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How to Use Google Rich Snippets

Torian Wilson
November 8, 2021
Customer Success, IT & Development

How to Use Google Rich Snippets

If you are a website looking to increase your click-through rate and rankings, it is a necessity to have rich snippets. Google Rich Snippets can help you maximize your position on SERP and get the most out of your content. Not only does it make your listing attractive but it drives traffic to your site, which opens the floodgates to a plethora of benefits.

What are Google Rich Snippets?

Rich snippets or rich results are like blurbs of a web page. When making them Google rich, there are a few key things to note, that will truly enhance your listing on the search engine results page. No one wants to be another overlooked blue link.

 British band Coldplay’s rich snippet

Notice that this snippet included the normal features found in Google search results, the Title, Meta Description, and URL. It became a rich snippet because of the additional details. These include the concert dates, purchase links for tickets, and the number of people who liked/viewed or are interested in it.

Pay attention to the following video for thorough detailing on how to use Google rich snippets and structured data to optimize your listing:

How to create Google rich snippets using structured data and schema markup.

 In order to understand how to implement Google rich snippets, we must first reflect on the importance of structured data and schema markup.

What is structured data in SEO?

Structured data is considered the standardized format that is used to detail the information listed on a webpage. It exists within a fixed field so that search engines can better interpret what you are saying. This data also helps with classifying the content on the page, so that Google is able to use that when learning about your page and everything else online. 

Google search supports Microdata, JSON-LD ad RDFa data formats. They recommend using JSOB-LD  for structured data as much as possible, as it makes nested data items easier to express and read.

What is schema markup?

Used interchangeably with structured data, it is the markup language of search engines used in structured data.  Schema markup is key when trying to gain visibility and increase your organic click-through rate or foot traffic. Frankly, people are likely to click on things that are more interesting to look at…think visually appealing!

Important Components

Schema includes 3 components that help to organize and label the content that Google recognizes:

  • Itemscope– HTML tags (microdata) that contain information about the topic discussed on the webpage. Normally found in the <div>…</div> block.
  • Itemtype- This describes the type of item being discussed in the itemscope.
  • Itemprop- This attribute helps to give further details about what is being described in the itemscope. It describes a single property about it.

Here’s a concrete example in the Microdata format:

<div itemscope itemtype =”https://schema.org/Movie”>

  <h1 itemprop=”name”>Avatar</h1>

  <span>Director: <span itemprop=”director”>James Cameron</span> (born August 16, 1954)</span>

  <span itemprop=”genre”>Science fiction</span>

  <a href=”../movies/avatar-theatrical-trailer.html” itemprop=”trailer”>Trailer</a>

</div>

The Itemscope is Avatar, which itemtype shows describes it as a movie. Then, the itemprop gives descriptions about different elements of the movie Avatar. It tells us the name of the movie, the director, the genre, and the trailer.

It is then of utmost importance to use well-structured searches to enhance your online presence. Whether you are an SEO expert or someone writing blog post, consider that Google pulls the information from your page’s HTML to show to the online audience what your site is all about. Hence, you must take care when writing this code. 

If this sounds complicated to you, there are plenty of tools such as Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper and Google Search Console, that can assist you in making the process easier.

Keep reading further to discover more tools that will assist you in simplifying the process of including Google rich snippets on your website.  

What are the types of rich snippets that can enhance your Google search?

Now that we have a better understanding of the foundation of Google rich snippets markup we can now begin to focus on the types of rich results and some key things that can be included in each to help make your type of webpage stand out. 

Some of the common types of rich snippets include:

  1. Review Snippet.
  2. Recipe Snippet.
  3. Music Snippet.
  4. Product Markup Snippet.
  5. Movie Snippet.
  6. Events Snippet.
  7. Organization
  8. Top Stories

Review Snippet

If you have a website or company that heavily focuses on customer reviews for products and services, this should be a top priority in the structured data on your page.

Similar to a Rotten Tomato review giving a movie a 75% on their scale, a review snippet displays ratings, normally a star rating of whatever is being described: 3 out 5 stars for a movie, book, restaurant etc.

review snippet example

To add a Google rich review snippet you can:

-Add a simple review

-Nest a review, based on the review property (brand, service product, etc)  into another schema.org type 

-Add an aggregate rating.

