RICH SNIPPETS

What it is and 5 simple steps to create it

If I told you that you read Google rich snippets on your mobile or PC every day, would you believe it?

Probably not, or maybe your thoughts would immediately go to Google reviews, but things are not quite like that.

In this article, you will discover:

  • What a snippet is and what it means?
  • What rich snippets are used for?
  • How to create one?

SEO and rich snippets are closely related elements. That’s why I recommend attending an SEO Specialist Course to learn online marketing strategies to position your website and make it more easily found by users on search engines.

What are rich snippets?

You should know that according to Google, the snippet is what is displayed on the search engine results when you perform any search. But what exactly do we mean by rich snippet?

In essence, rich snippets are useful for enhancing Google’s search engine results pages (SERP) with elements such as stars (ratings), prices, videos, and the name of the author who created the content.

All elements help users in searching and choosing content to consult.

rich snippets examples

What does the snippet show? The elements that compose it are:

  • the title
  • the site’s URL (www.yourwebsite.com)
  • the description
  • optional additional elements like review stars

Therefore, the rich snippet is a tool that can help you improve your site’s SEO and generate more traffic from search engine results pages (SERP).

In the image, you can see an example of a rich snippet and how it appears on Google’s SERP.

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What rich snippets are used for

As mentioned, search engine-rich snippets are very useful for SEO, as their optimization is a ranking factor.

But their use is not limited to SEO alone: even pages not optimized for that purpose need a carefully crafted snippet.

Indeed, the reason a page or article is online is because you want it to be read by someone. The snippet serves to intrigue the user and encourage them to click on your page or article.

Among the ranking factors to consider that are part of rich snippets are:

  • title tag
  • meta description
  • URL

Tag Title

The first visible heading in the rich snippet is the tag title. In HTML language, it is mainly used for the title of a page or an article.

The formatting of a tag title usually differs from the rest of the header tags on a page and is an important signal for site positioning within the SERP. Its role is clear: to communicate the topic of a page to Google.

Do you want to rank for a query (search key)? It’s in the title that you should insert the focus keyword without forgetting the human aspect. It is important that the keyword is at the beginning of the tag title.

Using the keyword as the first term of the tag title brings benefits to positioning compared to titles where the key appears toward the end.

The title of the rich snippet should be a maximum of 60 characters, although there is no exact limit. Writing much more than 60 characters risks the appearance of ellipses because it is too long.

Respecting this limit will also give you an advantage in terms of SEO. Remember that Google’s crawler reads and analyzes the tag title as the first element of your rich snippet.

title tag in a serp

Meta Description

Another fundamental part of the rich snippet is the meta description.

The influence of concise descriptions on CTR (Click-Through Rate) has been reiterated and confirmed.

CTR is a percentage value of clicks received, which in turn is a ranking factor or, at least, an indicator of better relevance and pertinence of content compared to the user’s typed query.

Like the title, in the meta description, you have a limit of 160 characters.

URL

URLs are an integral part of rich snippets. They should have the characteristic of being easy to read for humans and search engines.

Readability is very important on the SEO side, as users tend to avoid URLs like “www.example.com/folder1/abc123/javascript16” because it does not provide information about the content of the page and seems suspicious.

Ultimately, any URL should give humans and crawlers a clear idea of what the destination page is about. Before clicking on the link, we should all know what the link is pointing to.

 

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Why use rich snippets

It’s time to understand why rich snippets are important and why they should be used.

The behavioral data of the page (click-through rate, bounce rate, and time spent on the site) impact ranking, so the more qualified and targeted traffic you get, the better.

The goal of rich snippets is to bring more traffic to the site. Let me give you an example.

If your Google search leads you to a search engine results page (SERP) with listings that offer only the bare minimum of information, you don’t know if clicking on a specific rich snippet will provide what you’re looking for.

Consequently, when you visit the site, you may find it irrelevant and abandon it, moving on to something else. Google will likely evaluate the first site as worse and the second, or third, as better.

Creating a clear and satisfying rich snippet is an advantage for the user, as they will immediately get an idea of the relevance of that page to their search.

Below, I explain the advantages resulting from correctly filling out rich snippets and how they are crucial for SEO.

Increase in Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Understanding why rich snippets affect CTR is not difficult. As you know, the user’s eye is caught by elements of diversity, but also by additional information contained in the snippet that the site provides.

Therefore, your page or article with rich snippets will get more clicks than your competitors in the SERP, even if it is positioned a few steps lower. This translates to a higher number of visits.

Improvement of reputation according to Google

The rich snippet has an indirect effect on the reputation of a site in Google. With the increase in CTR and consequently visits, Google will consider you a notable source, rewarding you with a better position.

