[Rich snippets] What they are and how they can help you increase your CTR (and, in turn, improve your Google ranking)

Did you know that over 50% of users click on the first Google search result that shows up?
Being ranked second means your chances of being selected by the user plummet to 15%.
But what if there were a way to grab a user’s attention and increase your CTR without having a better ranking?
Here’s where rich snippets come into play. We’re talking about visual elements that pop up next to the search results that can help you boost the number of clicks to your site.
Want to know what they are and how you can implement them on your website?
Let’s get to it.

What are rich snippets?

Rich snippets are HTML code fragments that sort and categorize the information on your website.
They’re also known as “rich results”, and they allow Google to offer their users more complete search results.
For example, check out what happens when you Google “rice pudding”.
rich snippets
Here are some of the elements Google displays over the organic search results:

  • Rice pudding recipes: To the side, there’s a never-ending list of websites offering rice pudding recipes. If you dig deeper into the HTML code, you’ll see how many of these websites have a code snippet identifying them as “recipes”.
  • Nutritional facts: If knowing the how-to isn’t enough for you, Google also offers you another rich snippet in the form of an index card containing all the nutritional facts related to rice pudding.

Plus, if you have a closer look, you’ll see that some results include a star-based evaluation, which is a third type of rich snippet.
We’ll tackle the main types below, but let’s start by taking a look at their advantages. ?

✅ Advantages of rich snippets

There are plenty of advantages of getting Google to recognize rich snippets:

  • It improves your CTR: Results are more notable with rich snippets, so users are more likely to set their eyes on them even if they’re below the second or third position. Combine them with a good meta description and an appealing title to boost the number of clicks. 
  • They reduce the bounce rate: Enriched formats allow users to get an idea of the type of content they’re going to find on your website, which makes them more likely to stay once they’re on it. Here’s a post for you in case you don’t know what a bounce rate is. 
  • Your website is more reliable: If users can see the reviews your site has gotten from other readers when an article comes up in the search results, they’ll know that it’s high-quality content, so chances are they’ll click on it.

Now that you know why they’re so important, let’s see what rich snippets look like.

5 types of Google rich snippets that are useful for your e-commerce (+1 extra)

The list of rich snippets you can implement on your website is almost infinite, but that doesn’t mean you should use them all.
Here are the rich snippets you may find the most useful for Google.

✅ 1. Highlight your products

With this type of snippet, you can give more visibility to a specific category or product in your online store.
Among other data, you can include:

  • Price
  • A product image
  • Size (if it’s a clothes shop)
  • A link for users to buy it
  • And much more

The only thing is, if you have a relatively common product, you’ll probably have to compete against Google Shopping results.
In case you don’t know what those are, they show up in the list of paid results that usually appears at the top when you search for a specific product, like “trainers”, for example.
That said, this rich snippet really is worth implementing because it’ll most likely help you increase your CTR.
Besides, unlike Google Shopping, this is a free option.

✅ 2. Events

Do you own a physical shop where you sometimes host events?
As you already know, you can publish this information on your Google My Business card, but you can also display it as a rich snippet.
In doing so, users will be twice as likely to see it. 😉
This option allows you to add information like:

  • Date
  • Schedule
  • Address
  • Duration
  • Ticket price (if it’s a paid event)

Here’s an example of what it looks like:

✅ 3. Do you have a food e-commerce? Highlight your recipes

As you’ve seen, recipes are highly competitive results. 
That’s why if you have a food e-commerce and publish recipes to your blog, you should add the recipe-specific code snippet to all of them to get them to appear within the highlighted results.

✅ 4. Reviews of your business or products

We’ve already seen this type and it may be one the most important ones for your website.
This rich snippet can show you both your star-based score and the opinions of your users, which can be really useful on the product pages (this is known as social proof, and here’s an in-depth analysis).  
For example, imagine a potential customer is looking for a specific Moulinex blender model.
Among all the search results displayed, yours will appear with the corresponding product assessment and a review left by another buyer.
Don’t you think that would make a potential customer much more likely to click on your website? ?

