November 10 2022

Rich Snippets: Why You Want Them and How to Get Them

rich snippetsRich snippets may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to SEO but they’re an important tactic for driving quality traffic to your website. In this article, we’ll explain what rich snippets can do for your website and what steps you need to take to get them.

What are Rich Snippets?

Rich snippets are a type of enhanced website listing on Google’s search results pages (SERPs) that display more content than a traditional organic listing. These listings can pull in a number of eye-catching tidbits from a website like contact and location information, star review ratings, event details for concerts and movie theaters, FAQs, and images for recipes and retail items.

You may have seen these listings referred to as either “rich snippets” or “rich results” but for the record, Google prefers to call them rich snippets. However, don’t be fooled by what the name may seem to imply. These little snippets of information are powerful and can mean big increases in organic traffic to your website.

Why Rich Snippets Are Important for SEO

Rich snippets make your website stand out from the competition. They put more of your relevant content on the search results page, so searchers immediately see that your site has what they’re looking for which entices them to click. Taking up all that extra real estate with your expanded listing also pushes competitors farther down on the page, making your website the obvious choice for the searcher.

So why settle for standard organic listings (boring) when you can have dazzling rich snippets of content driving a steady stream of visitors to your website (amazing)?

Rich Snippets Improve SEO

While Google uses rich snippets to help people quickly zero in on the websites that best match their search, they have plainly stated that having the structured data used to create the snippet on your website is not a ranking factor (more on structured data in a moment). Even still, rich snippets do increase attention from Google. Here’s why: if your website listing appears as a rich snippet in the SERPs, its highly visible so people are naturally more likely to click on it versus other listings on the same page. When your site achieves a better click-through rate and traffic increases, Google recognizes its popularity and will deliver it in the search results more often. So, although it’s true that rich snippets are not a ranking signal, they do play an important role in search engine optimization.

No doubt you now have a burning desire to see rich snippets of your finest website content appearing in the SERPs and want to know how to make that happen. So next, we’ll discuss what must be done on the backend of your website to give Google the data they need to create your rich snippets.

How Schema and Structured Data Works

Google refers to structured data markup in the HTML of a website to create rich snippets. The language used to present this content is called Schema. Schema vocabulary can be added to HTML using a few different types of code but the most popular is JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data or JSON-LD. Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. Basically, it’s a script you create with content from your website that’s formatted in a very specific way. When Google crawls your site, this data is easily interpreted and used to create a rich snippet in the search results.

Structured data can often be entered in the CMS of a website by an administrator. Some platforms like Wix or WordPress could require a special plugin that allows you to edit the HTML. Or, depending on your CMS and skill level, you may need to have a developer add it for you. No matter how you integrate this data on your website, be sure to use Google’s Rich Results Test tool to make sure it’s working.

Once your structured data is in place, the rich snippets will start showing up on Google any day, right? Not always. Adding schema markup to your website doesn’t guarantee that it will show up in the search results as a rich snippet. Google is fickle and only displays rich snippets as they see fit but providing structured data on your website is a good idea either way. Structured data helps Google clearly identify key content on your web pages which helps your site readily appear on SERPs for important queries like “near me” searches.

Too Busy to Set Up Schema Yourself? ZAG Can Help.

Ok, so now you’re sold on rich snippets, but you don’t have the time or resources to get started. ZAG to the rescue! Our digital marketing experts can recommend which web pages will benefit from schema, integrate the structured data on your website and track the results on monthly reports as part of our SEO maintenance packages. Contact us to learn more.

  • SEO

posted by
Robin Nerkowski
Robin Nerkowski
Digital Strategist

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.
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