Maybe you’ve heard about the concept of rich snippets. SEO experts seem to think everyone knows exactly what they are. But, for SEO newbies, a rich snippet is a really vague term. What is it exactly? Time to explain what they are, why they’re important for SEO and how you can get them for your site.
Update: Since the 11.0 release, Yoast SEO builds a full structured data graph for every post or page on your site! A graph is a complete piece of structured data with well-defined connections to all the different parts. Search engines now not only know what all the parts mean but also how they fit together. Want to know what it does for your website? Read all about structured data in Yoast SEO!
What is a rich snippet?
A snippet is a result Google shows to the user in the search results. An example: I was searching for a good recipe for homemade ice cream and googled it. Google showed me a results list with normal snippets and rich snippets — or rich results as they are now called. A normal snippet usually looks like this:
A rich result or snippet shows extra information between the URL and the description. It looks like this:
In this snippet, a picture of the ice cream is added, you can see the rating of the recipe, the time it takes to prepare this type of ice cream and the number of calories it contains. As you can see, it contains much more information than the normal snippet does. That’s why we call it a rich snippet.
Why are they important for SEO?
Rich results or snippets stand out from the other snippets. They look much nicer and you’ll instantly know more, just by looking at them. You’ll know whether other people liked the homemade ice cream and how long it’ll take you to make it. Rich snippets are snippets that have a higher click-through rate. People just prefer to click on the results that give them more information.
If the click-through rate of a snippet increases, you’ll get more traffic from that search result. Not because your position in the search engine changed, but just because more people click on your result. In the long run, rich snippets will affect your ranking as well. As more people click on your result, Google will notice that people prefer your page above other ones. That’ll definitely improve your rankings in the long run!
How do you get rich snippets?
Google can show rich results or snippets if you add structured data to your site. Structured data is a piece of code in a specific format, written in such a way that search engines understand it. Search engines read the code and use it to create rich results.
Read more: What is structured data »
Adding structured data to your website can be quite daunting. But we’re here to help! Yoast offers an online training to teach you how to implement structured data so Google can show rich results. We’ll show you different strategies (from beginner to more advanced levels), so that everyone will be able to get started with structured data and get those rich results!
Keep reading: Structured data with Schema.org: the ultimate guide »