Google Rich Snippets are an integral part of attracting traffic from Google search results. In fact, SEO hardly matters if the description your potential clients see doesn’t match what they’re looking for!

This line or two of text that appears under every search result needs to give every search engine user a sense of what’s on your page and why it’s relevant to their needs. But Google doesn’t magically know which parts of a page are relevant.

To tell it, you have to use a markup language and “mark up” your page with cues telling the Google search engine what information is displayed where on the page. The results look like this:

Google Rich Snippets Preview

That way a user looking for a specific piece of information — such as a phone number — will see it in their snippet, and another user looking something else — such as a location, time, or recipe information — will see it in their snippet as well.

Picking A Markup Format

Some common markup formats are Microdata, Microformats, and RDFa — just to name a few. Out of these, Microdata is the one that Google itself recommends to page owners.

After that, you’ll have to decide what needs marking up on your page, and what doesn’t. Google supports rich snippets for the following types of content:

  • Events;

  • People;

  • Businesses and organizations;

  • Recipes;

  • Products;

  • Reviews;

  • Music;

  • Videos.

By using markup language to tell Google where your site has information relating to these types of content, a user looking for any these things will automatically see the most important information in their search page.

Structuring Your Data Using Google Webmaster Tools

One of the easiest ways to use Google Rich Snippets is to access Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, which provides ready-made tools for tagging the important data on your web pages. From this page, click on Structured Data Markup Helper.

After that, you’ll need to click on the type of content that you’re tagging — events, movies, restaurants, a local business, etc. Once you’ve done so, add the URL of the page you intend to tag in the text box, and click Start Tagging.

From here the process is simple. You can highlight text and Google will automatically create a flyout window where you can select which type of tag a piece of text needs. When you’ve added your tags, you can click on Create HTML on the top of the page and switch to the edited HTML viewer.

Once this part of the process is over, you’re almost done. Just copy the web page HTML back into your server through whichever CMS you’re using. The added section of code should look very similar to the following, which is the code that produced the example laid out above in this article.

<div xmlns:v="http://rdf.data-vocabulary.org/#" typeof="v:Review-aggregate">
   <span property="v:itemreviewed">Bluehost</span>
   <span rel="v:rating">
      <span typeof="v:Rating">
         <span property="v:average">10</span>/<span property="v:best">10</span>
         <span property="v:count">144</span>
      </span>
   </span>
   <span property="v:pricerange">$3.95 to $124.99</span>
</div>

Conclusion

There are other ways to convert your pages into Rich Snippet-enabled pages. You can, for example, simply add tags into the HTML data of your page, although this process can be laborious. But if you want to avoid using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper, this is always an option.

Simply look for markup format information — preferably Microdata, as Google says that it works best with this format.

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