A few years ago, one could pen-up a few pages of relevant content, shoot a few links to it and he would already be highly appraised by the search engines, who would shoot him through the SERPs in a heartbeat.
Nowadays, the picture is a lot grimmer and there are many a reason for that.
First of all, you have to consider the amount of people that are trying to build a website and maintain a living online, as it is often advertised as an easy way out, an undemanding endeavor that will make you quit your job and pursue your dreams!
Don’t be mistaken, as those that are bickering about it from the top of their necks are usually those that sell you services related to building or maintaining a website.
It is very hard to rank for even low-to-medium competition keywords and it takes a lot of time, effort and continual indulgence to see any results.
That is why the battle for the top of the SERPs is being fought on many fronts;
From the biggest, that entail hundreds of quality links from sites such as Wikipedia, to the smallest, where just a simple star could mean the difference between a converted costumer or someone that will completely ignore your website.
The latter is tiny part of a group of actions that we collectively like to call on-page SEO, meaning that these undertakings aspire to provide the user and the search engine with the most optimal experience.
Let’s get to the bottom of the barrel and explore the elegant world of Rich Snippets and their quintessential role in acquiring users.
To start off, defining them is best done by comparing a search result with them and one without them.
A usual search result will provide the user with your URL, the title you have chosen for your site and a short description of what it is that someone can do or learn on your site.
The upgraded version, with the inclusion of Rich Snippets, adds a myriad of other, small and intrinsically important ‘snippets’ of information that further narrow down your sites purpose.
Case in point, you would see ratings for a service that was searched for and whether or not the device you are using is compatible with the products offered on the site.
Additionally, it can also alert the potential customer of the price of the service, as well as the number of users that have already tried the product.
We can already intrinsically spot how such included information would add to the relevancy a user feels towards your site.
Coincidentally, as relevancy is one of the most important features Google’s search engine looks for when displaying results to the other side, it would mean that your site would stand out in the eyes of others.
That is why so many webmasters focus on Rich Snippets and now, we’ll learn how to actually implement them on your site!
As a note of caution, although you can take the easy way out and install a simple plugin that will do it for you, it is ill-advised to follow such footsteps.
The biggest reason behind that is of course the fact that a plugin can never fully comprehend your site as well as you and when we take into consideration that every website is differently built and maintained, a plugin will never do the job in an immaculate way.
Before adding a Rich Snippet, you also have to understand that you won’t be able to use them for keyword stuffing or any other Black Hat technique, as Google bots take note of that and simply refuse to show your snippet in the SERPs.
Quite coincidentally, only tiny pieces of RELEVANT information are permitted, so make sure not to overdo it!
These are the four biggest elements of any Rich Snippet:
- Naming Your Website
- Specifying An Item
- Identifying The Item
- Important Details Of The Item
To illustrate the point even further, let’s take the experience on a whole different level; Coding a Rich Snippet directly on to your site!
We start with your website
<body itemscope itemtype="http://yourwebsite.com/YourProduct">
After that, you would want to specify and identify the item that will be displayed in the SERPs
<div itemprop="YourItem"> <a href="category/Your Niche.html">Broader Niche</a> > <a href="category/ Your Niche -Relevant Info.html"> Relevant Info </a> > <a href="category/ Your Niche - Relevant Info "> Relevant Info </a></div><div itemscope itemtype=" http://yourwebsite.com/YourProduct">
Let’s add some reviews to make our product even more relevant!
<div itemprop="aggregateRating" itemscope itemtype="http://yourwebsite.com">/AggregateRating"> <span itemprop="ratingValue">x</span> stars - <span itemprop="reviewCount">xxxx</span> reviews</div>
Lastly, you would want to show your users whether or not the item is free or if they will have to open their wallets to gain access to it!
Price: <span itemprop="price">Enter Price Here</span><meta itemprop="priceCurrency" content="Enter Currency Here" />
And that is that! Now, your website and its content have a much higher chance to enjoy the spotlight, all while providing the end user with the most optimal experience out of all the search results!
To conclude, this was but a small ‘snippet’ of the array of beautiful things you can do with Rich Snippets and I hope that this introduction will urge you to acquaint yourself with the entire pallet of colors that Google provides us with!