What Are Google Rich Snippets?
You may have noticed when you check out the Google search results that some snippets come with additional data.
Certain type of website content is much more likely to be shown as a rich snippet instead of a standard snippet. This includes content such as events, recipes, reviews and step-by-step guides.
Typically, Google pulls this additional information from the web pages HTML in the form of structured data.
When you compare standard snippets with rich snippets, rich snippets are definitely much more eye-catching and likely to have a higher CTR.
Are Google Rich Snippets Important?
From an SEO point of view, absolutely! Look at it this way, a standard Google snippet typically only chose three different pieces of information.
These include the URL, a Meta description and the title tag.
But rich snippets work a little bit differently. Instead of a generic display, they stand out from the crowd with a slightly different design. But how exactly does Google determine what information should be a rich snippet?
Whenever a user performs a search, Google scans through the pages HTML. It checks to see if it contains a schema or a similar structured markup.
But that’s not to say just because you use structured markups your content will be featured as a rich snippet in the Google SERPs!
However, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of reaching your rich snippet dream.
How to Get Rich Snippets
The first thing that you will want to do is understand the type of Rich snippet that you are aiming for.
By doing this, you can implement a Schema mark-up created to achieve rich snippets status in the search engine results page.
In total, there are eight different common types of rich snippets used on Google. Depending on your content and business type, you will need to use a certain type for success.
Events – includes information covering location, times, dates and more.
Video – as Google can’t yet understand the content of a video, video markup makes it easier for them to understand.
News Stories – if your website is Google News approved come out you can use this to appear in the top stories section.
Organisation – includes contact information, business address, logo and relevant information.
Product Markup – provides Google with info covering product images and prices for specific products.
Music – provides information about music such as artist info, album release date, etc.
Recipes – recipes use a particular style of structured data that includes information such as recipe images, reviews, ingredients and preparation times.
Reviews – displays user generated reviews using a 5-star rating system.
How to Create Structured Data?
The most popular way to create and implement a structured data is to use schema.org.
All of the major search engine providers support schema.org and its ease-of-use makes it a common number one choice.
But how easy can it actually be?
Unbelievably easy! Simply select the type of markup that you need… then add in all of the required data that it asked for on the screen.
Once you have completed everything, it is time to implement it on your website.
Now, this can be pretty tricky if you aren’t a web developer. However, if you use a CMS platform, such as WordPress, there are a whole host of useful plugins that automate the process. (all-in one schema rich snippets is the most popular plugin).
Testing Your Structured Markup Works
Okay, so you have got your structured markup created and implemented on your website. The last thing you are going to want to do is check that it actually works.
It’s not as easy as simply heading to the search engines and checking. Google isn’t that easy.
But once again, Google also comes to the rescue with it’s amazing structured data testing tool.
You have two options to test your structured data. The first is to enter the website URL that contains your markup. The second is to simply copy and paste the HTML file into the code snippet section.
Click on ‘run test’ and let the tool do it’s magic.
If everything has been done correctly, Google should display any structured data found on your webpage. And if there are any problems, these will be highlighted in the result.
Final Word on Structured Markups
When you use structured data, you make it easier for your content to be understood by the search engines.
Without it, it will struggle to find the most important information to display as a rich snippet.
So basically, what you are doing is giving Google and the other search engine providers everything they need to create a rich snippet.
As an example, let’s say that your business is hosting an event.
Structured data tells the search engines:
- What time the event starts at.
- What date the event is on.
- What the event is about.
- Where the event is located.
By offering up this information, you are able to dramatically improve your chances of Google displaying it as a rich snippet.
Of course, not every website is going to benefit from this. Structured data for rich snippets only covers a select number of niches and topics.
If your website falls outside of these categories, you should instead focus your efforts on creating an amazing meta description and using LSI keywords.
Both of these are also great for higher rankings in the search engines and improving you’re organic CTR.
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