A Guide to Google Rich Snippets for SEO
For SEO veterans, rich snippets, or now known as rich results, is a well-known subject for optimization. But for SEO beginners, rich results is a complicated factor that needs extensive research and planning. Although optimizing for rich results isn’t a requirement to rank well, it does help in improving rankings, even by a little bit. But what exactly are rich results? Let’s find out:
What Are Google Rich Snippets?
In the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP), there are normal snippets, the one where the Title is colored blue and there’s a meta description at the bottom. Here’s what it looks like:
It’s straightforward and provides all the key information. However, a rich result is a type of snippet that has additional information, images, etc. that makes it easier for Google AND users to understand what the page is all about. Rich Results is a type of snippet that can be categorized by:
- And many more, for a full list, refer to this Google guide
Since we’ve had multiple experiences of potential clients asking us questions about our services or SEO in general, one of the most used rich snippet types for SEO Hacker is the FAQ rich snippet. Here’s an example:
So, instead of the run-of-the-mill title tag and meta description, some of the user’s questions can be answered through the SERPs immediately. Thereby making the user’s lives easier and making our website/page look even better for them which could possibly improve CTR (clickthrough rate).
Additionally, recipes and reviews are also commonly used for rich results since a great number of people search for recipes online and other people would always want to see a review or rating of a specific product or service. Here’s what they look like:
In this particular screenshot, the recipes rich results are already combined with the reviews rich results to communicate to the users that the recipe posted by the webmaster has already been reviewed or rated by users that tried it out.
Why Rich Results are Important for SEO
There’s no direct benefit of having rich results for SEO. This is why a good number of results are still normal snippets. However, the primary benefit of utilizing rich results for your webpage/website is to give the users an easier time finding the information they want to see. The additional information shown in the SERPs not only helps you assist your audience, it also makes your snippet more eye-catching than those of your search competitors. Your snippet is more appealing and eye-catching, which could improve CTR in the long run.
Additionally, increased CTR is an engagement metric that’s important to Google. If there is an increasing number of users that click on your page in the SERPs, Google understands it as your page being the most useful, authoritative, or trustworthy for the users. This is why I mentioned the rich results do not pose direct benefits to your rankings since it’s the increased CTR that affects your rankings.
How to Use Rich Snippets for SEO
Getting rich snippets for your pages is relatively easy enough. It’s all a matter of using structured data to provide more information about your page, the images that you want to use, even the questions and answers can be included in the structured data. Here’s an example of structured data that we used to have the FAQ/question and answers rich snippet:
Structured data is a piece of code that search engines like Google can understand and make use of to produce rich snippets in the search results. So, it just makes sense that we use this process to help Google understand our pages better and deeper. Of course, there will be times wherein Google won’t process the structured data as a rich result, but that’s fine as well. As long as you make sure that your structured data is crawled, you’re already delivering the information you want to Google.
So, does your site have rich results? I strongly recommend getting them since it doesn’t cost anything and there’s no penalty or downside to it. What do you think about Rich snippets? Let me know in the comments below!