When learning about the complex world of search engine optimization (SEO), you may have heard of rich snippets, but the term on its own may seem vague.

Here, we will break down what rich snippets are, why they matter to SEO, and how to get them for your site.

What is a rich snippet?

When you run a Google search, the snippet is what you see in your search results. Here is an example of a snippet and a rich snippet when searching for a peach pie recipe.

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On the top, you see the regular snippet, with the title in blue, the website link above it, and a description of the site below it.

The bottom result is a rich snippet. In addition to the information given in the standard snippet, the rich snippet shows you a picture of the pie and how many stars the recipe is rated for. This is why it is called a rich snippet; it has much more information than the standard snippet does.

Rich Snippets and SEO

A rich snippet stands out so much more than a regular snippet because they look nicer, have images to draw the eye, and provide more information at a glance. In the case of the peach pie, you see how many people liked the recipe, and in some cases, you can see how long the recipe takes to make.  

It is because of this that results with rich snippets usually have a higher click-through rate.

Even if your position in the search results does not go up, if you have a rich snippet, you may still see an increase in your click-through rate and the traffic to your site. Over time, this alone can increase your ranking in search results.

How can I get rich snippets?

In order to get rich snippets displayed in Google search results, you need to add structured data to your website. Structured data is a type of code that is designed to make search engines understand it. Google will then read that structured data code and create rich snippets from it. If you are in Washington, one of the top marketing firms in Seattle can help you set up your structured data to help you get rich snippets.

What is structured data?

As we said above, it is a specific formatting for code that is written to make a search engine understand it. This code can be put on your website pretty easily.

In the case of the peach pie example, with structured data, you can include all of your ingredients for the pie, the cook time, and the calorie count in your structured data, so someone can get everything they need from the snippet before clicking the link to read the rest of the recipe. This is why we call it a “rich” snippet; it enriches the content displayed.

Of course, there is more you can use structured data for than just recipes. You can use it for products in an online shop, books, movies, reviews, and more. Like most code, structured data is versatile, and you can make it work for your specific site.

It is important to note here that even if you put structured data on your site, it does not guarantee that Google will pick it up and generate the rich snippet for your website. However, working with one of the top marketing firms in Seattle can help you get further up in the search ranks, which may help Google turn your structured data into a rich snippet.

What kind of content can be used?

You can use several types of content for rich snippets, including:

Products: This is one of the most common uses of rich snippets. You can usually see the merchants and offers for those products, along with images, the brand, prices, and more.

People: When you search for certain people, you may see rich snippets for well-known people or the employees of well-known organizations. This can include their photos, job titles, contact details, and more.

Businesses and Organizations: The business name, logo, location, website, and contact information are usually available in a rich snippet.

Reviews: Reviews for different products and websites can show up in rich snippets now.

Recipes: As we covered with our peach pie recipe before, recipes often have rich snippets now.

Events: If there are large events happening, like concerts or festivals, you can use rich snippets for these. Usually, these will include things like the ticket prices, start and end dates and times, and other important details.

Videos: Embedded videos on a website can show up in rich content, showing the basic information about the video and the site it is on.

Music: Google has structured content available for songs and albums. They can show the album cover, previews of the songs, and links to purchase or listen to them.

Help with structured data

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex founded Schema.org in 2015 as a way to share all of the structured data that search engines support. You can search through the existing code on this site to find what you need for your site. Once you copy the code from Schema.org, you will need to adapt it to fit your site.

The organization is regularly discussing ways to change the schema, which is decided by some of the representatives of the founding companies and W3C, as well as some people who have made a number of contributions to Schema.org over the years.

If you are not the savviest when it comes to coding a website, you can get help from one of the top marketing firms in Seattle, where experts can go through your site, find the code you need on Schema.org, and apply it to your site. They can also help boost your ranking in search engines by optimizing your site in other ways. With both of these combined, you can have an optimized site with rich snippets in no time!