5 types of Rich Snippets to improve your website's SEO
In today’s digital world, the Internet has become an integral part of people’s daily lives. Whether it is used for entertainment, leisure, communication, or work, the Internet makes information accessible from the comforts of your home. As a result, the challenge for people on the other side, those who create and manage websites, has become attracting more search users to click on their webpage.
Given the popularity of the online space, you now have access to multiple digital marketing strategies that will help you attract website visitors. SEO, in particular, is one of the leading strategies today because of the many tactics that you can use in order to improve your search ranking. Another way you can boost traffic to your webpage, however, is by using rich snippets. They may not sound familiar, but chances are, you have already seen several rich snippets in your life.
What Are Rich Snippets?
Have you ever made a Google search and felt limited by the standard snippet, consisting of the title, meta-description, and URL of an article?
Rich snippets aim to solve that problem by adding more information for users to see on the get-go. Site operators make use of structured data markup and add this to their page’s HTML so that search engines get a better idea of the content on their webpage. The search engines will then make use of the structured data in order to display rich snippets or “richer” search results directly in the SERP. Some examples of rich snippets include ratings that you often see for books or restaurants, prices for applications you may want to download, and images of hotels or tourist attractions for your next trip.
Why Are Rich Snippets Important?
Over time, Google search results have become more dynamic due to the influx of webpages and the changes in Google’s algorithm. As a result, it has become more challenging to increase your page’s click-through rate (CTR) or generate more online traffic. With rich snippets, there is enormous potential to increase your exposure, thereby improving your CTR, and leading to better KPIs.
Rich snippets do not yield immediate results, nor do they get done immediately. However, they are essential because the results you get from them will have long-term effects on your webpage.
How to Create Rich Snippets
To create rich snippets, you will have to use structured data to provide more information about your website. Schema markup, one of the latest innovations in SEO, is a type of microdata recognized by major search engines to display more informative search results for users. One of the reasons why it is so famous for rich snippets is that it tells the search engines what the data means, and not just what it says.
There are multiple ways to incorporate schema markup to your own website to create rich snippets. You can manually add content tags to your HTML code or use plugins that allow you to fill in the blanks for you to add the tags. The easiest way, however, is to make use of Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper, which is particularly helpful for beginners.
Start by searching up the Data Markup Helper, then select whether you want to use the data for an email or webpage. After choosing the data type, a range of options such as articles, products, local businesses, restaurants, and many others to suit the nature of your webpage will be provided to you.
After selecting your data type, input the URL or HTML of your webpage and start tagging the critical data on your website based on the data items that are asked for. You will find your web page in the left pane and the data items in the right pane. The data items include typical background information such as name, author, date published, URL, image, and others. To fill in the blanks, highlight the elements from your webpage then click the corresponding data item from your helper tab.
Once you finish filling in the data items, select “Create HTML.” Doing so will show you your webpage’s HTML but with the additional microdata markup that you’ve entered the previous step. Depending on the content management system (CMS) you are using, you will need to put the highlighted snippets from the spots where you added information. Another alternative is to download the HTML file and paste it into your CMS directly.
After adding your schema to your CMS, you can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to see if you were able to input the schema markup successfully. You can see a preview of both your webpage and your code in the SERP. Make sure to check every element of the code to see if all the markup elements were appropriately added.
An important thing to note is that once you add the structured data, search engines will not immediately recognize that and display the rich snippets. Google, for instance, will typically start analyzing your markup 10 to 14 days after you add it in then start showing rich snippets to a few pages. Do not be alarmed if your rich snippets suddenly disappear after five days and come back a few days later. Google typically repeats this process for some time as a way of analyzing your code. If there is nothing wrong, you can expect to get a “semi-permanent” status after eight weeks.
Do Rich Snippets Help SEO?
Having rich snippets in your webpage does not automatically guarantee you the top ranks in SERPs, but it can significantly contribute to your SEO strategies. Using schema SEO, you can display more content for users to see in the search results, making your webpage more attractive and enticing to them. As more people are drawn to your website, your CTR increases, prompting Google to boost your rankings as well.
Nowadays, using keywords for your SEO may no longer be enough, so implementing schema SEO can give you an added advantage, especially since Google particularly loves schema! Search statistics show that there is at least one rich snippet in 36.60% of searches, but only about 0.30% of domains regularly use schema markup. This number showcases the huge opportunity that you can capitalize on to boost traffic to your webpage and skyrocket your CTR.
What Are the Different Types of Rich Snippets?
There are various rich snippets that you can utilize for your webpage, depending on the nature of your business.
You may be familiar with rich snippets in articles since Google typically collates them into a “carousel” that you can scroll through quickly on the SERP. With articles, you can add information like the name of the publisher, publication date, and headline.
Similar to articles, rich snippets for events may also appear in a carousel that features multiple activities in your SERP. Besides the name of the event, you can typically include details like location, time, and date of the event, etc. so users can quickly get the vital information in one search.
There are several opportunities for you to create dynamic content for users if you’re trying to advertise a local business. You can display images of the products or services that you offer alongside attaching a map to get to the place correctly. Putting in other essential information like the address, opening hours, phone number, and a brief description will also be enticing to users.
The product snippet is the most familiar snippet of all since it includes things like the star rating, price, and product information. Be mindful, however, that you should only use the product schema for a single product.
The recipe snippet is another popular snippet that can offer valuable information to users. Apart from the rating that indicates how good a recipe is, you can also add information like the number of votes to offered for the rating, the cooking time, the number of calories, and many other details that people may find useful!
Tools and Plugins to Help Create, Add, And Test Rich Snippets
Learning schema markup to create rich snippets can be challenging for a beginner. Fortunately, multiple tools can help you with it.
Google Structured Data Markup Helper and Structured Data Testing Tool
These two tools are free and can help build your structured data then test your code. With Google’s data markup helper, you can easily build your code by selecting your structured data type, then use this tool to fill in data from your webpage.
WordPress SEO Structured Data Schema
If you use WordPress as your CMS, you can install this plugin to add schema markup easily. All you have to do is make changes in the plugin, and it will automatically modify your code so that you don’t need to keep pasting new codes to your website. Similar to Google’s Data Markup Helper, you will get built-in data fields that you need to fill in for the plugin to create the structured markup.
Given the competitiveness in the online space, it can be challenging to make your webpage stand out or to make users click on your webpage particularly. With the help of rich snippets, however, you can draw much more attention to your website and boost traffic. Despite its vast potential, schema markup is only used by a handful of sites, but though the process may take time to learn and some more time to see results, it will surely pay off in the long run.