Rich snippets were introduced by Google to enhance the user experience. But do you know what they are, how to use them and their importance in SEO? Find out now!
It is the main goal of many businesses and bloggers to achieve the top rankings in Google search results. With these positions, the site receives a lot of traffic and stands out among the competitors.
But the problem is that, after achieving this goal, many companies think: “I do not have to do anything else because I’ve reached the top”. But falling into the comfort zone can increase your competitor’s list.
But we don’t let you happen that!
For this, you can stand out in the SERP through the rich snippets, about which we will speak in this post. You will know what they are, what their importance is and how to use them.
What are rich snippets?
You may not even know what snippets are, but you’re certainly tired of seeing them in the results.
When the user does a search, Google always displays a summary of the pages, which is composed of its title, URL and meta description.
In 2009, Google introduced the rich snippets in the search results. Within the context of Google’s SERP, they are valuable snippets of web pages.
A good example is user ratings, which appear in the form of stars in search results, such as on Facebook pages:
For the users, rich snippets provide additional information about the page, which helps them to decide the best result for their search before they click the link.
These snippets help in identifying relevant information for the search engine, which can be displayed in the search results and thus provide more satisfying search experience.
How to create rich snippets for your pages in SERP?
Rich snippets are a more advanced level of SEO because they demand a greater knowledge of programming and the functionality of Google.
Anyway, let’s explain how it works.
For the Google algorithm to display rich snippets, they must be identified in the HTML code of their pages through structured data, which has the function of sorting and organizing content.
The Google robot is great at capturing the information on a page. Only you have to send relevant information of your website to those bots – and that’s what structured data is for.
Thus, when the robot crawls the page, it will be easier for them to read the content and understand what to display in the SERP results.
For example, on a recipe page, it will know what the ingredients are, the cooking time, and the calories of the dish.
So to implement structured data, you can follow some paths:
- Use Schema to create markups and enter them manually into the page code;
- Use the Google Search Console data-marking tool to show the robot how it should read the content of your pages;
- Install a plugin like All-In-One Schema.org Rich Snippets if you use WordPress.
The plugin is the best alternative if you do not handle any code. For the first two options, you’ll probably need the help of a developer.
Google guidelines for structured data
Google provides very detailed information for anyone who wants to use structured data.
You can check all the types of rich snippets available in the Search Gallery and the instructions for creating the codes.
Also, once you implement them, you can see if everything is working or not in the structured data testing tool in the Google search console. It serves to validate the data and, in some cases, provide a preview of the result in the SERP.
You can also check Google Search Console in order to know what data the search engine has been able to identify and also the errors in the code.
It is worth mentioning that implementing the structured data does not oblige the search engine to display the rich snippets because everything will depend on the evaluation of Google and the personalization of the search of each user.
So, to increase the chances of displaying these snippets, you have to follow the guidelines of Google.
For example, entering structured data which is not visible to the visitor. This is understood as spam, and your site can be penalized for this.
What is the importance of rich snippets in SEO?
It’s important to make it clear: rich snippets are not a ranking factor for Google. That is, the algorithm does not consider structured data to position a page.
However, they indirectly contribute to the positioning. By offering relevant information to the user, they are able to increase the click-through rate and decrease the bounce rate which is considered as the ranking factor.
Relation between rich snippets and traffic
The results of the SERP are little different from each other since they are all composed of a title, URL, and description. However, when rich snippets are displayed, they not only provide useful information but also create a visual highlight that attracts the user’s interest.
For Google, increasing CTR is a positive sign that your page is likely to deliver what the user wants to find in the search for a particular keyword.
So if you’re already in first place, you can get more traffic and stay away from competitors. And if you’re in lower positions, you can attract more visitors and improve your positioning with the confidence of Google.
Relation between rich snippets and bounce rate
Rich snippets also influence the bounce rate, which demonstrates the percentage of visitors who accessed the page, and who left it without any interaction.
This happens a lot, for example, when the information in SERP does not match what the page contains, and the user is disappointed to access it.
However, with rich snippets, users have more information to make the decision to click or not click on the link.
Thus, who access the page are really interested in knowing more and won’t leave the page without interacting with, which improves the length of stay.
For Google, lowering the bounce rate and increasing the time on the page are positive signs which further can increase your rankings.
Types of Rich Snippets?
There are several rich snippets – some are for any type of page, and others are only for specific content.
So, you do not need to use all of them! Focus only on those that are relevant to your business. Let us now know the main ones:
“Breadcrumbs”, which refer to the path inside the site to get to the page in question.
They show their position within the site hierarchy, in categories and subcategories, as in this example.
Site links present the main internal pages of a site, exclusively for which it is in the first position of the SERP.
But this rich snippet does not depend on you entering structured data: it is the search engine itself that decides which links are displayed, according to the traffic and relevance of the pages.
You can only help by creating a coherent and easily understandable navigation structure.
Google may also display a specific search box within the SERP for search within the site, but only for those who have significant traffic.
Generally, this rich snippet only appears when the user enters the brand or company name in the search engine, which then helps refine the search.
Ratings are displayed in the form of stars, on a scale of 1 to 5, and tend to be quite attractive to the user’s interest.
They show visitors’ opinions on what content the page offers, such as local businesses, movies, books, recipes, products etc.
One of this information, which you can define with structured data, is the image of your logo, as in the example below. But if you do not set and have a page in Google Plus, it’s possible that the search engine captures the image from there.
Social networking links may also appear in your brand’s Knowledge Graph. All you need to do is mark the links of the profiles for Google to know what they are.
Another brand information that may appear is the contact phone, when it comes to a number of telesales, SAC, technical support, reservations, among other consumer services.
Google may collect this information in a number of ways: by your Google My Business profile (which is the most guaranteed), by structured data, or by other websites.
Local businesses – such as restaurants, bars, markets and beauty salons – are highlighted in the SERP, as they also appear in the box to the right of the Knowledge Graph.
To ensure the information presented is correct, you can create a profile on Google My Business or enter structured data on your site with information such as address, contact, hours of operation, and photos.
Google itself also inserts supplementary information, such as peak times, consumer annotations and comments, and delivery services.
If you have news pages or blog posts, you can use structured data to appear on a merry-go-round in the top stories.
In mobile search, pages only appear in this format if they are developed in AMP ( Accelerated Mobile Pages ), which is a Google initiative to accelerate the loading time on mobile devices.
Creating product labels in the code of your pages can present important information about them – such as branding, price, availability, and reviews – to the user directly on the SERP.
In the example below, Google already informs the price range, compatible devices, dimensions and weight.
These details can be decisive in choosing the consumer by one or another link in the results.
If you have an event website (show, lecture, game, theater, etc.), you can mark your pages as they appear highlighted in the search, as in the example below.
The SERP can show the name of the event, date, location, price of tickets, among others.
Pages of recipes can display, directly in the SERP, information such as preparation time, calories, nutritional data, evaluations, and photos – which are important for those who seek this type of content.
On the cell phone, they can be displayed in the carousel format, as long as they are also developed in AMP, as you can see below
Songs, albums, bands, and singers also gain prominence in the SERP.
Google aggregates the music and video player links already on the search page so that the user has a good music experience on the browser, as well as displaying a lot of additional information.
TV & Movies
TV shows, movies, and series also receive special attention from Google, which brings information about the cast, duration, trailer, awards, and links to streaming.
Increasingly, Google works to provide a search experience that exceeds user expectations. And the rich snippets stick to that point because they offer information beyond what user was expecting.
So, if you focus on rich snippets, Google will recognize your effort to qualify the SERP, and your pages will gain better rankings.