As mentioned earlier, according to Google, you should provide quality results, meaning offer content that may better match the user’s intentions.

If your webpage satisfies search intent and is prominently featured in the SERP, it’s a significant achievement that provides a credibility boost to your website.

Anyone who sees the rich snippet of your website prominently displayed will automatically think that you are the most credible source of information for their search.

Why rich snippets are important for SEO

One of the tasks of an SEO specialist is to implement rich snippets on websites using schema.org microdata, a standard supported by both Google and Bing, as well as Yahoo.

This is a tool to accurately communicate the topic of our web page to search engines. Currently, Google supports various formats for their implementation, which can be summarized as microdata.

But what is schema.org? And what are microdata? As you continue reading, you will find all the answers you are looking for.

What is schema.org?

The displayed rich snippets are optimized with the addition of schema markup to the HTML code, as it improves how the page is displayed in SERPs.

Schema.org is the code that can be inserted into the website to help search engines return more detailed results for users, positively impacting both SEO and user experience.

Schema.org is a semantic vocabulary of tags (or microdata) that you can add to your HTML to enhance how search engines read and represent your page in SERPs.

Here is an example of code:

<div itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/Book">
  <span itemprop="name">How to Create Rich Snippets: Digital Coach Blog</span>
  <span itemprop="author">Pinco Pallino</span>
</div>

What are microdata?

Big G’s rich snippets, also called enhanced results, extract information from your website to display in the list of results for your site in search results, in addition to the typical page title, page URL, and meta description.

For structured data, of which microdata is a part, it refers to a set of information formatted in a universally understandable way. Microdata makes the language of computers simple and understandable.

Following the semantic evolution introduced by Google, this data is easily interpretable by major search engines, allowing you to refine query results more accurately and emphasize how they are displayed in SERPs.

Through HTML5, there are various tags that allow you to structure content according to logic or semantics. The goal is to give search engine crawlers the ability to understand the meaning of the text.

This information is accessible to these programs and remains (currently) invisible to the user. This is where microdata comes into play.

 

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How to create a rich snippet in 5 steps

Creating a valid rich snippet is a straightforward process. Here’s how to do it in 5 steps.

1. Identify the details you want Google to focus on

Considering your written content, you should pinpoint the tags you wish for Google to focus on. Here are a few instances of tags commonly found in rich snippets to assist you.

  • Article titles and meta descriptions.
  • Tags for product names, ratings, prices, availability, and more on product pages.
  • Event details on event pages, like name, speakers, schedule, and dates.
  • Tags for recipe classification, ingredients, dish image, cooking duration, and more.

2. Use Google’s structured data markup helper

To correctly communicate the information just mentioned to Google and enrich the rich snippet, the search engine offers a useful tool for creating structured data sets based on the type of web page being published.

This tool is called Structured Data Markup Helper. As depicted above, your initial step involves choosing the attribute that most accurately characterizes the content you are generating.

Following that, enter the current URL of the webpage where your content has been published at the bottom of this page.

Naturally, to utilize this tool, you must first publish your content and then obtain the URL to appropriately structure your data.

structured data markup helper

3. Create microdata for your web page using the selected data type

Microdata differentiates a page’s rich snippet. For instance, an occasion encompasses various details such as its location, start time, name, and category.

Subsequently, you can employ a snippet of HTML code to convey the event along with all pertinent information to Google for online user access.

Next, you’ll create new HTML strings from the microdata you created in the previous step.

4. Tag your content with microdata

With your HTML created correctly, you will see all the tags listed in a code block that you can then insert into the HTML code of your article.

You will then insert this code into your content management system (CMS). Google recommends adding the HTML created for you to the “head” section of your article’s HTML.

If you are using the CMS from HubSpot, for example, you will find separate HTML boxes designed for this occasion, as shown below.

HTML head and footer sections for adding code snippets in “HubSpot –> More information” on adding HTML to web pages in HubSpot Academy.

5. Test your rich snippet

A great rich snippet testing tool is provided by Google. This allows you to test your rich snippet. Visit the page to use their structured data testing tool.

This will confirm whether Google can read your markup data and whether your rich snippets are displayed in their search results.

Conclusion

Thanks to rich snippets, your visitors get a preview of what the complete content will be and can even see reviews directly in SERP.

Reviews are widely used by e-commerce sites, blogs, and entertainment sites. Others may use rich snippets to pre-qualify traffic and gain indirect SEO benefits at the same time.

If you have created a rich snippet but don’t see it immediately in search results, know that Google’s crawler takes a few weeks to scan and index this new data, so don’t worry and start setting up a new rich snippet.

 

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