Rich snippets: what are they, and how do you get them?
Both SEO veterans and beginners alike are always looking for ways to improve a website’s rankings on search engines.
While strategies like displaying high-quality content and using keywords strategically do work, they’re not enough to set your website apart anymore, as more and more websites have mastered SEO.
It’s time to find a more advanced method of SEO. Enter rich snippets.
Optimizing your website for rich snippets can generate higher clickthrough results and higher rankings on search engines.
Curious to learn why? Below is our enhanced marketing guide to rich snippets. If you’re looking to engage more users, rich snippets are your answer.
To understand how rich snippets can improve your website’s search results display, you’ll first need to understand the role that search engines results pages play in organizing websites.
What is SERP?
SERPs, or search engines results pages, are Google’s response to a search query. When someone types in a phrase or question into the search bar, it will list all of the results on the SERP pages.
Results include organic results, paid Google Ads results, featured snippets, and knowledge graphs. Google has dozens of SERP features that appear, but users will typically pay attention to the paid results and the organic results.
Paid results often appear at the top of the page, as users have paid for their spot. Organic results will appear based on their relevance and value to the search query.
Google determines where an organic result will be displayed based on a number of SEO characteristics, like the content of the site and its technical features.Many sites are now opting to use rich snippets as a way to boost their rankings on SERPs even further. Rich snippets are one of the more advanced SEO tactics, and we will explain how they work in the next section.
What is a Rich Snippet?
In the Google SERPs, there are normal snippets, where the title is blue and there’s a meta description under the title. But you may have noticed that some results display reviews, products, and even recipes.
These are rich snippets. Rich snippets answer some of the user’s search questions immediately before they even click the page. This makes their lives easier and potentially increases the clickthrough rate of that website.
Rich snippets typically pull data from structured data, or code, found in a page’s HTML. Search engines will interpret this code to generate the rich snippets that users see.
Why Are Rich Results Important for SEO?
Using rich results for SEO doesn’t give direct benefits, but they can lead to benefits that do. The main goal of using rich snippets is to give users an easier time finding the information on your website.
By displaying additional information on SERPs, you’ll help your audience and become more eye-catching than your competitors. This could improve your clickthrough rate and generate more leads.
Google also considers your clickthrough rate as an engagement metric. If more users click on your page in the SERPs, Google will interpret your website to have more authority and relevance for that particular search query.
How to Use Rich Snippets for SEO
Although using rich snippets is a more advanced SEO tool, it doesn’t mean that the process has to be complicated. Adding rich snippets involves using structured data to provide more information about your page to search engines.
Structured data is simply a piece of code. Google and other search engines then use this code to understand and create rich snippets in search results.
Even if structured data doesn’t lead to the exact search results you intended, Google will still understand your page better. Over time, this can contribute to higher rankings on SERPs.
Best practices to Create Rich Snippets
Creating rich snippets doesn’t have to be a difficult process if you follow the right steps. We’ve included the best practices for creating rich snippets.Keep in mind that you’ll have to choose the rich snippet type you want to use and have some knowledge about how structured data works within your site’s code – but we’ll explain all of that below.
Choose a Rich Snippet Type
First, you’ll want to identify the type of rich snippet that you want to appear for a page on your website. Once you know your goal, you can use the appropriate structured markup that’s designed to get this rich snippet in the SERPs.
Dozens of rich snippets exist. For a full list, you can visit schema.org. Many of them, like flight info, apply to a specific kind of site.
Others apply to almost any kind of website, and it is these rich snippets that we will discuss below.
Events will include event details like dates, times, and location.Video markup tells search engines what your video content discusses. Search engines can’t watch videos, but they can display them as results once they understand the content in the videos.
Organization markup tells Google the key information of an organization, typically a business. This information includes the address, contact information, and logo.Product markup tells search engines about a specific product. Information can include the price, a description of availability, and even a product image.
Reviews will display a star rating out of 5. Ratings can either be from an individual reviewer or aggregate reviews from multiple people, so long as clicking on that review takes the user to the corresponding review.
Understand The Basics of Structured Data
Structured data helps search engines understand your optimized content. They then can display your content in the form of rich snippets.For instance, say you uploaded the address for your business as 22 Sixth Street. Google will have a hard time understanding what this information means if you don’t explain it.
The 22 could stand for anything, including digits of a phone number, a number of minutes, or the number of clients who have used your services this month.However, say that you use address markup to identify the address of your business. Then, Google will know that this 22 is part of your business address and can display it accordingly.
You could also choose to identify your address as a feature of organization markup. When users look up your organization, your address can appear.
Implement Structured Data With Schema
To implement structured data, most websites choose to use Schema.org markup. All major search engines support Schema, and it is fairly easy to use.Search the website to find the type of markup that you want to use, then markup your content using the guidelines listed.For even more help, you can check out Google’s guidelines. Its information makes structured data simple, even for people who aren’t pro developers.
Test With The Structured Data Test Tool
You’re almost done – the last step is to make sure your structured data works correctly. Google has a great tool called the Structured Data Testing Tool that lets you check your structured data in seconds.To use it, enter a live URL from your site or copy and paste HTML. Run the test, then Google will show you the structured data it finds on your page. If it notices anything strange, it will let you know.
Remember that Google does not guarantee structured data will result in rich snippets. Using structured data will maximize the odds of rich snippets, but nothing is set in stone.
What to Expect After Adding Rich Snippets
Boosting your SEO rankings is a process that takes time. When you implement rich snippets, you will not automatically see results.Google must first analyze and assess the markup you before it starts to display these results. Typically, Google will start to analyze new markup about 2 weeks after a website first uses it.
If everything looks good, Google will display different rich snippets for different pages over the course of 2 months. Rich snippets will appear for about 5 days before they disappear and then are repealed with new rich snippets from different pages.
After about 8 weeks, Google will display semi-permanent rich snippets on SERPs pages. Google constantly modifies and updates rich snippets, which means that you may notice differences over time in how your rich snippets appear on SERPs.
Leveraging Rich Snippets for SEO Success
With rich snippets, you can create enhanced search results for your website, ultimately making the user’s life easier and even increasing your clickthrough rate.In the end, rich snippets have the same goal as any other SEO tactic: improve your website’s ranking on SERPs.Interested in learning more about how you can leverage SEO best practices to generate more traffic to your site? Reach out to our team for the best advice, research, and insights.