Bubble_reverse_RGB

How do I add rich snippets to my website?

tips
10 April 2020
Sam Pettiford
Sam Pettiford

Rich snippets can make your SERP listings more dynamic and entice searchers to click on your pages instead of others...and you should implement them...quick!

What are rich snippets?
Rich snippets add additional details in SERPs such as reviews, your business’s location and other information related to your industry that a searcher can use to better navigate through search results. Rich snippets are generally more appealing search results with additional information displayed alongside the title, description, and URL, which results from the structured data included on the page.

As you can see below, when searching for a spaghetti bolognese recipe on Google, you are not only presented with the standard result, but also the rich snippet attached to this particular webpage that quickly displays the recipes rating, vote, cooking duration and calories.


The full comprehensive list of rich snippets can be found here, but the most popular snippets you might have seen in heavy use fall into the categories below;

  • Events

  • Job Posting

  • Music

  • Products

  • Recipes

  • Review ratings

  • Reviews

I’ve seen the term ‘rich results’, is that the same as a rich snippet?
You might have heard the term “rich results" used in the same breath as rich snippets, but while Googles ambiguity on the subject was confusing, it is in fact clearer now. A rich result appears in a SERP's with extra visual or interactive features like the results you see when you search Google for a job;

According to the Google Search Gallery the above rich result example is defined as “an interactive rich result that allows job seekers to find a job. The job search experience on Google can feature your logo, reviews, ratings, and job details", which is a lot clearer.

Do rich snippets count towards my SEO?
Having more structured data such as price etc, will generally entice users to click on your links, but keep in mind that according to John Mu (the Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google Zürich), rich snippets don’t have any bearing on ranking/positioning.

Ok, so how can I add rich snippets on my website?
You’ll need to add structured data to your site first and foremost. There are several different ways to do this and you don’t need to be an expert in coding to achieve it either.

What is structured data?
Structured data, also called schema markup, is a type of code that makes it easier for search engines to crawl, organize, and display your content.

Structured data communicates to search engines what your data means. Without schema markup, search engines can only tell what your data says, and they have to work harder to determine why it’s there.

You can learn all about the various types of markup and tools available through Schema.org. Schema is the rich snippet standard that’s accepted across all the major search engines like Bing and Google.

What kind of structured data should I use?
There are three types of structured data (JSON-LD, RDFa and Microdata), but as Google are recommending JSON-LD.

It is an implementation format for structuring data analogous to Microdata and RDFa. JSON-LD is considered to be simpler to implement, due to the ability to simply paste the markup within the HTML document, versus having to wrap the markup around HTML elements (as one would do with Microdata).

There are plenty of examples of structured data available on Googles reference pages, but below is a structured data example of a simple review from that you can paste into your own HTML.

<html>
  <head>
  <title>Legal Seafood</title>
    <script type="application/ld+json">
    {
      "@context": "https://schema.org/",
      "@type": "Review",
      "itemReviewed": {
        "@type": "Restaurant",
        "image": "http://www.example.com/seafood-restaurant.jpg",
        "name": "Legal Seafood",
        "servesCuisine": "Seafood",
        "priceRange": "$$$",
        "telephone": "1234567",
        "address" :{
          "@type": "PostalAddress",
          "streetAddress": "123 William St",
          "addressLocality": "New York",
          "addressRegion": "NY",
          "postalCode": "10038",
          "addressCountry": "US"
        }
      },
      "reviewRating": {
        "@type": "Rating",
        "ratingValue": "4"
      },
      "name": "A good seafood place.",
      "author": {
        "@type": "Person",
        "name": "Bob Smith"
      },
      "reviewBody": "The seafood is great.",
      "publisher": {
        "@type": "Organization",
        "name": "Washington Times"
      }
    }
    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
  </body>
</html>

When you run the above code with Googles rich snippet testing tool you should see the fully marked up preview. Obviously the above example only applies to sites looking implement reviews, but the premise is the same and the possibilities are not quite endless, but they're vast to say the least!

You don't have to, but to give you a better understanding of Schema, it may be worth learning more about terms such as itemscope, itemtype and itemprop, which categorise your website content for Google;

  • Itemscope – is an indicator that the content within this <div> is an item.

  • Itemtype – describes what the item is, in the above instance ‘Person’.

  • Itemprop – describes each property of the specific item.

There are a couple of easy ways to add structured data to your site;

For WordPress users you can add rich snippets easily with a tool like WP Review Pro.

If your site isn't using WordPress, Google provide the Structured Data Markup Helper to help webmasters add schema markup to their sites without any hassle. This method will work for any site.

Everything you need to know about structured data can be found at schema.org and check out Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to test how well your website’s rich snippet tools are working. To use this testing tool, just enter the website’s URL and select “Run Test”. Then check the right side of the screen to see results.

Rich snippets/structured data isn't difficult to implement and it’s a best practice that you need to start doing. The benefits of including rich snippets don't revolve around rankings, but they do increase CTR substantially.

It cannot be emphasised enough how much of a difference structured data can make to a web page’s readability and “understandability” for a search engine.

If you're looking at improving your overall website performance check out our other tips on speed and bounce rate.

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Share this article
Don't miss a post, subscribe to our newsletter
Explore how to make websites better, opinion pieces, and more
Get started

Write us a brief for your new website

Introduce yourself

Introduce the main contact

About your business

Next step