If you haven’t already heard of rich snippets or incorporated them in your site, you’re lagging behind. These delicious little bits of code are like candy for search engines. Adding them to your site can help your SEO, boost your CTR, and enhance the appearance of your listings in search engines. Best of all, it’s a cinch to do. With just a little HTML knowledge and this guide, you’ll be on your way to catching up with the latest web trend—one that’s here to stay.
Rich Snippets: The What & Why
Back in 2009, Google introduced rich snipplets. They’ve become hugely popular mainly because they help search engines display what you want with extra features, like ratings, author photos, and much more!
What are rich snippets?
Rich snippets are designed to summarize the content of a page in a way that makes it even easier for users to understand what the page is about in our search results.
Rich snippets are a type of page mark-up made up of extra bits of code. You can think of them like bacon bits—because who doesn’t like bacon! They’re the extra pop of flavor that makes a plain baked potato into a loaded one. I’m sure you’ve seen the results of these wonderful snippets when digging around in Google. They are the result of the extra bits of content that appear under search results.
Why use rich snippets?
Rich snippets are seen everywhere in the SERPs with some verticals like recipe and blog sites having more than others. These rich snippets help searchers find exactly what they’re looking for and can help your site by:
- breaking up standard wall-of-text search results
- calls significant attention to your result
- provides instant information related to the user’s query
- increases CTRs and decreases bounce rates
- leads to more qualified traffic
- can establish AuthorRank for the author & builds search trust
- allows readers to get to know you and trust your contributions to the web
Sites that leverage content strategies can especially benefit from these little pieces of bacon bits. With the emergence of AuthorRank, a “know” based query (informational search) displays an author with a photo, name, and links to other articles they’re written. This creates a feeling of trust and authority on the subject matter their writing about. It also encourages click-through to other articles the author has written.
Another example is, “do” based queries, such as going to a concert or event. Information for purchasing tickets can help show immediate information on prices, maps, and directions.
Types of Rich Snippets
There’s quite a few types of rich snippets you can use. Some search engines support more than others, but adding them will never hurt your site. Here’s the types of rich snippets Google supports:
- Restaurants: Average review, number of stars & price range
- Authors: Author photo, name & link to articles
- People: Phone number & photos
- Products: Ratings, picture & price
- Businesses & Organizations: Location & customer review
- Recipes: Photo, recipe, rating & time required
- Events: Event date, location & time
- Music:Lyrics & link to play
Google also recognizes markup for video content and uses it to improve our search results.
Integrating Rich Snippets
Integrating rich snippets in your site is a cinch. I found that initially is was a little confusing only because of the different types of rich snippets that are out there. Google suggests using microdata as outlined at schema.org, but any of the three formats below are acceptable.
Types of Rich Snippets
Don’t forget to test!
As with all development, it’s important to test your rich snippets once you’ve added them to your site. Luckily Google makes this easy with their structured data testing tool.
If the tool correctly renders a rich snippet for your pages, they’re eligible to be shown with rich snippets! If rich snippets aren’t appearing in the rich snippets testing tool, refer to our Google’s troubleshooting guide.
Once you’ve correctly implemented and tested your markup, it may take some time for rich snippets to appear in search results as we crawl and process the pages. If rich snippets are not appearing in Google’s search results after a few weeks, refer to Google’s troubleshooting guide as well as ensuring you’re following Google’s design and quality guidelines.
Rich Snippet Examples
Here’s a couple of handy examples when trying to integrate rich snippets on your site. If you don’t find one for your situation, comment below and I’ll be happy to help you out.
Rich Snippet Example 1
Rich Snippet Example 2
Rich Snippet Example 3
Learn More About Rich Snippets
- Author Rich Snippets Tutorial by Mike Arnesen
- About Rich Snippets and Structured Data (Google Webmaster Tools)
- A Visual Guide to Rich Snippets by Selena Narayanasamy
- Google Search: What Are Rich Snippets and Why Should I Care? by Kimberly Reynolds
- 8 Great Examples of Websites Using Rich Snippets by Yusef Lockwood