What are Rich Snippets? A Guide to Website Implementation
The competition for positions in Google search results is constantly growing, and algorithms and ranking factors are becoming more complex. Meanwhile, the user’s click plays a decisive role because after clicking, they will be introduced to your content. One way to attract a user’s attention is through rich snippets that can help you distinguish your site from the rest in SERP.
What Are Rich Snippets?
The search results on a Google page consist of the page title, URL, and description. A standard snippet is a short description of a site’s page, consisting of a couple of sentences, which shows to what degree the search result matches the user’s query. The search engine will automatically generate a snippet from the meta-description and page content.
Rich snippets include a detailed description with additional information, such as the star-rating, cost, location, product availability, the number of page views, etc. Let’s look at some of the rich snippets’ examples:
Most often, rich snippets appear in the search results for queries about products, recipes, and events, also, the link is often accompanied by an image. This Google rich snippet link shows the recipe’s rating, the number of user votes, its cooking time, and calorie content:
The rich snippets feature is available in most search engines. Similarly to Google, the search results in Bing and Yahoo also indicate the page rating and along with other data:
The search engine Yandex had a special standard Yandex Market Language to place information from the stores to the snippet. Recently, this feature has been expanded, it is now presented in the form of Turbo pages, where images, prices, and other information from the retailers are present.
What Are the Advantages of Rich Snippets, Where They Can Be Used
Rich snippets make a link more visually attractive and provide insight into the content. This lets the user know how relevant the page is to their search immediately, and they can also see the site’s rating and level of popularity by its number of views. In the instructions, Google provides an illustration depicting how the page will appear in the SERP, depending on the type of site and its content – developers.google .
Rich snippets are especially relevant for those in the e-commerce industry. According to the research, 85% of users look to Google for product information and shopping ideas.
Thirty-five percent of sales occur after researching on Google.
Rich snippets would bring a significant advantage in SERP for these sectors:
- Cooking sites and blogs
- The sites of restaurants and cafes
- Salons and beauty shops
- Service companies like repair shops, auto repair, car washes, cleaning companies, etc.
- Educational websites: course pages, studios, schools, and private educational institutions
- Concert and event agencies
- The travel sector: tourist agencies, booking sites, hotel pages, etc.
- Sites with books, music, and video content
- Clubs and concert venues
Do Rich Snippets Help SEO?
Rich snippets allow you to make a page stand out from the rest in SERP. Even if it is not in one of the first positions in the results, the user might prefer it because of the image, rating, and additional information given in the description. For example, here is a site that is listed fourth in SERP, but has fourteen times the amount of clicks than the link listed first, which got it included in Featured Snippets:
Site rating from the top position in SERP:
The rating of the site in the fourth position in SERP, that is significantly higher than that of the sites listed above it in the search results:
In this example, the price of the camera is shown in the rich snippets, and this factor is attractive for users:
The brand traffic for a link in the third position in the search results that includes the price is 1.6 times higher than that of the top link that does not list the price of a product.
This is the page traffic on amazon.com, which does not usually specify the price of a product:
This is the traffic on bestbuy.com where the rich snippets show the price of a product:
Thus, rich snippets can influence user behavior, increase CTR, and attract organic traffic. They are not, however, a ranking factor, and they do not affect the search results, as reported by John Muller, a Google representative. According to him, structured data helps the search engine understand what the content is about, which ensures that its issuance is relevant.
The Bing instructions say that their crawlers do not give preference to certain specifications, so you should focus on what is best for a particular site. But at the same time, as with Google, additional annotations change the appearance of the link when it is listed in the search results. Bing explains that it can use the annotations as it deems fit, either to increase the snippet’s visual appeal or to check its data sources.
You can achieve significant results by using structural data correctly. For instance, Eventbrite, a global event platform, has used structural data and rich snippets since 2015 and, in 2017, this worked to their advantage when they were launching a mobile version of the site.
After Google implemented a special schema.org markup for events, Eventbrite readapted their site. In SERP, users were able to see the date, location, and other details of an event, which favorably highlighted the link. Due to optimization, compared to last year, traffic had a 100% increase over the past month.
