Rich Snippets. Exclusive article by the Colors Agency published in 2021.
Over time, SERP has evolved to become one of the most important battlegrounds for companies vying for customer attention.
SERP is the list of search results made on the Internet. It is also called Search Engine Results Page or just search engine results page.
To get a good ranking, optimizing elements such as title and meta description is no longer enough, that is, you need to optimize more.
What are Rich Snippets?
Rich Snippets are elements that add more components to search results in SERP, they are more visually appealing search results with additional valuable information displayed next to the title, description and finally, URL. The extra information comes from structured data on the page.
Rich Snippets can only appear for pages with certain types of information, and can be further limited by a device type. For example, Rich Snippets "how-to" can only be shown on mobile devices:
Here are some examples:
Product review, price field, author name: they can all be components of a single Rich Snippet.
Maybe now you're wondering… what is the use of Rich Snippets?
On average, Rich Snippets have a better click-through rate than standard snippets because they get the user to act.
Taking care of your Rich Snippets can boost your Google presence, so it's crucial for SEO.
Sites with good structured data and well organized make tracking easier and more accurate.
As a result, Google presents a Rich Snippet for your pages, increasing your CTR.
Structured data is designed to help search engines better interpret information. For that reason, its correct implementation is critical to getting a Rich Snippet.
Where can we find structured data?
Rich Snippets are created based on structured data that is available for certain pieces of content. The data is formatted, but also organized in a way that makes Google easier to understand and use for SERPs and other purposes.
Google, Yahoo, Bing, as well as Yandex have built a basic vocabulary for structured data, valid for all kinds of information we want to add to our web page.
Here are some examples of structured data:
- Creative works: such as books, movies, music or TV series. Non-text: audio files, images and videos.
- Events: Help users find the most exciting events in their area through search results and Google Maps.
- Health: information about medications, pathologies, symptoms, publications; or advice on therapies.
- Organizations: schools, NGOs or clubs.
- People: can be alive, dead or fictitious. Contains information such as name, date of birth, gender, height and more.
- Local Businesses: Can provide a Rich Snippet with address, hours of operation, telephone and busiest hours.
- Products: Adds the “Product” badge to images on the Google mobile image search page.
- Ratings: They show the average rating for a product or company. They help users find reviews and encourage them to visit your site to read the full review.
- Actions: microdata used to identify specific actions performed by an agent to an object.
Testing Tools for Rich Snippets
If you want to know if your website has a good internal structure, you can check the presence of tags by testing it.
How to run it? With Google's Structured Data Testing Tool. Just open the test page and enter the URL or code snippet you want to test.
Once you have entered the address, you arrive at the report page. On the left you can see an HTML document; on the right, the tool shows errors and alerts.
In addition, you can also check your Rich Snippets with two other testing tools:
- The structured data report: You can access it from Google Search Console. It checks the tags on your website and highlights errors.
- Data Marker: Helps search engines understand and process structured data. With it, you can highlight and mark data fields.
Work on featured stretches and earn position zero!
In addition to working on tags, you should also optimize your content. Content optimization can therefore earn you zero position within the SERP.
In this position, your content does not appear as a usual result, but as a highlighted excerpt.
What are Google's featured excerpts?
Let's see what Google has to say about them:
“Google search results sometimes show listings where the snippet describing a page comes before a link to a page, not after as with our standard format. Results displayed in this way are called “highlighted snippets. We display prominent snippets when our systems determine that this format will help people more easily discover what they're looking for, both from the description about the page and when they click on the link to read the page itself.”
Now you can understand how crucial it is to provide your readers with quality content that can answer their questions.
Featured excerpts are not paid ads. Soon after Google understands that the query is a question, it scans the pages that could have the answer and shows the most poignant one at “zero position”.
Why are there no Rich Snippets in my result?
In some cases, the structured data you entered could not appear in the search results.
