Rich Snippets and SEO: Common Types and Tips

You can use structured data to prompt Google to make your search result a rich snippet. This will likely result in a higher CTR and more traffic.

May 2, 2024
Written by
Lizzie Davey
Reviewed by
Nate Matherson

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Your search results have to stand out to attract searchers. And information like product prices, star ratings, and times and dates can give your results that boost. These details give searchers helpful information and can encourage them to click.

And if you give Google the right information (in the right format) about your pages, Google can put it into rich snippets — which provide great visibility on SERPs (search engine results pages).

What Are Rich Snippets?

Rich snippets are organic search results with more information than the usual page title, URL, and meta description. Those results you’ve seen with star ratings, reviews, and prices included in them? Those are rich snippets.

This is a typical Google search result:

And this is a rich snippet:

As you can see, rich snippets take up more real estate on SERPS, and this can incentivize people to click on them. So how does Google create a rich snippet? It pulls information (such as reviews, star ratings, prices, and delivery information) from the structured data in a page’s HTML (more on this later).

Here’s an example: Imagine you’ve just published a recipe for fajitas.

Without structured data that provides additional information, search engines may not easily understand what ingredients are needed, how long the fajitas take to cook, and the steps involved. When you add structured data to the page, you can clearly tell search engines that the recipe takes one hour and that you need peppers, chicken, and onions to make it. If all goes well, this information will then be displayed on SERPs.

Rich Snippets vs. Rich Results

The terms “rich snippet” and “rich result” are often used interchangeably because they refer to the same thing — search results with additional structured data.

Do Rich Snippets Impact SEO?

Rich snippets won’t directly impact organic search rankings. However, like many things in SEO, there might be an indirect impact. While Google has explicitly said that structured data isn’t a ranking signal, it can make it easier for Google to understand whether a page is relevant. This can potentially help you rank for the terms you’re targeting.  

Adding structured data to your SERP results also makes them more visually appealing. The knock-on effect is more people clicking on your result, which can drive more traffic and positively impact click-through rates (CTRs). In turn, this can improve your rankings and lead to more traffic.

The Most Common Types of Rich Snippets

Google has an entire library of rich snippet types, from articles and course information snippets to job postings, recipes, and videos. Some of these are best suited to particular industries, and there are a few snippet types that are more common than others.

Product Markup Snippet

Give searchers information about a product, including its price, availability, reviews, and star ratings.

This rich snippet includes these products’ star rating, the number of customer reviews, the price, the delivery time, and availability.

Review Snippet

Display a star rating and an individual review or the total number of reviews.

This rich snippet includes this book’s average star rating and the number of votes the book has received.

Recipe Snippet

Share information about a recipe, including how long it takes to cook, the ingredients list, and images of the completed dish. Recipe snippets are shown as a regular listing or as part of a carousel alongside similar recipes.

This carousel of recipe snippets includes star ratings, cooking times, and select ingredients.

Organization Snippet

Display information about your company, such as your logo, address, and contact information. These snippets usually take the form of knowledge panels and can include other visual elements, such as images and maps.

Beardbrand’s rich snippet includes the company name, logo, and industry; the year it was founded; the location of its headquarters; and a brief blurb about the brand.

FAQ Snippet

Display one or two common questions about a specific topic. You can get this kind of rich snippet if you have a landing page or a blog post with a section for frequently asked questions.

This snippet includes three questions that relate to the listing. Note that Google’s recent changes mean FAQ snippets are becoming less relevant. They’ll be displayed only for authoritative and government websites.

Movie Snippet

Provide details about a movie, such as the title, director, images, and release date. Like recipe snippets, movie snippets are displayed either as regular listings or in a carousel format alongside similar movies.

This movie snippet for “Barbie” includes the release date, rating, genre, length, and trailer, as well as a handful of reviews from trusted sites and a tab showing searchers where they can watch it.

Event Snippet

Show a list of event dates and times.

This snippet for a ticket site includes a list of upcoming dates and venues for a Rihanna concert tour.

How to Implement Structured Data to Get Rich Snippets

To earn a rich snippet, you need to use structured data. The easiest way to do this is with markup, which is supported by all major search engines and relatively straightforward to use.

Step 1: Choose Your Markup Type

First, decide what type of rich snippet you want to create, and then search for it on the site. The site will then tell you how to mark up your webpages to meet search engine requirements (if you want more information, Google has an extensive resource for rich snippets).

For example, if you want to get a recipe snippet, you’ll use this markup:

Alternatively, you can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper: Type in the URL, and select the type of snippet you want to create. You can then match the information on the page to the relevant schema data and generate an HTML code.

Step 2: Add Structured Data to Your Website

You can add the schema directly to your website (Google has lots of documentation to help). But if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, it can be easier (and less risky) to use a plugin like JSON-LD.

With a plugin like this, you don’t have to manually add the structured data directly to your page’s HTML. Instead, it gets consolidated into a piece of JavaScript code that you can enter into your webpage’s <head> section. This reduces the chance of accidentally deleting an important piece of code or adding the schema markup in the wrong place.

