Search engines such as Google and Bing reward websites that provide relevant information. These sites are called rich snippets because they include additional details about the page or site itself. For example, a video might show its length and title, and a restaurant review might display ratings and menu options.
Rich snippets are a way to improve user experience and increase traffic to your site. They are a way to help improve the appearance of search results to further enhance their CTR (click through rate).
The click through rate of a page refers to how many people “click through” to the web page from the Google search results. They can vary from the type of search result to the type of website. In fact, there is an entire library of what’s called Schema.org structured data that’s designed to take advantage of rich snippets.
So how do you take advantage of rich snippets? By including the appropriate Schema.org structured data on your page. There is a process from creation to testing to validation and final deployment, which we will go through later in this guide.
What Are Rich Snippets?
Rich snippets are essentially boxes that sit inside the search results and provide extra information to help searchers find what they want faster. They include things like product ratings and reviews, movie times, restaurant menus and even parking directions. These snippets are called rich because they contain additional information beyond just text. For example, a review might show up with a star rating next to it, or a menu might have photos alongside each dish.
The goal of rich snippets is to make it easier for people to find what they want on the web. If someone searches for “best restaurants near me,” a rich snippet could tell them where they can eat based on their location, while a regular search box wouldn’t offer any options.
Why Are Rich Results Important to SEO?
There are several reasons why rich snippets are beneficial for SEO. First off, they allow people to see relevant information without having to dig into a search result. Second, they give Google more context around the content being searched for. This helps Google understand what the user wants and use that knowledge to better match the user’s needs. Finally, they let Google display more information and features within the search results, which makes the search experience much richer.
How Do You Get These So-Called Rich Snippets?
Google can show rich results or excerpts if you add structured data tags to your site. These are pieces of information that search engines can use to provide richer results. They include things like addresses, phone numbers, ratings, reviews, prices, events, times, and directions. You can learn everything you need to know about structured data in our free Structured Data for Beginners guide.
Structured data is a piece of code in a specific format. It’s written in such a way search engines understand it. In fact, most sites already have some structured data. But it needs to be updated regularly so that search engines don’t ignore it
How Do You Add Rich Snippets to Your Site?
To start adding rich snippets to your site, there are three main types of markup you’ll want to consider: Schema.org, Microdata, and Open Graph. Each one provides different benefits, depending on what type of content you want to add. Let’s take a look at each one…
This is an open standard that allows websites to share structured data about themselves. The idea behind this is to create a common language between all the various search engines out there. When you add Schema.org markup to your website, you’re telling Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc., that you’ve added certain information about yourself.
For example, you can add a property named address to describe where you’re located. Then, when someone does a search for “restaurants near me” you can appear higher in the search results because you’ve provided useful information.
Microdata is another set of standards that allow you to add rich snippets to your pages. Unlike Schema.org, microdata doesn’t require you to change anything on your existing page. Instead, it adds new HTML elements to your page. For example, you might add a price tag to a product listing. That would then appear as part of the rich snippet.
If you would like to read a more comprehensive and detailed guide on how to use these, you may want to read our Ultimate Guide to Using Schema.org Structured Data Markup for SEO.
Which Rich Snippets Should I Choose?
There isn’t really a right answer here. If you’re just starting out with rich snippets, you may not even need any of these options. However, as you grow, you’ll likely find that one of them works best for your audience. So, we recommend trying both and seeing how well they work together.
To start adding structured data to your website:
Add Schema.org markup to your site.
Use Schema.org Markup Generator to create your own custom markup.
Make sure all pages on your site have unique URLs.
Check to see if your site has an XML Sitemap.
Submit your site to Search Console.
1. Check Which Snippets Are the Ones You Need
There are many different ways to add rich snippets to your site. You can do it manually, via code, or let Google do it automatically.
Google provides a set of guidelines for adding rich snippets to your website. These include things such as the type of information that is eligible for rich snippets, how to properly display it, and even how to handle errors.
Standard search result snippets can already provide quite a good overview of your content. But if you want to highlight certain aspects of the article, such as ratings, reviews, categories, tags, authorship, etc., you’ll need to add some extra code to your webpages.
