Increase Organic Traffic & CTR with Google Rich Snippets

Ever heard of “Semantic Markup”, the “Semantec Web” or “Semantic SEO”? What about, “Microformats” or even “GoodRelations”? Well if you have, you’ll know these have changed how we write up our HTML code forever. Well, I recommend you pay more attention to it because it most certainly has. Read this blog post to understand the benefits and how to implement this on your site so you too can increase your organic CTR & conversion rate.

What are Google Rich Snippets?

Google Rich Snippets are additional bits of data that Google uses to enhance the appearance of your organic listings in Google. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve recently searched for a restaurant review or recipe in Google and you noticed a stars rating or reviewing the restaurant or recipe. Letting Google know you have this additional data you’d like to promote is the first step. So, to start, you first have to provide this data by using microformats or RDFa to mark up your web page content where you must follow a specific format: Microdata, Microformats, RDFa and GoodRelations.

How Did Google Rich Snippets Increase my Organic Traffic?

What if I told you that Google Rich Snippets increased my organic traffic by 40%?

What if I told you that my restaurant review pages rank higher than Yelp.ca? Would you need proof? Here it is baby!

Read my post about Google Rich Snippets and Microformats to learn more

How Do I Add Google Rich Snippets to Content?

Learning Resources:

Can Google Rich Snippets Increase my Organic CTR & Conversion Rate?

If you’ve attended any Search Engine Strategies conference and sat in on a Landing Page Optimization session, you’ll know one of the best ways to increase a buyer’s confidence is by using badges wherever possible. They can be in the form of a starburst, but one of the best ways is by adding star rating icons. Although Google is subjective to whom it lists with stars in its index, having them there definitely represents your organic listing much better and with this new authority your links ever had!

Use Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool

How Do I Get my Google Rich Snippets to Show Up?

Here’s a snippet from Knol.Google.com FAQ about Google Rich Snippets

First, make sure you are marking up your pages in a way that Google understands. Use the Rich Snippets Testing Tool to see if Google’s parsers can extract the data that you have marked up. Once you have marked up content on the relevant pages across your site and confirmed that the marked up content can be extracted successfully by Google, sign up on the “Interested in Rich Snippets” form. Rich snippets from new sites will be enabled automatically from this list over time.

Google does not guarantee that Rich Snippets will show up for search results from a particular site even if structured data is marked up and can be extracted successfully according to the testing tool. Here are some reasons that marked-up pages might not be shown with Rich Snippets:

The marked-up structured data is not representative of the main content of the page.
Marked-up data is incorrect or misleading.
Marked up content is hidden from the user (see the section above: “Hidden div’s — don’t do it!”)
The site has very few pages (or very few pages with marked-up structured data) and may not be picked up by Google’s Rich Snippets system.

References:

  • http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
  • http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=21997
  • http://knol.google.com/k/google-rich-snippets-tips-and-tricks#Frequently_Asked_Questions

4 thoughts on “Increase Organic Traffic & CTR with Google Rich Snippets”

  1. Hi King,
    Thanks for this nice post and evidence!

    The easiest way to get Rich Snippets for a standard shop software is, by the way, to simply add one of our free extension modules, which are available for
    * Magento
    * Prestashop
    * Joomla/Virtuemart
    * WordPress/WP Ecommerce or
    * OXID eShop

    from

    http://wiki.goodrelations-vocabulary.org/Shop_extensions

    For a non-standard PHP shop, the best way it to look at the additional markup generated by this tool

    http://www.ebusiness-unibw.org/tools/grsnippetgen/

    replace the values by the names of the respective values in your template engine syntax and insert the

    - product markup in your product item page template and
    - the company markup into your main page template.

    I am also working on a free developers toolkit, which will be available at

    http://code.google.com/p/goodrelations-developers-toolkit/

    If you have any questions, the best channel is to post to the GoodRelations mailing list (note that only subscribers can post):

    http://ebusiness-unibw.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/goodrelations

    Best wishes

    Martin Hepp
    http://purl.org/goodrelations/

    1. Hi Dr. Martin,
      Thanks for the comment and letting me know about the free extension modules/plugins and other links – they will definitely come in handy in the near future.
      Eventhough it did take some time before Google began showing rich snippets for this site, it was well worth the wait.
      From your experience, how long does it usually take before any given site’s rich snippets are displayed? I heard Google’s very subjective, do you have any pointers?
      Cheers,
      King

  2. Hi King,
    it usually takes 2 – 8 weeks for valid markup to create rich snippets in Google.

    Factors in here are:

    1. General ranking of your page
    2. Frequency of crawls on your site
    3. XML sitemap with a correct lastmod attribute

    The latter helps Google crawl your page more effectively.

    A Rich Snippet will only appear once

    1. The rich markup is in the Google cache
    2. Your page passes a certain “credibility” threshold for Rich Snippets.

    You may be able to speed up the process by using Google’s feedback form, as described here:

    http://ebusiness-unibw.org/pipermail/goodrelations/2011-December/000416.html

    More background info is here:

    http://ebusiness-unibw.org/pipermail/goodrelations/2011-November/000412.html

    Best wishes

    Martin Hepp

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