Want to make your site stand out more in the search results? Literally? Well, rich snippets might be the answer.
They are a great little way of telling Google what your site is about, leading to increased click-through rates, and helping your site get indexed in search engines more quickly.
Rich snippets are definitely a powerful tool to have in your SEO arsenal. But, for whatever reason, it seems like they are terribly underutilized.
Let’s change that.
Here are some helpful details you ought to know about rich snippets, and the best part is you can easily implement them on your own website.
The Knowledge Graph
In 2018, any conversation about rich snippets begins with Google’s Knowledge Graph. For those who don’t know, this is the information box positioned just to the right of Google’s search results.
Although it’s not triggered to appear on every search query, the Knowledge Graph appears more and more often each year. Back when it was launched in 2012, Google claimed it held data on 570 million entities (businesses, organizations, etc.). Fast forward to now, and it’s safe to assume that number is north of one billion.
What does all this mean for you and your business?
It means that if you have the right structured data markup in place across your website, you’ll have a decent chance of landing a spot in the knowledge graph.
And if your business has a local, physical address, you’ll be able to create a Google My Business page on top of markup—increasing the likelihood of a knowledge graph appearance even more.
Beyond that, there are a ton of other benefits you can find by using structured data. And the best part is, most business owners don’t even know about them—competitive edge to you, eh?
Things You Can Mark Up
Organization and Local Business markup are the most basic kinds of markup you can apply to your business’s website. But don’t be fooled, they are also two of the most important.
You’ll have to decide which one to use, and it will depend on the kind of entity you have.
For example, if you operate an air conditioning company that’s based in a particular location, you’ll want to apply Local Business markup to your site’s homepage. But if you run an ecommerce store, or any business that isn’t location dependent, you’ll want to apply Organization markup.
Once that’s in place, go ahead and start adding markup to other pages on your site. You can add AboutPage markup to your about page, or ContactPage markup to your contact page. Then if you have a blog, you can add Blog markup to that!
But anyway, schema markup is a conversation for another day. If you’d like to learn more about it, go to schema.org.
Next, let’s talk about one of my favorite rich snippets—and one of the best for increasing click-through rates—star ratings.
Searchers go crazy over websites with positive ratings.
When people see your site with 4 or 5 stars underneath it, they’ll be much more likely to click through. This is especially helpful if your site isn’t in the number 1 spot for a search query, and you’re trying to squeeze some extra clicks to it.
It could be psychological, but seeing those yellow stars amidst a sea of dull search results really makes you want to click on them. They’re just so beautiful!
Fortunately, just about any website with reviews can get these star ratings to appear. All that’s required are a few shorts line of code added to your web page.
We’ll explain how to do this in a moment (it’s easier than you think).
You can search for pretty much any ecommerce product online and find a listing that looks something like this:
By simply adding product markup to the code on your product pages, your site can display this information as well. And of course, you can use product markup in tandem with your ratings markup to display both stars AND product information!
The combination of the two provides a great user experience. People find what they want fast. Then, when they click on your link they tend to be more highly targeted purchasers.
Markup for your Business
Deciding on the best markup types for your business comes down to a couple factors: a) what kind of business are you? And b) What extra information can you give Google that will benefit you and your potential leads?
Both factors are tied closely together.
Let’s say you run a lifestyle blog, promoting informational content. Do you think you’ll need to concern yourself with implementing product markup?
Probably not. And you also won’t be needing local business markup.
However, you’ll more than likely require blog post markup or article markup on all of your content. You may even want to add author markup (yes, you can markup the authors of your posts too).
On the other hand, a service-based business, such as a florist or sporting goods store, would benefit from local business markup. Or they might want to find a markup that’s even more highly targeted to their type of business. They exist, just type in your industry on schema.org.
How to Create Rich Snippets
Non-programmers out there, don’t freak out yet. Anyone is capable of adding markup to their own website. It’s not hard.
For WordPress users, click on Plugins, then search for JSON-LD. The plugin you need should be one of the top results.
Install and active it. Then go into its settings and start enabling the types of markup you need for your website.
If you still feel uncomfortable setting it up yourself, that’s okay. Xcel SEO is here to help you with all of your SEO needs. Contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss our plans which include implementing rich snippets.