A snippet is the few lines of text appearing under each search result in the Google search engine results page (SERP). It is designed to summarize page content and show its relevance to a user’s query. How is it helpful? Do we need it? Rich snippets are a necessity if you want your listing to stand out. It is an excellent way for your content to get attention. Notice the example below:
Of the two listed above, which one are you most inclined to “click”? Exactly, the first one which has the most information. Authors need to utilize rich snippets even more. Here’s an example:
Of the three results, you’re definitely most inclined to click on the one with the smiling face. You would certainly want your smiling face to get all those clicks.
Rich snippets have often been disregarded in SEO strategies because they are more difficult to implement than traditional on-page SEO strategies. But spending time to learn how to do them will definitely result in added benefits. Having this content-rich information in your Google search listings will result in increased click-through rates.
Steps to installing snippets
- Learning microdata
- Mark up your content
- Test your rich snippet. Use Google Webmaster Tools to check whether or not Google can read your markup data and if your snippets appear in search results.
- Be patient. Wait for Google to crawl and index this new data.
Types of Google Rich Snippets
- Author Snippet – contains the author’s name, his/her Google Plus profile picture, the author’s Google+ followers and links to more articles by the author.
- Product Snippet – displays price, reviews, ratings and product availability (e.g. In Stock).
- Reviews and Ratings Snippet – shows star ratings, average rating and total number of votes. This can be applied in combination with Product Snippets.
- Recipe Snippet – this works by supplying a picture of the dish, ratings from users who have tried it, ingredients, the prep time and the nutrition facts.
- Event Snippet – includes the date, time and location of the event.
- Breadcrumbs Snippet – provides a trail for the users to keep track of their locations. It usually appears horizontally across the top of a web page (e.g. Home page > Section page > Subsection page).
- Music Snippet – shows song information in the body of a web page, which displays direct links to songs and videos displayed in search results.
- Organization Snippet – displays local businesses and organizations locations, price ranges, hours of operation, customer reviews and contact information.
- People Snippet – displays a person’s job title, the company they work for, photo, and more.
There is no guarantee that the use of these snippets will yield high search engine rankings. The increased click-through rates created by a rich snippet forms the ranking signal for your site. Therefore, if your site comes complete with information as those found above, your site’s click-through rate will be much higher than other sites without structured markup data.
Search engines choose what to show in search results. If a snippet shows something that is not on your site, bounce rate will increase. Thus, creating a negative signal to search bots and the site will experience a ranking drop. Therefore, it is imperative to add only appropriate markup and schemas on your site in order to improve click-throughs and ensure that information on the snippet can be found on your site and you will notice increased search traffic results.