Have you ever noticed any search results which include a picture of the post author? Or maybe one which has several golden review stars beneath it? Or even one which displays information relating to your favourite recipes? If you have, you may or may not be aware that these are called ‘rich snippets‘.
Simply put, rich snippets give webmasters the ability to add useful information to their web search result snippets via the implementation of simple markup into the code of their web pages. This information can then often aid users in making better informed decisions when choosing which search result to click on.
Many people assume by establishing a website in the first position of Google for desired keywords and phrases, this guarantees high volumes of qualified traffic to a website. Historically this may have been the case, and of course it does help. However, with increasingly advanced results pages, webmasters can and should do more to improve the visibility of their website to prospective visitors.
In order to compete within the search engines, webmasters should now be combining classic ‘on-page’ SEO techniques with advanced strategies – with the ultimate aim of providing the user with as much relevant information as possible.
How can rich snippets help your website?
Implementing rich snippets can improve the performance of your website by increasing its visibility within the search results pages with the use of images, graphics, review information and product prices to name but a few. Giving your pages the chance to stand out among otherwise ordinary search results can improve click through and conversion rates, as well as build brand awareness.
Which types of rich snippets are available?
Depending on the nature of your content and the search query entered, rich snippets can appear for a variety of topics. If you actively publish content on your blog (which you should do of course) you are able to add an author tag, providing a rich snippet of your photo, your name and a link to more of your articles.
Businesses and organisations are able to add snippets to reflect their location and any reviews they may have received in a presentable format below their search result.
Companies can use rich snippets to display pictures, ratings and prices regarding their products.
In addition to the examples above, rich snippets can appear for a variety of additional forms of content including; videos, restaurants, recipes, events, music albums and people. I’ve also noticed that Google is now displaying and integrating rich snippets based on popular searches such as the cinema and movie times.
Rich snippet installation and testing
The implementation of rich snippets is fairly straight forward for those who have an understanding of web development and site coding. The micro data code for the snippets can be obtained from schema.org. For popular content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, plugins are available to help make life easier. Once the snippets have been created, you can head on over Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool to check whether the snippet has been successfully implemented.
Looking for help with rich snippets?
If you would like to know more regarding rich snippets and how they could potentially be used to improve the visibility of your website within the search results then please get in touch.