Step 3: Test Your Structured Data

Once you’ve added the structured data to your website, verify that it’s set up correctly. You can use Google’s Structured Data Testing tool to confirm this. There are two options here. We recommended starting with Rich Results Test, which will tell you which rich snippets can be generated from the structured data on your page and show you what they’ll look like on SERPs.

You can then use the Schema Markup Validator to test your Structured Data. It’ll scan the HTML code on your website and tell you if there are any issues.

Note that even if your structured data is perfect in every way, there’s no guarantee that your page will appear on SERPs as a rich snippet.

Common Issues You Might Face When Adding Structured Data to Your Webpages

Dealing with HTML can get messy if you don’t know what you’re doing. This is why we recommend using a plugin that does it all neatly for you. Rich snippets are an excellent way to boost your visibility on SERPs and increase your CTRs, but it’s worth familiarizing yourself with these common pitfalls before you get started.

Microdata Can End Up Messy

If you keep changing and adding to the structured data on your webpages, the data can get convoluted and messy. Keep your code as clean as possible — or better yet, use a plugin that automatically cleans it.

Structured Data Requires an Investment of Time

Adding the right structured data to every relevant page can be time-consuming, especially if you plan on creating rich snippets for every product page or every recipe on your website. But the time investment can be worth it when you start seeing an increase in organic traffic.

Schema Markup Plugins Might Conflict

While we recommend using a plugin to implement your structured data, too many different tools can cause problems. Stick to one across your site to reduce the chances of this happening.

Multiple Apps Can Lead to Schema Duplication

Similarly, if you’re using too many tools or plugins, you might accidentally duplicate your structured data. This can make it difficult for Google to understand what your pages are about, which can impact SEO and rich snippets.

Implementing the Wrong Type of Schema

While the various types of structured data make it easy to create rich snippets for different page types, they can also make it confusing to decide which type of schema to use. This isn’t a problem for clear-cut webpages, like recipe pages, but it can be slightly murkier if you’re deciding between, say, a product snippet or a review snippet.

Monitoring Your Rich Snippets With Google Console

Once your rich snippets are set up and visible on SERPs, continue to monitor their performance over time. You can do this by running regular Rich Snippet Tests using Google’s tool and addressing any issues, or you can monitor their performance in Google Search Console (GSC).

Here’s how you can do that:

  • Make sure your website is connected to GSC.
  • Navigate to the Search Results tab in the Performance menu.
  • Click the Search Appearance tab to isolate the performance of your rich snippets.

You can get this information sent in an Enhancement Report, which gives you an overview of your structured data, including any current issues. It shows you how effective your structured data is and whether there’s any room for improvement.

Find your Enhancement Report in the Enhancements tab on the GSC sidebar.  

The report will show the number of pages with valid structured data, the number of times your rich snippets appeared in search results, and the percentage change from the previous period. It’ll also show any errors and warnings and provide recommendations to improve the appearance of your rich snippets.

How to Address Issues with Your Structured Data

Consistently maintaining and improving your structured data will ensure that your rich snippets keep showing up in the search results with the most up-to-date information.

When running your reports using the Rich Snippet Test tool or via GSC, make sure your invalid error count is zero. Warnings aren’t the end of the world, but they can limit the experience searchers have with your listings on SERPs. If there’s a noticeable dip in impressions or click-throughs, there might be an issue with the structured data and how it’s implemented on your website.

Here’s how to address any issues:

  • Filter out the warnings and valid items on the summary page of your rich result report (you want to focus on the errors first).
  • Identify the number of affected items and work through the list to fix them.
  • Fix the issues on your site, re-test the structured data, and ensure that the fixes are live.
  • Return to the issue details page on your rich result report and click on Validate Fix (note that this process can take several days, but you’ll receive an email notification when it’s complete).

The most common warnings are related to missing optional properties in your structured data, which means there are opportunities to improve your snippets. To fix them, you can add more information to your structured data so your rich snippets are more useful to searchers.

Final Thoughts

Rich snippets are visually appealing, information-rich search results that increase your visibility on SERPs. They can be particularly useful if you create content that has a set of expected information, like recipes, product pages, and event details.

Creating rich snippets can seem daunting — implementing structured data with HTML isn’t for the faint-hearted, but there are plugins and tools you can use to make it easier. Get started with or Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper, both of which generate the code for you based on the information you want to display in the rich snippet.

Whether your listing will show as a featured snippet is ultimately up to Google. Even if you add the required schema and include all the relevant information, it isn’t guaranteed. This can make the time and effort seem pointless. But if Google does decide to display your rich snippet, it can lead to more visibility, more clicks, and more traffic.

Lizzie Davey

Lizzie is a freelance writer for B2B e-commerce and SaaS brands. Over the past ten years, she's written millions of words that have turned readers into customers and loyal fans. When she's not typing away at her desk in Brighton, she's creating resources for freelancers, practicing aerial silks, or hopping on a plane. Lizzie has worked with several fantastic content marketing teams, including those at Zapier, Shopify, and Klaviyo.

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