What are Rich Snippets and how to use them to bring more users to your site – WAU
It is no coincidence that being in the first Google results is the main objective of many people. In these positions, the site receives a lot of traffic and stands out among the competitors. The problem is that, when reaching this goal, many companies think: “I don’t need to do anything else, because I have already reached the top”. Only […]
It is no coincidence that being in the first Google results is the main objective of many people. In these positions, the site receives a lot of traffic and stands out among the competitors.
The problem is that, when reaching this goal, many companies think: “I don’t need to do anything else, because I have already reached the top”. Except that falling into the comfort zone can give your competitors room to grow …
But we are here to not let that happen!
Do not think that the SEO work is done, as being well positioned does not guarantee that your link is the most clicked. So, it’s time to think about how to guarantee a higher volume of clicks.
For that, you can stand out at SERP through the rich snippets, which we will talk about in this post. You will know what they are, how important they are and how to use them. Follow:
What are rich snippets?
You may not even know yet what they are snippets, but you are certainly tired of seeing them in the results.
When the user does a search, Google always displays a summary of the pages, which consists of its title, URL and description (the meta description), as in the example below:
This is a snippet – which means “fragment” in English -, whose purpose is to inform the user about what he will find by clicking on the link.
However, still in 2009, Google introduced the rich snippets in the search results. This expression can be translated into London as “rich fragments”. Within the context of Google’s SERP, they are valuable fragments 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 user, they provide additional information about the page, which helps to decide which is the best result for your search even before clicking on the link.
For the search engine, these fragments help to identify relevant information that can be displayed in the results and, thus, offer a search experience most satisfactory.
How do I create rich snippets for my SERP pages?
Rich snippets are at a slightly more advanced level of SEO, as they demand greater knowledge about programming and how Google works.
Anyway, let’s explain how it all works.
For the algorithm to be able to display rich snippets, they must be identified in the HTML code of your pages using structured data, which have the function of classifying and organizing the content.
The Google robot is excellent at capturing information from a page. Only you can lend a helping hand to make his life easier – and that’s what structured data is for.
Thus, when the robot examines the page, it will be easier to read the content and identify what is relevant for display on the SERP.
For example, on a recipe page, he will know what the ingredients are, the preparation time and the calories of the dish.
So, to implement structured data, you can take some paths:
- Use Schema to create the markup and insert it manually in the page code;
- Use the Google Search Console data markup tool to show the robot how it should read the content of its pages;
- Install a plugin like the All-In-One Schema.org Rich Snippets, if you use WordPress.
The plugin is the best alternative if you don’t have any code. For the first two options, you will probably need the help of a developer.
The GSC tool is relatively easy to handle, as it does not touch the code directly, but requires deeper knowledge. Schema, while more complex, is a much more complete tool.
Google guidelines for structured data
Google provides very detailed information for anyone looking to use structured data.
You can check the Search Gallery for all types of rich snippets available and instructions for creating the codes.
In addition, after implementing them, you can see if everything is ok in the structured data testing tool that Google offers. It serves to validate the data and, in some cases, offer a preview of the result at SERP.
You can also check, through Google Search Console, a report that shows what data the search engine was able to identify, as well as possible errors in the code.
It is worth mentioning that implementing structured data does not oblige the search engine to display rich snippets, as everything will depend on Google’s evaluation and the customization of each user’s search.
So, to increase the chances of them being displayed, the least you have to do is follow Google’s guidelines.
You cannot, for example, enter structured data for content that is not visible to the visitor. This is understood as spam, and your site can be penalized for it.
How important are rich snippets in SEO?
It is important to clarify: rich snippets are not a ranking factor for Google. That is, the algorithm does not consider the data structured to position a page.
However, they indirectly contribute to positioning. By offering relevant information to the user, they are able to increase the clickthrough rate and decrease the bounce rate – these are indeed considered ranking factors. Understand better:
Relationship between rich snippets and traffic
The SERP results differ little from each other, as they are all composed of 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 eye of the user.
Thus, the page tends to receive more clicks, improve traffic and increase CTR (Click-Through Rate), which is the click-through rate in relation to the number of views.
For Google, the increase in CTR is a positive sign that your page is likely to deliver what the user wants to find when searching for a particular keyword.
