Rich snippets explained


A snippet is a result Google or any other search engine shows to provide an internet browser after the URL, TITLE and DESCRIPTION to better describe what information is contained on each web page.


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Appearing on the first page of search engine results is the ultimate goal of SEO experts. But what’s even more sought after than the top spot on the SERPs is achieving a rich snippet. This exclusive result ensures your information is precisely where a searcher needs it; displaying in-depth details about your business in a highlighted box at the top of the page or the right-hand side.

While a rich snippet is much longed-for, it can be challenging to understand exactly what it is, and why it’s so important. The below guide is here to help.

Google defines a snippet as a:

“DESCRIPTION OF OR AN EXCERPT FROM A WEBPAGE”

WHAT IS A RICH SNIPPET? 

Typically, when Google’s bots crawl webpages for results, they appear showing broad information: the page URL, site title, and any meta description you’ve used. Rich snippets display so much more information, which is not only relevant to the search query but features additional details Google deems vital to show. It could include, for example, the review of a business, product descriptions, or contact details and location of a company.

The term ‘Rich Snippets’ is used by SEO experts to describe structured data markup which they add to a site’s existing HTML. By doing so, the search engines can better understand exactly what a webpage is about, enabling it to determine whether it’s relevant enough to a query. It allows a search engine to present ‘richer’ results, meaning users find what they want quickly and easily, without the need to scroll down the page.

A great example of a rich snippet is when a searcher enters a query about a company, such as Amazon, as shown below.

When ‘’Amazon" is searched for, Google will display, on the right-hand side of the screen, the information the bots deem to be most important. It could includes a picture of the location, a Google Map showing where we are based, the address, the opening hours, and the phone number (this would be more typical for a small business).

WHY IS A RICH SNIPPET IMPORTANT?

There’s a very good reason why a rich snippet is so longed-for by digital marketers: it gets searchers attention and puts your business directly where they can see it. No longer will a potential visitor have to scroll through pages of results to find you. Instead, they will view your information on the right-hand side of the screen, or the very top of the search results, and make a decision almost instantly. It’s incredible visibility to ensure you are noticed for all the right reasons.

What’s more, a rich snippet ensures the most relevant results are shown. This relevancy can improve your bounce rate as visitors will know your site has exactly what they need. Therefore, it also boosts your click-through rate.

WHAT CONTENT TYPES ARE USED FOR A RICH SNIPPET?

Google uses a variety of content types to determine a rich snippet, which includes:

-Product descriptions

-Business names, addresses,

 location, telephone number and logo

-Recipes

-Events

-People – especially for well-known

 people, their LinkedIn profile may

 appear, or team member profiles

 from business webpages.

-Reviews

-Video content

A rich snippet of product descriptions, for example, is crucial for e-commerce merchants, allowing them to easily display properties of their items, along with the brand, a description, special offers, and even past customer reviews.



With regards to reviews, this is also a critical aspect of a customer journey. Research in 2017 revealed that an incredible 91% of consumers regularly read online reviews, with an additional 84% trusting online reviews as much as they would trust a friend or a family review. Reviews are highly significant; they matter. It’s for this reason why a review appearing as a rich snippet for your business is extremely valuable


91% OF CONSUMERS
REGULARLY READ ONLINE REVIEWS

84% TRUST ONLINE REVIEWS AS MUCH AS THEY WOULD TRUST A FRIEND OR A FAMILY REVIEW

HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE A RICH SNIPPET?

Achieving a rich snippet requires the SEO professional to use structured data to mark up specific content types, such as those above. This is essentially code added to a site to guide the search engine bots to the correct information to provide more relevant results. However, there are three types of markup specifications which search engines currently recognise:

 Microdata  

Microformats  

RDPa

Additionally, you can use Open Graph tags and Twitter cards.

What’s important to note is that you don’t need to add structured data markup to every type of content on your webpage. You should only mark up visible content, also, rather than every hidden page element. You can, however, mark up multiple types of content on one page. For example, if you have an article which also features a video, you can markup both types. By doing so, your page will be eligible for the stories carousel and the rich results for video content.

Structured data markup follows a number of steps, as outlined by the Developers at Google:

1. Identify the data type your content features (video, news, review, description, etc.)

2. Create a markup block which contains the structured data properties for how you want the snippet to look

3. Add the markup into each content page you want to be eligible for a rich snippet

4. The final step is to test the markup using the Structured Data Testing Tool

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A RICH SNIPPET?

Unfortunately, there is no time frame for a business to achieve a rich snippet. Google does not promise a rich snippet to every company, regardless of how much data they implement. There may also be reasons why you do not have a rich snippet, which is essential to know if you are going to improve the likelihood of obtaining the top spot.

As mentioned above, Google does not guarantee a rich snippet to a business.

Marketers can often wrongly assume that merely adding the code to the website will see them in that coveted spot. This is incorrect. Instead, a comprehensive SEO strategy will stand you in good stead to not only boost your rankings organically but also achieve this spot.

Another reason why you don’t have a rich snippet is the quality of your markup. Your markup may not meet the high standards Google has set out, so if you feel this may be the case, it’s worthwhile checking out what the quality standards are.

However, the most common reason why a business doesn’t achieve a rich snippet is a simple one: the data is marked up incorrectly. The smallest of coding details can be easily overlooked, which means Google cannot understand what the markup is trying to say. It could be due to how the code was added to the site; it could be due to the unclosed HTML tags.

Whatever the reason, it’s crucial that the incorrect code is removed and amended accordingly.

Rich snippets are an incredibly lucrative area of SEO and one which businesses need to take advantage of to appear precisely where potential consumers will be looking. There’s no denying that a rich snippet grabs the attention in a way an average SERP can’t. To implement this crucial aspect, contact us today, and our expert team will be able to create an SEO strategy to transform your website for the better.