Google Updates

Rich Snippets: Boost your SEO with structured data

May 20, 2015 - 5  min reading time - by Emma Labrador
Home > SEO Thoughts > Rich Snippets: Boost your SEO with structured data

Websites and especially ecommerce websites have to distinguish themselves if they want to increase their click rate in the search engine results. In fact, between paid ads, image results and other stimulated elements attracting visitors, rich snippets add an extra value and can be the triggering factor.

What are rich snippets?

Snippet is the text that describes every search result. It displays the meta description tag that gives more relevance to your query with the matching words you asked in bold.

Rich snippets are structured data markups that webmasters can add to their existing HTML.
It offers additional information in search engine results as ratings, pricing, availability, informations about the author and even more. It gives additional relevance to visitors and enhances the value of a page.
Rich snippets have not been launched in order to favorise a website over another but to help users to make the right decision when looking for something.

Here is an example for a cookie recipe query:


Ecommerce websites should take advantage of that option to display their offers and prices. In fact, a code can be inserted into the pages to show up these rich snippets. Rich snippets can definitely make you win the battle of click against your competitors in the search engines results. And moreover, it can easily reduce your bounce rate since your visitors will have a better idea of what they are going to find on your website.

What are the main types of rich snippets?

There are 8 types of rich snippets for the following types of content :

  • People: it gives informations about the name, title, role, professional affiliations or contact details
  • Reviews: it shows individual and aggregate reviews
  • Products: this structured markup is the most important especially for ecommerce. It provides informations about the name, the image, the brand, the description, the price, the currency, the seller, the quantity and conditions. Online stores which offer the same product from differents sellers can use lowprice and highprice to offer a price range.
  • Recipes: it offers informations about the dish, reviews, preparation and cooking time and even nutritional details
  • Business and organisations: it provides details about the business name, its address, its telephone number, its geolocation and the brand image
  • Music: Google displays data markup related to songs and albums and shows links to buy a song or to listen to a preview
  • Events: rich snippets can only show informations about upcoming event and not past ones. It includes date, duration, tickets details and location
  • Videos: this works with embedded videos on your website and can highlight duration, name creator, license, production

How to use rich snippets?

You do not need to add rich snippets to every single content since you should only mark up visible content. There are three different formats :

  • Microdata: this is the one Google recommends
  • Microformats
  • and RDFa.

Microdata uses basic attributes in HTML tags such as span or div to assign short and descriptive names to items and properties.

And there are three primary elements to insert in the HTML:

  • itemscope: which tells what is the <dev> block about in the HTML
  • itemype: indicates what kind of item the markup is
  • itemprop: specifies the properties like name, reviews, location, etc

Google Webmaster Tool gave a short example of how it works by showing basic contact information for the request “Bob Smith”:

My name is Bob Smith but people call me Smithy.
Here is my home page: 
<a href=””></a>
I live in Albuquerque, NM and work as an engineer at ACME Corp.

Here is the same HTML marked up with microdata:

<div itemscope itemtype=””>
My name is <span itemprop=”name”>Bob Smith</span> but people call me <span itemprop=”nickname”>Smithy</span>.
Here is my home page: <a href=”” itemprop=”url”></a>
I live in Albuquerque, NM and work as an <spanitemprop=”title”>engineer</span> at <span itemprop=”affiliation”>ACME Corp</span>.</div>

Books, movies, recipes and music are regarded as creative works, so an example of markup HTML for a book listing could look something like this:

<body itemscope itemtype=””>

<div itemprop=”breadcrumb”>
<a href=”category/books.html”>Books</a> >
<a href=”category/books-literature.html”>Literature & Science Fiction</a> >
<a href=”category/books-classics”>Classics</a>

<div itemscope itemtype=””>
<img itemprop=”image” src=”science-fiction-cover-book.jpg” />
<span itemprop=”name”>Dune</span> –
<link itemprop=”bookFormat” href=””>Pocket Book
by <a itemprop=”author” href=”/author/f_herber.html”>Franck Herber</a>

<div itemprop=”aggregateRating” itemscope itemtype=””>
<span itemprop=”ratingValue”>4</span> stars –
<span itemprop=”reviewCount”>2156</span> reviews

<div itemprop=”offers” itemscope itemtype=””>
Price: <span itemprop=”price”>$12.99</span>
<meta itemprop=”priceCurrency” content=”USD” />
<link itemprop=”availability” href=””>In Stock

This can be long to do. Luckily there are WordPress plugins existing like All in One Rich Snippets that can simplify that task.

However, rich snippets can take some time to be fully integrated in the search engine results, you will have to be patient. This video will explain you very clearly how to deal with common issues that can occur.

What impact on your SEO ?

Rich snippets do not directly impact your SEO but they add an extra value to an organic list in the search engines results. It provides very useful additional informations that can really increase your click rate and so on your website traffic and lower your bounce rate. Rich snippets have a positive impact on your traffic but it is not taken as a ranking factor.

Emma Labrador See all their articles
Emma was the Head of Communication & Marketing at Oncrawl for over seven years. She contributed articles about SEO and search engine updates.
Related subjects: