.
Google’s creation of sites’ titles and descriptions otherwise known as ‘snippets’ is completely automated and looks at both the content of a page as well as any references to it that appear on the web.
There are a number of different sources for the information. These include the descriptive information in the META tag for each page, information from DMOZ and text contained within the page. Accurate meta descriptions can improve clickthrough but they won’t necessarily impact your ranking within search results. Google frequently prefers to display meta descriptions of pages (when they are available) because it gives users a clear idea of the URL’s content. This directs them to good results faster and reduces the click-and-backtrack behavior (bounce rate for you) that frustrates visitors and inflates web traffic metrics.
Google or other search engines do not manually change titles or snippets for individual sites, but they always work to make them as relevant as possible. You can help improve the quality of the snippets displayed for your pages by providing informative meta descriptions for each page, see below.
Google says that you should make sure your descriptions are truly descriptive.
Because the meta descriptions aren’t displayed in the pages the user sees, it’s easy to let this content slide. But high-quality descriptions can be displayed in Google’s search results, and can go a long way to improving the quality and quantity of your search traffic.
So make sure that each page on your site has a useful and descriptive page title (contained within the title tags). If a title tag is missing, or if the same title tag is used for many different pages, Google may use other text they find on the page instead. Doing the job properly ensures you get what you want presented, not what search engines think is a better description or title.
For web designs you can create relevant titles and descriptions using meta tags in the header section of your web page. The same job can be done for WordPress using a WP plugin like Platinum SEO Pack which allows you to create titles, descriptions and tags for each individual post, these will be what are found by the search engines first and consequently, if they are correctly done, should be presented in the search results.