Google is the #1 search engine in the world for its impressive ability to rank results. Back in the day, all search results looked more or less the same: a header, a URL, and preview text. Now, not all search results are created equally.
When you search on Google, you’ve probably noticed that the top results stand out. These may feature images, lists, maps, ratings, or previews. The top results are striking, leading to more site visits and engagements.
But how do you ensure that your site stands out in the results? The key is Google rich snippets.
What are Rich Snippets?
Website crawlers use information on your page to rank it in search results, such as keywords, image descriptions, and other metadata. This metadata is key for improving you SEO. Rich snippets are metadata that leads to enhanced search results.
Also known as rich results, rich snippets will make your results stand out, by featuring images, videos, ratings, events, lists, music, and more. They are sometimes overlooked in SEO strategies because they take more work to implement, but will result in dramatic increases in traffic.
How to Create Rich Snippets
To start, determine what information on the page you want the results to highlight. For example, if you have a recipe page you will want to display a thumbnail image of the food to entice visitors. Or, for a business landing page, you might want to feature the location on maps and star reviews. Pay attention to the results that stand out in your next search for inspiration.
Next, use microdata on your page to increase your chances of displaying a rich result. You can use sites like Google’s Structured Data Markup or Schema.org to learn which microdata to use. Google’s Structured Data Markup is easy to use. To get started, you select a type of data that best represents your content, and the markup will walk you through how to structure the page data.
Then, implement the rich snippet in your page’s data. Microdata is simple HTML tags, which label your content. For text, these labels can be for a person, name, title, affiliation, list, or more. After identifying types of information, you will create new HTML with the rich snippet. Tagging your content with microdata will help the website crawlers rank the page appropriately.
Lastly, test your rich result with Google. Use the search parameters that you anticipate your audience will use, and take note of the results. What do you have to search to display your website at the top of the searches? Like all SEO strategies, this takes patience, testing, and tweaking. It will be a few weeks before Google finishes crawling your new information, so don’t worry when you don’t see the results right away.
Not all search results are created equal anymore. To stand out from the competition, upgrade your SEO strategy to include rich snippets.