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Google has been using rich snippets in its search results since 2009. This feature lets browsers rate a website’s relevance and acts as an important marketing lever for both online and offline players in terms of visibility and online reputation.

WHAT IS A RICH SNIPPET?

Rich snippets are micro-data (semantic tags) that are embedded in a website’s HTML code. These structured data provide search engines with additional information.

When users read a link’s meta description on a search results page, they can quickly identify information such as names, places, products, etc. This information allows them to assess the link.

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SEO results from the website of the Tottenham Court Rd Sainsbury’s store

Take the following example from a user who searched for “supermarkets London.” The many search results shown will include Waitrose, Tesco Express, New Loon Moon, and The People’s Supermarket. This is where rich snippets come into play because they open up the platform for companies to stand out from each other in the search results.

For example, one of the most popular rich snippets displays an average rating based on customer reviews. However, structured data can contain other information, including city, function, logo, product photos, location, telephone number, etc.


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RICH SNIPPETS BOOST YOUR SEO STRATEGY

The key to optimising your position in a search engine’s organic results is to always keep in mind Google’s main goal. The massive American company aims to provide its users with the best possible search experience. Google's ultimate purpose is to find the best and most relevant search results for a browser’s question. Rich snippets are a clear example of the search engine’s goal.

Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer. How can you be sure the result you click on is really the one you’re looking for? If you are disappointed with the link you select, you will type in a new search until you find what you are looking for. The information rich snippets provide about your brand will keep Internet users better informed, prevent them from wasting their time, and make search results even more relevant.

As well as boosting your sites ranking in search engines, rich snippets have higher click rates than results without structured data. And seeing as you’re giving users the information they're looking for, this encourages them to go further. Depending on the type of rich snippets used, you can also display your products' price points, availability, and reviews from current customers.

If we take another look at the example mentioned earlier, rich snippets are also a way to show your online reputation. With a score of 4.5 out of 5 (based on almost 400 reviews), visitors are confident in the link displayed and, by extension, the brand. It’s also very important in terms of user searches as they’re often looking for practical information like opening hours, addresses, and phone numbers. For stores with high traffic websites, integrating rich snippets and displaying customer scores is a great opportunity.


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HOW DO YOU INCORPORATE RICH SNIPPETS?

The goal here isn't to explain the very technical aspects of using rich snippets, but to simply provide you with the vital information. There are several formats that can be used to add rich snippets, but Google has been using just one since 2011—micro-data from schema.org. Everything you need to know is on this website. Just select the information you want and follow the instructions to add it to your webpages. Still, it's a good idea to have your web developers take care of that last step.

Whether you’re involved in e-commerce or a brand with brick and mortar stores, rich snippets are a key part of your SEO strategy. They increase your brand’s visibility in search engine results. This valuable exposure generates more targeted traffic, thereby boosting your conversion rate. When developing your online reputation, rich snippets also let you display customers’ trust in your brand.

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