-Nest an aggregate rating based on its aggregate rating type, per schema.org.

Example of the microdata that would be included in a simple review rich snippet, highlight the ratings:

<span itemprop=“reviewRating” itemscope itemtype=“https://schema.org/Rating”>

        <span itemprop=“ratingValue”>2</span>

      </span> stars –

Recipe Snippet

After spending hours developing new recipes, the least you could do for your business’s page is to represent your work well. In order to get your recipes tried, rated, reviewed, featured, and seen on the SERP, there are some elements you want to be expressed. Your Google rich recipe snippet should show a variety of information: the recipe name, ratings and votes, time to prepare the recipe, ingredients, calories, and sometimes more related recipes.

recipe snippet example

Music Snippet

With Google’s new hum-to-search capabilities, you can easily remember the song that has been playing in your head. With music rich snippets, you can get the name of the song and other songs if present on an album, the artist, and sometimes links to listen to the song. Many times, a music snippet may also be presented where the focus is on the artist, with a listing of some popular songs, the record label, years active in the business, and possibly other instruments played.

music snippet example

Product Markup Snippet

This type of markup is normally found on a product page that describes a single product or on shopping aggregator pages, where there is a product with several different retailers for it.

Product markup google rich snippet example

Movie Snippet

This will include review ratings, the genre, actors/directors in the movie and sometimes, a synopsis of the movie.

Events Snippet

The structured data markup in Google rich events snippets allows us to see the time, date, and location of an event on the search engine results page. The more information you can provide, the better the visibility on Google.  

Event google rich snippet example

Organization Snippet

This is usually the side panel that shows up when researching a company, organization, or business. The logo, name, brief description, phone number, address, website URL, Maps directions, and such information is normally shown.

Organization google rich snippet example

Top stories

An easy way to read the news without actually reading the news! The richer the snippet the more robust the information that is shown. 

Top News Stories Google rich snippet example

Best Practices and how to improve your snippets

When improving your snippets to make them Google rich, you always want to pay attention to the type of rich snippet that you are intending to use. What type of website and what information are you trying to share with the public, to attract more visits to your website.

In the decision-making process, find out what page/s and data should be optimized for rich results. Google also has a rich results gallery for you to look at the documentation for the webpage. Once the data optimization has been implemented to create your rich results, you can quickly test its effectiveness, structure, etc. with a Data Testing tool. 

Some Structured Data Test Tools include:

  1. Rich Results Test- This is Google’s testing tool that will show you exactly which Google rich results will show up based on the structured data on your webpage.
  2. Schema Markup Validator- Similar to the Rich Results Test without the Google-specific warnings
  3. SEO SiteCheckup- This data test allows one test per hour, more if you upgrade to a premium plan. They offer structured data tests with certain website analysis features.

Plug-Ins that are also helpful:

  1. Rich Results – Structured Data Test Plugin that is offered as a Chrome Extension.
  2. Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets by Brainstorm Force. This is a WordPress plugin that supports the aforementioned schemas or rich snippet types (ratings, photos, etc) which may be configured to include additional information for the search engine to recognize.
  3. WP Review Pro- It is a user-friendly and intuitive plugin that offers 19 rich snippets, 16 pre-made templates, and a few other SERP features for a quick and easy way to add schema to your website. This plugin offers 2 paid versions and a free downloadable version as well.

Google Rich Snippets- For better representation

No matter the business, or website, there is always a need to have great representation on Google and every other search engine out there: Bing, Yahoo, and the works. The best way to be visible, and have a steady or increasing flow of visitors to your page is to ensure that you have Google rich snippets via the structured data.

Now that you have working knowledge as to how to use these rich snippets, you should have no trouble implementing them into the framework of your webpages. Whether for SEO or simply understanding that you are competing with thousands of other sites offering similar information, it is imperative to include Google rich snippets.

Though not a part of your ranking factor, hence you may not rank #1 on the search engine results pages, your website will surely stand out in the sea of blue links and black writing.

About the Author

Torian Wilson

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