- It's not automatic: Like most SEO results, tags are not a guarantee of a Rich Snippet in SERP, whether you've entered the code or not.
- The tags don't respect quality standards: if they don't, Google won't show their highlighted excerpts on the SERP.
- They don't reflect the content on the page: this can hamper the user experience, and you know what happens when Google discovers things like that.
- Vulgar language: Your tags do not appear if they contain rude or disrespectful messages.
- Data entered incorrectly: this is the most common reason for Rich Snippets not showing up. It happens, most of the time, on pages with a section of products or recipes. Usually the reason is a prematurely closed section of code.
- Unauthentic Domain: If Google thinks your domain is not that trustworthy, then it doesn't feature the Rich Snippet on the SERP.
- Not enough time has passed: Give the crawler time: it doesn't discover your webpages instantly, and that goes for bookmarks. Have some patience, that is, wait for your Rich Snippets to show up.
See how to get the most out of Rich Snippets in four simple steps.
Check which Rich Snippets are right for you
First, standard search result snippets can already provide a good overview of the content. For example, in the case of most of our articles, there is nothing that can provide additional value to the user.
The process of getting Rich Snippets is well documented by Google. That is, this includes content types that are eligible for search results improvements.
Here is a list of the most common use cases for Rich Snippets tagging:
- Product type marking
- software tagging
- FAQ tagging
There are many more options than that, but they apply to very specific website categories, like the recipes you saw at the beginning. The rest are:
- News, media and entertainment
- work related content
If any of the categories seem relevant to you, then go to the official documents, check out the possible enhancements and features for your content type, and decide if it's worth implementing.
Implementing Rich Snippets in FAQ is a very popular modern SEO tactic to get more SERP properties. Even though it's listed under the Product type, it can be used on any page that has a FAQ section.
Implement structured data
It's easy to create the markup and deploy it regardless of how your site is built.
If you're using WordPress, plugins will do the trick. Structured data is supported in multipurpose SEO plugins like Yoast or Rank Math, or there are even plugins made just for structured data implementation.
Yoast is good for basics like FAQ and structured “how-to” data, but you'll need a more specialized plugin for the broader spectrum of structure types.
Sticking to Yoast and our example FAQ, the process is very simple (and identical to Rank Math, actually). You just select a block of FAQs when creating a page…
Deployment processes depend on the plugin, but also on the structure type, there is no magic shortcut or one-shot guide for this. Just review the documentation for the plugin of your choice to see how it works with your chosen type.
Validate the booking
The use of markup generators as well as plugins already makes the markup deployment process kind of foolproof. But it's good practice to run it through Google's Rich Results Testing Tool. This will tell you immediately if the code or page is eligible for rich results.
Keep in mind the word “eligible” because Rich Snippets are not guaranteed.
You can also use a URL entry if the markup is already in production. This is fine for arbitrary checks, but useless for site-wide monitoring.
Monitor marked pages for performance and errors
Google doesn't even hold back in that sense. Everything you need is here in Google Search Console.
You can filter your performance reports by rich results type:
And see all the eligible tag types Google detected on your site:
Clicking on a Rich Snippets enhancement takes you to a report showing valid, invalid, and warning URLs.
If you've already validated the tag then you shouldn't encounter any problems. The best thing about this is that you don't need to configure anything.
Getting more attention and clicks with Rich Snippets is great, but keep in mind that the structured data behind them is part of something much bigger.
Google uses structured data to help build the Knowledge Graph. That's what helps Google deliver more relevant search results and thus feeds other types of SERP resources.
Understanding how the Knowledge Graph works and how to use it to your advantage is a crucial SEO skill. Looking for help from a professional? With the Colors Agency, we guarantee much more than just an attractive look as well as a modern layout for your website. Our main focus is therefore to offer companies around the world effective solutions to generate visibility on the internet.
Our agency develops SEO strategies and brand positioning for multinational companies, large, medium, but also small, all projects are important to us.