Thanks to the utilization of “How to” mark-up, an online beauty and health magazine increased their CTR by 1.2 times. They gradually introduced structured data, but the very first link with rich snippets led to a 20% increase in CTR.
Even though they do not directly affect SERP ranking and issuance, structured data and rich snippets can become effective SEO tools and yield good results when they are the part of a comprehensive SEO strategy.
How Do I Get Rich Snippets on Google?
Google generates rich snippets based on structured data that helps the search engine to better understand the content. Structured data is an element of program code that is written for search engines. By using it, search engines obtain additional information about a page and they can use it to create an enhanced snippet.
Before embedding rich snippets into the structure of your site, you have to know what kind of advanced information you will need. If you have an informational site or a blog, a standard snippet is usually enough for the user to see all of the information they need:
When creating rich snippets for other types of sites, you should begin with the category, subject, and the information that will be the most useful and attractive to your target audience. Google provides different kinds of markings depending on the category of the whole site, or the content of a certain page:
To determine which rich snippets are right for you, you should read the official Google documents that describe different options and their various functions. For example, the product label is appropriate for a site that offers products.
And suitable markup is also provided for “How to” websites.
For pages that feature reviews of books, events, recipes, films, applications, etc. the Review snippet is best and it contains fragments of reviews by various experts.
One of the most common markups is the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). This section can be used for many types of websites whose content contains popular questions and their answers. This kind of structure is well-ranked and puts you in an advantageous position in SERP.
It is important to understand that using structured data is not a guarantee that Google will generate a rich snippet, but in any case, this will improve the interaction between your content and the search engine.
How Do I Add Rich Snippets to My Website?
How to create rich snippets? Schema.org markup is the service that is used most often for implementing the structured data and micro-markup that is required to get rich snippets. Schema.org is a dictionary for micro marking data that is understood by the leading search engines, Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and Yandex.
You can use it to write your code and create a micro markup page. To do this, you need to find the appropriate kind of label and generate the page according to the Schema instructions. For a recipe page, it will look like this:
Schema recommendations for a page markup:
In turn, Google offers detailed instructions for structured data that can also help with proper micro-markup.
Another popular free micro-markup service is the Schema Markup Generator – Technicalseo.com:
As an example, we are creating a layout for an “event” page:
We’re entering the necessary information:
To check the code, click the orange Google sign and select the “Structured Data Testing Tool”:
This will open the Google Search Console in a new tab where you can check the data and description:
In my case, there were two mistakes, the “Event” string lacks sufficient marking according to the rules of Google.
and according to Schema.
The second mistake is that the field about the venue of the event is not completed. Additionally, the Google Testing Tool recommended filling in the following fields:
- Name: the performer’s name (AB was used in the example)
- Image: it specifies the URL where the image is located
- Organizer: information about the event organizer
After making the edits, use the blue “Copy” button to copy the markup code and then paste it to the site page. In this case, the code must be embedded in the HTML format, since it is the visual format that is displayed incorrectly.
After the code optimization is complete, you should check the site using the Google rich snippets testing tool to check whether or not the page supports the output of the Google rich snippets.
If you have a WordPress site, you can simplify the rich snippet configuration process by using rich snippets WordPress plugins Yoast, All in One SEO, Rank Math, which you can read about in our article Yoast vs All in One SEO. The most popular plugin being All in One SEO from WordPress, these are among its main functions:
- Optimizing the title to meet the guidelines of Google and other search engines.
- The Automatic generation of meta tags
The popular rich snippets WordPress Yoast plugin also allows you to create structured data. On the service’s site, users are offered a free online course on creating structured data, making Yoast so user-friendly.
The Rank Math plugin provides content optimization for 14 types of rich snippet schemes: articles, books, courses, events, job postings, music, products, recipes, restaurants, videos, reviews, people, services, and software apps.
Despite the ease of using plugins and their advantages, many SEO experts recommend prescribing the micro-markup yourself, as this is the most reliable way to create the essential codes for your content.
Although rich snippets are not a ranking factor, they will be an advantage when fighting for a user’s attention. Using images and useful current information in the structure of your content will help you increase your CTR, and as a result, it can lead to increased traffic and successful commercial or reputational results.