Getting your web pages to the top of the Google rankings is a battle. But getting searchers to click through to your website is another battle.
So, you’ve written a compelling headline, optimized your URL, and tweaked your meta description. What else can you do?
It turns out that Google now adds more elements to search results based on the searcher’s intent. These elements are called rich snippets.
In this short guide, you’ll learn what rich snippets are all about, the different types, and how you can add them to your web pages.
Let’s dive in.
What are rich snippets?
Rich snippets are additional information attached to search results such as star ratings, page author, number of reviews, thumbnail, and more. These snippets provide more details on the search page results.
Generally, when you search, here’s the traditional way you see search results:
But for some keywords and pages, you see search results like this:
Even though Google has stated that rich snippets don’t affect search rankings, it’s undeniable that they can increase click-through rates (CTR). And when CTR goes up, you get more visitors to your website and improved rankings.
How do search engines find rich snippets they display for some results? They find them in the structured data markup in a page’s HTML. So, these pieces of data help search engines understand your page content better.
Put simply, you have to supply the data for rich snippets in your page code. Unfortunately, as you already know, adding data to your web page code is complex and can lead to errors.
Therefore, structured data implementation is more difficult compared to traditional on-page SEO tactics. In light of these, we’ll explain the easiest ways to implement structured data on your page, even if you have poor technical skills.
Rich snippet types
As there are different types of web pages, there are different rich snippet types. The function and content of a page will determine which structured markup data is suitable for it.
Here are some common rich snippets types:
From software to cars to services, you’ll find many reviews online. These reviews provide information about the products that a potential buyer may need.
For reviews, you can add details such as star rating, the number of reviews, and the reviewer’s name.
Few things are as exciting as going on a food adventure. That’s why people are always seeking new recipes to try.
This could be an entirely new food or another version of a food you already eat. With recipes, you can add rich snippet details such as rating, number of reviews, number of calories, and time to prepare it.
When your favorite artist has just released a song or album, you search for it to get more details. Music-rich snippets will provide information about a song, such as the length, genre, producer, and more.
If it’s for an album, rich snippets can contain the songs list.
If you’ve made up your mind about a product, all you’re looking for is the best deal. For product pages, rich snippets can contain the product price, image, rating, etc.
Organization-rich snippets provide relevant information about an organization. This includes stock price, address, logo, CEO, founders, and more.
From politics to sports to tech, some search terms have relevant industry news. This news is featured in the ‘Top Stories’ section of the search page.
To be featured here, though, your website must be approved for Google News.
For videos, you can see the thumbnail, the date it was created, and the channel.
Events like concerts, conferences, seminars, etc. attract searches. Luckily, searchers can find information such as date, time, and location right on the search page.
How to implement structured data
Having mentioned various types of rich snippets, how can you implement their structured data on your web page? First, you have to know that Google accepts 3 structured data markup formats:
- • JSON-LD
- • Microdata
- • RDFa
One of the most popular structured data vocabularies is schema.org. When you visit the website, there are instructions on implementing different rich snippet types.
Unfortunately, schema.org can be complicated for an average user. Let’s explore these 2 easier options:
Use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper
Google has provided its Structured Data Markup Helper to make the process easier. Once you visit the page, you can enter the data type and your website URL.
After doing this, click on “Start Tagging.” Doing that will load the web page in the next step. On this page, you can mark any part of the page and tag them accordingly.
Apart from selecting a part of the page, you can also add a tag manually by clicking on “Add missing tag” at the bottom right corner. Doing this will launch a popup to do that.
After tagging the page, click on “Create HTML.” Doing this will reveal the structured data markup code. This is in the JSON-LD format.
You can change the format to Microdata with the drop-down. But since Google recommends JSON-LD, it’s better to stick with that option. Now, you can copy the code and add it to the <head> section of your page HTML.
Use a WordPress plugin
If you’re a WordPress user, then a plugin can cut through the process. After all, there’s a plugin for most WordPress tasks, right?
To execute this, navigate to plugins in your WordPress dashboard and click on “Add New.” On the next page, enter the keyword “schema.”
You’ll see many good options for this task. Click on “Install Now” and “Activate” to start using your preferred plugin. For instance, here’s the settings page for Schema:
To enter your details, click on “Quick Configuration Wizard.” Then, in a few steps, you can enter vital details for your rich snippets. Once you do this, the plugin will always execute a structure data markup on your new pages.
Test your rich snippets
After adding structured data to your web page either manually or through a plugin, you need to verify if you’ve executed it properly. Google’s Rich Results Test can help you do just that.
On the page, you can enter your website URL or the page code into the box. Below the box, there’s a drop-down to select Googlebot smartphone or desktop.
After entering the necessary details into the box, click on “Test URL.” Within a few seconds, you’ll see results for the web page. For this particular page, there are 2 valid items detected, which are articles and breadcrumbs.
In some cases, you may see errors in the results. This is usually a warning about rich snippet data missing on the page. Now, you’ve successfully implemented rich snippets on your website.
However, Google has said that having relevant structured data on your web page is no guarantee that your search results will always have rich snippets. So, naturally, Google will only show rich snippets when the search engine thinks it’s relevant to a search term.
Therefore, if you don’t see rich snippets in your search results after implementing structured data, there’s nothing to worry about.
Having more real estate and details on the search results page is a feat you should work for. After all, rich snippets can improve your click-through rates which can result in more sales down the line.
And again, implementing structured data wouldn’t take more than a few minutes for a page. So go through this guide and add the necessary structured data for your page.
Have you implemented structured data for your web pages? Let us know in the comments!