Rich Snippets & Structured Data Markup
What is Microdata?
In my last blog on optimising for voice search, I mentioned utilising microdata – but what exactly is microdata? Microdata is a type of structured data mark-up which can be used to add additional information to your organic listings. These little extra bits of information at the bottom of your results are known as ‘Rich Snippets’.
Types of rich snippet & Schema
One of the great things about rich snippets is that there is a wide selection of different microdata available which can be used. Below are some examples of the different types of schema:
Product & Availability
Rich snippets don’t actually have a direct impact on your SEO performance, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful. One of the main benefits from rich snippets is that they gain the users attention. In many cases, they simply allow your listing to stand out from the crowd, with the use of photos, videos, ratings and even by just taking up more room in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This all ends up making your listing more clickable and as a result will help increase your CTR.
Having a higher CTR, with good engagement metrics once the user lands on your page can positively impact the performance of the website, as it signals to search engines the relevance of your website to a specific search query.
By being able to display more data in your listing, you’re able to provide the user with much more useful information. This means that when they click your listing they have a better idea of what they’re going to get from it. When they then land on your page they are less likely to ‘bounce’ and leave your page as they already know what kind of content they’re going to get.
Not only do rich snippets help the user understand the type of content on the page, but search engines too are able to better identify of the content and theme of the page. This only furthers the crawl spider’s knowledge of your page and will help them identify your relevancy for when users next make a search. You may even notice that Google begins to pull all of this information from structured data into their Knowledge Graph on the right hand side of the SERPs.
It’s also worth noting, Google have hinted that in the future rich snippets may become a factor in their ranking algorithm, so structured data markup is definitely something to consider.
So how do I go about introducing rich snippets on my site? Well the good news is it’s really simple. Just go to schema.org and view the range of different types of mark-up available, copy the code and paste it into your website’s header – that’s it!
Google also offer several free tools (Structured Data Testing Tool & Structured Data Markup Helper) to help you create, test and manage your use of structured data if you’re not too familiar with rich snippets.
If you’re thinking of implementing rich snippets and structured data markup on your site and have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
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