HOW TO BENEFIT FROM RICH RESULTS
What does an SEO agency need to do to benefit from Google’s rich results?
Google have recently announced the launch of “rich results”. But what exactly does this mean?
In this article we look at:
- What are rich results?
- What do rich results look like?
- What are the advantages of rich results?
- How do I know if my website can return rich results?
- What do you need to do to tag for rich results?
- Five tips to gain maximum benefit from rich results
What are rich results?
Put simply, rich results are designed to highlight key information and help search engines understand a page’s purpose as accurately as possible. This should result in more relevant search results for users.
Rich results go beyond the standard blue link. For example they may include a carousel, images, ratings, reviews and other quantitative information featured on your site. Rich results will help your business to stand out.
The concept of rich results is not new in itself. In the past you have been able to highlight your website’s content in various ways, including rich snippets, rich cards, or enriched results. But all of these now come under one umbrella term: rich results.
What do rich results look like?
The image below gives an idea of how rich results compare to normal search results:
Note that the search results include images, ratings, and other information such as cooking time and/or calorie content.
What are the advantages of rich results?
As can be seen from the above images, the presentation of the results makes them a more eye-catching prospect to entice users to click through to your site. This in itself can boost your search rankings. However, rich results also appear at the top of the results page. So you will be the first thing users see on a search results page even if you aren’t ranking top in traditional terms.
Rich results also work very well with voice search. Voice search devices such as Alexa, Google Home and Siri will read out the content of the snippets featured in rich results.
It is also likely that rich results will prove to have a decreased bounce rate due to the improved relevancy of results and the increased amount of information available to users before they click through to the site.
How do I know if my website can return rich results?
You can tell if your website is eligible for rich results by using Google’s new rich results testing tool. The aim of the tool is to diagnose the data sources of your pages that are eligible to be shown as rich results.
The test can be accessed HERE. All you need to do to test a page is to open the testing tool, enter a URL, and review the output. If the test finds any issues, it will highlight the invalid code in the page source
At the moment the test supports for Recipes, Jobs, Movies, and Courses but will be expanded to cover other areas in due course.
What do you need to do to tag for rich results?
Benefitting from rich results is all about skilful tagging. Tagging pages for easier crawling of your site is something that you need to be doing on a regular basis anyway as it leads to more relevant results being returned. But it is essential for rich results.
The best way to tag for rich results is based on Schema. Schema is the universal code for structured markup that all search engines can understand. This is most easily added using a format called JSON-LD to write a script that can be added into the page header. JSON-LD is a clean and readable format and is personally recommended by Google.
You need to tag up useful information such as contact information and logos, search boxes, social profile information, navigation paths, sequential carousels and also key items of individual content – including media such as music, podcasts, videos and TV/movie clips.
Five tips to gain maximum benefit from rich results
If you follow the above steps then you will appear in rich search results, but you need to think carefully about the impact of those items that you are tagging to appear in the results. Here are five tips that will help:
- Content needs to be high quality and written in a natural style. Make people want to read more.
- Partial answers or teasers should be included in your visible rich results content to encourage people to click through for the rest of the answer or for additional information.
- Format of your content should be in line with whatever is currently most popular with your target market. This may vary between blogs, lists, slideshows or FAQ pages – to name but a few. But make sure your content is not just what people want to read but how they want to read it.
- UX should be top notch so that when users do click through to your site they won’t be disappointed. At the very least it needs to be fast to load, completely up to date, and with no broken or erroneous links.
- Reviews and star ratings are an excellent way of building trust in your brand. In many cases, rich results will display star ratings on the search page – see our recipe examples above. So it is very important to have a good number of positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers.
Without a doubt, setting up your site to provide rich results will reap dividends for your business. The more information you can provide to users in search results, the better the chances that they will place their trust in your rich result and click through.