Search engine marketing (SEM) has evolved considerably over the past 15 years. As it continues to evolve so do the organic search results that Google, Bing and other search engines display to us. The use of structured data is being integrated in a number of ways to provide people with more information to help them in their search process and make it more efficient. A lot of this data is being displayed by using “Rich Snippets”. These Rich Snippets are indicators to search engine spiders that there is structured data on your website and allows them to display that data on their search engine results pages (SERPs).
What is Structured Data?
Structured data is data that is sorted in tables in your database. Examples of structured data on your website may include: prices, author, reviews, ratings, stock status, events, business type and much more. Here are a couple examples of structured data:
Search Result for Apple Crisp Recipe in Bing
Search Result for Duck Dynasty Bobblehead in Google
What is a Rich Snippet?
Rich Snippets refer to the practice of highlighting detailed information (structured data) on a web page that is intended to help people find the information they are searching for.
How can I get started with Rich Snippets?
There are many ways to get started with Rich Snippets and the method that you use will depend on the type of website you have and the content on it. Generally you want to identify and tag fields that will help users understand the content on that web page.
Here are a couple tools to help get you started with Rich Snippets:
- Data Highlighter – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2692911?hl=en
- Rich Snippet Tester – http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
Note: Google recently announced that they will be reducing the number of Rich Snippet enabled results by 15%. This means only authoritative websites will have Rich Snippets enabled. Rich Snippets aren’t guaranteed, but if you publish quality content that is relevant to search queries then Google will more than likely display them.
In summary, Rich Snippets help your web content stand out from the rest on the SERPs. This small addition to your SEO strategy can bring you rich results by improving the search experience and helping people find you.
We will dive deeper into how you can use Rich Snippets for blogs and eCommerce in the near future.
Need help setting up Structured Data on your site? We can help, contact our Client Success Team for more info.