What Are Rich Snippets & Why Are They Important?
Understanding what a rich snippet is can be a little more complicated than you may think. Maybe you’re well versed in the world of SEO, or maybe you’ve never heard of the term before, either way rich snippets are important. Understanding their importance in SEO can prove to be very important for all levels of SEO’s, experts and newbies alike, so to give you a helping hand, we’re breaking down what rich snippets actually are and why they are so important.
So, What Are Rich Snippets?
To put it into simple terms, a snippet is what Google will show the user in search results. A normal snippet will compromise of the following:
- Page title
- Upload date if the search result is a blog or article
- Meta description
On the other hand, a rich snippet shows additional information between the URL and description. This is also known as Schema data, which can include numerous aspects depending on the purpose of the post. For example, you may want reviews to be shown and breadcrumbs put in place to direct users to other parts of your site.
As you can see in the image above, a picture is added to the search result, as well as the review rating and how long the recipe takes to create. A rich snippet contains much more information than regular snippets, which can be extremely useful for SEO purposes and boosting the amount of traffic coming into your site.
How Do Rich Snippets Impact SEO?
As mentioned above, a rich snippet looks much nicer and contains far more information than standard snippets. Any visitors looking for a specific product or service will be aware that they can find it within your site. The snippet will provide them with all of the information that they need to know before they make the decision to visit your site or not. Generally, rich snippets have a much higher click through rate. If the click through rate of your snippet increases, the amount of traffic generated will then be higher.
This isn’t always down to snippets having an impact on your Google position (you’re not guaranteed a top position just for having a rich snippet). It will be down to people preferring to click on your result due to its aesthetic and informative nature. As a result, Google will begin to notice that more people prefer to click on your result, which will ultimately impact your search rankings.
How Do You Get Rich Snippets?
Obtaining a rich snippet is simple; all you have to do is add what’s known as structured data to your site, which is a piece of code that is written in a specific way. Search engines will then read the code that has been inputted within your site in a specific format. This will then ultimately generate rich snippets.
There are three main mark-up specifications that are generally recognised by major search engines and these include:
Microdata is generally the most widely supported as a result of Schema.org. This version of HTML provides a better experience for users and allows the site to have richer mechanics.
Once you have correctly entered this code, Google will then begin to show the data after a certain period of time. There are a number of different benefits when it comes to adding microdata to your site, which will all show up in search results:
- Your site will become eye-catching and draw users to your site as opposed to your competitors
- Potential CTR increase
- Offering results that are closer to user specification and are higher in ‘quality’
A Microformat is a small cluster of HTML that represents blogs and events that are commonly published online. They are commonly used as they are the quickest way to link content on your site for your audience to see.
They are best suited to shareable content that you are creating on your site, as it allows users to share information quickly through other platforms and link back to your site.
Recommended by the W3C, RDFa, otherwise known as Resource Description Framework in attributes, is an extension to the traditional HTML used to build your site. This is used by Google to enhance user experience and show rich snippets. This takes information such as reviews as well as price ranges to give the user a more enhanced search result.
All these elements are important as they ensure you get the best possible result and increase the chances that your snippet gets featured within search listings.
Things To Remember When Adding Rich Snippets
There are a number of things that you should remember when adding rich snippets to your site. Firstly, Google will only start analysing the new mark-up data around 10-14 days after it is implemented. However, while Google will start to show these rich snippets on some of the pages they have been implemented on, if all the coding is correct, they will disappear within five days.
They will then reappear and disappear repeatedly a number of times over consecutive weeks. However, after around eight weeks, semi-permanent Rich Snippets will be produced for your site. According to Rich Benci, who initially observed this pattern, it is best to leave your initial coding for your rich snippets for approximately two months prior to making any modifications in order to ensure this particular cycle is not delayed.
Rich snippets and their implementation is still somewhat in its infancy, with a large number of businesses having not executed them yet. However, if you are one of the first out of your competitors to administrate this, you may find that your business will begin to thrive in search results.
Just to finish off, within the Google Maccabees update which occurred earlier this month, Schema data appears to be playing a key part of Google’s plans for the future. By investing into Schema through key features like rich snippets, it is only going to help increase your overall site visibility.
If you’re looking to implement rich snippets for your site, then get in touch with a member of our expert team on 0800 088 6000 to discuss your options, today.