How to use rich snippets to improve your Google ranking

If there’s one thing all online businesses want, it’s to rank well on Google. But do you understand how to use rich snippets to improve your Google search results – or what rich snippets even are? We asked professional web designer Felix Norton to share a few expert tips. 

What are rich snippets?

Rich snippets (or rich results) are normal Google search results that display additional information. This extra data is usually pulled from structured data found in a webpage’s HTML (the code). Common rich snippet results include reviews, products, recipes, pricing, locations and events.

This is a normal result:

And this is a rich result – see the additional information listed below?

What’s the difference between a rich snippet and a featured snippet?

A common confusion is the difference between a rich snippet and a featured snippet. A rich snippet is an organic search result with more information – location, pricing, ratings and reviews. A featured snippet is the answer to a question, and it appears before the organic search results in what is known as ‘position zero’. The font size is bigger and it is clearly superior to all the other search results. Google has chosen it as the best available answer to your question.

If you want your content to appear as a featured snippet, it has to be much better than any other potential answer to the question. It can appear as a paragraph, a list or a table. Featured snippets are a good goal, but the first step is rich snippets.

Why should you care about rich snippets?

Rich snippets look different from normal search results. The additional information stands out from other searches and can potentially increase your click-through rate. This can help your business stand out from your competitors and get more traffic.

Google is also more likely to rank a rich result higher than a normal result, which also increases the likelihood of your site being clicked on first. It won’t boost your site to the top of the search page, but it will make it a more attractive option to click on.

What can you do to feature rich snippets more often?

While Google can sometimes generate rich snippets automatically, it’s more likely to reward your site with a rich snippet if you provide the Googlebot with best practice schema markup for your webpage.

If you use a CMS like WordPress, you can use a plugin like Yoast to add schema markup into your website automatically. If you have a self-coded website, ensure your code has the right markup. 

How complicated is it to set up?

The good news is, your website framework might already support rich snippets automatically. You can test your website’s rich snippets friendliness with the official Google Rich Results Test.

Depending on your website setup, it’s relatively easy to add schema markup to a website.

There are lots of great online tutorials if you want to do it yourself, otherwise, you can always hire a local web development agency or SEO expert.

What advice do you have for small businesses who want to feature?

The most important thing to understand is Google’s core objective: “Help users find the best information possible”. Are you offering the best information possible on your website? Content marketing is a good way to answer this question.

By adding quality content and optimising your website for rich snippets, you’re giving your visitors a better user experience, so Google will reward your site with higher rankings and therefore more traffic.

About the author

Felix Norton has over 8 years of experience building over 300 websites. He’s a professional web designer who runs a WordPress focused digital agency called Woww.

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