Strategy Centre

Organic Search — Using Rich Snippets

 
  
17 November 2014 11:43
  

Enabling Rich Snippets in Google Search for your Website

Rich snippets are a type of Google search result that show more detailed and varied information than regular search results.

Many of Google’s results pages now contain rich snippets, but few website owners know how they can make use of these rich snippets for their own websites.

The strongest benefit of rich snippets is that they can lead to more traffic from Google search without having to improve your rank.

Because a rich snippet stands out from the rest of the search results, users will be more likely to click on it rather than a higher–ranked ‘normal’ result.

Rich snippets are a great way to improve your website traffic from search without having to invest in classic SEO techniques.

Review snippets

You’re probably familiar with the most common type of rich snippet — the review snippet:

Example review snippet

Having these star ratings and review details included in Google’s search results are a great way to improve your product’s or service’s visibility in Google.

Video snippets

Another common type of rich snippet is the video snippet. This type of snippet includes a screenshot from a video and the video length in search results:

Example video snippet

Other popular rich snippets

There are plenty of other types of rich snippets available in Google’s search results. Here are a few examples:

Job listing rich snippet

Example job listing snippet

Events rich snippet

Example events snippet

Recipe rich snippet

Example recipe snippet

Implementing rich snippets with structured data

The way to trigger these snippets is to use something called structured data. This is a type of code that you implement on your website. The code is invisible to users but is seen by search engines.

The structured data code tells search engines the meaning of the information on your website. Google therefore doesn’t have to do any guess work when it interprets your site’s content.

There are various different types of structured data. The one that is used most often is Schema.org, which is co–developed by Google. You implement schema.org code, like all structured data, in your website’s source code:

Example structured data code

The Schema.org website provides helpful instructions for adding the structured data attributes into your HTML.

Google then reads this code when it crawls your webpage. In due time this enables your website to have its own rich snippet search results in Google search.

Adding structured data in the IRP

Using the IRP, you can incorporate structured data (such as that provided by Schema.org) in your custom content pages, for example your Terms & Conditions page, About Us page, Delivery & Returns page, Contact Us page and so forth. See our Knowledge Base help topic on Custom Content Pages for details about adding these pages. Here is a simple example of a ‘Contact Us’ page that uses Schema.org’s ‘Person’ item type:

Example Contact Us Page

In the same way, you can incorporate structured data into any of your product descriptions in the IRP. As shown in the example above, include the relevant attributes in the HTML of your descriptions. (For details of how to add models, see our Knowledge Base help topic on Models).

Testing structured data

When you’ve implemented schema.org code on your website, you can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to see if you’ve implemented the code correctly to enable rich snippets:

Structured data testing tool

Google also has a Markup Helper tool that you can use to generate structured data source code to put on your website.

When you’ve verified that all is correct, that doesn’t mean Google will start showing rich snippets for your website straight away.

It can take weeks — and even months — before Google accepts your structured data and will enable rich snippets for your website. But when it eventually does, you are likely to see a direct improvement in your website’s traffic coming from Google search.

Using structured data reports

You can keep an eye on how Google is interpreting your website’s structured data by looking at the structured data report in Google Webmaster Tools:

Structured data report

Here you can see the types of structured data that Google has recognised on your site. If there are errors in your structured data, Google will highlight them. You can then fix them and ensure that your website is fully enabled for all relevant rich snippets.

Conclusion

Rich snippets are an advanced, powerful SEO technique to improve your website’s visibility in Google’s search results without having to improve your rankings.

Implementing structured data will make your website part of the semantic web and can drive lasting growth.

Additional Reading

Comments

Anonymous - This is a very interesting article and we are examining how we incorporate into the IRP Platform
17 Nov 2014 18:07
You must be logged in to comment on this article.


Copyright © 2017 IRP Commerce. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the IRP World Terms of Use, IRP Privacy Policy and IRP Cookie Policy
IRP Commerce is a Trading Name of Export Technologies Limited, a Deloitte Fast 50 Company five times: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014   Deloitte.