The way we conduct Internet searches has changed recently. And, in the world of the Internet, you’re only as good as the number of clicks you get. If users don’t click on your site/offer, then the opportunity is lost. So, what’s an effective strategy to gain clicks? Let me introduce you to rich snippets. It kinda sounds like a delicious new cracker, but it’s really something much, much better than that.
Rich snippets are part of what is called a semantic search. Semantic searches deliver detailed listings we never saw before. They do this through predictive technologies from search engines. Semantic searches or rich snippets enable a new and better way to display products and services by including ratings, reviews, availability, price, and much more.
Enhanced search results means your site has been awarded a rich snippet by the search engine. Users are more inclined to respond to search results that have additional information, images, and colors. Rich snippets are your way to embellish your search results with additional information geared toward attracting users. Rich snippets are your way to break through the clutter, get noticed, and increase your clicks.
A Closer Look At How Snippets Work
When you do a search, a list of results pop up on your screen. Snippets are the lines of text that you see at the end of each search result listing. Snippets provide additional information regarding the page’s relevance to the word or phrase that you searched, with the words that match the query shown in bold as shown below.
In this example, the snippet is the information in the green box. Ratings, pricing, and availability are commonly seen in e-commerce rich snippets, indicating the “value” of the page relevant to the search word or phrase. This additional information enables users to make more educated click decisions.
Including structured data markup in web content helps Google and other search engine algorithms better index and understand the content. Some data can also be used to create and display rich snippets within the search results, including review stars, an aggregate rating value, and vote count, for example. All of these are very useful to anyone searching for information about your product or service.
Rich snippets work for all types of e-commerce sites. If you are selling a product or service, and you have a published price, you can make use of rich snippets. The markup code that helps search engines classify the information for rich snippets can be easily inserted into your page templates so that the code appears on every relevant page on the site. Here’s an example of a rich snippet with the cost added.
Rich Snippet Options
The goal of rich snippets is to improve a user’s search experience by showing only the highest-quality and most relevant results to a search query. This is done by a process called semantic markup. (A tiny bit more on that in a minute.) Whether your product or service is searched on Google or Bing won’t matter because both support all of the rich snippet types most relevant to e-commerce sites.
To make your pages eligible for rich snippets in search results, add structured data of the appropriate type to your content. Make sure to comply with any policies that each type has regarding rich snippet display. Google supports rich snippets for the following data types:
- Product – Information about a product, including price, availability, SKU number, and review ratings.
- Recipe – Recipes that can be displayed in web searches and Recipe View. Recipe rich snippets with photos are widely used in both Google and Bing. They are a highly effective option if your site sells food products or offers unique recipes.
- Review – A review of an item such as a restaurant, movie, or store. The commonly used properties are Item, Rating, and Count, the last of which identifies the number of reviews submitted. The Reviews markup type also includes the ability to mark up a product photo.
- Event – An organized event, such as musical concerts or art festivals, that people may attend at a particular time and place.
- Software Application – Information about a software app, including its URL, review ratings, and price.
Bing offers the additional ability to add a photo of the item to your search results. Here’s an example of that.
How to Implement Rich Snippets
Rich snippets are the next new thing driving the success of e-commerce. Google and Bing both publish detailed information on how to implement semantic markup for rich snippets and offer support. However, your web developer is your best bet here. They can guide you through the process so you make the best use of the available options.
Already using rich snippets? What kind of results have you experienced? Please let us know.