Google likes to use its audience, us, the searchers, as testers for their new and on-going experiments. One such experiment that has remained and is becoming more important is “rich snippets”. These snippets are additional data about certain search results, such as ratings, address, author’s names, images and video thumbnails. These snippets can help your website pages stand out among your competitors, which can result in more clicks!
Lets look at some examples. My mother in law has asked us to bring a taco salad to these weekends’ birthday party. I am only responsible for buying the necessary ingredients (she can toss it) and I need those now since this will be my only trip to the store. I go straight to Google and type the term “taco salad” into the search field. The search results populate and display thumbnail images of the taco salads, the rating count with stars, total number of reviews, cooking time and some even show calories. So based on the best and most relevant result, I am quickly able to discern the website I want to click on. What I noticed is that I am only clicking on the listings that have images and only the ones that have images that look appetizing. I also notice that some of them start catchy titles such as “quick”, “easy” or “healthy”, even “quick + easy”
Google accepts these types of snippets from website page content:
- Businesses and organizations
So if we wanted to give detailed data about events on our church schedule, it would look something like this:
It should be noted, Google claims that the additional snippets do not help with rank. However, because we know that sharing, rating and engaging with websites does help ranking, adding this functionality can definitely be beneficial.
So how do I add rich snippets to my website?
Google has very useful tools when it comes to providing a “better search experience” . First we need to determine what markup data Google sees on your site if any. Use the Structured Data Testing Tool. Simply enter your URL and click preview.
The next step is to use the Google Structured Data Markup Helper . This is a great tool to help you identify what content on your website can be used as “rich snippets”. So if a section of your website is dedicated to events, you would choose “events” and enter your events page URL and click “start tagging”. From here you can begin to choose data on the page that you would like Google to consider important markup data. Google will then give the correct html for use on that page. If you have a website with OurChurch.Com using the Ne1 web builder, you can access the HTML code using the Edit HTML icon in the text editor or you can add short bits of HTML code using the Paste HTML Code icon (see screenshot to the right). Keep in mind; this gets somewhat technical, so it’s always good practice to have a conversation with your websites administrator whenever there is code involved.
If you have any questions fell free to give us a ring!