Searching for content has become a whole lot easier with rich snippets. Most search engine results show listings that utilize a rich snippet, or put simply, more than just the site link. Major manufacturers use rich snippets to show images, pricing, reviews and more. Bloggers are including head shots and bios, recipe sites add ratings and images, movie theaters will give you titles and show times, all on the search results page. Let’s answer a few questions you may have about rich snippets to help you get started using this tool.
Why give all that information away before someone has even clicked on your site?
For starters, you will be much more visible than the simple blue line listing above or below you. Attracting more traffic means your search engine rankings will go up and draw even more visitors. The visitors you do attract will also be better quality. Giving people a chance to see what the content of your site contains before clicking makes your page viewers more targeted, as they already have an idea of what your site is, and they want more.
The snippets also help your search engine results because you are providing more content, structured in a way that search engines are able to read and qualify easily. There is a process of marking up your web pages in order for rich snippets to work that’s well worth the effort. The more your site is understood, the better search engine ranking you will have, particularly on the local level.
This sounds complicated. How do I do this without hiring somebody?
You no longer need a web developer to take advantage of this dynamic and profitable opportunity. The popularity of rich snippets has spawned a new generation of tools developed just for this purpose; several great plug-ins are available that offer great functionality and easy installation. Two to look at are Schema for WordPress and SEO Ultimate.
If you are not using one of the many WordPress plugin tools, you may want to hire a programmer, unless you have a pretty good knowledge of HTML. If you do have the HTML experience, the first step to take is determine which format of microdata you will use to mark up. The three types are microdata, microformats, and RDFa.
Next you will mark up your content in one of the rich snippet areas: reviews, people, products, businesses and organizations, events, music, video, and author data. Finally, you will use Google’s rich snippets testing tool to make sure Google can read your data.
Adding rich snippet functionality will require some learning and a lot of patience, but it has become an excellent way to grab attention and attract visitors to your site. Keep in mind that it may take up to several months to see your rich snippets appearing in searches. But once it does, you will more than likely be very pleased at the results.