As a website builder, you need to constantly spare no efforts to increase the presence of your website in search engines. You might make use of some useful SEO tools or SEO tricks to make your website rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs). But you should have noticed that your site may not stand out from other sites listed on the same results page. In this case, rich snippets can make a difference.
Another case is that you may spend much time on how to choose perfect keywords for your post and benefit the SEO of your page. However, keywords alone cannot make your site search engine friendly. After all, nowadays, the major search engines, including Google and Bing, put more emphasis on actual content relevance, which is what rich snippets work on.
As rich snippets are so important in the optimization of a website, then what is it and how can it benefit SEO? Read the following content and find the answer.
What is Rich Snippets
To put it simple, a rich snippet is a summary of the content on your web page that is displayed in the search results. Good rich snippets are helpful to make your web pages stand out and make it easier for visitors to learn the major content of your website.
A Rich snippet can be any details that best describe the content of your page. For instance, it might include the rate, the popularity and the price of a good or service, or it may be a picture or video displayed as part of the search result. An example is that when people search for a product or service in Google, they can have an overview of this product or service with the Rich snippets, and then decide whether to visit your site to learn more. In this case, rich snippets enable web visitors to spend less time in sifting out the irrelevant search results and find what they want quickly.
The following screenshot is a rich snippet example of the popular game “Plants vs Zombies”. View it carefully and you can understand why it stands out from other results.
How to Use It
Now you have an idea about the concept of rich snippets, and may wonder how you can apply it to your website. In this part, our editors are going to give you some useful guidelines.
Firstly, you need to mark up the pages of your website with Microformats, Microdata, RDFa or some other formats with similar standards. Generally, we recommend you pick one of the 3 recommended formats, for they can be integrated with your website easily. With your content marked up by a standard format, search engines like Google can generate rich snippets algorithmically.
After marking up the content, you need to test it with Rich Snippets Testing Tool, which is going to offer you some practical suggestions to improve your snippets. If the markup is correctly tested, then wait for some time, and your rich snippets can appear in search results. Note that the markup should be accurately, up-to-the-minute, original and visible to visitors.
How Can It Benefit SEO
To be exact, rich snippets are not designed directly to increase the ranking of your site in SERPs, but to win people’s clicks. Obviously, something that has a 4-star or higher rating and comes with an appealing picture or video screenshot in the SERPs is more attention-getting than that of plain text description. Although rich snippets don’t have direct effect on improving rankings, increasing the click-through rate can in return result a higher ranking in search results effectively. Note that you need to create content that is able to interest web visitors.
An example is that you are able to display your Google + profile image, the name, the number of followers, as well as some links to other content created by you in SERPs. Thus, visitors can understand what your site is about and probably link back to your website. Actually, adding links is an effective way to improve your rankings.