How to Improve SEO Performance with Rich Snippets

“Double your SEO traffic in a week!”

“Get instant results in Google rankings.”

“Generate more leads from search today!”

Seen these email headlines flying around or even in your inbox? I bet you have… about a millisecond before hitting the ‘Delete’ key. While I would never even open any of them I’ve felt like writing a similar headline after discovering the impact of semantic search mark-up has had on my client’s SEO performance.

Ok, it must be said upfront that Google shows enhanced search result listings (rich snippets) for only few types of semantic search entities:

  • Products:
    1
  • Recipes:
    2
  • Reviews and ratings:
    3
  • Events:
    4
  • Apps:
    5

That means this is only relevant to websites with this type of content. At my day job at TMW Unlimited we work with many well-known FMCG brands on improving their Organic Search visibility. We are very interested in Rich Snippets since pretty much any website we manage SEO for has got at least three out of the five mentioned above – Products, Recipes and Reviews/ratings.

As part of the strategies we’ve been gradually implementing Rich Snippets on all sites. There are two primary benefits of doing that:

  • Improving click-through rate from Organic Search results – due to the search listing suddenly standing out and attracting more traffic from the same ranking position.
  • Future proofing the site from semantic search point of view – due to becoming a semantic search entity in Google’s “Knowledge Vault”.

Obviously the first benefit is what gets everyone excited as it has a direct impact on the performance. We, in our geeky SEO team, get equally excited about the second benefit as we know Google and others will only increase the prominence of Knowledge Vault content in search. Don’t believe me? Just look at what happened in the last few weeks in SERPs, e.g.

quick anwer

However, it was the ‘recipes’ mark-up that delivered the biggest performance gains. By looking at Webmaster Tools data we were able to analyse thousands of search queries and look at the average CTR from every top 10 position in Google for terms which trigger the recipe snippet and compare it to the CTR from terms which show normal ‘blue link’ listing. The results are simply astonishing:

CTR

So what this is telling us is that, generally, the expected traffic from recipe Rich Snippet listings is more less 100% higher than traffic from normal Google listings occupying the same ranking position. We knew rich snippets can improve the CTR but we did not expect it to be that much higher. The beauty of it is the fact that it is relatively much easier to implement Rich Snippets than it is to do many other SEO changes which are so incredibly game changing.

So what was I saying about that “doubling your SEO traffic in a week”?

Here’s the link to Google’s guide on implementing Rich Snippets: https://developers.google.com/structured-data/rich-snippets/

Artur Jach Written by:

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