The fierce battle for customer attention and interest on the web continues. Natural search results in Google are increasingly losing ground to graphically enhanced AdWords ads or Google Shopping.
Rich Snippets may turn out to be a remedy for this market crowd and a way to better results. What is it?
Rich Snippets or extended results – why should we care?
First, let’s consider how most of us approach the use of search engines. Most of the time we enter phrases or keywords, having prepared a certain image in our mind. This image narrows our field because we have a very specific end result in mind for our search
Then, after typing in the keyword or phrase, we are presented with dozens of results, and we are faced with a choice, and most often it goes to the site that most closely resembles what we were looking for in the first place.
Over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the rate at which more information about specific sites is being added to search engine results pages. This is another of the steps in the battle for the consumer. General descriptions and text-only sections of sites are often quite boring and poorly attention-grabbing, but there is also a way to make them more attractive, such as by adding images, illustrations or other interesting visual effects
Rich snippets, introduced by Google a few years ago, serve precisely this purpose – they allow for highlighting the position of a website among search results, additionally allowing for publishing additional information about it. The use of rich snippets is a very effective way to improve click-through rates, as they give the potential customer the possibility of a quick verification and inform him/her about the content of the website before the need to click.
What information can we expose with the help of rich snippets?
Rich snippets extensions are fully independent from the actual content of our sub-page, so we can take full care of making them maximally attractive for users.
With their help we can place on the search results page the average rating of our services and the number of opinions on our business, information on the availability of a particular product, images or links, location or navigation of the page.
What about the click-through rate?
It’s no secret that sites that are on the first positions of search results receive the vast majority of all clicks. So can rich snippets help us with that? At first glance, extensions won’t get us to the top of the list, but over time they can affect click-through rates enough that RankBrain can shuffle the cards in our favor
Assuming that the content on the site is valuable enough to users (as measured by dwell time) and that we continue to generate a fairly consistent number of clicks, there is a snowball effect. RankBrain then identifies our offer as increasingly valuable and ranks it higher in the search engine.
So we can say that every day, consistently, rich snippets affect click-through rates in a very logical way:
- by providing more information quickly than the competition;
- by using more interesting graphic forms that attract the audience and get them to click;
- through positive reviews from other customers. Reviews posted via extended results draw customers directly to products and services, and their first interaction with a top-rated post is through a click.
At a time when the competition of service providers on the web is constantly increasing and it is hard to break through with your own business in the market, rich snippets seem to be a fantastic tool to increase the attractiveness of your offer and make your website stand out. The types of extension are really quite a lot and everyone, regardless of the industry, will be able to find the right application for their business.
Main Photo: John Schnobrich/unsplash.com