The first step is to decide whether you want to use Schema.org markup or microdata. There are pros and cons to each option. In general, Schema.org is easier to implement than microdata.
2. Implement Schema.org Structured Data
Google wants you to make sure that your site uses structured data. This includes things like adding schema markup to your webpages and filling out forms correctly.
You can also manually write out the code yourself. It’s fairly straightforward. Here’s an example of the code you’d put in the head section of your webpage:
“name”: “Dummy article”,
“description”: “Dummy article description”,
This code tells search engines about your website and lets them know what kinds of information you provide.
If you’re creating a form, you could use something like Schema Form, which generates the necessary code for you.
As long as you follow the rules for each type of markup, you shouldn’t run into any problems.
3. Validate Your Markup
There are several different ways that you can validate your markup. The most popular right now is by using Google’s Rich Results testing tool. There are, however, other ways you can do this.
Use a Markup Generator and Plugin
Markup generators and plugins take care of much of the work required to add rich snippets to your site. They automatically generate the HTML needed for each type of snippet, including Schema.org data, and they usually include a preview function to see how the markup looks. Some even provide tools to test your markup against Google’s guidelines.
Run Your Markup Through Google’s Rich Result Testing Tool
This tool allows you to quickly check the validity of your markup. Simply enter your domain name into the box and select the format of the snippet you wish to validate. You’ll receive a report showing where your markup needs improvement. If your markup passes, you’re golden. If it doesn’t, you’ll learn why.
Validate Your Markup Using a Code Validator
A code validator will look at your entire website and tell you if everything is formatted correctly. To use one, simply paste your URL into the box and click “Validate.”
Check Your Website with Search Console
Search Console is a free service from Google that helps you keep track of all the changes made to your website. You can view reports on page performance, crawl errors, and more.
Test Your Markup With a Structured Data Testing Service
Structured data testing services are websites that give you access to a variety of tests that you can use to ensure that your markup is working properly. These services often have their own built-in validation tools so you don’t need to download anything extra.
Do Rich Snippets Help SEO?
The answer to whether rich snippets actually help SEO isn’t quite clear cut. Some studies say yes, while others say no. A recent study suggests that rich snippets do help increase traffic and conversions, but it’s hard to tell if those benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks.
In general, there are three main reasons why you might want to use rich snippets:
To provide additional information about your page
By default, Google only goes by what the text on your page says. But, with structured data (the language used to generate rich snippets), you can provide specific data that’s meaningful to Google. For example, if you have an event happening that you want to highlight, this could provide more information about your page by way of rich snippets. Things like an attractive thumbnail graphic, the description of the article, and more.
To make your page look more attractive
By itself, sometimes your page will look just like the ten blue links results on the search results pages, which is fine. It just doesn’t necessarily stand out. To make your page stand out amongst all the other links there, you can use structured data to attain rich snippets, which are a type of snippet that’s more attractive than the standard kind.
To improve user experience
While it’s true that rich snippets aren’t always beneficial, they can definitely help your SEO efforts. However, it’s important to remember that they won’t necessarily get you ranked higher than your competitors. It depends on what kind of content you’re trying to rank for.
To distinguish yourself from competitors
If you’re looking to differentiate yourself from your competition, then using rich snippets is a great way to do that. If you’re competing against a company that has a lot of money to spend on marketing, then you’ll probably want to avoid using them because they could hurt your rankings.
To boost conversion rates
One thing that we know for sure is that people love getting answers right away. And using structured data to attain rich snippets is one successful way to do this. By highlighting your site in the search results as a go-to resource for answers, people will be more likely to click on that specific result compared to the plain ten blue links results.
Types of Rich Snippets
The most common type of rich snippets is the review snippet. This appears above the organic listing in the search results. A product markup snippet appears next to the link to the product itself. If you want to add a recipe to your site, you can use the recipe markup snippet. You can also add music to your site with the music markup snippet.
