For most good things in life, we always end up wanting more. As search engines evolve, we want more from them, too. In search results, we’re used to only seeing a URL, title, and short snippet of information, which could only tell us so much, and that was fine for a while. Of course, after a while, we started to need more than just a quick description. With so many results, how are you really supposed to choose with just a sentence or two? This is where rich snippets come in.
You’ve likely seen rich snippets in the search results without even realizing it. Rich snippets are similar to the snippet you would see in regular search results, except they give you much more information. Some common examples of how rich snippets could appear are star ratings for things like products and companies. You may also see recipes that are broken down directly in the search results. If you’re trying to boost your rankings and get more traffic to your website, a rich snippet could be exactly what you need.
How rich snippets can improve your SEO
As you’ve probably noticed on your own, not everyone gets a rich snippet. Few of the search results have one. Most people aren’t aware of how to get one or the effect that it can have on your SEO. You might have already worked hard to create compelling meta descriptions to bring people in, but that still won’t look as good as someone who has a rich snippet. If you do have one, you’re going to stand out right from the start. When someone is looking for information, and see one result contains far more information, you’ll get their attention right away. Having this extra information can also help you seem more trustworthy than your competitors. This is good for both you and users, as they get the information they want and you can get a higher click-through-rate.
Keep in mind that rich snippets aren’t an official ranking factor, so having one won’t automatically make you rank higher. You could still not be in the top few spots even while you have a rich snippet.
Even though it isn’t a direct impact, the effect of having a rich snippet is what you want. These help your SEO by getting more people to click on your website so that you can start to rank higher from it. By getting more visitors, search engines can start to see your importance to users, and improve your ranking if you’re the best result for them. If users have more information about what they’re about to see on your website before they get there, you can also possibly reduce your bounce rate. Users will have a better idea of what they’ll get from you beforehand. This could lead to you getting more visitors who are actually interested in staying on your website. Don’t get discouraged if having a rich snippet doesn’t have an effect right away. Getting a rich snippet could occur gradually over time.
Structured data and rich snippets
When you know the benefits of having a rich snippet, of course you want to know how to go about getting one. The only way of getting a rich snippet is by providing structured data for your website. Structured data allows you to tell you exactly what your website is about. This will allow you to highlight what you think is most important. By giving this information to search engines, they have more to go off of when you’re shown in search results. As a result, there’s a chance they can create a more useful and detailed snippet.
Schema markup is a type of structured data that is used by all the major search engines, and most people prefer using it for structured data, so this is likely your best option. To use schema markup, you’ll go through a vocabulary list of different tags that allow you to categorize your website. Some categories include organizations and creative works, which you can then break down further into subcategories. This might seem like it could turn into a lot of work, but it’s not necessary for you to markup every page or everything. You only need to use the information that you think is the most important. In fact, Google could even disable your rich snippet if it looks like your markup is spammy. Using schema markup is even easier if you use WordPress, where you can simply use a plugin to create structured data.
An important thing to remember is that correctly implementing schema markup on your website might not result in you getting a rich snippet. Although it’s not guaranteed, it is a step in the right direction. Though you’re never guaranteed a rich snippet, double-check that your structured data is correct. Any mistakes could prevent it from appearing. If it does show up, you shouldn’t expect it to appear immediately. They could also come and go over time. When it comes down to it, Google will show the search results that are best for the user, so your structured data might not be useful for a rich snippet in this case. To earn a rich snippet, you do have to have a website that’s worthwhile for users, which is something you could contact us to get help with.
Structured data is also not a ranking factor, so you won’t rank any higher as a direct result. Creating structured data for your website can still have a positive impact, even if it doesn’t lead to rich snippets. Schema markup makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your pages properly, which can also play a role in how you rank. For more about how schema markup can be useful for you, check out our blog post about it.
What pages are best for rich snippets?
Rich snippets are great for websites in any industry. While anyone can take advantage of these, there are some pages that tend to get more out of them. Certain information makes more sense in a rich snippet. Pages that work best with rich snippets include:
As you’re marking up your pages with schema, you’ll be able to specify what type they should be shown as. This makes it easy if you have an event coming up to be sure that search engines know that it’s an event, or to give people the basics on your company in right the search results.
There’s no doubt that having a rich snippet is a powerful move. They set you apart from the competition and make you the most attractive option to users. Though you might not get one right away, it’s important that you take steps to get there, which could be helpful all on their own.