We are more likely to click on the google result which has an image, a video or a star rating. But how do you get there? We will show you how! The display of additional information in the search engine result is due to the usage of rich snippets.
Some parts that seem perfectly obvious to humans, does not make sense to web crawlers. That’s where structured data comes into the picture. Structured data is embedded directly to a web page’s HTML markup. Structured data is simply some kind of markup added to the website to provide additional details about the page’s content. Search engines utilize this structured data to generate rich snippets. It also helps the search engines to crawl the website in a better manner.
What are these rich snippets ?
Snippets are the lines of black text that appear in every search result listing. They portray the page’s relevance by making the words ( whatever the user type in the search query ) bold as shown below. In the below case the user searched for the term “SEO”.
Now, what does rich snippet add to the normal snippet? Rich snippets are extra pieces of information that the search engine is able to recognize on the page. It is used to enhance the searcher’s understanding of the page. Ratings, pricing, and availability are commonly seen in Snippets. Let’s see an example of rich snippets in the search results below.
Search engines provide rich snippets to showcase additional information of one page over the other. This feature enables the users to take a wise and better decision, to pick a relevant page that fulfills their need.
Role of rich snippets in SEO :
Does rich snippet influence my site’s SEO? You might be thinking rich snippets aren’t worth your time if they’re not affecting SEO. But indirectly it does. Let’s find out how?
Rich snippets stand out from other snippets. They look much nicer and you’ll know more about the site, just by looking at them. People often have a specific end result in mind while using search engines. After entering a keyword or phrase, a huge number of results are exhibited to us. We can choose whichever looks more relevant to us. Moreover, General snippets are often boring, that consists of only text. Whereas, people like to click on rich snippets. They have a higher click-through rate.
In the above image, you can see that by using rich snippets- rating, reviews, the time taken for preparation and the calorie count are clearly visible. Therefore, it attracts more clicks.
If the click-through rate(CTR) of a snippet increases, your website gets more traffic from that search result, not because there is a change in your website position in the search engine, but just because more individuals click on your result. But in the long run, rich snippets will also affect your rankings. As, the number of people clicking on your result increases, Google will observe that people prefer your page than others. This sends positive signals to the search engines and definitely improve your rankings in the long run!
Types of rich snippets :
There are different types:-
People- This rich snippet displays information such as the individual’s biography, achievements, profession and contact details.
Product- As the name says, this shows useful information about the product.
Review- This is extremely useful for online shoppers who search for online reviews before making a purchase decision. It includes the name of the item reviewed, image and number of stars acquired.
Events- It primarily displays the details of upcoming events.
Recipe- This rich snippet provides a quick overview of everything you need to know about a recipe’s total preparation time, calorie count and user rating.
Local Business and Organization- People generally search online for companies to find their contact information or operating hours. This rich snippet displays the same and also some additional information.
Music- This rich snippet displays things like song titles with ratings.
Video- It shows a thumbnail preview along with the upload date, uploader’s name and video description–the exact things you will find when you search for videos within YouTube itself.
Software- Finally, we have the software rich snippet, which practically functions the same way as products.
Benefits of Rich snippets :
The presence of the stars in the search listing will tend to draw the attention of the human eye and increase the click-through rate. There are many benefits which you can enjoy by adding rich snippets.
Enhances the appearance: It improves the appearance of your search listings. These modified listings are a consequence of the utilization of markup in the source code for the web pages. With this, the attention of the users is guided towards a particular search result. At the same time, it can add additional value in the form of pictures or event details.
Higher click rate: Rich snippets CTR’s in the SERPs rise significantly. In addition, higher CTR’s results in positive user signal and thus contributes to the ranking.
Greater relevance: As mentioned before, rich snippets display additional and relevant information. If the search engine has recognized that the search term e.g. backlinks is related to a topic on-page possibly SEO, then search engine identifies a site that contains “SEO” in the code, it assumes that this site will be more relevant to the user.
Decreases the Bounce rate: As it helps people to pick a relevant SERP, Users spend some time on the site which increases the time on the site and thus, decreasing the bounce rate.
Rich snippets aren’t the only factor that can increase your organic traffic and CTR. Other factors, like titles and meta descriptions, still have an effect. However, the fact is that it grabs more attention which draws more clicks.
The addition of rich snippet data such as reviews, recipes, directions, calories and other information, can take your SEO in a whole new direction. There is a relationship between high search engine results page (SERP) position and having a rich snippet result. Irrespective of the position in the search results, including these in your site is beneficial. Studies have demonstrated that the click-through rates (CTR) increase up to four times when it appears, along with huge increases in website traffic. The power of increasing CTR should not be belittled.
How to add a Rich snippet to your content?
A website administrator inserts “structured data” into their web pages, which gives search engines categorical information about a page. There are many distinctive kinds of structured data, including average reviews, cooking temperature and time, and even a featured image pulled from the page.
There are three primary components :
itemscope- specifies that the HTML contained in the block is about a specific item.
itemtype- indicates exactly what sort of item it is
itemprop- the particular property, such as name, URL, review, etc.
Note how the three components have been utilized.
When do rich snippets appear?
Major search engines will not show snippets right after you add them to your website. Google start analyzing the newly added markup and will only display it if everything is right. It is advisable to wait for at least 2 months to get semi-permanent rich snippets for your site.
Rich snippets offer a sneak-peak of the website, which allows the user to decide whether the search engine result is relevant or not. Though it does not directly affect the rankings, the on-page behavioral data like click-through rate(CTR), bounce rate, time on site is believed to affect the rankings. It plays a crucial role in improving on-page behavioral data. Remember, not to erase the snippets no matter whether it is showing up or not. It may take some time to show up. But it helps the search engines to understand your website’s content better and also in indexing.
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