Online business relationships begin with a click, and there is a mad scramble on the internet to gain maximum visibility through search engine optimization. Yet, the simple click might remain elusive unless you can build your SEO foundation in the right way so that driving more traffic and obtaining high ranks in search results is not a problem. The competition for that all-important click is too intense considering that Google handles 3.8 million searches per minute that translate into 63,000 search queries per second. It means that your website must figure among 5.5 billion searches every day which can sometimes be an overwhelming issue to address.
The experts at Keyword Fyrebird Philadelphia SEO
advice its clients that doing your best in optimizing title tag and meta description and targeting the right keywords are the best way to earn higher spots in search rankings though it is often not enough unless coupled with rich snippets. Google’s continuous endeavor to improve user experience has resulted in the introduction of rich snippets that now appear with many results listed in the SERP. And interestingly, not all results have snippets accompanying it. The ones that display rich snippets draw more attention and most likely receive higher preference for clicking over those results that do not have rich snippets.
How the SERP has evolved
There has been a massive transformation of Google's SERP that you must have noticed. The way of displaying search results that began in the simplest form by showing a title with a URL link and a very brief description is now a thing of the past. The search result pages that you see today contain more information about the web pages displayed in the result and include images too. This makes it easier for searchers to ascertain the relevance of the link to the search query with respect to the searcher's intent. Obviously, searchers would click on the more informative link over other links about whose relevance they are not so sure. The additional information provided with the search results are the snippets that Google creates programmatically.
What do the snippets contain?
A block of information might sometimes appear in some of the links listed in the search results which in SEO parlance are featured snippets or rich snippets. The information contained in the snippets is the summary of the content of the cited web page together with a link and sometimes an image. Interestingly, the image need not necessarily be from your website only but extracted from some other website too, while staying relevant to the content. The nature of the content on the web page as framed with the keyword help Google to gather information for creating snippets programmatically that can draw quick attention of viewers who are searching for the keyword or topic. When your website stands out from the crowd and shines brightly in the search results obviously, it will receive more clicks.
Paving the way for snippets
If you do not want the rich snippet
to feature along with the link, you can opt out from it, but there is no way that you can mark your page for snippets because it happens automatically by following a programmatic process by accessing content on the page. At best, you can make the page snippet friendly.
For featured snippets to appear in the search result, you must add structured data markup to your site HTML to provide more information to search engines about the content of the web page for better understanding of the content as well as the intent behind it. Neither there is any way to dictate the search engines to show snippets, nor there is any guarantee that the search engines will show it. However, you can learn the tricks of setting up web pages appropriately so that it becomes attractive for search engines and qualifies for showing snippets.
Finding a place in the snippet
There are many ways of setting up the website and web pages to make it appear in the snippets, and the most popular is the schema markup. With the goal of making the major search engines understand the web pages and to set up your website accordingly, you can access a vast inventory of shared vocabularies by logging on to the website schema.org. By visiting schema, you will find the words and code necessary for instructing search engines to highlight and feature the selected piece of information that you wish to be featured and highlighted in SERPs. For WordPress websites, it is easier to create, implement and even test the schema markup by using one of the plugins like WP Rich Snippets, All-in-one Schema.org and Schema App Structured Data.
Search engines love schema markup
During the early days of snippets, a study conducted in 2014 revealed that 36.6% Google search results included the schema markup and now that we see more snippets appearing in search results it becomes clear how effective schema markup is. Interestingly, the study also showed that sites that used schema markup ranked four places higher on an average than those that did not use it, thus showing the correlation between ranking and markup. Therefore, when you add schema markup to your website, you too can be part of the elite websites that enjoy special attention in search listings.
Since the markup gives a better understanding of web pages to search engines, it is natural that they would have a liking for it because it helps to provide more meaningful results. Using the markup is like throwing a spotlight on the website and web pages to bring it into the focus of search engines that are always looking for ways of providing more meaningful search results.
Snippets can definitely improve visibility and draw more attention but whether it impacts search rankings is still a matter of debate. Regardless of its impact on ranking, there must not be any doubt that it increases the chances of more people clicking on the link that reveals the relevance of the content of the web page very clearly. Even if it does not improve ranking, you gain from higher traffic flow that improves lead generation and conversions.