Today we will be looking at how to make your results stand out in the Google search results (serps). An important note going forward, we look at schema code and how to add it into your website but Google often decides whether or not to act on the code so even if you add it in, Google may not show it.
What is Schema Mark-up / Rich Snippets?
Schema mark-up (also know as rich snippets) is a essentially code that helps search engines understand the information on your web pages e.g. Reviews, Recipes, Event listings, People. You read more about the schema community and their mission to deal with the internet's structured data here: http://schema.org/
There are lots of different schema objects and types but Google openly supports a hand full of them, to read more about how Google deals with schema (they call it rich snippets) visit their webpage: https://developers.google.com/structured-data/rich-snippets/
A deeper look into Google Rich Snippets
Google currently supports these rich snippets:
- Software application
- News article
The product rich snippet is a great choice if you have an ecommerce website. It allows you to show information directly in the search results.
- Reviews (stars and review count e.g. 10 reviews)
- Price e.g. £9.99
- Stock availability e.g. 'in stock'
- Product offers (You can have multiple offers per product)
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The recipe rich snippet is a great choice is you have a food based website. It allows you to show information about your recipes directly in the search results.
- Nutritional Information
- Prep Time
- Cook Time
- Total Time
The review rich snippet allows you to display a star rating (1 to 5) and the name of the reviewer OR an aggregate review where it says something like "Rating: 4.7 - 5030 votes".
- The item
- The review text
- Review Rating
- Aggregate Review
EventThe event rich snippet is great for websites that list events such as concerts and festivals.
- Event name
- URL to the event
- Event location
- Event start date
- Offer (if you want to offer a discount on tickets)
- The offer price
- The offer currency
The 'software application' schema is a great choice if you currently have a mobile app. This schema is currently restricted to selected partners - so you can add it in but it will not show up unless you are a Google partner or if they contact you (we are not 100% how this works).
- Name of the app
- Aggregate rating
- Operating System (Android, iOS etc)
- Application Category (Game, Business etc)
This is how it appears on a mobile device.
If you run a video sharing website or you have some videos on your website then this is the rich snippet for you!
- Video name / title
- Thumbnail URL
- Upload date
- Content URL (Link to the actual file e.g. .mp4 not the page)
- Embed URL (a special embed link, like YouTube uses)
- Expires (a date when the video expires, if it does)
If you run some sort of news website or website that has articles then stay tuned for the 'article' rich snippet.
- Article headline
- Main image (plus height and width dimensions)
- Main image URL
- Publisher name
- Publisher logo (plus height and width dimensions)
- Publish date
- Modified date (most recent modification date)
- Author name
- Description (short description about the article)
As well as rich snippets, Google also supports a few miscellaneous search styling options. This again, relies on code that needs to be added onto you website / web pages.
There are two types of search results, those without breadcrumbs and those with breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs are essentially a trail of pages to show you where you are located on the website and how you got there. An example would be "Books > Fiction > Aliens > Living Above". In the Google search results, breadcrumbs can often be found under the large blue title, they are in green and if you do not use the breadcrumb code on your website then you will see the webpage link / address.
Here are some examples;
You can see how much cleaner and more effective it is using breadcrumbs. Remember a user will quickly scan the search results and if they don't like what they see with your result then they will click on a competitors result - possibly loosing you business.
You might often search for your favourite brand or company to find that their search results has a search bar built in, here is an example;
This is another great way to make your result stand out and get more interaction with your potential customers / website visitors.
Better Branding (Name) in Site Search
This styling is generally more related to mobile search results and is currently restricted to the United States. It it certainly worth getting this code onto your website ready for when (if) support spans over to us as this will help with brand awareness.
Here are some examples;
(You can see the green text beneath the main blue title shows the whole website link).
(You can see the green text below the main blue title now shows the company name).
Mobile Friendly Badge
I have covered the mobile friendly
aspect in more detail in previous posts but essentially if Google sees your website as mobile friendly then when a user searches on their phone they will see a "Mobile Friendly" tag as part of your search result. Here is an example;
You may have noticed (especially when looking at blog / news related search results) that is often has a date stamp as part of the result. A benefit of using this code it to show users how new your content is, people love finding the latest information. Here are some examples;
On a mobile (also showing the "mobile friendly" tag that we discussed above):
On a desktop:
If you would like to sprinkle some schema code onto your website and spruce up your search results then give us a shout via email, on firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone us at 01476 576 839
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