Here’s Why You Should Implement Rich Snippets, Like, Yesterday

SEO Jul 15, 2013

Leaving any SEO frustrations we might have with Google aside for a minute, you have to admit that they’re pretty smart, and penguins are pretty cute, right?

They know search and they know it better than any of us could ever hope to grasp.

So, when they started supporting and displaying Rich Snippets of all kinds, for products, people, reviews, recipes, events, and businesses in the SERPs, that’s a good cue to think that: “You know what? Maybe I should consider this”.

Can You Increase Your Clickthrough Rate By 30%?

Turns out that having Rich Snippets show up in the search results can increase clickthrough rate (CTR) by up to 30%.

Rich Snippets are a kind of on-page markup. If you have implemented them, think of them as SERP result enhancers.

Depending on the type of snippet, you’ll see review stars, author headshots, photos, breadcrumbs, review information, video thumbnails, and more.

Here are the types of Rich Snippets you can make use of:

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Events
  • Music
  • Organizations
  • People
  • Products
  • Recipes
  • Review ratings
  • Reviews
  • Software applications
  • Videos

There are plenty of ways you can optimize your pages and website to show up with more information in the SERPs!

So, Why Should This Matter To You?

Well, take a look at this:

google-serp-rich-snippets-review

Which results are your eyes drawn to? That’s right, the pretty ones with yellow stars.

How about this one for recipes?

google-serp-rich-snippets-recipes

See that? Photo, pretty yellow stars again, reviews, “breadcrumbs” and more galore.

This is why you should care about Rich Snippets.

If you’re familiar with SEO (which I know you are), then you already know about Authorship — that’s when a smiling face shows up in the results, next to an article, like this:

google-serp-rich-snippets-authorship

Which article are you likely to click on and read? Probably the one with a face.

And This Matters To SEO Because…?

Ranking for your favorite keyword and search terms is one thing, but you want to rank for a reason — traffic. Well, this type of markup can significantly increase your clickthroughs and traffic.

They’re about giving Google additional information about your website so it can display this to the right people, those you are trying to catch the attention of to begin with.

So, let’s break this down to a really simple argument:

  1. You are ranking websites so you can increase traffic.
  2. You want the attention of searchers.
  3. People are drawn to images, pretty yellow stars, and other things that will stand out.
  4. Normally, the SERPs look really, really boring — just blue links and a little bit of text. What’s a lost little searcher to do?
  5. These lost little searchers eyes will light up when they see all these pretty things (stars, photos, smiling faces, and more) and pay attention.
  6. They will click through to your site.
  7. You get traffic — you win!

Quit Drooling, Here’s How To Get Started

Want to get your Rich Snippets on? You just need to add some additional data tags to your HTML.

Currently, there are 3 types of markup:

  • Microdata
  • Microformats
  • RDFa

You can use any of them, but Schema.org (the big boys in charge) recommends Microdata — it has the support of Bing, Yahoo, and Google.

Schema.org has plenty of good examples and directions on implementation, and Google is not far behind on tools and documentation either in its Webmaster Tools Help pages. You can also find more guidelines from Google here.

You can also find plenty of blog posts and tutorials on the exact technical how-to here.

So, again, how can your rankings benefit from this?

Here Are Some Rich Snippet Benefits For You

  • Rich snippet results disrupts the wall-of-text results.
  • Calls attention to a result.
  • Can lead to better and more qualified traffic by giving potential visitors a clearer idea of what to expect after they click.
  • Establish authority and build trust for the site through author authority.
  • Reviews don’t always show up, it depends on trust, but they do improve visibility, can help build trust, and increase clickthrough rates (CTR).
  • Gives search engines more product related data to display.
  • Can show prices in SERP, which may affect CTR.
  • Having breadcrumbs as part of the result adds more links, makes your listing stand out, and can increase CTR.
  • You’ll end up with more search traffic.
  • Your result will set itself apart from competitors — now is still a good time to implement these and get a head-start on your competitors.
  • Increase the trust Google and other search engines gives your website, and in turn your rankings can be positively affected.

Are You Convinced Yet?

You probably are, and if you’re on top of your SEO work, you have most likely already implemented some of these.

Given that just pure ranking results aren’t going to make you or your clients happy unless there’s a spike in traffic and conversions, shouldn’t we make use of Rich Snippets on, well, just about any site that we can?

I’d say yes, absolutely.

We want to deliver on results and should employ any tool and tactic available to help boost traffic and our search results.

Once you’ve got it all setup, head over to Google Webmaster Tools and use their Structured Data Testing Tool.

google-serp-rich-snippets-verification

From there, pay attention to your Analytics and monitor for increased CTRs!

So are you using rich snippets? Do you plan to now? If not, why not?

9 comments
  1. Steve Wyman

    Hi

    Yes I use them and its very cool when on an e commerce site review and the price are displayed, together with the image everything really pops

    Ctrs definetly improve

  2. Ark

    Nice article. Thanks for sharing this. I use author images on some of our sites but not yet pretty stars and others.

    Just to point out too that The link to the search results for this line is missing the q after the question mark on this line = You can also find plenty of blog posts and tutorials on the exact technical how-to here. i.e your link says https://www.google.com/search?=how+to+add+rich+snippets instead of https://www.google.com/search??=how+to+add+rich+snippets

    1. Ark

      Oops I made a mistake in my correction. I meant https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+add+rich+snippets

      1. Damian Thompson

        Thanks, I fixed it!

  3. Dave

    Hey Rob,

    This link is borked: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets/

    404 and all. FYI.

  4. James Davis

    Hi Guys,

    Here is the link to “rich snippets” or Structured data testing tool

    http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets

    We have just started adding review to our site with the stars and they look great, keen to have a look at recipe markup..

    Thanks

    James

    AKA The Fitness Blogger

  5. Damian Thompson

    Thanks everyone for the link help, I was trying to be too clever. :)

  6. […] And a great new post on the subject:  Here’s Why You Should Implement Rich Snippets, Like, Yesterday […]

  7. […] covered this in a previous blog post, check it […]

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