Have you noticed those “fancy-looking” results in Google? Those are rich snippets (also known as Schema Markup) and if you are wondering how to set them up, read this article. In this post, you will learn how to add rich snippets to WordPress in 2 minutes.
Here’s a table of contents, to give you a better idea of what you’ll find in this article:
- What are rich snippets?
- Importance of rich snippets
- Schema Markup and rich snippets
- Rich snippets for WordPress
- Manual implementation of rich snippets
- WordPress plug-ins for rich snippets
- Simple steps to set-up rich snippets
- Did this help you learn how to add rich snippets to WordPress?
What are rich snippets?
Rich snippets — or, similarly, Schema Markup — add additional details such as reviews, your business’s location and other information related to your industry that a searcher can use to better navigate through search results.
Rich snippets can be divided into several categories and here are the most popular:
- Breadcrumb navigation
- Review ratings
- Software applications
A few years back, the sole aim of SEO experts was to increase the SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) rankings of a website by trying to organically increase the CTR (Click-through-rates). This was because the attention span of people online was decreasing dramatically.
However, since search engines did not provide much information beyond a direct link to the website, the overall choices were restricted to the first three or four search results. In contrast, today, users are able to gauge the relevance and credibility of a website even before actually visiting it.
How was this made possible?
The answer is: through snippets, or more specifically, rich snippets. Literally speaking, a snippet is a small piece of something or a fragment. In internet terminology, it refers to a brief piece of information provided in search results just below the website URL. This piece of information contains critical details which the user will find valuable for answering their query. A snippet summarizes the basic content of the website and provides it to the user so that they can understand what the website is all about before actually visiting it.
Let’s consider the following example:
The snippets in these examples give us the description of the company — this is written just below the website’s URL — and we can see this without actually having to click on the URL. This gives us a sneak preview of what the website is all about. These extra bits of information, given in the form of star ratings, reviews, and images in the above illustration, add more to our knowledge about these websites.
These are rich snippets. If you are looking for the perfect meatloaf recipe, the number of reviews and star ratings will help you decide which website you should choose. If you are looking for a specific product or a brand, websites which have been optimized for rich snippets will show key information about product ratings, prices, customer reviews, etc.
Importance of rich snippets
To understand the importance of rich snippets and to appreciate the way they have altered the search patterns of online users, let us first try to understand how they are designed.
Rich snippets are HTML codes added in front of each element, in the form of an ID which signals to Google that this code snippet is a certain piece of information. What these structured data markups do is enhance Google’s (or other search engine’s) understanding of a website’s main content. When a website’s critical and relevant sets of details are highlighted, the search engines are better equipped to identify and convey this information to the user when then they request this information in a related query.
Rich snippets can be applied to any kind of search results – people, products, services, reviews, companies, events, recipes, businesses, software and even more. They are now very important for SEO and optimizing your search results.
Here are a few more examples:
Rich snippets are also eye-catching because they incorporate images. Since human beings have a strong response to faces, there are more and more personalized images of people being used as a part of rich snippets. People are more inclined to visit that particular website since they feel better able to connect with it due to such images. Similarly, the star-ratings and the number of reviews left by people provide a comprehensive picture about the quality of the product/service, or, as with our first example, recipes.
With so much information packed together in a small bundle, users now find it much easier to find search results that are relevant to their requirements.
Schema Markup and rich snippets
This added layer of information to enhance your site’s rankings and traffic can be provided with Schema or rich snippets. A Schema Markup is also a structured data markup that helps search engines understand the contextual meaning of your website’s content. This is used by the search engines to create rich snippets which can be understood by the users (in terms of ratings, reviews ,etc.). Simply put, the Schema Markup is utilized by the search engine bots to create rich snippets for human users.
The semantics of the Schema Markup can be understood through Schema.org.
Rich snippets for WordPress
WordPress websites that have been optimized for rich snippets have a competitive edge over the those that do not use this feature. Rich snippets can make your website stand out in a list of search engine results.
Added images, relevant ratings, and informative reviews enhance your WordPress website’s authority amongst users as an authentic, useful site. Hence, it is important to get some know-how for setting up rich snippets on WordPress websites.
There are two ways you can set up rich snippets for your WordPress website:
- Manual Implementation of rich snippets.
- WordPress plug-ins for rich snippets.
Manual implementation of rich snippets
The structured data markup format used to create rich snippets is available in three different formats, namely, MicroData, RDFa, and JSON-LD. The first two, MicroData and RFDa are HTML based, and JSON-LD is Java based.
If you are a beginner, the HTML- based RDFa is the best choice for you. The following images will help you understand how you can manually mark up important information from your website for use in creating rich snippets. This is how your WordPress about page normally looks.
This is how you can add HTML-based RDFa into the existing coding of the page, to highlight your key features.
