What are Rich Snippets?

Definition: Rich snippets are search results for your products that include categorized and structured information like star ratings, prices, availability, and preview images. They’re coded using a Schema.org vocabulary that helps you structure data related to your product listing, thereby giving search engines the ability to parse certain information and feature it in search results. Rich snippets are part of a strong SEO strategy that increases the likelihood of potential customers clicking through to your online store.

Why do online stores need rich snippets?

Rich snippets are beneficial for online stores for three reasons. First, they offer your store the benefit of credibility by association. When potential customers see product information presented in context in their search results, it automatically lends your website the credibility of being recognized by the search engine as an eCommerce site. Conversely, online stores without that distinction present static results, lowering their credibility in the eyes of a shopper.

Second, rich snippets offer a preview of your inventory so customers know they aren’t wasting their time. Showing customers your pricing and availability up front helps them feel more confident about making the decision to click into your store, increasing your overall click-thru rate.

Lastly, rich snippets offer you a big opportunity to increase your website’s overall SEO value. They don’t do this organically — search algorithms don’t give more weight to rich snippets. However, the other benefits of rich snippets will result in more clicks, thereby giving your site more authority in search results.

How do I create rich snippets?

To create rich snippets, you’ll most likely need a developer’s help. The syntax you’ll use to add code to your online store’s HTML can be found at Schema.org, the repository for all of the resources you’ll need to make sure your rich snippets are up to snuff.

Using a syntax like microdata, you’ll add different flags to the HTML of each of your product pages, giving context to certain pieces of information. (For example, “$45.99” is just a number in most search results. Marked up with microdata, search engines will recognize this number as the price of the product.)

Though many online stores will need a developer’s help, you can also check your eCommerce platform’s built-in capabilities. Sometimes, you can find simple pre-built modules you can use to create rich snippets on your own, saving you the cost of hiring an outside developer.

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