What Are Rich Snippets and How to Create them?
Several important factors go into any effective search engine optimization campaign. Rich snippets are not necessarily mandatory, but they are good for breathing new life into Google search results, site operators and users. If you can effectively set them up, they can prove to be really handy for improving website’s SEO and help in generating more traffic from Google SERPs. Used properly, they are a great tool to have in your arsenal. This blog is all about how to setup rich snippets, and why you should incorporate them into your SEO strategy.
What are Rich Snippets?
To understand what rich snippets are, you need to know the different between normal snippets and rich ones. A normal snippet is what you typically see on the Google results page. Each individual result will display the title of the page in blue, the URL in green and a description of the page in black. It provides you with basic information a user would want to know about a particular webpage before clicking on it.
On the other hand, a rich snippet displays additional information from everything mentioned above. In between the URL and the description, you will come across a picture or rating that tells you more about the page before clicking. It usually gives you more information than you typically need, which is why it is called a rich snippet.
If you are planning a big event, then a snippet can be used to provide the date and name of the occasion. You can also implement it on any e-commerce page. The rich snippet can include user ratings for the product as well as the price. You can even include information about whether the item is currently in stock. Users can learn a lot about your webpage before even clicking on it. The additional materials make it far more likely someone will actually click on your page.
How to Create Rich Snippets
No matter what content management platform you used to build your website, there should be a standard method of getting rich snippets to appear on Google search results. First, you need to determine what kind of content you want the snippets for. Snippets come in different categories, and you can select between:
- Businesses & Organizations
Next, you should identify all required properties, which
includes coding for the itemprop, itemtype and itemscope. You can even include
publication date, author and rating into the coding. To do this, you must
develop your markup code. This will allow Google to show all the information
you want for your content. To accomplish this, you may need to use a
third-party service, such as Schema.org. The software makes it much simpler to
learn how to make rich snippets and how to code the materials you want to
appear in search engines.
Finally, you need to test your rich snippets to ensure they appear on Google search results exactly how you want. It can take a while for the information to actually appear on Google, but fortunately, Google offers a free tool to help you validate the coding before it goes live. Using this tool will allow you to correct any errors before anyone in the general public can see the snippet. You want to make sure it is perfect before potential customers get a chance to see it. Now that you know how to include rich snippets, you can add them to all the webpages on your site that can benefit from them.
Quick Summary: How to Create Rich Snippets
- Highlight and Identify the details you want Google to focus on.
- Using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to define your webpage.
- After you’ve selected the data type for your webpage, start creating microdata for the webpage.
- Use this microdata to create a new HTML.
- Start Tagging your content with this microdata.
- Test Your Snippets.
How to Check Rich Snippets
The easiest way to check if your website can support rich snippets is to use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. You can either enter the URL or the coding, and Google will run a quick scan of the page. In just a few moments, you will know whether you can include rich snippets on the page. Before you get started, you need to make sure your webpages are properly classified. For example, you would want to follow Google’s guidelines for recipes if you want to build your website around those. Failure to follow the proper protocol could result in your content not appearing in search results.
Google recommends to include rich snippets on just a few webpages at first. You want to be certain that you have the hang of it before you try to implement the feature across your entire website. You want to make sure that search engine is crawling the page you want and that it is not being blocked by sorts of hurdles. Once you are satisfied with how your webpage looks, then you can use another Google tool to obtain an index of that particular webpage.
Once Google has indexed your webpage, you can look for any subsequent errors much more easily. After page indexing is complete, you should be able to see a mark-up in the number of rich results your website generates. You can update your sitemap so that Google automatically crawls through your webpages regularly to correct any errors as they appear. You should check for errors every time you update your coding to make sure everything is transferred accordingly.
Do Rich Snippets Help SEO?
Search engine optimization is all about getting your website noticed above all others. The keywords you target may have a high competition rate. While there are other tools you should implement, such as meta descriptions, you should not overlook the advantages rich snippets provide such as:
- More Attention – a webpage with rich snippets on Google or other search engines provides additional information ensures that users are given handful of information so their span of attention is increased. This ultimately helps webmaster to stay unique in the competing search results.
- Higher Click Rate – with rich snippets being displayed in the SERPs CTR drastically increases with every corresponding visits. Besides, a higher CTR is not important when it comes to user signals, but it serves as an important ranking factor.
