Remember when search engines only displayed text titles, descriptions, and URLs for your search results?
Search engines evolve with the way people search for information, which is why there’s been a lot of changes in search results over the years.
Nowadays, search results show us images, sponsored results, similar questions, videos, sitelink extensions, local packs, quick answers, reviews, and more.
If your website can rank and display these snippets, you can significantly increase your visibility and organic traffic.
Here’s a quick look into what rich snippets are, the types of snippets your website can display in the search results, and an example of how Vivino boosted their organic visibility by creating review snippets for their products.
“Rich snippets provide shoppers the ability to not only to see products relevant to their search queries but also get quick answers to their questions, read reviews and compare prices all directly from the search engine results page.”
-Alexis Sanfiorenzo, SEO Account Analyst at Tinuiti
What Are Rich Snippets?
Rich snippets are additional information beyond the URL and description that displays in the search engine results such as reviews, images, knowledge graphs, local results, and more.
“We see a continuing decline of click-through rates on Google search results for both desktop and mobile, due to the new no-clicks accessibility of providing answers in the SERPs – like featured snippets, reviews, and people also ask questions/answers, so it’s important to make this part of your SEO strategy if you aren’t already,” says Sanfiorenzo.
Why are rich snippets so important?
By utilizing a rich snippet, you can display more information than you could from a traditional snippet (the basic title, description, and URL of a result).
Rich snippets enable you to show imagery from your website, five-star customer reviews, or providing the perfect answer to a search query can increase your organic real estate in the search results, boosting your visibility and organic traffic.
In some cases, rich snippets as simple as providing the right answer to a specific query can increase traffic by over 500% for a webpage.
“There is no conclusive evidence that structured data markup, or “schema”, improves rankings, but there are indications that search results with more extensive rich snippets – like those created using Schema – help to influence better click-through rates,” explains Sanfiorenzo.
“With voice search rising in popularity, you can even use schema for speakable results, so it’s definitely something that isn’t going away any time soon!”
How Vivino Boosted Visibility of Their Top Wine Products With Ratings Snippets
Vivino, the world’s largest online wine marketplace and most downloaded wine app, wanted to boost the performance and visibility of their webpages in the search results.
Wine is an incredibly competitive search topic, meaning that sponsored results and competition from other brands with rich snippets occupy much of the organic real estate.
Vivino partnered with Tinuiti in 2018 to implement an SEO strategy that included improving search visibility through technical and on-page content optimizations, specifically for their best selling product pages.
“They weren’t earning rich ratings (star ratings visible under organic listing on Google) even though they had the schema markup on the backend. We implemented a process for testing on the backend to rewrite the structured data markup so that Google respected & reflected the markup in SERPs. This eventually helped Vivino display rich ratings for some of its top wine product pages.”
-Alexis Sanfiorenzo, SEO Account Analyst at Tinuiti
“For three months, I worked closely with the Vivino developer to implement the different snippets of code I created to try and get Rich Reviews to populate for their wine pages.”
“Google wasn’t obeying the previous product markup that was on the pages, so I had to think outside the box and get a bit creative. After finalizing the code and submitting the pages for re-indexation, we saw success with 100% of the test pages,” says Sanfiorenzo.
Afterward, Sanfiorenzo worked with Vivino to implement the code snippet to all of their wine pages site-wide, giving their top wine pages star ratings snippets that now display on the SERP.
Today’s Most Visible Rich Snippets
From term definitions to local results, Google is featuring more and more different types of SERPs to help users find what they’re looking for faster and more easily.
Also known as “answer boxes”, featured snippets are displayed below the ad space and above Google’s organic results. Presented in a box, they are designed to answer a user’s question right away—hence their placement at the top of the SERP.
Featured snippets are generally displayed in one of three formats: paragraphs, lists, and tables.
Knowledge graphs are displayed as either a large box to the right or a photo carousel above the organic search results.
Often, the answers in a knowledge graph are pulled from several different sources and are displayed for searches about brands, people, or organizations.
Local packs are sections of Google search results that show local results related to the search query. We’ve seen these become more and more common over the years, especially with the rise of mobile search.
If you have a physical location for your store or office, this can be a great way to boost the visibility of your products and services to those performing local searches.
Review Snippets (Star Ratings)
Review snippets enable you to display a star rating and the number of reviews alongside an organic result, such as a product page.
These can be great for showing social proof for your product or your website right on the SERP, which can impact click-through, especially if you have a physical store or office.
Structured snippets are an ad extension that lets you highlight specific products or services within your ad. Using structured snippets, you can display a header and a list of highlighted features to give readers additional context around your offering.
How Do You Add Rich Snippets to Your Website?
You can display rich snippets by adding structured data to your website’s HTML, which is basically a way of telling Google how to better understand and display information from your web page.
“Schema is a coding language that you can add to your HTML that helps search engines understand the context of the content on your site.”
“For example, it will help search engines understand the context of Orange – is it the County? Color? Fruit? Structured data can be used to mark up all kinds of items from products to events to recipes,” says Sanfiorenzo.
The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert programmer to do this, in fact, there’s a website known as Schema.org (founded by Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo) that explains how to add schema markup to your website.
“Don’t be intimidated by the technical aspect of structured data markup! There are a lot of resources out there to help you with the nuances. I always recommend adding schema to my client’s sites for the many benefits. You just need to go to schema.org to get the full list of items and properties within it then choose those that are most related to your page’s content.”
“Once you create your markup in either HTML or JSON –LD Format, you can run it through Google’s structured data testing tool to ensure it validates – then when it comes times to implementing – ensure it’s placed in the head section of your code,” says Sanfiorenzo.
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