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Rich Snippets / Structured Data Guide For Beginners
Rich Snippets / Structured Data Guide For Beginners

Structure data is the coding you input into your webpage field when you are creating it. This will classify specific content for the search engine. Done correctly, your tag will pop up in a search engine result page (SERP) and the searcher will click on it. Including rich snippets in your code helps with the focus of your content. The descriptive, colorful design on the tag entices people to click on it.


Rich Snippet

The more focused your content is, the better the search engines can understand the specific information of your content. A rich snippet is a specific code containing information that helps identify the heart of your information within your structured data.


Inputting the coding within your field is called structured data markup. Unlike normal snippets, your site presents in a colorful descriptive tag. The result is drawing the eye away from plain tags to your colorful one. The tag usually contains a picture and other information.


The tag for your content in the search engine will show the title, descriptive snippet, and URL.


For instance, if you are writing about cake recipes and want the focus of the content to be something specific on cake recipes, your rich snippets will contain a small colorful photo and enhanced information like:

  • Recipes ratings
  • Photo of the cake
  • The type of cake
  • Initial ingredients


Including this structure data in your coding enhances your content, but does not necessarily rank you higher. What it does is encourage the searcher to click on the link, resulting in more traffic to your site.


Organic click-through rate

Organic click-through rate (organic CTR) is the percentage of times a person clicks on your content link per month. If 20 people click on your link in one month, the organic CTR is 20%. This gives you an idea of how much traffic visited your link.


An accurate rich snippet with a valid keyword collection within your content can influence people to click on your link. This is because the search engine understood your coding and created a database for your page with information that is specific to your content.


Search Engine Optimization - SEO

Structured data SEO is another visual that gives search engine information to use in creating your content database. This assists the search engine in narrowing down the search to specific information within your content.


The examples above describe what can pop-up in a search engine. Keywords are used to optimize the search for that specific information. For instance, vanilla cake would be an SEO optimal word because its information relates to the specific recipe. 


Using applesauce in place of oil is another example of specific information to attract traffic. Applesauce is the keyword. The words should be ones that target the information within the content. 


You should sprinkle these keywords within the content to keep it on point. Make sure that you use the appropriate keywords to assist in the structured data markup. Do not overdo the keywords. That is called keyword stuffing, resulting in possible search engine penalties.


Structuring Data Testing

Google recently announced they are retiring their structured data testing tool, and replacing it with a rich results testing tool. These tools are used to test the coding for errors within your online content. 


The results will display the errors so that you can correct them. Testing your site before launching will ensure that it is displaying and loading correctly in the search engine.


To understand these tools, practice by putting a random URL address into the testing tool. You will see the coding light up on the right and it will tell you if there are any errors.


Google has a tool that can help you with structured data markup.


Google is the Boss

Not all pages support rich snippets. Google supplies a tool, Rich Results Test, to determine if your page is eligible. Your data can be marked-up correctly, but there is no guarantee from Google that your structured data will show up in search results.

  • Google algorithm considers variables such as search history, location, and device type for search results.
    • It may decide that one feature is better than another, such as plain blue ink.
  • If structured data is incorrect, but Rich Results test could not find it.
  • The structured data is misleading or does not relay the main content of the page.
  • Guidelines for structured data are not met.


Search Engine Manual Actions

Periodically, there are algorithm sweeps in addition to human analysts performing manual checks on website pages. These actions are to ensure quality control of websites. Those that are found non-compliant with webmaster quality guidelines could be penalized. Website issues with structured data that receive manual actions:

  • Structured data issue
  • Sparse content
  • Markup should match visible content
  • Content contains too much spam


If you receive a manual action, you must correct all the errors before asking for reconsideration.


Structured Data Generator

A structured data generator or Schema markup generator is a tool used to create the entire code in JSON-LD format needed to produce content with rich results. 


There are many recommended structured data generator tools on the internet. Research the best one for the type of content you want to share online.


Attract the most traffic

Creating a web page using structured data with rich snippets is the best way to entice web- surfers to click on your link. 


Ensure that your content is relevant to the pictures you display. Be careful to follow search engine guidelines.


Take advantage of the abundance of tools from search engines and companies to assist you in creating a great web page with pertinent content and eye-catching pictures. 


If you follow the guidelines, your web page tag should have a high organic click-through rate.

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