A Guide to Rich Snippets and Why These are Essential for Your Website
With the constantly changing digital marketing world and the associated trends, it is becoming a lot more difficult for businesses to survive online, and experts are coming up with new ways to help them achieve the same.
SEO has always been one of the focal points for websites in their digital marketing strategy, and when it comes to SEO, it has almost always been about keywords.
Many website builders, digital marketers, and the like believed that keyword density, keywords in the header, keywords throughout a page, and everything related to keywords are what made or broke a website’s success in the market.
But, the fact is that, while keywords are important, there are also other factors that are highly vital, such as user engagement, behavior, and more.
As a marketer or business owner, you should not only focus on generating traffic to your website, but equally on making your visitors want to connect with it and make a purchase. This is where rich snippets come to your rescue.
What are Snippets and Rich Snippets?
A snippet, basically, is the result you see from Google for your search term. A rich snippet, on the other hand, is the additional information you find under a search result, between the URL and the result’s description.
For instance, let’s say you were searching for easy spaghetti carbonara recipe on Google. The search results you get from Google will be a combination of normal snippets and rich snippets.
A normal snippet will consist of the title of a result in blue, the respective URL in green, followed by the page’s description.
On the other hand, a rich snippet will contain extra information about the search result, such as a picture of the dish, number of calories in the serving, the time it would take for you to prepare it, the recipe’s rating and the number of votes received for the same. As it can be seen, a rich snippet contains a lot more information than a normal snippet, and hence the name.
Why are Rich Snippets Essential for Your Website?
In general, people think that rich snippets are used only to increase a website’s ranking in search results. But, there is more to the story than just that. Yes, rich snippets can enhance the search results, but they are way more helpful for a website.
First and foremost, rich snippets help gather the attention of users, and happen to be one of the few techniques available to make your website stand out in search results from your competition, which in turn will help your website attain a better Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) ranking.
Secondly, they provide information pertinent to users’ query instantly. When a user is looking for a specific product or service, he or she will be able to know instantly that they can find it on your website just from rich snippets. They get to see all the information they need before deciding whether or not to visit your site.
And finally, another huge benefit you get to enjoy from rich snippets is reduced amount of bounces, which happens when searchers do not find what they are looking for in the content, and increased click-through rates.
Again, with increased click-through rates for your snippet, the traffic generated for your website will automatically increase.
Implementing Rich Snippets
In order to implement rich snippets for your web pages, you need to add structured data to the same. Structured data is basically a piece of code written in a particular format to make it easy for search engines to recognize it. The code will be read by search engines, which will then generate rich snippets required for your site.
When it comes to recognizing the code and translating it into rich snippets, there are three types of markups to be used: microdata, microformats, and RDFa.
Microdata happens to be the markup type recommended by Google to be used by websites. This can be defined as a method to label content in a document or web page, described by a group of features and Schema vocabulary.
When you add microdata to your website, your site becomes attractive to searchers, making them want to visit your website over that of your competitor. You can also expect an increase in the click-through rate (CTR) of specific pages of your website.
In addition, microdata also helps deliver results that closer to users’ search terms, which are of high quality as well.
Microformats are also HTML codes that are used to represent things like tags, events, people, events, etc. that are widely published in web pages.
They are widely used by websites because of their ability to easily and quickly link content on your website to make it visible for your audience, and are best suited for shared content.
Resource Description Framework in Attributes (RDFa) is an extension to the HTML codes generally used to develop your website. This again is a feature used by search engines like Google to add rich snippets to web pages and thus improve user experience, and is achieved by adding information such as pricing, reviews, ratings, etc. to provide users with a comprehensive search result.
Adding structured data, or rich snippets, to your website can be a tedious task. But, there are a lot of online resources, including online training courses, that are available to help you with the same.