Hat Trick Blog

Spruce up your search with schema!

added on Thursday 12th May 2016 at 11:23am


Tagged: Advice, Google, Help, SEO, Websites



Spruce up your search with schema!
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:
  • Product
  • Recipe
  • Review
  • Event
  • Software application
  • Video
  • News article

Product

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.

Objects Available:

  • 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)

Example:

Google Search Results Product Rich Snippet Example

Read More:






Recipe

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.

Objects Available:

  • Name
  • Image
  • Review
  • Nutritional Information
  • Prep Time
  • Cook Time
  • Total Time
  • Ingredients
  • Author

Example:

Google Search Rich Snippets Results Recipe Example


Review

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".

Objects Available:

  • The item
  • The review text
  • Author
  • Review Rating
  • Aggregate Review

Example:

Google Search Results Rich Snippet Review Example

Read More:


Event

The event rich snippet is great for websites that list events such as concerts and festivals.

Objects Available:

  • 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

Example:

Google Search Result Event Rich Snippet Example

Read More:


Software Application

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).

Objects Available:

  • Name of the app
  • Aggregate rating
  • Offer
  • Operating System (Android, iOS etc)
  • Application Category (Game, Business etc)

Example:

This is how it appears on a mobile device.

Google Search Result Software Application Rich Snippet Example

Videos

If you run a video sharing website or you have some videos on your website then this is the rich snippet for you!

Objects Available:

  • Video name / title
  • Description
  • Thumbnail URL
  • Upload date
  • Duration
  • 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)

Example:

Google Search Result Rich Snippets Video Example

Read More:



Articles

If you run some sort of news website or website that has articles then stay tuned for the 'article' rich snippet.

Objects Available:

  • Article headline
  • Main image (plus height and width dimensions)
  • Main image URL
  • Publisher
  • Publisher name
  • Publisher logo (plus height and width dimensions)
  • Publish date
  • Modified date (most recent modification date)
  • Author
  • Author name
  • Description (short description about the article)

Example:

Google Search Results Article Rich Snippet Example

Read More:


Other Goodies

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.

Breadcrumbs

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;

Without:

Google Search Results No Breadcrumbs

With:

Google Search Result Breadcrumbs Example

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.

Search Box

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;

Google Search Results Sitelinks Search Box 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;

Without:

(You can see the green text beneath the main blue title shows the whole website link).

Google Mobile Search Results without Site Search Enabled

With:

(You can see the green text below the main blue title now shows the company name).

Google mobile search with site search enabled

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;

Google search result showing the

Date Stamps

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):

Google mobile search showing date tag in results

On a desktop:

Google desktop search showing the date tag in the results



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 thrive@hattrickmedia.co.uk or phone us at 01476 576 839. Enjoying these blog posts? Let us know by sharing it on social media!