If you have spent time working on your company’s SEO, you may have heard of rich snippets. But…what is a rich snippet, how will they help you, and how can you get Google to display snippets from your website?
In this post, we help you structure your content so you can take advantage of rich snippets, and therefore drive more organic traffic to your website.
What is a rich snippet?
A snippet is a search result that Google displays containing information about the search topic. Typically, they show the title in blue, the URL in black, and a description of the page’s information.
A rich snippet provides searchers more information than a regular snippet in their search results. In addition to the title, URL, and a brief description, a rich snippet adds an image of the search topic, specific details about the subject of the search, customer star ratings, and other helpful information such as product pricing and images. Searchers tend to prefer rich snippets because they have a better idea of the type of content they will be clicking on.
Are they important for my business?
Rich snippets can be exceptionally useful, especially for driving traffic to your website. Research has shown that rich snippets drive 20-40% more traffic than product links that do not have them. Additionally, click-through rates (CTR) can increase as much as 677% for sites with rich snippets as opposed to sites without them.
Are rich snippets and rich results the same thing?
While rich snippets and rich results have some similarities, they do differ.
- Rich snippets are snippets that provide an image of the search topic, along with additional information that enables users to have a more informed decision when choosing to view your blog post or buy your product.
- Rich results are simply search pages with richer content using a combination of rich snippets and rich cards. Rich cards use schema.org markup to display content that looks more appealing to the user such as multiple images. Rich snippets are used to make your listing stand out by displaying more information about you, your products, or your services.
How can they improve my website’s SEO?
By design, rich snippets offer more details to search results. Google strives to give users the best experience and the most helpful websites, and rich snippets make it easier for someone to locate the site that helps them the most.
While Google has said that rich snippets are not a direct way to improve your standing on the SERPS, you can get a significant boost in your traffic because of rich snippets. The increase in traffic and click-through rates signal Google that your website is a source of quality information. This will boost your site’s authority with Google and, in turn, improve your standing on the results page.
A potential customer is renovating their home and is not sure where to begin. They enter the word ‘Perth renovation ideas’ in the Google search engine and find thousands of results. Given a choice between a result that offers little information renovations in their local area beyond the most basic details and a result that includes images, facts, and customer reviews, the most likely site a searcher will click on is the one that gives the most information.
What are some of the most common types of rich snippets?
There are many kinds of rich snippets, and some work exceptionally well in specific industries or niches. If you are just starting to work with rich snippets, you may want to learn more about some more universal types.
Having reviews included in your rich snippets can give your business a definite edge over the competition. You likely know that reviews help drive traffic to your site. However, statistics tell us that a little over 90% of buyers will read at least one review before making a purchase. This is not a detail to sleep on if you want to make an impact on the SERPs.
Even if you do not have reviews, do not skip posting star rankings. Many business owners do not realise that star ranking is the number one factor consumers use to judge a business.
Along with reviews, price is something that strongly influences consumers. Online shoppers surveyed said that the price of a product has a significant impact on whether they make a purchase. It is not just price that affects consumers. Over 46% of shoppers say they would appreciate more price comparisons on SERPs.
3. Product availability
Many consumers quickly become annoyed when they go to a website for a product and discover that the item or items they wanted are out of stock. Even though rich snippets cannot change your inventory, adding the product availability option can help you avoid making your customers angry. Additionally, you can offer to notify your customers when out of stock items are available for purchase. You can simply ask them to sign up for your emails and add them to your contacts list.
Since Google cannot see your videos, adding as much pertinent information as possible will help the search engine understand the videos you post. For most products, adding a video will make your offerings stand out from the pack. Taking a good strategy and adding a rich snippet makes it a great plan.
The product type of rich snippet is crucial if you want searchers to understand what you are selling. Consider a customer searching for men’s work boots. They have hundreds of sites with thousands of options set out before them. At this point, with a regular snippet, your chance of getting their business is relatively equal to your competition’s. However, a rich snippet that shows the boots, offers details regarding material and unique features, a size range, prices, product availability, possible sale/markdown and a star rating your customer has very little guesswork and is likely to choose your site. This is true even if other websites rank higher on the SERPs but do not offer detailed product descriptions.
How can I create rich snippets for my business?
If you choose to create rich snippets for your website, there are a few steps you need to follow.
1. Decide what information you want to be displayed on Google’s search results page. There are numerous options to choose from, based on your website and purpose.
- Event page
- Product page
- Restaurant page
2. Use structured data to define your website. Fortunately, Google offers a helpful tool called the Structured Data Markup Helper. The tool will walk you through the process after you have published your content so it can read your URL.
3. Create the microdata for the website. This step may sound off-putting to some business owners who do not have experience in creating microdata. However, once you have finished step number two, you automatically go to a page where you correlate website details with microdata that describe the details.
4. Use the microdata to make new HTML strings. As with creating microdata, making new HTML is not as difficult as it sounds. After tagging each part of your website, a button labelled Create HTML pops up. Use it to make your new HTML strings.
5. Tag your content with the microdata. After completing your HTML, you will see a block of code that lists every tag you made in step three. Add the code to your Content Management System (CMS)
6. Test your rich snippet. Google provides a way to make sure it can read your rich snippet. Using the Structured Data Testing Tool you will be able to determine if all is as it should be or if changes are in order.
It is important to note that once you complete these steps, it is unlikely that your rich snippet will show up on the search results page any time soon. This is because Google can take a few weeks to crawl and index all the new information you have added.
Another point for you to keep in mind is even if your rich snippets are perfect, with every speck of data in place, there is a chance that Google will not display your data as a rich snippet.
Nearly every person who hears this statement asks “Why?” which is a fair question. Google answers the question before you can ask it in its General Structured Data Guidelines. It states straightaway that “Google does not guarantee that your structured data will show up in search results, even if your page is marked up correctly.”
It is easy to see why you would want to take advantage of the benefits of rich snippets for your website. However, it can be time-consuming and you must have an understanding of best SEO practices to perform these tasks.
Many businesses find that working with SEO experts is the wisest course of action when implementing a new strategy. We can take care of all your website needs and give you the time you need to run your business. Contact us for further information.