✅ 5. Video

This is a pretty popular format, so I bet you’ve seen it more than once.
With this kind of rich snippet, videos displayed in the search results are accompanied by a screenshot.
Mind you, in order for your videos to be shown this way, you’ll need to publish them on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo. 
Check out this example:
what is rich snippet

✅ 6. Extra: The coveted “Rank 0”

This list comes to an end with one of the most recent types of rich snippets implemented by Google.
We’re talking about “Rank 0”, a type of rich snippet that takes a piece of information from a website and places it on top of the search results.
Here’s an example, in case you’re unfamiliar with the concept:
rich snippet
The best thing about this format is that it is always displayed before the search results.
So why have we added the “extra” label to this snippet? Because there’s a catch here. 😉 
Unlike the other rich snippets on the list, it takes more than just toying around with your website’s HTML code to get Google to show it.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic formula to make it work.
However, if you follow these guidelines when writing your content, you’ll stand a better chance of getting a better position in the results list:

  • Include question words: “What”, “when”, “how”, “why”, etc. Rank 0 is usually displayed when users introduce a query into the search engine.
  • Use prepositions: You should also add prepositions to make your sentences sound more natural, like “to”, “for”, “with”, “without”, etc.
  • Make comparisons: Terms like “versus” will also help the search engine take you into account.
  • Short texts: Paragraphs should be between 40 and 50 words long. As for lists, those including 4 to 8 terms tend to appear more often.

If you’re interested in this topic, Moz published a thorough study on the typical characteristics of this rich snippet by Google.

How to show rich snippets on WordPress

You may be thinking: “This is all quite cool, but how can I use it?” 
Don’t worry, we’ll tell you shortly.
You have two options when implementing these formats:

  1. Use a plugin.
  2. Insert the code straight into your website’s HTML.

In this section, we focus on how to show rich snippets on WordPress because it’s the system that makes it the easiest for you. However, both methods are applicable to any e-commerce platform.
Let’s go!

✅ 1. Rich snippets with plugins

The simplest way is to use the plugin called “All in One Schema Rich Snippets”, which sticks to the guidelines on schema.org.
This page contains all the code snippets necessary to implement rich snippets into any website.
What’s more, these guidelines are accepted by Google, Yahoo!/Bing, and most other alternative search engines, so you’d better listen to them. 😉
This plugin makes it easy for you – you just need to pick the kind of snippet you’d like to implement and fill out the relevant fields.
Remember, the more you fill out, the better chance you’ll have of seeing your rich snippet on Google.
Once you’re done with it, the plugin itself will incorporate the code into your website’s HTML.
PrestaShop, Magento, and the rest of e-commerce platforms feature specific modules with the same function as this WordPress plugin.

✅ 2. Rich snippets with web development

If you’re more of a DIY kind of person, this is the option for you.
There are different ways of implementing rich snippets within the code, but the one recommended by Google is JSON-LD: a script or code fragment that is placed inside the <head> or <body> tags of your website.
To configure it, you should follow the specific instructions on schema.org.
For example, imagine you want to add a recipe rich snippet.
In that case, you’d enter the word “recipe” on the Schema search engine (remember, always in English) and the website will show you different rich snippet options.
You just need to choose the option that best fits what you’re after, copy the code in the JSON tab, and replace the default data with those from your website.
This method can be used to implement rich snippets on WordPress or any e-commerce platform that allows you to make changes to your website’s code.
Here’s an example of how it works:
rich snippet wordpress
Once you’ve inserted the code, no matter which method you choose, you can use this Search Console tester to make sure it’s been implemented properly.

Ready to increase your website’s CTR with rich snippets?

As you’ve seen yourself, including rich snippets in your content strategy has nothing but advantages.
In this article, we’ve shown you the most basic ones, but the list is nearly endless.
Just one thing left to do – go get those rich snippets. 😉