When it comes to marketing your business online, getting onto that first page of Google’s search results should be on everyone’s to-do list. Even better – aim for a ‘rich snippet’ – that coveted position on the top of the page that doesn’t just show your website address, but actually displays an eye-catching snippet of your website content that can’t be missed!
In this blog post, we’ll look at how to optimise your website to take full advantage of one of the most exciting search engine features.
What exactly are ‘rich snippets’?
The role of search engines is to help us find what we need online, whether that’s a product to buy or the answer to a pressing question.
While years ago, the Google search results page used to present us with a long list of website addresses with blue links, it now looks very different. It’s more visual, graphic and the results are displayed differently.
Depending on what you’ve searched for, you might see a list of products on the ‘shopping’ carousel, or a numbered list showing you the items needed for a recipe. You’ll often see images or even videos.
This featured information is what’s known as rich snippets, rich results or featured snippets. Google extracts the most relevant information for us and displays it in a more visually interesting way, so we don’t even have to click on a link! They’re a way for the search engine to give us the best answer more quickly, creating a better – and richer – user experience.
The different types of rich snippets
There are lots of different types of rich snippets to suit different types of websites. Here are some of the main types you might see:
- Recipes – these can be displayed in a carousel, or the instructions can be extracted.
- Reviews – if your customers leave a product rating, you can show your star reviews and customer feedback.
- Blogs and news articles – the most important points extracted to help the user.
- Events details – venues can show their upcoming events.
- Job listings – your vacancy could be shown on the Google Jobs interface.
- Local business information – including contact details and opening times.
For a full list of rich result types, you can check Google here.
What’s so great about rich snippets?
Although Google has confirmed that having your site optimised for rich snippets doesn’t help with your search rankings, getting one still impacts your SEO.
Firstly, it guarantees the top position in Google for your search term – the most coveted position in search engine marketing! In SEO, many marketers call the featured snippets box position ‘0’ because it appears above the number 1 spot.
Increased click-through rate
Rich snippets are more eye-catching too, and often give the user the information they want without looking any further. And it’s what Google will read out during voice search answers.
All this results in a higher click-through rate. According to Search Engine Land, a Featured Snippet gets approximately 8% of all clicks.
And because the information is directly relevant to what people have searched for, your website’s bounce rate is likely to go down too.
When your website appears as a rich snippet, it makes your business appear as the number one authority on the topic. This is going to build so much trust and credibility around your brand!
At Giant Peach, we’ve had our own success with rich snippets!
If you search for information on how to stage food for photography, you’ll find a rich snippet linking to our blog post on the topic (see below). When checking our Google Search Console, we can see that it has a high organic click-through-rate and drives a lot of traffic to our website.
How to get a rich snippet
Sometimes Google will automatically pull out the information needed to create a rich snippet search result. If you want to test if your website is already eligible to show rich snippets, you can check here.
Normally you will need to code it into your website. This extra data is pulled from the ‘structured data’ found in your page’s HTML.
Don’t worry if this sounds complicated – we can help you get it sorted!
- Identify the type of rich snippet you want.
Depending on the information on your website, you might want to show a product in a carousel or extract your contact details to be shown in search results. You can have lots of different types of rich snippets for your website to increase your chances of getting featured.
Once you know what you want to feature, it’s time to get your data structured!
- Structure your data
Rich Snippet data can be marked up in different ways on your website, based on a universal language called ‘schema markup’.
- Test your site
The final step is to make sure that your structured data is set up correctly!
Google has thankfully made this easy for us with their handy tool: The Structured Data Testing Tool. Add your web page and it will show up any structured data that it finds and highlight anything that doesn’t look quite right.
Of course, there are also options outside of Google when it comes to testing your rich results, like this one by SEMRush.
There’s no guarantee that Google will give your webpage a featured snippet on it’s search results page, but it’s worth optimising for it anyway. And before it appears, Google has to crawl and index your site after the markup is applied. You can check the status in your Google Search Console.
- If your rich snippet will show an image (for example, on an e-commerce website) make sure that it’s excellent quality.
- Make sure you’re showing the most relevant information for your products.
- For your blog posts, use lists and FAQs to increase the chances of it being shown.
- Don’t give away too much information in your blogs – you still want people to click through to your website!
Any type of business can benefit from enabling rich snippets on their website. But you need to get both the technical coding and the strategy on point! If you want some support getting the best results for your business, then get in touch. We’d love to help!