In the highly competitive online environment, it is essential to use every tool at your disposal to your advantage. One such tool that is surprisingly underutilized is Google’s rich snippets feature. Rich snippets are additional pieces of information that appear alongside some results in the SERPs. They make your page stand out from the competition, which is a proven way to boost your CTR and increase your traffic from search engines.
Despite the obvious benefits, only 0.3% of websites make use of rich snippets. This figure is the average of all websites on the Internet, and it is likely to be significantly higher in more technical niches. However, it is still an area that many webmasters are failing to take advantage of. In this article, we will show you how to install rich snippets on your website using a WordPress plugin.
Google does not directly pull rich snippets extracts from your content. Instead, it needs users to insert microdata to help it understand the nature of your content. It can then convert this microdata into the information displayed in the rich snippets. Inserting this microdata manually can get quite technical, but using a plugin streamlines the whole process.
There are several free plugins available to help you install the rich snippets function on your website. Some plugins focus on one specific type of rich snippet, while others are all-in-one style plugins. We have picked out a few plugins to help you find the best one for your needs.
All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets
The All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets plugin is one of the best all-in-one rich snippet plugins available. It automatically inserts the schema microdata into each post, which Google can translate into rich snippets. It supports a wide range of rich snippet types, including authorship, events, people, personal review, product, recipe, software reviews & videos.
The plugin’s simplicity is its strong point. Underneath your text editor, you will find a metabox with a small drop-down menu with all the different snippet types the plugin supports. After you have selected the most suitable option, you will see a number of fields to fill in, depending on your first selection. For example, a recipe snippet will require an estimated cooking duration, while the authorship snippet will need the author’s name.
When you are done, hit publish as usual, and Google will be able to recognize the microdata and use it to populate the rich snippets next to your link in the SERPs. It is clean, quick, and easy!
Schema Creator by Raven
The Schema Creator plugin is very similar to the All in One plugin. Essentially, it adds schema microdata to your posts. However, it uses a slightly different process and supports a different range of rich snippet types, including book, event, movie, organization, person, product, recipe, review, etc.
The main difference is the addition of the book, movie, and organization snippets. If you run a local business website or one dedicated to movies or books, this plugin would be more suitable for your needs. To add the microdata, the plugin adds an extra button above the visual editor labeled Add Schema. This brings up a lightbox with a simple drop-down menu.
Selecting the snippet type you want will bring up some additional fields that you can fill in. There are many more fields included when compared with the All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets plugin, allowing you to attach far more detailed excerpts to each post. Although not all fields will appear in the rich snippets at once, it allows you to provide more detail to the search engines about your post.
When you are done filling in your information, hit Insert, and this will place a shortcode into the visual editor. Hit publish when you are ready, and this will add the schema microdata to your post.
Rich Contact Widget
If you are looking to drive more traffic to your business or personal website, the Rich Contact Widget plugin could be what you are looking for. This plugin is more of a specialist plugin, as it has far less versatility than our first two plugins. Rich Contact Widget only supports a very specific type of rich snippet: individual and local organizations. It also only offers a site-wide rich snippet, rather than one customized for each individual post.
The plugin allows you to create a contact widget that can be placed in your sidebar. This lets you include information such as your name, telephone number, address, and type of business. There are many to choose from, from animal shelter to nightclub, from casino to tattoo parlor. This creates a nice-looking contact box, which is a useful feature in itself.
However, the real benefit of this plugin is that the contact details you input are also converted into microdata for the search engines. This means your business’ contact detail will be included alongside your search listing as a rich snippet. This is very useful if you have a primarily local customer base.
If you are a blogger, Google has created a rich snippet specifically for you: the authorship snippet. The AuthorSure plugin makes it easy to claim your authorship snippet, whether you are a one-man show or running a multi-author blog. AuthorSure makes it easy to create an author box at the bottom of each post, complete with bio, profile, and social links. A drop-down menu allows you to easily select the author of an individual piece.
The best part: all author information is also inserted as microdata, telling the search engines who the author of the article is, which it then displays as a rich snippet in the SERPs. All you need to do is input your Google+ details on your WordPress user profile page, and you are good to go.
Yet Another Stars Rating (YASR)
The YASR plugin allows you to add star rating snippets to your rich snippets. All star ratings can be displayed on your website, but they are also indexed as microdata, allowing the search engines to understand them.
You can use this plugin in two different ways: to provide your own rating or to collate ratings from your user-base. If you review products or services regularly from your blog, this first option will be very useful. Not only does the YASR plugin allow you to insert a review box into your post, but it also communicates your rating to the search engines, which can be displayed in the SERPs alongside your name and the product/service you are reviewing.
The second option allows you to collect ratings from your users, which it then collates to give an average user rating. This too can be displayed in your post and also in your rich snippets. This is particularly handy for local businesses, who can ask users to review their service, which it can then display in the SERPs. The benefit is obvious: is a user more likely to click on a restaurant rated 5 stars by its diners or a restaurant with no rating at all? The former, of course. Beyond this, you can also use this plugin to let your users review a specific article or to cast their opinion on a product or service you have reviewed.
In conclusion, adding rich snippets to your search listing is a simple process with several useful plugins available. If you are looking for a quick and easy solution to increase your traffic figures, taking advantage of rich snippets is a good place to start.