The Importance of Structured Data and Rich Snippets

By September 21, 2012 Blog No Comments

rich snippets

While most SEO policies revolve around getting a website and its pages to rank as high as possible on the search engine results pages (SERPs), you may have ignored an important aspect of optimisation—rich snippets.

Snippets are essentially text data that can range from a sentence or two located beneath the search result, to something as complex as annotated listings. Snippets add significant value to a search result by giving users a general idea of the type of content found on the webpage while on the search engine results page itself.

As with any other form of marketing, succeeding with SEO often means having to make use of new and advanced measures to be ahead of the competition. The most effective online campaigns are those that take advantage of virtually every feature available in the craft and not surprisingly, this includes using of structured to create rich snippets.

Structured Data in a Nutshell

Search engines are basically waiting to be informed of your desired sections for specific on-page content. To create snippets for your web pages, you’ll have to make use of structured data, which allows you to create listings that feature annotations on information ranging from product categories, reviews to contact information. To do this, structured data has to be integrated into a website’s design, serving as a set of instructions for search engines to take note of when displaying a link to your page on the SERPs.

Rich snippets make your site’s appearance on the SERPs more attractive and compelling, providing a neat preview to users, telling them whether your site is relevant without actually clicking on the link.

How to Do It

Fortunately, Google has made it easy for you to create rich snippets. All that’s required is a rudimentary knowledge of HTML to create markups for Google to recognise specific data and use them as rich snippet information.

Rich snippets can involve anything from product categories, events, customer reviews, organisations, and even recipes and music. To find out if your structured data is coded correctly, simply test it using Google’s rich snippets testing tool, which will automatically analyse your markups.

RDFa Rich Snippets Appreciated by Users

Besides generating high-quality listings on search engines, the value added by structured data to web design has been found to appeal more to search engine users, with more searchers likely to click on results with useful and clear annotations than those without. Moreover, rich snippets give off a feel of credibility desired by users.

Ask yourself this, between a website that offers annotated reviews on their search listing and one that does not, which are you more likely to click?

As mentioned earlier, the key to taking advantage of Google’s rich snippets feature is to make it easy for the search engine to understand the content on your web pages. Although relatively new, RDFa rich snippets have become a more common standard amongst programmers, who understand the potential they bring to making search results stand out to users.

This is where we at Enform can come in, doing the job for you and giving your target audience a better user experience when searching for your site. We take away the hassle of learning this relatively advanced aspect of online marketing, and provide you with instant results.