- More Relevance – the likelihood of page being clicked is improved, as rich snippets displays additional and relevant information. For instance, if the search engine detects that search for a term (e.g. sticky rolls) is related to the topic (foodstuff, possibly bakery/cookery), the site identified as a “recipe” in the backend code, content will apparently be more relevant than the site itself, which is not correspondingly identified.
- AMP Websites – the structured data can significantly help in improving display and content of the website, if it has AMP enabled.
Once you start using rich snippets, you are bound to see an improvement in your site’s conversion rate. Many sites start to see an increase in traffic within the first year, so you simply need to be patient. It can take some time to reap the benefits of an effective SEO campaign. In the event your website has become stagnant, then you may want to think about adding rich snippets. It may be just the thing you need to climb up the rankings even more.
How to Create and Add Rich Snippets in WordPress
By far, WordPress is the most commonly used content management system for designing webpages. The system is used by over 75 million websites around the world. If your website relies on WordPress, then you have an advantage when it comes to developing rich snippets. The system makes it easy to add rich snippets, and you have two options to do so. You can either use WordPress plug-ins or rely on manual implementation.
WordPress plug-ins are great for individuals who are not too experienced with HTML coding. Plug-ins absorbs a lot of the stress out of adding structured data onto your webpages. When you use a plug-in, you simply need to fill in the information when the display box appears. The plug-ins take your information and facilitate you with automatic development of rich snippets. You have several plug-ins at your disposal, and some of the most common include:
- Rich Reviews
- WP Reviews Pro
- All in One Schema.org rich snippets
- Rich WP Rich Snippets
- Rich Snippet WordPress Plug-In by CodeCanyon
You should always use a dependable plug-in. There are a lot of third-party apps out there, but you need to be cautious of what you download onto your computer. The above plug-ins comes from trusted sources, so you can add rich snippets without any second thoughts.
If you happen to be experienced when it comes to playing around with HTML, then only you should consider manual implementation of rich snippets. For this process, there are three different formats you can use to create the structured data markup format. These formats include JSON-LD, RDFa and MicroData. JSON-LD is a Java-based script while the other two are HTML based. An HTML-based script will work to your advantage if you are just a beginner. You can always hire an SEO professional to set up your rich snippets for you if it all seems like too much.
Uses of Rich Snippets
The best way to use rich snippets depends on the type of webpage you are creating. One of the most basic pages to use rich snippets for is products. After you mark your webpage as a product page, you can use a rich snippet to provide reviewer ratings, availability, and price. Price is most important to users, so it is vital to have that information displayed. There are some restrictions with this. The webpage needs to describe a single item. You cannot use rich snippets for a general “shirts in our store” page. Google also does not support adult-related products.
You can also use rich snippets for the general information page of your business. When many consumers look up a specific company on Google, it is to get specific information. They often want to find the company’s phone number or address. With rich snippets, you can include all of this basic information directly on the search engine. Once people benefit from the snippet, they will be more likely to actually go to your website because they want to see what else they can learn. You can also include your site logo, so people are 100% certain they are going to your website. In recent years, websites have also included social profiles in the snippets.
Many businesses regularly host events, and you may want to include rich snippets for these as well. Start by marking the correct span of days the event will stretch onto. You need to specify the start and end times for each individual day, and you need to include information about how people can purchase tickets for each unique day. You would also want to avoid specifying non-events as events. For example, you would not want to mark your store hours as an event. There is also no need to add short-term discounts or sales events as events.
Rich snippets are extremely popular when it comes to recipes. When you include structured data, users will be able to search all the recipes on your site by cook time, calorie count, and ingredients.
This would allow users to find accurate information in very less time without visiting every single page individually. It will be so much simpler for people to search for recipes through Google, and your webpages will come to the forefront.
Rich snippets are not new to SEO. They have been in use since 2009, but it is never too late to get onto the trend. While they may not seem like much, they can prove to be a critical component in your overall SEO strategy. They are immensely eye-catching, and they can help you increase your conversion rates. Even if it seems too technical at first, you just need to give it some time. Once you get started, it is easy to have most of your webpages contain rich snippets. After a while, it will only take a couple of minutes to add snippets to each page. You can also hire an SEO professional to develop your rich snippets for you and to optimize your website for SEO.