When a search is performed on Google, or any other engine for that matter, a number of results show up listed. Yet, not all of them are relevant to the user. Though Google is working hard to make search more relevant and better contextualized, that is still some way in the future. As for now, you have to take matters into your own hands. The search engine will display the results based on SEO, but you can improve your chances of your website being clicked on through advanced rel=canonical practices.
More specifically, you can use rich snippets to make your result stand out in the midst of hundreds of other results. So, what is a rich snippet? You would have seen the text that appears below a search engine listing. Sometimes, some additional text is placed below the result to enhance its relevance to the user. After all, providing more information about a specific link helps the user decide whether or not he/she wants to click on it. Using rich snippets is one way to convince the users to click on your links.
The term rel=canonical can be quite off putting in terms of being too technical for the average marketer to understand. But appearances can be deceptive; that is exactly the case here. You don’t need to be a PHP or HTML expert to apply the advanced rel=canonical practices. You only have to know the different types of rich snippets which you can use and how they are implemented in order to increase the traffic to your website and improve conversion.
There are over 10 types of snippets you can add to the search engine results that show up when a person searches for any of the keywords you have optimized your website for. The ability to modify the rich snippet enables you to influence the users in a certain way to click on your website. No wonder marketers have begun using them as a means to improve the results they are achieving. Without further ado, let’s look at the different types of rich snippets.
Author snippets may not be the most common of snippets being used today but they are gaining popularity. For using an author snippet, you have to sign up for Google+ which allows you to use Authorship. Once you have signed up, you can add your name, picture and even the number of followers to your snippets. Moreover, you can also provide links to the content posted elsewhere on the web. Author snippets are a great option for bloggers and article writers.
As the name suggests, business snippets are rich snippets that provide information about a certain business. You can add as much information about your business to your rich snippet as you want, but you need to keep it relevant. The most valuable information you can provide is the location, address, contact information, hours, prices and reviews.
Event snippets are not specific to any type of users but are most commonly used by businesses. They can not only provide information related to the event but also create a buzz for it. This requires them to specify the date and time along with the location at which the event is to be held. Unlike other rich snippets, event snippets display up to three listings below the search result.
Music Album Snippets
Music album snippets are commonly used by music streaming websites. They have the entire track listing of the album as part of the search engine result and users are directed to the website if they click on any of the tracks or the main search result. This enables users to select any specific song they want to listen to. These snippets are often used by websites that display song lyrics as well.
The individual’s equivalent of a business snippet, people snippets are a way for people to show their credentials and current occupation should anyone search for their name in Google. This is more likely a means to attract interest from businesses and companies. More often than not, a people snippet is used for a LinkedIn search listing for an individual.
The name itself is quite self-explanatory. Businesses use the product rich snippets to provide useful information about their products which may convince the users to buy them. This can include the picture of the product along with customer reviews and the price range in which the product is currently available. Sometimes, businesses also provide a link to the landing page from which the product can be purchased.
This type of rich snippet is for foodies. People searching for recipes online can find other valuable tips and information on how to make that particular dish perfectly. There is a specification by Google that a recipe snippet needs to have at least a picture of the dish, reviews, and also the number of calories it contains. Having any two of these can get you a recipe snippet.
The number of review snippets in search engine results is on the rise. More and more websites are displaying the Yellow Stars that show the overall rating given to any product or item by users. However, you can choose to exclude the stars and just have the review instead.
This again is one of the most commonly used rich snippets today. If you search for any trending video, the YouTube results for it will have a thumbnail of the video along with the listing. Video snippets also allow you to add a Facebook, Twitter and YouTube share option which users can click directly from the search results page rather than having to visit the website on which the video is posted.
These are the different types of rich snippets you can add to your search engines results in order to increase your chances of getting more clicks. There are a couple of others but they are not as popularly used. All in all, they allow you to make the most of advanced rel=canonical practices without actually being advanced!
Roman Viliavin, vice CEO at Promodo SEM Company.
Unconventional Thinker and candidate master of chess. Roman has been working in the field of search engine optimization since 2005 and is the moving spirit of the company. Participant and speaker of all major events in SEO business. Roman has successfully completed dozens of projects and gladly shares his experience with SEO community via articles and various online and offline publications. Follow Roman on Twitter and Facebook.