These are not the only types of rich snippets that you can take advantage of, however. There are a myriad of different types of rich snippets, and they can get pretty granular down to the niche and even to the type of search results.
These are reviews that show up next to the product listing, along with stars, price, and other information about the item. Reviews are especially useful for local businesses because people often look at reviews before making purchases. This feature allows you to reach customers where they are looking.
The best part is that you don’t even have to write reviews; you just need to add photos and descriptions to your listings. You can even ask customers to leave reviews directly within the app. If you want to learn how to make money off of reviews, check out our guide here.
The recipe snippet markup allows you to add information about your dish like nutritional values, cooking times, and ingredient lists. You can use it to display recipes directly on your site without having to build a separate web page. A recipe snippet looks similar to how a typical recipe appears on a printed cookbook cover.
You can include multiple recipe snippets per page. For example, you might want to show both the main dish and side dishes for a meal. Or you could list different variations of a dish, like a vegetarian option or one with gluten-free options.
The music rich snippet is a way to provide extra information about songs and albums. This helps people find what they are looking for even faster.
To use it, you just add the code to your site and make sure it appears above the regular description. You can do this manually or automatically by adding the code to your theme files.
Product Markup Snippet
The Product markup snippet displays information about a product such as availability, price, and ratings. This enhancement allows shoppers to quickly see what products are available, how much they cost, and whether they’re rated well enough.
This feature is especially useful for ecommerce sites because it gives customers a quick look at the product without having to go to the retailer’s site. For example, you could include a product markup snippet next to a review of a particular item. Or, you could use a snippet to show the availability of a certain size, based on current inventory levels.
Movie snippets provide users with quick access to information about upcoming movies like release dates, trailers, cast members, and even reviews. Movie snippets are great for getting people excited about what’s coming up next. They’re also useful for finding movies you’ve never heard of. And since they make it easy to see what else is playing nearby, they’re perfect for seeing what’s showing near you.
The feature works best for popular films and those that have been heavily promoted on social media. But there are some caveats. First, you have to use the correct keywords. Second, you’ll want to ensure that your site contains enough relevant info to rank well organically. Third, don’t forget to include the movie’s IMDb rating.
This snippet highlights essential details for event listings, including the time, date, place, and even ticket prices. In fact, it looks almost identical to the standard event listing. However, there are three key differences. First, the snippet contains the name of the venue along with the address, phone number, and email address. Second, the price appears next to the venue name. Finally, the snippet includes a map showing where the event takes place.
In addition to providing additional information about the event, the snippet makes it easier for people to find the event by displaying the most important pieces of data in one spot. If someone searches for “concert,” for example, they’ll see the full listing and the snippet. They won’t have to scroll down to read the rest of the text.
Measuring Rich Snippets Performance
There are several ways in which you can measure the performance of your rich snippets. One way is via Semrush. Another way is through Ahrefs’ SERP Features Filter, which allows us to see how well individual rich snippets perform. We can also use Google Tag Manager to track these snippets and gain insight into how we’re doing with them.
One of the easiest ways to measure the performance of rich snippets is using SEMRush. You simply enter the URL of the page containing the snippet into the tool and click the button labeled “Analyze.” Then, you select the snippet from the list of results.
Another way to measure the performance of our snippets is to use Ahrefs’ SERF (SERP Features) filter. The filter provides an overview of all the different types of snippets available on a given page. It also shows how many times each snippet was used across the entire web.
Google Tag Manager
Finally, we can use Google Tag Manager to view the performance of our snippets. To do this, we need to add a new tag to our website. Once we’ve done so, we can then create a custom variable to store the value of the snippet. This will allow us to monitor the performance of our snippets over time.
Better Snippets Can Translate to Better Visibility
While we may not be able to control every aspect of our search engine rankings, we can certainly improve our visibility.
By adding more rich snippets to our pages, we give searchers more options when they search. As a result, they’re more likely to click on our links or visit our websites.
In addition to giving users more options, we also highlight our sites in the search results with more graphically-pleasing standouts, providing a significant and pleasing way to reach more users.
When do you plan on implementing your next rich snippets?