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What Are Rich Snippets in SEO and How do you Use Them?

by | Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

What Are “Rich Snippets” or “Rich Results”?

Rich snippets have been part of the Google search engine since 2009, aiming to provide additional information to the users for better experience for their reviews, recipes, and events search queries. And by using them, Google focuses mainly on providing a comprehensive preview of the information inside any web page right on the SERPs. As an average general user, you must have seen the Google search results showing you the search result in two ways. 

A typical Google search result appears before you like this:

Chicken Preparation 1

And you must have noticed such snippet results appearing like this:

themodern

Both of them together appear like this:

Google 1

Which one are you likely to click on first? The second result will be the one most people choose to click, and it is easy to see why.  

The second snippet contains more information, images, and appealing content than the first one.

Such snippet results are Google surface experiences that appear in SERPs to display more information than the standard blue link.  Moreover,  such snippet results can include images, carousels, or other non-textual elements such as reviews and ratings.

This is the reason they are fantastic for your SEO. Even if your ranking in Google search results has dropped, the rich results may entice users to click on your organic listing. This increases clicks and conversions. 

Google Rich Results Can Help you with Ranking Too!

When your site gets more clicks, it signals to Google that the users like your pages more than the other web pages, which may increase your site’s organic ranking over time. 

Therefore, from whatever angle you look at it, optimizing your pages for such snippets is a recommendable practice in SEO.

However, it is not as easy as just entering the content on a Google sheet. The truth is that it is one of the most challenging SEO tasks, requiring technical knowledge and competency. But don’t worry; some workarounds can help you.

Before you know more about them, there is one confusion you want to have cleared up. And it is to know about “featured snippets” and how they compare to Google’s rich results. 

What are Featured Snippets, And How Are They Different From Rich Snippets?

Feature snippets may look like rich results, but they appear on top of the first organic results at position zero.

Generally, they appear as an answer to an entered query. To get a position in the featured snippet, a site should already be in the top 10 positions for the entered query.

One of the great things about such snippets is that even if the users don’t click on the URL attached to them, they can see sufficient content on the snippet itself that answers their queries.

Observe at the following example to understand how a featured snippet appears on the top of SERPs at zero position:

Tatse

This image shows how the first results answer the entered query, “Why chicken tastes so good.” In SEO, it is described as “position zero,” which appears right above the organic result. 

It helps with the click-through rate, but the purpose of such a snippet is to present an answer to the user on the first result itself. Another aspect of them is that Google’s automated systems generate them.

Google’s algorithm decides if a web page would be ideal as an excellent featured snippet for a specific search request. However, rich results appear due to the page’s structured data.. 

Rich Snippets: How do you Get Them?

If you want Google to display the snippets of your web page with a rich appearance, you need to make structured data part of your page code. 

In layman’s terms, structured data is a type of code written in a specific way and attached to web page source code in a specific location so that Google can understand the content of your web page.

The search engine’s algorithm reads and comprehends the code to generate the snippets, which are rich in appearance for your page.  

Do you Need Comprehensive Information About Structured Data and coding?

As I mentioned before, rich results are one of the most technical aspects of SEO because of the coding language presence in the form of structured data or markup language that you need to insert into the source code of your site’s page.

But here is the thing, you do need to know the purpose of the structured data, but if you are not a coder and you don’t know how to put it on a web page, it is not a big worry since there are plug-ins and online tools that can do the work for you.

Or, you can hire a professional who can place it for you. 

This post will first assist you in understanding why structured data is important, which is a significant part of the knowledge you need while working to generate and optimize snippets for rich results. 

See, the search engine optimization of your web pages needs to display information in a user-friendly way. Here, structured data or markup language codes are useful. 

They help the search engine’s algorithm understand the content, context, and website.

In a nutshell, structured data aims to inform search engines about pages in coding form so that search engines can create and provide results in SERPs in a rich format to help searchers with their queries.  

Now you must be thinking about how to add them to the source code of your web page. Let’s learn!

How do you Add Markup to Your Web Page Source code?

Anyone looking to add structured data to their site’s page source code can use Google’s “Structured Data Markup Helper.”

This tool assists you in creating and generating code (Markup) rather than writing it from scratch. However, don’t forget to check the generated code before putting it on your site’s page.  

Steps for Using the “Structured Data Markup Helper” Tool

  1. Enter the tool page by entering the URL. You will see 2 options at the top – website and email. Click on either of these 2 s per your need.

Markup

2. Then select the kind of snippet you want to create, such as “article,” “Events,” Book Reviews,” etc. And enter the page URL for which you want it.

3. On the right-hand side, you will see the option “Add Missing Tags.” Click on that and add tags such as article body, publishing date, an article section, etc. Alternatively, as shown in the screenshot below,  on the iPhone store page, product snippets will include the product’s title, image, brand, and logo, which you can add by clicking on the page element.

4. You can highlight and select the different elements on the page while in the “Tag Data” view. Moreover, The tool will prompt you to label the respective content elements.

Iphones

5. The Google tool will add the tags to the panel present on the right. Tag as many elements as possible.

6. Once done, click on the “Create HTML” button on the right-hand side at the top.

7. In the final step, the tool will generate your page’s microdata or JSON code on the side panel, and you can copy the code from there.

Models

What Should You Do If You Are Uncomfortable With Coding?

You may not be a coder and find all these steps too difficult; in such a scenario, you can automatically use the plugins to add the required markup to your web page source.

In case you are using a CMS like WordPress, you can go to its marketplace and search for “structured data,” and you will see some options for plugins like this:

Choose a reliable option from any of these. 