So, if you are already in the first position, you can gain even more traffic and distance yourself from your competitors. And if you’re in lower positions, you can attract more visitors and improve your positioning with Google’s confidence.
Relationship between rich snippets and bounce rate
Rich snippets also influence the bounce rate, which shows the percentage of visitors who visited the page, but abandoned it without any interaction.
This happens a lot, for example, when the SERP information does not match what the page contains, and the user is disappointed when accessing it.
But with rich snippets, users have more information to make a decision on whether or not to click on the link.
Thus, whoever accesses it is really interested in knowing more and should not leave the page without interacting with it, also improving the lenght of stay.
For Google, lowering the bounce rate and increasing time on the page are positive signs that you now have content that serves the user’s interest.
What are the types of rich snippets?
There are several rich snippets – some are for any type of page, and others are for specific content only.
So, you don’t need to use them all! Focus only on those who are relevant for your business. Let us now know the main ones:
Breadcrumbs means “bread crumbs”, which refer to the path within the site to reach the page in question.
They show your position within the site hierarchy, in categories and subcategories, as in this example, in the green text:
Sitelinks present the main internal pages of a website, exclusively for being in the first position of SERP.
However, this rich snippet does not depend on you entering structured data: it is the search engine itself that decides which links will be displayed, according to the traffic and relevance of the pages.
You can only help by creating a coherent and easily understandable navigation structure.
Google can also display a specific search box on SERP for searches within the site, but only for those with significant traffic.
Usually, this rich snippet only appears when the user types the name of the brand or company in the search engine, which then helps to 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 eye.
They demonstrate the opinion of visitors about the content that the page offers, such as local businesses, films, books, recipes, products, etc. See the example of evaluating the PayPal app on iTunes:
When the user searches with the name of a relevant brand, company or website, Google can also display more specific data about them in a box (in the right column, for those on the desktop), called the Knowledge Graph.
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 define and have a page on Google Plus, it is possible that the search engine will capture the image from there.
Social media links can also appear in your brand’s Knowledge Graph. You just need to mark the profile links in the code for Google to know which ones they are.
Another brand information that may appear is the contact phone number, when it comes to a number of telesales, SAC, technical support, reservations, among other consumer services.
Google can collect this information in different ways: through your Google My Business profile (which is the most guaranteed), through structured data or through other web sites.
Local businesses – such as restaurants, bars, markets and beauty salons – are highlighted in SERP, as they also appear in the box to the right of the Knowledge Graph.
To ensure that the information presented is correct, you can create a profile on Google My Business or insert structured data on your website, with information such as address, contact, opening hours and photos.
Google itself also inserts complementary information, such as peak hours, consumer notes and comments and delivery services.
If you have news pages or blog posts, you can use structured data for them to appear on a carousel in the results, among the main news (or “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 speed up load times on mobile devices.
Creating product markings in the code of your pages can present important information about them – such as brand, price, availability and ratings – to the user directly at SERP.
In the example below, Google already reports the price range, compatible devices, dimensions and weight of Google Home, sold at Walmart.
These details can be decisive in the consumer’s choice by one or the other link in the results.
If you have an event website (show, lecture, game, theater, etc.), you can bookmark your pages for them to appear highlighted in the search, as in the example below.
SERP can show the name of the event, date, location, ticket price, among others.
Recipe pages can show, directly on SERP, information such as preparation time, calories, nutritional data, evaluations and photos – which are important for those looking for this type of content.
On mobile, they can be displayed in a carousel format, as long as they are also developed in AMP, as you can see below:
Songs, albums, bands and singers are also highlighted in SERP.
Google aggregates the links of music and video players already on the search page so that the user has a good musical experience in the search engine, in addition to presenting various complementary information.
TV and movies
TV shows, films and series also receive special attention from Google, which provides information about cast, duration, trailer, awards and links to streaming.
Increasingly, Google is working to provide a search experience that exceeds user expectations. And rich snippets point this way, as they offer information beyond what he was expecting.
And the searcher’s intention is that you join this one together. So, if you dedicate yourself to rich snippets, Google will know how to recognize your effort to qualify the SERP, and your pages will gain better positions.
Now, download our full SEO ebook to see if your strategy is working.