How To Add Google Rich Snippets to My Website: A Handy Guide
When you Google a recipe, a restaurant, or a news story today, you’ve probably noticed how some results show more than just a link and a short text under it.
Some recipes show cooking time, restaurant websites have star ratings and opening hours, and news searches show a carousel of the latest headings.
This form of content on search engine results pages (SERPs) is called a rich snippet.
Not only do these help users get immediate answers to their inquiries, but they also help websites and companies increase their engagements.
You might ask yourself, “How do I add Google-rich snippets to my website?” Agency Jet has shared the steps you can take as a website owner to integrate rich snippets into search results.
Keep reading to learn more!
What is a Rich Snippet?
So what are Google-rich snippets?
In the simplest terms, a rich snippet is additional information that appears in search listings. For example, organic search results have the URL, a short meta description, and the page title in their most basic forms. A snippets in search results feature any additional content aside from these three, and this information can come in various forms.
To display rich snippets on a search engine like Google, websites need to have structured data on their site at the most basic level.
Only then can rich snippets appear on search results. So why are they important anyway? Why do rich snippets matter for websites?
Importance of Rich Snippets
At any given time, there are billions of websites on the internet. That’s a lot of competition.
Thankfully, rich snippets are here to give you an edge. While these do not directly affect your rankings, rich snippets and their various forms help increase your click-through rate or CTR — by as much as 87%!
This is the ratio of users who click hyperlinked text to your website to those who viewed the search results.
More than enhancing CTR and website engagement, the various rich snippet types improve your website and business reputation. This is especially true for websites with rich snippets on knowledge panels, featured snippets, rich cards, and other content features.
Common Types of Rich Snippets
- How To: These are rich snippets that provide a list of instructions for a specific action or process.
- Review: With this markup, users can see the review ratings of a product, service, or business.
- FAQ: FAQ-rich snippets include questions and answers from the linked page.
- Recipe: Recipe snippets can show cooking time, recipe reviews, the number of people who’ve tried it, and a small image preview of the recipe.
- Product: Product snippets can contain reviews, current prices, and availability.
- Movie: With movie markups, a user can see critic and audience reviews, run time, the genre, release date, and other essential details about the film.
- Event: Event snippets can include the dates of the event, location, and other upcoming events from the website.
- News: News snippets usually contain the article’s lead or first few lines. In most cases, news markups are included in carousels, the news box, or featured snippets.
Structured Data – The Source of Rich Snippets
So where do search engines like Google find content to turn into rich snippets? They don’t pull this out of thin air.
Instead, they get content like text and images from structured data.
According to HubSpot, structured data is any data that’s structured and organized in a specific way on a webpage.
Having structured data has many applications, but this time, we’ll focus on how it affects search engine optimization.
Through crawling and indexing processes, search engines can gather information about your website and store it for later use. Structured markup helps search engines crawl a webpage better, improving search results and rankings later.
How does this relate to rich snippets?
As a search engine crawls a website, they’re also looking at embedded tags of code or markup in your HTML. Search engines use this to learn what the page is for and its specific content.
So when they show the website on search results, they can provide additional information that helps users. This additional information is what we call rich snippets.
Even with so many online websites, Google can still crawl and index websites since there are universal languages for structured snippets.
One of the most well-known markups is called Schema.org, but there are others like DCMI and FOAF. But these are all too complex for beginners, so we’ll discuss them at another time.
Some Caveats on SEO and Structured Data
We want to clarify that having structured data isn’t a guarantee that the search results for your website will have rich snippets.
It takes weeks or months for search engines to crawl and index an HTML with new structured data. And even then, rich snippets might not appear at all.
There’s also a misconception that having different structured data types boosts your rankings.
Google has already shown that this isn’t the case.
While structured data helps in rankings since Google can better understand the webpage’s content, this doesn’t automatically mean that your website will have higher rankings on SERP.
However, there is concrete evidence that having structured data can help increase your CTR.
So, how can you add structured data to your web pages?
Step 1: Go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper
There are many tools for beginners to add structured data markup to their websites.
Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper is one of the easiest to understand. It contains tools that allow you to add tags to on-page content easily. Then, it will automatically create the code you can copy and paste into your website’s HTML.
Step 2: Choose the Data Type and Add the URL
Once the Structured Data Markup Helper tool loads, you’ll see a list of data types. There are many options, and you’ll need to choose the best one for the page that needs the structured data. For example, if the page contains upcoming activities at your company, then choose “Events.”
After choosing the data type, paste the URL on the field and click Start Tagging. You’ll be redirected to the Tag Data stage.
Step 3: Assign the Data Tags
Once you’re in the Tag Data stage, you should be able to see a preview of your page with the URL you posted. Then, on the right side, you’ll find the data items already included and the ones you need to add.
Highlight the section to assign a tag for a specific part of the page or content. This action will automatically show your tagging options.
Click the one that best fits the text or media, and the information will automatically appear on the data items panel. There’s also an “Add Missing Tags” option at the bottom of the panel. You can add more tags for sections that weren’t in the initial choices provided by clicking the button.
Step 4: Create the HTML Code
Once you’re done assigning tags on the page, click Create HTML. This will generate the code that you can copy and paste later. The default syntax will be JSON-LD, but you can change it to microdata (the Schema.org markup syntax) by changing it on the drop-down menu. Once you have the code, download it.
Step 5: Add the Code Using Your CMS
This might be the trickiest part, as many website owners are wary about touching the code of their website. But adding the new HTML code to your content management system (CMS) is not a complex task. Instead, you’re simply copy-pasting the code into the CMS or webpage source code.
WordPress, the most well-known CMS, has plenty of plugins to take care of the work. But if you still don’t want to do it alone, you can always ask experts like us at Agency Jet for help.
Agency Jet provides a full website audit to give you the 30,000 foot view of how search engines see your website. Sounds expensive, right? We've even heard people say it's the best 90 minutes in marketing. Turns out, it's free. And there's no sales pitch included.
Step 6: Validate the Markup
Once you publish the new code, you can validate the markup for any issues. That way, you can correct them before they affect your search results.
Next, visit Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. You can copy and paste your structured data markup on this site and test it for either Rich Results (Google’s term for rich snippets) or schema markup.
Once you’ve pasted the code, click run test and wait for the results to show.
Step 7: Correct the Issues
Running the code on the Google Structured Data testing tool will help you find any problems that can potentially affect your search results.
On the tool, this will show up as red errors on the markup analysis (the right side of the results panel). If you’re having trouble identifying which code has problems, click any row, and it will highlight the corresponding markup.
Once you find the errors, you can add the missing information by editing the code. For example, the tool will show missing authors or titles—type in the requested information. Then, when the tool shows the “All Good” remark, you’ll know you’ve addressed errors.
Step 8: Wait Patiently for the Results
As mentioned above, it will take weeks and months for Google and other major search engines to crawl and index your website’s new HTML code.
So if you Google your web page and don’t see rich snippets immediately, don’t fret. It will eventually come sooner or later. You only need to be patient if you did everything correctly.
Conclusion: Adding Rich Snippets to Google Search Results
Adding structured data to your websites help you achieve search results that contain rich snippets or rich results.
With this additional information, users can get more details about the types of content on your web pages and entice them to click and browse your website.
That’s why rich snippets are a well-known tool for increasing click-through rates. So follow the steps outlined above when adding structured data to your website.
Need Professional Help? Contact Agency Jet Today!
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