See in the example after “item..” indicator:
WordPress plug-ins for rich snippets
If you are not very well-versed in HTML coding, you can always take advantage of WordPress rich snippets plug-ins. These plug-ins reduce the effort of adding structured data markup by a considerable amount. If you are using a plug-in, all you need to do is fill out the required fields of information.
The plug-ins will pair this information with your website and facilitate the automatic creation of rich snippets. There are various kinds of WordPress rich snippet plug-ins available, such as All in One Schema.org rich snippets, Rich Snippet WordPress Plug-in by CodeCanyon, WP Review Pro, WP Rich Snippets, and Rich Reviews.
Simple steps to set-up rich snippets
In this section, you can find descriptions of different WordPress plugins and follow the step-by-step guides to set-up rich snippets.
All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets
This is a freely available plug-in that can be included in your WordPress website.
It is a simple-yet-effective plug-in which serves the basic purpose of creating rich snippets. This plug-in is ideal for those who want to optimize only a few posts for rich snippets.
- In the Dashboard: Go to Plugins>> Add New>> Search for “All in One schema.org Rich Snippets”/ Upload plug-in zip file here.
- Through FTP: Upload the plug-in into <<wp-content/plugins>> Activate it through the “Plug-ins” menu.
- Once this is installed, everything else will be taken care by the plug-in.
- Write a new post. Go to Meta box.
- Select the “type of post”:
- Fill out the rest of the details:
- Publish the post.
- Once your post has been crawled, Google will start displaying your rich snippets.
This plug-in can be broadly used for content related to events, reviews, people, and products. The headers created by the rich snippet are impressive, with good, eye-catching designs and nice attention to detail. It is highly compatible with WordPress posts.
It has received an average of 4.7-star ratings from its users (out of 5 stars). The downside of using this plug-in is the limited choice of designs, most of which are very simple. It has only basic features, lacking the advanced features which are available with other plug-ins.
WP Rich Snippets
If you are looking for a diverse array of features for your website’s rich snippets, then WP Rich Snippets is the ultimate choice for you.
Just like All in One Schema.org rich snippets, this plug-in can be easily installed via your WordPress dashboard. It provides an extensive collection of add-ons with improved functionalities. The rich snippets can be easily translated into other languages, which makes this plug-in more universal in nature. A unique feature of this plug-in is the high levels of customization it offers. The extended list of features makes it a robust choice for almost all rich snippet types. The customizer add-on feature creates information-rich snippets which can enhance the brand value of the website.
The following steps explain how you can easily create rich snippets using this plug-in.
Once you’ve configured the plug-in settings, the Meta Box appears, allowing you to easily add information about the product’s price, ratings, etc.
Then you can select the type of Schema you want, according to the needs of your website.
After this step, you can select the type of review wanted and publish the post.
The major drawback of this plug-in is that each new add-on must be added manually in the WordPress Plug-in menu. Each of these has a different license key number, making the installation procedure cumbersome. It is also not a suitable choice for event rich snippets.
The basic version is priced at $69, and premium versions can cost as much as $399.
Note: Site’s security comes first and plugins might affect that. So read more about how to check how secure is your blog in this post.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console provides a Structured Data page that offers a complete picture of how the structured data (rich snippets) of your website are detected.
This also highlights errors and warnings, showing where the rich snippet might not be properly visible. Here are some sample data structure reports from Google Search Console.
The following are also sample data structure reports provided by Google Search Console.
The structured data report can be used to fix the markup errors. This can be done by following these basic steps:
- Check which type of structured data has the most number of errors. It would be a good idea to start from there.
- The specific errors could include either a missing field in the rich snippet or any missing best/worst ratings. A detailed analysis of rich snippet errors is provided in this report.
- You can analyze the nature of these error patterns and zero in on the reason behind these rich snippet errors, which could like in problems with your CMS.
- To check whether the improved versions of rich snippets are working correctly or not, you should then use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
This tool helps to test how well your website’s rich snippet tools are working. To use this testing tool, just enter the website’s URL and select “Run Test”. Then check the right side of the screen to see results showing how well your rich snippets are working. Green highlights mean that the snippet is performing well and the ones which are not working properly can be easily edited. The following image gives a clear illustration of this concept.
Did this help you learn how to add rich snippets to WordPress?
I hope this guide was helpful and that you will decide to follow these guidelines once you decide to create Schema.org markups.
Nowadays, it’s all about standing out.
Enabling rich snippets on your site is not a choice but a necessity.
And once you’ve learned how to add rich snippets to WordPress, it’s time to take it a step further and learn how to get your site featured using snippets.
This post was written by Meenakshi Venugopal. Meenakshi is a guest blogger and writes for sites like Entrepreneur, JPost, CPO Themes and more. She covers topics on technology, social media, and education. She is the co-founder of Hashtag17 and works closely with start-ups looking for professional expertise on SEO.