How can rich snippets improve your website?

What are rich snippets?

Rich Snippets are the few lines of text that appear under every search result and they are designed to give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it is relevant to their search. All the major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) use the Schema.org markup to tell search engines what information should be considered as a “snippet” in the search results. By improving how your webpage is displayed in the search results you can help increase the number of people who click to view your website in the search results (AKA: click-through’s).

Why do I want to use rich snippets on my website?

The biggest benefit in using Rich Snippets is to increase your organic traffic. Your traffic will increase for two key reasons:

  1. Differentiation from the Competition – When your listings have the added rich snippets features they will stand out more with the added photos or other features. This will increase the clicks your search listings receive and long-term will improve your SEO efforts by increasing rankings and overall traffic.
  2. Help Search Engines Better Understand and Value your Content – Improve content relevancy and weighting for search engines by providing more structured data. It will improve your local search marketing results. You will also get better quality visitors since the visitors will have more information about your page before they click on your link.

Examples of Rich Snippets in action

Rich Snippets for Products

When you do a search for “24″ computer monitor” on Google, you can see that product images and star reviews are shown directly on the search engine results page (SERPs). This information is being shown using rich snippets.

01 - Rich Snippets example for computer monitor search

Rich snippets for Events

If I want to check out when a band is performing, I can search for “Bruce Springsteen Concerts” and in the listings I can see a search result listing the three upcoming dates for Bruce Springsteen.

Rich Snippets in SERP showing concert dates in a Google Search

These are just a few examples of where rich snippets can be used to enhance how your webpages are listed in the search results. Rich snippets can be used for a variety of different applications and each usage scenario will be shown differently in the search results examples include:

  • CreativeWork – This is the most generic rich snippet example and it can include books, movies, photographs, software programs, etc.
  • Event – An event happening at a certain time at a certain location.
  • Intangible – A utility class that serves as the umbrella for a number of ‘intangible’ things such as quantities, structured values, etc.
  • Medical Entity – The most generic type of entity related to health and the practice of medicine.
  • Organization – An organization such as a school, NGO, corporation, club, etc.
  • Person – A person (alive, dead, undead, or fictional).
  • Place – Entities that have a fixed physical extension.
  • Product – A product is anything that is made available for sale, for example, a pair of shoes, a concert ticket, or a car. Commodity services, like haircuts, can also be represented using this type.

Why do I need to markup my website?

You need to implicitly tell search engine bots what content is on our site, what it all means and what content is more valuable for our users. The rich snippets markup tells search engine bots a range of different things depending on what markup you use.

Telling search engines that you’re using Rich Snippets will help make your site stand out in the search results, which will help increase the number of visitors to your site. Examples of where you can use Rich Snippets are listed below:

  • Markup testimonials or product reviews using the reviews Rich Snippet
  • Markup your product so Google can show product specific data in the search results (like Price, Rating etc)
  • You can add Rich Snippets to your contact page around your company information
  • If you use a blog you can add Rich Snippets on your post listing page, which will show the latest 3 or 4 articles in the search results under your blog page listing
  • If your website advertises events you can add markup around your event listings and this will show the date, time and event name for the latest events under your page listing in Google

Ben Lacey is the Managing Director of Lacey Tech Solutions. He is passionate about everything to do with websites from design and development through to search optimisation and hosting. He started the company blog as a platform to help educate current and prospective customers about the ever changing website development industry.

What are your thoughts?

We hope you found our article useful and look forward to answering your questions.