What are the Popular Rich Snippets Types?

Although you can differentiate these snippets into several types, doing so will only confuse you. So this post will discuss the top 8 types of snippets:

1. Food & Recipes

These are excellent if your website is dedicated to cooking and recipes.

Butter Chicken

Such snippets will allow you to display the following:

  • Photos of the recipe.
  • Ratings left by users.
  • Time required to cook 
  • It may even show calories for the recipe. 
  • Brief description of ingredients or even steps. 

2. Music Snippets

Such rich result snippet helps you show the information about an album or artist in a better appearance that includes the information about

Music Snippets

  • Song or track length
  • Reviews
  • Date of else 
  • Related albums or track 
  • Events and offers 

3. Review Snippet

It can be for any site, as it displays the overall star rating under the description.

Hotel Review

  • Show overall average rating 
  • Display the total number of reviews.

4. Product Snippets

These allow you to show a single or a group of products to users in the SERPs. You can use them to display the following:

Product

  •  Product Price
  • Ratings and the total number of reviews 
  • Offers and availability

5.  Business Snippet

These are excellent ways to provide extra information to users about your business and related information, such as:

Business Snippet

  • Opening and closing time 
  • Contact details 
  • Reviews and ratings 
  • Thumbnail 

6.  Movie Snippets

These help users know about a particular movie:

Movie Snippet

  • Release date, 
  • Exact genre 
  • Total run time 
  • Reviews, total votes, and brief descriptions.

7. Events Snippet

Such snippets help organizers display:

Event Snippet

  • Event description.
  • Date and timer v
  • Ticket Prices, if needed
  • Location 

8. FAQ Snippets

The FAQ page usually contains several questions and answers related to a specific topic. As per Google, properly marked-up FAQ pages may appear as a rich result on SERPs. Here’s an example:

Adam

Best Practices Regarding Using Schema Markup for SEO

1. Irrelevant content will not appear in rich snippet result form in SERPs. So, make sure to create relevant content.

2. If your created snippet to make them appear in rich form is missing the required property, it will not appear in the SERPs. For example, suppose you have gone about doing the markup for the Article. In that case, you need to submit the following details:

  • Author
  • Author name
  • Author URL
  • Headline
  • Image
  • Date modified
  • Date published

3. Anyone desiring to take full advantage of schema markup, make sure you add it to all duplicate pages along with canonical; pages since google may consider displaying the duplicate page instead of recommended canonical page at any time.

4. Use the most commonly used schema form, and you can use Schema.org for this.

5. Add structured data for desktop and mobile versions of your site’s pages.

6. Use a plug-in or tool to automate the process of creating such snippets, and don’t forget to check them on Google rich result tool.

7. Target to markup as much content on your site as possible since it will give your web pages a higher chance of appearing in rich form.

Wrapping Up

This post’s core focus is sharing information about rich snippets, schema markups, and how they are handy for your online business to win new customers. It covers the significant aspects related to them, such as what these snippets are, how they are different, how they appear, and how to create them. 

Despite knowing and acknowledging their utility and importance, website owners and digital marketing professionals working for SEO do not focus on them as much as they should.

Therefore, the post emphasizes that they are an excellent tool for getting clicks on your site’s pages, even those that are not at the top of organic rankings. 

However, finding a competent SEO service will undoubtedly help your site benefit from them to the fullest. Therefore, you should hire SEO experts to optimize your website for Google’s rich results. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What do “rich snippets” mean?

These are types of snippets that appear in search results and carry more information. They usually have a thumbnail or image attached to them, displaying more interesting content, ratings, and reviews.

What are the types of rich results?

  1. Article
  2. Book
  3. Breadcrumb
  4. Local business
  5. Logo
  6. Math solvers
  7. Movie
  8. Podcast
  9. Practice problems
  10. Product
  11. Q&A
  12. Recipe
  13. Employer aggregate rating
  14. Estimated Salary
  15. Event
  16. Fact check
  17. FAQ
  18. Home Activities
  19. How-to
  20. Review snippet
  21. Sitelinks search box
  22. Carousel ( Available for recipes, restaurants, courses, and movies)
  23. Course
  24. Dataset
  25. Education Q&A 
  26. image metadata
  27. Job posting
  28. Learning video
  29. Software app
  30. Speakable
  31. Subscription and paywalled content
  32. Video

Do rich results help SEO?

Though they are not a ranking factor, they help with click rates and conversions. The effects of getting more clicks start affecting the organic ranking too. Therefore, you can’t deny that they are crucial for SEO. Moreover, they greatly improve the search experience for users who come to Google.

Can you explain how to make a rich snippet?

You can use “Structured Data Markup Helper” to add any web page and create microdata using your selected data type, like an article, product, event, etc. You can get new HTML and tag your content with it. Or alternatively, you can use a plugin or tool to automatically generate it for your web page.

What is the extra information in snippets that appears when they are in rich form?

There can be several additional pieces of information they may carry:

  1. Attached thumbnail or image 
  2. Ratings and reviews.
  3. Pricing and contact details 
  4. Business hours and offer details.
  5. Upcoming events details etc. 

Is it certain that Google will display optimized pages as rich snippets?

No, it is not a guarantee! You can add schema markup to your pages, check if they are optimized, and then wait because Google may still decide to display them as typical snippets. 

Navneet Singh Final

A young enthusiast who is passionate about SEO, Internet Marketing, and most importantly providing tremendous value to businesses every day. Connect with him on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter: @nsvisibility

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