Have you ever noticed a Google search result that looks more stylish than the rest? You know, the ones that include a star rating, and a little bit more info about a product or service.
That extra information, media, and star ratings are called a rich snippet. The code that tells the search engine to include those elements is called schema markup. The usage of rich snippets is remarkably easy, but you have to do the actual work of notifying Google of the necessary information.
In this article, we’ll summarize the role of schema markup in SEO, and how to add rich snippets to your website.
Why Are Rich Snippets Important?
To allow rich snippets, search engines rely on structured data, a code that you can use to communicate with search engines. Search engines use it to get a better context of your webpage. In turn, this helps users to get better information on what type of content is inside the link that they want to open.
Under normal conditions, when your page is displayed on a SERP, Google presents the page title, URL, and the designated meta description.
Through rich snippets, Google can display extra information, including product/service review, a business description, location, price, and much more.
Including structured data boosts your chances for richer search results and a better position in SERPs. The following are the main benefits of employing rich snippets:
- Better Visibility: Your brand will be more visible in search results.
- Better CTR: Users would rather click on a rich snippet than on a regular search result.
- More Conversions: Users will click on an attractive search result, which will bring you more reads, downloads, sales, etc.
Types of Schema Markups
You can use rich snippets (schema markup) in the following content types:
- Reviews: Individual and aggregate review, with different properties for each.
- People: Google presents richer information for specific (well-known) people. Supported properties include name, title, role, and contact details.
- Products: One of the best uses of rich snippets is for products and special offers of online stores. The supported properties include name, image, brand, identifiers, price, currencies, condition, and quantity.
- Businesses & Organizations: Properties such as business name, address, phone number, geolocation, and logo.
- Recipes: Rich snippets also allow cooking websites to include information such as food type, reviews, cooking time, serving size, calories, and more.
- Events: Rich snippets are excellent for future and occurring events. The properties that are supported include start and end date, duration, geolocation, and tickets.
- Music: Google uses structured markup data to present songs and music albums. The data includes links to previews of songs and direct links to buying singles and full albums.
- Video Content: Rich snippets can also be applied to an embedded video content on your website to present the duration, video production company, video creator, or the type of content that is depicted in the video.
Consequently to the above, the following are the most commonly used schema markups.
Organization Schema Markup
The organization schema markup can include an explanation about a company, its official logo, contact info, location, and social media profiles.
Person Schema Markup
The Person Schema can present information about an individual, such as name, birthday, address, education, and family members.
Local Business Schema Markup
The Local Business Schema Markup helps consumers find a local company’s location and other useful information about that company.
Product & Offer Schema Markup
The Product & Offer markups are utilized for selling specific products or services. They enable product information such as price and status, and product properties.
Article Schema Markup
Schema Article Markup is most frequently used for news and blog posts. It helps search engines learn more about the article headline, time of publishing, its featured image, and the content.
Video Schema Markup
Video Schema Markup is an excellent way to help Google crawl and index the videos from your website, as well as to display them in Google Video Search.
Event Schema Markup
Event Schema Markup presents information for future events such as date, location, and ticket price.
Recipe Schema Markup
Recipe schema markup allows recipe pages to be presented as a rich snippet.
Rating/Review Schema Markup
Rating Schema Markup generates the most relevant product reviews directly in the SERP pages.
Types of Schema Encoding
There are three different encoding types of Schema Markup: JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa.
RDFa (Resource Descriptive Framework in Attributes) is a code that can be added to any HTML, XHTML, and XML-based document. The attributes of RDFa’s include:
- about – to clarify what the metadata is about.
- rel and rev – a relationship and reverse relationship with another resource.
- class=”lazy” data-src, href, and resource – for determining a partner resource.
- content – to nullify the content of the element when using the property attribute.
- datatype – to specify the data type of the text that uses with the property attribute.
- typeof – for determining the RDF type of the subject or the partner resource.
Microdata implementation is similar to RDFa, and includes the following attributes:
- itemscope – to create an item and specify that the rest of the element contains information about it.
- itemtype – to explain the item and its assets through a valid URL (ex, “https://schema.org”).
- itemprop – to point out that the containing tag has the value of a given property (ex, itemprop=”name”).
- itemid – to show a unique identifier of the item.
- itemref – for properties of an element that are not included in the itemscope.
Adding Rich Snippets on Your Website
There are several different options for adding rich snippets to your web pages. Among the easiest ones are either using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper or a WordPress plugin.
Structured Data Markup Helper
Here are the steps you can take to use Google’s tool for creating schema markup snippets.
1. Go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
2. Choose the type of data that you want to markup.
3. Paste the URL of the page you plan to markup.
4. Highlight and select the elements that you want to mark up.
5. Continue highlighting the other items on your page to add them to the markup list.
6. Create the HTML.
7. Insert the generated schema markup into your web page.
There are also some additional tools out there that can help you create and validate schema markup:
- Google Data Highlighter
- JSON-LD Schema Generator by Merkle
- Yandex Structured data validator API
- Google Rich Results Tester
- Bing Webmaster Tools Markup Validator
When you activate the plugin, open the Rich Snippets tab from your Dashboard where you can configure your schema markups.
Here, you can see every schema markup that you can create with the plugin, including:
- Item Review
When you choose a content type, the plugin will display you the fields that will be available you’re writing a post/page or any custom post type.
Now when you create a new post or edit one, below the post editor, you will notice the meta box labeled as ‘Configure Rich Snippet’. Inside is a drop-down menu where you can choose the content type for the post you are working on.
It’s not necessary to add all the fields, but some of them are required by Google to display the rich snippets. Remember to save your post and store the schema markup data.
Testing Rich Snippets
Google and the rest of the search engines can’t pick up your rich snippets right away. So, how can you ensure that you’ve implemented rich snippets properly?
There, you can paste your schema markup in the toolbox or click on the Fetch URL link to enter a URL. After that, click on the ‘Validate’ button, and your markup will be reviewed.
When it comes to SEO, a small tweak such as rich snippets can make the difference between a few clicks and a flood of search traffic. That is why you need to take full advantage of schema markup. It can help you create attractive rich snippets, which in turn will boost your organic search traffic.
Apply them step by step, and scale them across your website to see better results.